It’s getting to that time of year again where the festive spirit takes over. Vancouver is getting cold, the Christmas trees are up and Santa is making his appearance around the city. It’s time to slip on the Christmas sweater and head out around town. Discover what Vancouver has to offer from a few suggestions below. Click on the orange words to be taken to a new page.
Bright Lights Christmas Train in Stanley Park
The world’s best urban park has a makeover to become a winter wonderland. Take a 15 minute train journey through the grounds to marvel at the trees as they are lit up with multiple colours. You may even see some live performances along the way. The train operates between 10-2.30pm (no live performances) and 3pm-11pm daily. Book your tickets in advance or buy on the day. Sales start at 10AM and are limited. They are sold for a half hour slot. You can pre purchase your tickets and I would recommend doing this a week or two in advance to get the time and date you desire. The cost is $11 per person. If the train is not for you, you can also visit the lights display at the starting point. It is free but a suggested donation of $4 is recommended, all which is donated to charity.
Robson Square Ice Rink
Located in the heart of downtown, the Robson Square Ice Rink is now open 9 am – 9 pm Sunday to Thursday and then 9am-11pm on Friday and Saturday. It is free to skate if you have your own ice skates, but don’t worry if you don’t; there are rental skates for $4. Lockers are available to hire for only a 25cents. There are free helmets to use and devices to help those people who have never ice skated before. The rink remains open until the end of February.
Vancouver Christmas Markets
Why not grab a few friends and head down to the markets for some mulled wine. They are located near the Public Library and cost $8 to enter. A top tip is to enter between 11am and 4 pm Monday to Friday for only $4. There is food and drinks to taste with live music throughout the day. This could be the perfect answer for the last minute gift for someone special with local stores showcasing local products.
The Winter Wonderland is Canada’s largest Indoor Christmas festival. It runs from the 11th until the 21st of December at the PNE Forum. Throughout the day there are daily shows and arts and crafts with proceeds going to charities. A highlight you must do is to take a walk through the three story tall interactive snow globe. The wonderland costs only $5 to enter and is open from 3-11pm on weekdays and 11-11pm on weekends.
Secret Lantern Society
I probably shouldn’t be telling you this but there is a Secret Lantern Society which holds an annual lantern festival. Located across three city hubs, you can join in and participate in the winter solstice lantern festival. There will be a parade of lanterns which wind through the streets before ending at 2 locations. It is here where you can enter the labyrinth of light for $7 and celebrate the new season coming upon us.
Grouse Mountain Santa workshop
Why not head up Grouse Mountain for the ‘Peak of Christmas’. At the top of the mountain you will find Gingerbread world – a display of gingerbread houses. Santa has even made himself at home and allows photos for a donation. There is an outdoor ice rink, snow shoeing and real life reindeers. If you make the journey after sunset, you can walk through the lights tunnel. This will take you about 15 minutes. The main reason for the mountain is to go skiing and snowboarding. The mountain is open from 9am until 10pm each day with each activity at different times.
Rogers Santa Clause Parade
This year the annual parade is held on the 6th of December, 2015. It starts at 1pm and has about 3500 participants. The route goes down Georgia St and Howe Street and covers 1.8 km’s. There are brass bands from the local area, Christmas floats and the very Canadian Mounties.
Festival of lights
The festival of lights is at it again. They are located at the VanDusen Botanical Gardens and are open from 4.30pm - 9pm for most of December. Between the 18th and the 23rd, the park stays open for an extra hour. It will cost you $16 and will take about an hour or so to walk through the whole park. Don’t miss the dancing lights show on Livingston Lake. It lasts for 5 minutes and starts every 20 minutes with the first show at 4.40pm.
photo credit: http://northshoremama.ca/see-beautiful-christmas-lights-north-shore/
Capilano Suspension Bridge
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of Vancouver’s most popular tourist attractions. During the Christmas period, the bridges and walking paths are lit up with colourful light displays. The park is open between 11am to 9pm daily and costs $37.95. There is a free shuttle bus which will take you from downtown to the main entrance. Most people spend up to 2 and a half hours in the park. The best news is selfie sticks are prohibited on the attractions. Time to get back to the way things were and politely ask someone else to take the photo.
Join in the festivities and here is hoping to a white Christmas Day! Make sure you leave a comment on our Facebook page.