As Vancouver decks the halls for the season, we’ve made a list (and checked it twice) of all the best festive events and attractions the city has to offer!
Vancouver Christmas Market
Want to experience the charm of a traditional German Christmas market? Vancouver’s own version is brimming with artisan vendors in wooden huts, live music, warm mugs of Glühwein, and delicious treats. The twinkling tree and light displays add a festive touch, and this year rides on the whimsical carousel are free! Best of all, this must-see holiday attraction is just down the block from Fairmont Waterfront.
November 12 – December 24
Bright Nights in Stanley Park
While the 25th anniversary of Bright Nights in Stanley Park will look a little different with the absence of our vintage trains, it is still certain to be full of twinkly lights, family fun, and holiday cheer! The hardworking Burn Fund volunteers are setting up their dazzling displays including fan favourites like the antique fire truck, giant red reindeer, and sparkling tunnel of lights in the plaza. Warm up with a great selection of comfort food like churros, pretzels, popcorn and hot chocolate. Snap a selfie with a fire fighter, grab a candy cane, and get festive with the family in Santa’s Workshop in the North Pole or find a sheltered spot to enjoy the live entertainment.
December 1 – January 1 (closed Monday, December 5, Tuesday, December 6, and Sunday December 25)
Vancouver Aquarium Holiday Splash
Explore oceans of holiday magic during Holiday Splash at Vancouver Aquarium! Guests can discover Scuba Claus diving daily and sharing holiday cheer with all who come to visit. Delight in the wonder of the season as you snuggle up for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ 4D Experience® and enjoy our enchanting Jelly Snow Globe surrounded by more than 65,000 incredible animals. Dine on a toasty Grilled Chicken Apple and Brie Panini, then satisfy your sugar plum dreams with sweets like Christmas Clownfish Cones or a steaming cup of hot chocolate in a Holiday Souvenir Penguin Mug with free refills!
November 12 – January 2
Robson Square Ice Rink
This winter, renew a classic Vancouver tradition and enjoy some old-fashioned fun. Robson Square’s outdoor skating rink is open, so celebrate winter in style with skating in the heart of downtown Vancouver. It’s a magical place to enjoy the winter season with your friends, family and loved ones.
December 1 – February 28
Christmas at FlyOver Canada
Enjoy festive treats and classic holiday movies on the flight deck at FlyOver Canada, where all your Christmas dreams will take flight. Just across the street from Fairmont Waterfront, you’ll soar with Santa from Canada’s east to west coast before taking an exhilarating trip to the North Pole on this multidimensional cinematic ride that will leave you feeling full of cheer. Throughout the journey, keep a close watch for Santa’s runaway elves as he desperately needs them home before Christmas Eve!
December 8 – January 3
Every day is Christmas at this 19+ pop-up bar at the Vancouver Alpen Club. Be prepared for an explosion of tinsel and extravagant decorations along with merry music and festive cocktails galore. Snap photos in your holiday finery as you sip boozy beverages – admission includes entry for 90 minutes and a drink upon arrival. There are also a number of alcohol-free family friendly sessions available!
November 13 – December 30 (closed December 25 and 26)
PNE Winter Fair
Experience the joy of Christmas at the PNE this winter as it transforms into an immersive magical holiday experience for the entire family!
The PNE Winter Fair runs for ten festive nights and will feature a nightly Christmas-themed concert series, skating on the Tim Horton’s Ice Rink (indoor), magical holiday theatre shows that will be a favourite for the little ones, a winter market, tasty food and beverages, and a sparkling walk-thru WinterLights display presented by BC Hydro.
December 14 – December 23
VanDusen Festival of Lights
Vancouver’s botanical garden is transformed into a winter wonderland with more than one million lights decorating its 15 acres for the VanDusen Festival of Lights. Stroll along the lake as it shimmers in the glow of northern lights, or see the lush Rose Garden transformed into a spectacular frosty replica. The enchanting winter garden will have themed areas, tasty treats, unique light features, and holiday music.
November 25 – January 2 (closed December 25)
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
From November to January, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is utterly transformed into a magical world of festive splendour for Canyon Lights. Cross the world-famous bridge, lit end-to-end with a changing multi-colour display, and gaze at the illuminated Capilano River below. Journey into a glowing rainforest and walk high above the forest floor on Treetops Adventure’s seven suspended bridges, twinkling from treetop to forest floor. Wind your way through the mesmerizing “Arc de Lumina” light tunnel, which wraps along a portion of Cliffwalk.
November 19 – January 22 (closed December 25)
Grouse Mountain: The Peak of Christmas
Vancouver’s North Pole lives at Grouse Mountain, where a magical story awaits you and your family. Enjoy the natural beauty of Blue Grouse Lake, lit by breathtaking light installations, take a stroll through the light tunnel and marvel at new additions including a magnificent lit deer, visit Santa in his workshop, and meet real reindeer. Experience the tranquil beauty of skating on an 8,000 square foot mountaintop Ice Skating Pond, surrounded by snow-topped trees. For an extra special treat, enjoy a buffet breakfast with Santa on select dates throughout the season.
November 25 – December 25
Holiday shows at the Arts Club Theatre
Catch a show this holiday season at the Arts Club Theatre, which is serving up classics such as The Sound of Music, where you’ll journey along with the spirited Maria, who takes a governess position with the von Trapp family, falling first for the children and then the widower Captain von Trapp himself, all against the stirring backdrop of pre-WWII Austria. Laugh and be merry at a performance of Mon’s the Word: Talkin’ Turkey, experience immersive theatre at Me Love Bingo!: Best In Snow, or catch a Holiday Cabaret with the Gingerbread Men!
Get festive in the Shipyards District
Step out of Fairmont Waterfront and onto a Seabus as you travel across Coal Harbour to Vancouver’s Shipyards District to explore the many festive activities on offer! From ice skating to carolling, you can easily fill up your calendar with winter activities for everyone. The area is rich with local boutiques and Christmas markets, perfect for making your holiday shopping easy and sustainable!
Make the most of this magical season with us! After a day of festive activities, take the elevator home to warm, relaxed luxury at Fairmont Waterfront in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Book our special residents offer to receive 15% off your guest room as well as free parking and late check out, so you can spend more time turning your holiday moments into memories.
While all efforts have been made to provide accurate details, availability of these experiences is subject to change. Please refer to official websites for the most up-to-date hours, information, and health requirements.