City sidewalks, busy sidewalks dressed in holiday style. 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 Gluehwein, 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 13 – December 24
BRIGHT NIGHTS IN STANLEY PARK
A family favourite each year, Stanley Park’s miniature train whistles and weaves through the magically lit forest as passengers sing along to their favourite carols. The plaza features iconic light displays and the woods come alive with animated Yuletide scenes. Hot chocolate, popcorn, churros, potato tornados, chimney cakes and more will be served up. This popular attraction is also the single largest fundraiser for the BC Professional Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund.
November 26 – January 2 (closed December 25)
VANCOUVER AQUARIUM: HOLIDAY SPLASH
Dive into the holiday spirit at the Vancouver Aquarium, where 65,000 sea creatures are surrounded by festive décor, live music, and seasonal sweets and treats. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for Scuba Claus swimming by twice daily, and don’t forget to stop by the 4D movie theatre to immerse yourself in The Polar Express as you’ve never experienced it before.
November 13 – January 3
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.
December 9 – January 3
ROBSON SQUARE ICE RINK
Glide and twirl your way around this covered outdoor skating rink complete with glowing lights, a heated patio, and a café for that irresistible cup of hot chocolate. Check out the Twelve Days of Christmas line up on select dates featuring the sounds of local musicians like DJ Barron S and Santa’s Brass. Bring your own skates or rent a pair for just $5; the arena provides skate sharpening and drying services as well.
December 2 – January 1
Every day is Christmas at this 19+ pop-up bar in Yaletown. 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 minute and a drink upon arrival.
November 19 – December 31 (closed December 25 and 26)
CHRISTMAS AT CANADA PLACE
Only steps from Fairmont Waterfront, take a stroll and celebrate a Christmas outdoors at Canada Place. See the historic Woodward’s Department Store windows complete with antique settings and vintage figurines, and stroll an avenue of decorated trees. The iconic rooftop sails will show off a merry light display (best viewed in the evening).
December 3 – January 3
Fill your sleigh and get ready for a magical journey across Hastings Park, all from the comfort of your own vehicle – you can even decorate it to join in the fun! Cruise through nine enchanted lands filled with glowing lights, special characters, and live performers, and don’t forget to make a pit stop in the Food Truck Zone to fuel you for the drive home.
December 3 – December 31 (closed December 24 and 25)
VANDUSEN FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
Vancouver’s botanical garden is transformed into a winter wonderland with more than one million lights decorating its 15 acres. 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 area, tasty treats, unique light features, and holiday music.
November 26 – January 3 (closed December 25)
CANYON LIGHTS AT CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE
The world-famous suspension bridge is illuminated with multi-coloured lights high above the Capilano River – but that’s just the beginning of this epic display. Walk between the eight tallest Christmas trees in the world on the Treetops Adventure and see the breathtaking Arc de Lumina light tunnel wrapped along the Cliffwalk.
November 20 – January 23 (closed December 25)
THE PEAK OF CHRISTMAS
Vancouver’s North Pole lives at Grouse Mountain, where a magical story awaits you and your family. This snowy wonderland is lit by breathtaking light installations where guests can visit Santa in his workshop, glide across the ice skating pond, and meet real reindeer. For an extra special treat, enjoy a buffet breakfast with Santa on select dates throughout the season.
November 25 – January 3
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 this special offer to receive 20% off your guest room and receive free parking plus 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.
1. Grouse Mountain
2. Vancouver Park Board
3. Destination Vancouver/Lindsay Elliot
4. Vancouver Aquarium
5. Destination Vancouver