The holiday season is a magical time of year. Everyone seems to be in a good mood, and there’s just a little extra joy in every interaction you have with those around you.
And, one place where you’ll feel the magic of the holidays is in Vancouver. Christmas in Vancouver is brought to life with numerous Winter activities and holiday celebrations.
If you’re ready to celebrate a wonderful winter in Vancouver, this guide is for you. Here are five amazing things that you can do in and around Vancouver during the holiday season!
1. Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
Nothing says Christmas quite like holiday lights, and at the Capilano Suspension Bridge, you can take in a wonderland filled with sparkling white fairy lights wrapped around the bridge, the trees, and the other flora in the area.
In fact, at Christmas time, the park staff puts up nearly 500,000 decorations and holiday lights around the Canyon and the Capilano Suspension Bridge. They’re a great place to take a stroll with a date, the family, or even solo to enjoy the glittering lights!
To get into the park, you’ll need to pay $5 for parking as well as a $54.95 admission fee. Seniors, students, and kids are eligible for discounts, making it a great choice for anyone thinking about bringing the whole family.
The holiday lights displays are typically up starting in late November and last right through January. That means you’ve got plenty of time to plan a trip out to see the stunning light displays!
2. Bright Nights at Stanley Park
Another winter activity in Vancouver that you can participate in is to head over to Stanley Park. Every year, Stanley Park in Vancouver gets into the holiday spirit with the Bright Nights Christmas Train.
This fun and festive train takes you through displays of millions of sparkling lights and decorations around the park. As you make your way around Stanley Park, you’ll be treated to fun animal displays that are perfect for young children and adults alike.
A ride on the train costs $10 for adults. However, kids under three years old can ride for free, making it a great way to take little ones out for some holiday fun.
The train opens at the end of November and runs up until the New Year. That means you can enjoy visiting the train whatever week in the Winter works best for you! Just make sure to show up between the hours of 4 pm and 10 pm to be able to catch a ride on this holiday locomotive.
3. Vancouver Christmas Market
One of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit in Vancouver is to visit the annual Christmas market. This market is inspired by traditional German Christmas markets and is a great place to grab some holiday gifts and enjoy a warm cup of hot chocolate or other tasty holiday trees.
Each year, the market opens up at the end of November and is located near the Jacke Poole Plaza. The market remains open until Christmas Eve, operating during the afternoon and evening.
One fun thing about the market is that you can experience traditional German dishes. Take a bite out of a traditional spaetzle or sip on a mug of warm mulled wine. And, while you enjoy your more adult beverage, let the kids ride on the carousel and get into the holiday mood.
Remember to dress warmly as the market is located entirely outdoors. And, be aware that the market closes shop a little earlier on Christmas Eve, so you’ll need to get all your shopping done before then!
4. Vancouver Island and Tofino
Spending the winter in Vancouver is exciting in and of itself, but stepping out of the city for a day and enjoying time in Vancouver Island and Tofino is one way that you can experience even more unique holiday fun. These are some interesting areas to explore where you can enjoy all kinds of Christmas activities.
For one, you can take the Jingle into Christmas bus that offers free tours of Tofino during the holiday season. It’s a great way to see a little more of the city while getting in the holiday groove.
Or, if music is more your thing, head over to the Ucluelet to hear the Tofino and Ucluelet Choir sing. The beautiful carols will have you feeling some type of way and ready for dancing around the Christmas tree!
You can also check out the stunning lights displays at the Botanical Gardens or you can a Festive afternoon tea hosted by the Empress Hotel. No matter what it is you enjoy doing, there’s something for everyone on Vancouver Island at Christmas time.
5. Robson Square Ice Rink
Last but certainly not least on our list of fun winter activities in and around Vancouver is to take a trip down to the Robson Square ice rink. After all, there’s nothing quite like ice skating to get you into the holiday spirit!
The ice rink is located next to the Vancouver Art Gallery, in the heart of downtown. It’s covered in a clear dome, allowing you to enjoy skating in the city in both rain and shine.
The ice rink is open all week, from 9 am to 9 pm Sunday through Thursday and staying open until 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. There’s no admission fee, but you can rent skates for $5. Just remember that it’s cash only!
Have a Very Merry Christmas in Vancouver
With the holidays right around the corner, you’re now ready to spend the perfect Christmas in Vancouver. Whether you choose to check out spectacular holiday lights displays or you opt for quieter festivities around the tree, we’re sure that this guide will have you in the holiday spirit in no time at all.
Ready to plan a holiday getaway to Vancouver? Book your stay at the Sunset Inn & Suites and get ready to have a very merry Christmas indeed!