Community Events for December
With the kids off of school at the end of the week, here are some fun activities to do with your family, friends, or even just for you! Check out the list below:
Bright Nights in Stanley Park
During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park Train Plaza sparkle with three million twinkling lights.
Buy tickets to ride the Bright Nights Train and experience the lights, breathtaking displays, and live performers along the train route. Or view the displays at the Train Plaza by donation ($5.00 suggested).
Location: Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4
Dates: November 30 - December 14 - Friday to Sunday @ 10am-2:30pm
Monday to Thursday @ 3-10pm / Friday to Sunday @ 3-11pm
December 15-24 - Daily @ 10am-2:30pm / 3-11pm
Cost: Early train - $6 each
Evening train - Adults - $12 / Seniors & Youth - $9 / Children (3-12) - $8
(Children 2 and under are free)
Purchase tickets online @ http://ticketleader.ca/events/bright-nights
Vancouver Christmas Market
The city's signature yuletide celebration offers its largest festivities to-date, with more than 75 huts stuffed with sweets, treats, and treasures. Wander the market’s winding alleys and discover authentic German delicacies: sizzling sausages, warming Glühwein (mulled wine), old world confections, and so much more! Be dazzled by the glittering carousel, a 30-foot tall walk-in Christmas tree boasting 36,000 twinkling lights, live entertainment, and a multitude of festive family activities.
1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C, Canada
November 22 - December 24
Open from 11am to 9pm daily (Christmas Eve - 6pm close)
Cost: $10 for adults / $9 for seniors / $5 for age 7-12 (Free for children 6 and under)
**additional packages available on the website - https://store.vancouverchristmasmarket.com/event/13/2017-vancouver-christmas-market
Robson Square Skating:
Free ice skating in the square underground behind the Vancouver Art Gallery on Robson Street. Free live music also takes place in Robson Square from 6:30 until 9:30 pm
Skating is free for all ages. Those who own their own skates are welcome to use them. Skate rentals are $4, and rentals end 30 minutes before closing time.
Furthermore, helmets are mandatory for children 12 and under. Robson Square Ice Rink will offer rentals and accept cash only.
Location: Robson Square - 800 Robson Street, Vancouver
December 1 - February 28
Sunday through Thursday @ 9:00am - 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday @ 9:00am - 11:00pm
Christmas Lights at Lafarge
A winter attraction that features over 100,000 Christmas lights and festive displays around Coquitlam’s Lafarge Lake at night. There are illuminated archways to walk under, Christmas light reindeer to admire and various themed areas throughout the park including a Fantasy Forest, Arbour Walk and Woodland Garden.
Location: Lafarge Lake, Coquitlam, BC
November 25 - January 21
The lights are illuminated daily from 4:30 until 11:00 pm, and on New Year’s Eve from 4:30 pm until 1 am.
VanDusen Festival of Lights
Experience VanDusen Festival of Lights, a magical winter wonderland with over one million lights decorating VanDusen Botanical Garden. All tickets include a free ride on the carousel!
- Storytime with Santa (December 1 to 24 from 5pm to 7:45pm daily)
- Families, kids and couples alike can listen to holiday stories and take a selfie with Santa in the glasshouse until December 24. This is now a free experience included with entry!
- Be mesmerized by lights dancing to classic, disco and soul music sets on Livingstone Lake, every 20 minutes.
- Meet the puppets in the glasshouse at this interactive musical puppet show with singing, clapping, music, and laughter!
Location: 5251 Oak Street at West 37th Avenue, Vancouver
December 1 - 14 @ 4:30-9:00pm
December 15 - 24 @ 4:30-10:00pm
December 26 - January 7 @ 4:30-9:00pm
Cost: Adults - $18.50 / Seniors & Youth - $14.25 / Children (4-12) - $11
(Children 3 and under are free)
Langley’s Glow Christmas Lights
At Glow there is a giant tunnel of lights, a children’s scavenger hunt, a Christmas light maze, numerous Christmas displays, a large Christmas store, an artisan market with local vendors, and a small number of food trucks. There is also a small kids’ activity area, plus both Santa Claus and live music. It’s indoors, warm, dry and magical with all its holiday lights and festive displays.
Santa: Santa Claus has a station between the Glow greenhouse’s main entrance and the artisan market. He is only there at set times though, but usually between 5-9 pm. Photo opportunities are by donation.
Music: Evening performances usually run between around 5:30 and 9:00 pm, plus or minus, and consist of 30-minute sets with 20-minute breaks in between..
Location: Inside a giant greenhouse @ Milner Village Garden Centre - 6690 216 St, Langley
November 23 to December 30 - Monday to Saturday @ 4-10pm (Closed Dec 25)
Cost: Adults - $25 / Seniors & Children (6-12) $20
(Children 5 and under are free)
Family rate (2 adults and up to 3 children) - $80
Tickets are purchased for specific time slots: 4-6 pm, 6-8 pm and 8-10 pm. Guests are requested to arrive during their designated time slot. This is a great system and done to help reduce congestion inside and lineups at the gate. Parking is free!
Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village
Burnaby Village is a great place for people of all ages, especially during its Heritage Christmas season. During the event there are festive Christmas lights and decorations to admire as well as special entertainment at certain times.
November 25 - December 15 - Weekdays: 1-5:30pm Weekends: 1-9pm
December 16 - January 5 - 1-9pm everyday (Closed Dec 24 & 25)
Location: 6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
Cost: Admission is free, but carousel rides cost $2.65.
TIP #1: If you go on a Sunday you’ll find free cookies (one per person) in the Farmhouse between 2:00 and 4:00 pm.
TIP #2: Santa is scheduled to be at the Burnaby Village Museum on weekends between November 25 and December 23, from 2:00 until 5:00 pm and then again from 6:00 until 8:00 pm. He’ll also be there daily between 6:00 and 8:00 pm during the week of December 18 to 22.
TIP #3: Dress warmly if going at night.
Winter Solstice Lantern Festival
A series of community events on December 21, 2017, that features food, music and fire performances at night.
Mainly at ‘Roundhouse Community Centre’ (181 Roundhouse Mews), although its procession starts at 6pm at the ‘Gathering Place Community Centre’ (609 Helmcken Street).
The event schedule for Yaletown:
Pre 6:00 pm – free food, music and last-minute lantern-making opportunities at the Gathering Place Community Centre
6:00 pm – procession via Emery Barnes Park from the Gathering Place to the Roundhouse Community Centre
6:00 to 10:00 pm – music, food, performances, workshops and other activities at the Roundhouse Community Centre
6:00 – 8:00 pm – pin-prick lantern-making workshop
8:00 – 8:30 pm – additional small lantern procession to David Lam Park
9:30 pm – fire performance outdoors on the Roundhouse Turntable
10:30 pm – Labyrinth closing ceremony
The Winter Solstice Festival in Yaletown is free, although suggested donations of $5 per participant are appreciated.
At the Yaletown Roundhouse venue, there is also a “Labyrinth of Light” featuring over 600 beeswax candles that people can walk around, at set times, for either free or $7 depending on whether you’re older or younger than 12 years of age.
False Creek & Granville Island
With this component of the festival there are three separate processions that all start at 6 pm and finish at the False Creek Community Centre on Granville Island.
One of the procession starts at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, another starts at Granville Island Triangle Square outside the Granville Island Public Market, and the third one begins at Leg-In-Boot Square between the eastern edge of Charleston Park and the Mahoney & Sons pub at 601 Stamps Landing.
All three processions start at 6 pm and converge at the water park outside the False Creek Community Centre at 1318 Cartwright Street on Granville Island. The walks are fun and family-friendly, and participants are welcome to bring handmade lanterns for the journey.
After the processions there are free indoor activities at the False Creek Community Centre between 7 and 9 pm, and then a fire performance finale just down the street at Granville Island’s Ron Basford Park.
The festivities at Granville Island are mostly free, although donations are encouraged.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden
The Winter Solstice Festival at the garden is a small but interesting event, and features a selection of beautiful lanterns, lights scattered around the garden and live music in a side room.
The Winter Solstice Lantern Festival takes place most (but not all) years at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden at 578 Carrall Street from 6 to 10 pm.
Some years there has been a lantern-making workshop at the Strathcona Community Centre right close by beforehand at 601 Keefer Street, followed by a procession through the streets of Strathcona from 6:00 until about 6:20 pm before finishing at the gardens. This won’t be happening, however, in 2017.
Highlights of the evening in 2017 include the following:
- Lanterns and light projections throughout the garden including a 14-foot-long dragon lantern.
- Solstice headdress craft-making opportunities.
- Tea ceremony opportunities featuring live music.
- One-of-a-kind lanterns made by Secret Lantern Society artists available for purchase.
Cost: $10 per person / $15 per couple / $20 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children
Canada Place at Christmas
Over the Christmas season at Canada Place there is an avenue of decorated trees, historic Woodward’s Christmas displays, colourful lights on the building’s sails and seasonal movies in Rudolph’s Theatre. It’s all very festive, mostly outdoors and FREE!
Location: 999 Canada Pl, Vancouver
December 11 - December 30 @ 8am - 11pm
Hyatt Gingerbread Lane (ten minute walk from Canada Place & close drive to Vancouver Christmas Market)
A festive display of tasty-looking Christmas gingerbread creations scattered around on a number of seasonally decorated tables in the lobby of Vancouver’s Hyatt Regency Hotel.
As you enter the hotel lobby one of the first things you’ll see is a giant, almost life-size cookie house display. It’s not actually made out of real cookies, although for many years, and until recently, it was.
Location: 655 Burrard St, Vancouver
December 1 - 29 (People typically stay for 15-30 minutes)
Let us know what you think of any events you attend!
Until next time,