Christmas is full of special events and magical fun and there’s plenty of that to be had around Vancouver. If you’re looking for something to do as a family this holiday season, I’ve made a list for you! Here are five of our five Favourite Family Christmas Activities in Vancouver.
All of these are outdoor activities that happen after dark, so please remember to dress for the weather! Wait for a nice evening or take umbrellas. Plan to buy hot food or drinks at the event or take a thermos with you. I’d also recommend going earlier in the season to avoid the crowds. Put babies in a baby carrier rather than stroller to keep them warm and make easier to navigate crowds and paths.
#1: Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas
Enjoy old-fashioned fun at the Burnaby Village Museum this holiday season! The museum is open from November 19th until January 2nd. Gate admission is free and carousel rides cost $2.60 each.
Enjoy special entertainment, vintage-themed displays, and spectacular lights. The whole family will have fun with the 12 Days of Christmas scavenger hunt! Drop by the website for complete schedule and details.
We went last year and thoroughly enjoyed running around the village checking out all the lights. The girls love the carousel, which is open to kids of all ages. It’s the biggest and best carousel we’ve seen around Vancouver. You can read my summertime review of the museum here.
#2: Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Gardens
In winter, VanDusen Gardens turns into a winter wonderland with lights galore! VanDusen Festival of Lights runs from December 1st to January 2nd. A family four-pack is $40 and children under 3 get in free. We went last year during Christmas week and the girls had so much fun running down paths and seeing all the lights.
This year, the Festival of Lights is expanded and includes a carousel ride (free with admission). Kids will have fun searching for gnomes and reindeer in the garden. There’s also tons of photo opportunities. Find more details and get your tickets online here.
#3: Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
Re-capture the feeling of wonder and excitement of the holiday season and be amazed by the hundreds of thousands of lights throughout Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Canyon Lights runs from November 24th to January 8th.
Family rate is $85; children under 6 get in for free. Your admission here is good for the entire year (turn your tickets into a membership on your way out). Consider it a Christmas present and enjoy the park for the rest of the year! This is one of our favourite places in Vancouver; you can read my summertime review here.
The bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, rainforest and canyon are transformed into a world of festive lights and visual enchantment. New this year is “Fireflies”, an interactive lighting display in the rainforest. Using giant flashlights, guests can magically awaken waves of tiny lights that glimmer and twinkle like fireflies.
Get all the details and buy tickets online via the website. Note: strollers are not allowed here.
#4: Bright Nights in Stanley Park
This is one event I missed last year, as my husband took the girls shortly after Pearl’s birth. They came back raving about how much fun they had! During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park Train Plaza sparkle with three million twinkling lights.
Bright Nights runs from November 28th to January 1st. You’ll want to buy tickets in advance as they sell out quickly. A family of four can ride the train for about $40. There’s also an afternoon train which is $6 per person. Get all the details and plan your visit here.
#5: Enchant Christmas
This is Vancouver’s newest Christmas attraction and runs from November 25th until December 31st. It features the world’s largest light maze plus a Christmas market with over 40 vendors and local food trucks. A family pass is $60.
We were at Enchant for their opening night. The girls had a blast running through the maze finding Santa’s nine reindeer. I thought, “Hey, find some reindeer, no problem!” I’ll just say that in Vancouver, I have so sense of direction and the light maze was no different. We did find all nine reindeer before the rain started pouring and the girls had lots of fun there!
You can read a full review at Discovering Parenthood. Parking down there is terrible so I’d recommend taking the SkyTrain. The ground is covered with either gravel or mulch, which isn’t terribly friendly for strollers or wheelchairs. This is the event’s first year so it seems like they have some kinks to iron out still but otherwise it’s a fun outing for the kids.
What are your favourite family Christmas activities in Vancouver?
Are you planning to visit any of these venues?
Now it’s your turn! What were your five favourites from this week?
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