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 our favourite family Christmas activities in Vancouver.
All of these are outdoor activities, 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 crowds. Put babies in a baby carrier rather than stroller to keep them warm and make it easier to navigate crowds and paths.
#1: Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas
Enjoy old-fashioned fun at the Burnaby Village Museum this holiday season! There’s special entertainment, vintage-themed displays, and spectacular lights. At the bandstand, visitors can create their own magical holiday show with lights that change colours to sound. Drop by the website for complete schedule and details.
Dates: November 25th until January 5th
Cost: Gate admission is free and carousel rides cost $2.65 each.
We went last year and thoroughly enjoyed running around the village checking out all the lights. The girls love the carousel, which is indoors and 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! Kids will have fun searching for gnomes and reindeer in the garden. There’s also tons of photo opportunities. We went last year during Christmas week and the girls had so much fun following the paths and seeing all the lights. Find more details and get your tickets online here.
Dates: The Festival of Lights runs from December 1st to January 7th.
Cost: A family four-pack is $40 and children under 3 get in free.
#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. Get all the details and buy tickets online via the website. Note: strollers are not allowed here.
Dates: Canyon Lights runs from November 23rd to January 28th.
Cost: 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.
#4: Vancouver Christmas Market
Dates: November 22nd to December 24th
Cost: Family admission is about $30, plus extra for the carousel rides.
#5: Flyover Canada
Fly over the North Pole this Christmas with Flyover Canada! The Christmas Special includes a Winter Wonderland themed pre-show, FlyOver Canada and an extended, animated final scene over Santa’s magical North Pole! You can also stop by the festive outdoor sightseeing deck to enjoy Christmas lights, hot drinks, seasonal snacks and holiday melodies.
Dates: The Christmas Special runs from November 23rd to January 7th.
Cost: Family admission is about $90 (buy tickets online for a 15% discount). Note: children must be 40″ tall to go on the ride.
#6: Bright Nights in Stanley Park
My husband took the girls to Bright Nights 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 30th to January 6th. 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.
#7: Sea to Sky Gondola
Take the scenic drive down the Sea to Sky Highway toward Squamish and ride the Sea to Sky Gondola up the mountain for more festive cheer! The trails at the top are decked out with holiday decorations. Drop by the website for the full calendar of events.
Dates: The Spirit of Christmas runs from November 24th to January 7th and includes kids’ storytime, hiking, and more.
Cost: A family four-pack is $103. Children under 5 ride the gondola for free. Tubing is $5.
What are your favourite family Christmas activities in Vancouver?