Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but Christmas Glow is quite delightful, so let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!
Winter festivals are in full swing around Vancouver. However, with the rainy season also in full swing, it can be hard to find the perfect night to go out. At Christmas Glow, you don’t need to worry about the weather! All the activities, lights, and fun happen inside the giant greenhouses of Milner Gardens. Pick any night to visit and don’t worry about the rain!
We visited Harvest Glow in October, so the girls were very excited when we told them we were going to Christmas Glow. They immediately began reminiscing about their favourite parts of Harvest Glow. I assured them that the LED swings and the glowing hopscotch would still be there, but there’d be other, exciting things for Christmas. They couldn’t wait to go!
I’m a Glow Langley ambassador and as such, received a complimentary family pass to this event; all opinions expressed are my own.
Pictures with Santa
If you’re planning to get pictures with Santa this year, you can do it at Christmas Glow! He was waiting just inside the door when we got there. We debated doing pictures, but Pearl and Joey had just woken up and the other girls weren’t interested. We headed off to explore the maze first.
When we returned, Pearl caught sight of Santa and said, “I want a picture with Santa!” I was a bit surprised, as she just turned 3. But she repeated the request and Santa was available, so I scrounged through my wallet for a donation. The girls trooped through the gate and I wheeled Joey’s stroller behind them.
By the time I got there, Pearl had decided she didn’t want photos with Santa after all. She hid under the stroller while the other three girls posed. I tried to get Joey into the picture, but he decided to slide down and follow Pearl. Santa kept smiling as I snapped a couple pictures of the older girls and then chased Joey. I guess those photos won’t be on the family Christmas card!
Christmas Around the World
As soon as we stepped inside the door, the girls were each given a passport. The theme for Christmas Glow this year is “Christmas around the World.” We had fun wandering through the maze and discovering each country.
The light displays and decorations were fantastic! We had to keep telling the girls not to run ahead to see what the next country was. I enjoyed seeing each creation just as much as the girls did.
Aside from the beautiful lights, there were plenty of other fun decorations tucked into the corners. The girls had fun each pretending to make a phone call in the Little Red Phone Booth in “England.” We could have browsed Dutch souvenirs in “Holland” (if the girls weren’t already running ahead!) and nibbled on churritos in “Mexico.”
In each “country,” the girls had to find the booth in the corner to get their passports stamped. The booths were pretty hidden so we almost missed a few. Once they’d collected all eight stamps, we ended the maze at “Canada.” Here, the girls showed off their stamps to get a candy cane or KIND bar.
Lights, Swings and Hopscotch!
After the maze, the girls played in the icicle lights. The sparkling, colour-changing lights were really magical. Sunshine just kept wandering through them.
While she was doing that, her sisters were playing hopscotch. We were there on a quiet night, so they had plenty of space to hop from glowing circle to glowing circle.
Meanwhile, Joey was busy with the glow punch while his sisters weren’t watching…
What I liked best about Christmas Glow was just being able to wander and enjoy our time together. We didn’t have to worry about getting cold or wet. The girls could run from exhibit to exhibit. Joey could get down and walk without falling in a puddle or tripping over uneven ground. My husband and I could sip the Glow punch while we watched them playing.
More Fun at Christmas Glow
The maze and the lights weren’t even half the fun at Christmas Glow. The girls also posed for pictures with Cinderella and Belle. We took pictures in Santa’s sleigh and wandered through the Christmas market. They rode the Glowcomotive again and played on the playground.
When we talk about Christmas Glow, Pearl says, “My favourite part of Glow was the bouncy dog!!!” Harvest Glow had featured a field full of bouncy cows and unicorns. Christmas Glow had bouncy red reindoors, a few unicorns, and one brown bouncy dog. And no, I don’t have any pictures of that bouncy dog, because even a DSLR can’t keep up with a 3-year-old bouncing around in dim light.
Joey had fun with the reindeer too. He kept trying to climb onto them himself. (Hint: if your child loves these bouncy animals too, the unicorns are for sale in the gift shop across from the Glowcomotive. If we had more space for bouncing kids, I’d have gotten one for Pearl.)
There was also a fun little toddler play area, located conveniently close to the washrooms and baby care area. There were toys and colouring here, as well as chairs for the adults. If your little one needs a quieter pace after all the excitement, or if you’re here with multiple ages of kids (like us), then this is a great corner.
More about Christmas Glow
We easily spent two hours at Christmas Glow, and could have stayed longer. We didn’t do the Putt-Putt in the Poinsettias and I’m sure the girls would have run through the maze again.
Cost: family admission is $69.95 for two adults and three kids. Children under three are free.
There were bars located throughout Christmas Glow, as well as a coffee shop. Juice cost $3.50, a pumpkin spice latte ran about $5 and wine was $7.
There were also food trucks outside the hall with more snacks if you arrive hungry. Mini donuts are one of our favourites, but there was mac-and-cheese and more.
Kid-friendly: absolutely! All the kids thoroughly enjoyed our evening. As our kids now range from 1o to 1, it can be hard to find activities that keep everyone happy. Christmas Glow did!
Baby-friendly: yes! We had our jogging stroller with us and there was plenty of room to navigate it, with no stairs. There’s a beautiful, large baby area with THREE padded changing tables, couches for nursing, and a quiet area for little folk who need a break.
For more information about Christmas Glow and to buy your tickets online, drop by the website. Christmas Glow runs from November 22 until January 19. I’d recommend going early to avoid the crowds. You can also find them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
I’ve got a preview for one more winter festival coming up on the blog! If you’re looking for more fun winter events, check out my list of Family Christmas Activities in Vancouver.