Ready to get back to Holiday Events this year? It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is almost here, but it’s time to get these Metro Vancouver holiday events on your calendar. Lots of events and attractions that were closed last year are opening this season, but many will have reduced capacity and you will need to book early. We’ve rounded up our favourite events and attractions for families this holiday season. Our Metro Vancouver Holiday Events Guide, presented by Sea to Sky Gondola, is out early to give you lots of time for planning & booking ahead. And we know everyone could use some extra holiday cheer this year, so we’re counting down the days until our annual online Holiday Facebook Party on Nov 18th!
At this year’s Holiday Facebook Party (open only to BC residents), we’re giving away over $3,000 in prizes from businesses featured in this events guide, including family tickets to the Sea to Sky Gondola and many other attractions, gifts for the whole family from our 2021 Holiday Gift Guide, plus delicious stocking stuffer ideas for big kids and grown-ups! To RSVP for the party, just visit our HOLIDAY FACEBOOK PARTY event page and click the “GOING” button. Then join us online on that Facebook Event page on November 18th at 8 pm PST for your chance to win over $3,000 in prizes. Happy Holidays!
HOLIDAY EVENTS FOR FAMILIES
Create new traditions in the spirit of the season at the summit of the Sea to Sky Gondola! Enjoy an afternoon forest walk, take in the sights & sounds of the decorated Spirit Trail, participate in one of their outdoor storytelling sessions, cozy up by the fire, and enjoy decadent hot chocolate alongside local food offerings in the festive lodge. Families are also invited to enjoy their Festive Holiday Lunch or their popular Community Christmas Dinner. Enjoy a delicious meal in the decorated Summit Lodge, and take in the stunning winter views of Howe Sound & surrounding forests!
Dates: December 1st until early 2022
Facebook Party Prize: Family Day Ticket (2 Adults + 2 Youth/Child) ($129.95 value)
Climb aboard the North Pole Express for a 50-minute train ride to the North Pole to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and many of Santa’s elves & friends. Enjoy hot chocolate at the station, then board the train to enjoy cookies, candy canes, and everyone singing your Christmas favourites from the provided song books while rolling down the track. When you arrive at the North Pole to meet with the Jolly Old Man and the Mrs., there are many other activities to enjoy. The North Pole Express is a long-time family favourite event – fantastic fun for train and holiday-loving kiddos alike!
Dates: Nov 27/28, Dec 4/5/11/12/18/19
Facebook Party Prize: 4-Pack of Tickets for Nov. 27/28th or Dec. 4/5th ($140 value)
Dive into the spirit of the season with Holiday Splash at Vancouver Aquarium! Discover an aquatic winter wonderland of twinkling lights and festive decor, new scrumptious chef-made seasonal treats, and plenty of holiday fun for the whole family. Wave to Scuba Claus during his twice-daily dives (until Dec. 24th), immerse yourself in returning favorite THE POLAR EXPRESS™ 4D Experience®, and capture the perfect family photo with their Jelly Snow Globe. Explore Canada’s largest aquarium to discover hidden holiday surprises and reconnect with their 65,000 amazing animals. Members are invited to bring a friend for FREE to experience Holiday Splash from November 13-19 – have fun planning your visit today!
Dates: November 13 – January 3rd
Facebook Party Prize: Family 4 Pack of Tickets to Vancouver Aquarium ($168 value)
We love spending time in a snowy forest on a winter evening! Lights to the Lodge at Cypress Mountain Nordic Area is a safe and family-friendly 1 km snowshoe trek to Hollyburn Lodge along a self-guided trail through the enchanting Old Growth Forest. The magical trail is lit with LED lights strung sustainably through the ancient forest on your way to Hollyburn Lodge that serves delicious food & drinks. After enjoying the warmth of the Lodge, you can snowshoe back to the base area along a return trail also with feature lighting. Snowshoe rentals are available for all sizes, and Cypress Downhill, Nordic or Tubing passes also make great experience gifts!
Dates: Based on Conditions
Facebook Party Prize: Lights To The Lodge Family Admission – 4 people ($144 value)
Cue the holiday magic! Make memories along the Sea-to-Sky this holiday season with Britannia Mine Museum. Come and visit Santa in his very own snow globe! For just $25 (for up to 5 family members), every family receives a digital picture with Santa, plus hot chocolate and a Christmas cookie for each kid! Santa’s mailbox will also be on-site to mail those all-important letters to the North Pole, so don’t forget to bring your kiddos letters with you. Note that if you wish to enjoy the full Underground Train and BOOM! viewing experiences, be sure to select the “full experience” when booking. Tickets go on sale on November 17th!
Facebook Party Prize: Full Experience (5 people) + Santa Experience ($155 value)
We are so glad to see the Christmas Market back again this year! One of the Lower Mainland’s signature seasonal events, the Vancouver Christmas Market, takes place at Jack Poole Plaza (at the Olympic Cauldron). The city’s authentic German market amplifies its festive offerings with more than 80 huts stuffed with sweets, treats, and treasures, coupled with large-scale activities and live entertainment. Over the past 10 years, the Vancouver Christmas Market has become one of the city’s most treasured holiday traditions. Each year families, couples, and friends are invited to savour the abundance of authentic German-inspired sights, sounds, and flavours.
Dates: Nov 13 – Dec 24
Facebook Party Prize: Holly Jolly Combo for 2 people + 2 Extra Tickets ($96 value)
Lumagica is excited to welcome you to this year’s new & enchanting festive light extravaganza! This outdoor/indoor Holiday experience invites you to escape on a fantastical journey through diverse lands to capture and believe in the spirit of the Holidays. Lumagica‘s 1-kilometre walk shines with over 120 features and ornaments, takes you through a light tunnel to Gingerbread Lane, and leads you to the magical North Pole Village. Between your stroll through the light forests and visiting Santa at his cabin in the North Pole, Lumagica presents the perfect backdrop for that festive family photo. Guests can make their way through the light walk with hot cocoa, mulled wine, and snacks from various vendors in the park. Eat, drink and be merry throughout your visit with live entertainment, one-of-a-kind holiday treats and meal options, and shopping for holiday gifts at their festive marketplace!
Dates: December 3 – 30th
Facebook Party Prize: Lumagica Family Admission for up to 4 people ($74 value)
Canyon Lights will shine brighter than ever this year for its big return! New this season – the world-famous bridge will be lit, end to end, with a multi-colour changing display, adding to the magic of crossing the canyon above the illuminated Capilano River. Journey into the rainforest and walk high above the forest floor between the eight tallest Christmas trees in the world on Treetops Adventure. The mesmerizing “Arc de Lumina” light tunnel will once again wrap its way along a portion of Cliffwalk. Perfect Instagram moments galore! Enjoy live festive tunes and explore the Park in search of lit snowy owls in the popular Snowy Owl Prowl scavenger hunt to win a grand prize Canadian Rockies trip. We love that partial proceeds from admissions will be donated to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, and we can’t wait to return for this fun family holiday tradition!
Dates: November 20 – January 23rd
Facebook Party Prize: Canyon Lights Family Admission (2 adults + 2 kids) ($135 value)
FLYOVER CANADA (VANCOUVER)
Fly like Santa this Christmas on a magical flight across Canada! After meeting some of Santa’s elves, Chestnut and Pinecone, you’ll join them as they take flight across Canada looking for their fellow elves. You may even get a sneak peek of Santa’s Workshop as you soar over the North Pole. The complete FlyOver Canada Christmas experience includes a Winter Wonderland themed pre-show, FlyOver Canada – a thrilling 8-minute flight ride experience across Canada, and an extended, animated final scene over Santa’s magical North Pole. This ride is a wonderful experience throughout the year but is extra magical at Christmas. Children must be at least 40″ tall to ride! Please note that masks are mandatory, proof of vaccination is required for everyone over 12, and distancing measures mean that space is limited.
Dates: December 9th – January 3rd
The Bright Nights train will once again be sounding its whistle and chugging through the sparkling magically-lit forest of Stanley Park this Christmas. Kids of all ages will be singing along to their favourite carols as they take in the whimsical displays along their ride. As their very first in-person special event since Bright Nights 2019, they’re prioritizing the safety of our visitors, staff, and volunteers, and making sure the train will be a fun, happy, and safe experience. Though Santa is still on hiatus, the plaza will feature selected iconic light elements, and the train ride will once again sparkle and dazzle as in years past. Bright Nights is the single largest fundraiser for the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. The firefighters will add holiday spirit with some of their most popular light features, kid-favorite vintage fire truck, and 50/50 raffle!
VANDUSEN FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
Bundle up and bring the family to your favourite winter festival where the joy and magical moments of the holidays begin November 26th. Experience a magical winter wonderland with more than one million lights decorating 15 acres of VanDusen Botanical Garden. Stroll along the lakeside, shimmering in the glow of northern lights, or wander into our lush Rose Garden – reawakened and illuminated for a spectacular winter replica through the artistry of our garden stewards. An enchanting winter garden awaits with themed areas, tasty treats, unique light features, and holiday music. Please note that proof of full vaccination is required for those 12 years and older. Tickets are not sold on-site and must be purchased online.
Dates: November 26 – January 3
THE PNE (VANCOUVER)
Load up your family sleigh for a magical holiday journey through Hastings Park! Grab a hot cocoa, crank up the carols, and prepare to enjoy this safe and entertaining experience from the warmth of your car at Winterlights at the PNE. You will be transported through nine enchanted lands filled with glowing lights, special characters and festive performers along the way. Have your camera ready as pass through an incredible light tunnel to the Festive Forest, and then on to the Village complete with live performers in giant snow globes. Then, turn down Santa Street and weave through the dancing lights towards the giant tree. Keep your eyes open for the man in the red suit! Don’t forget to stop at the Food Truck Zone for some extra treats or a meal for the trip home! Access to the event is through Gate 9 (east of Playland, off Bridgeway Street).
Dates: Select Nights through December 2021
Wondering what to do with the kids in Metro Vancouver this weekend, or what to make for dinner? You can find it at HealthyFamilyLiving.com! From the Sunshine Coast to the Fraser Valley, we’re the best online resource for busy parents looking for practical tips for healthy, active, sustainable living. For the latest on family events, outdoor adventures, birthday parties, camps & classes and kid-approved recipes, follow us on Facebook and sign-up for our parent-approved e-newsletter!