10 family-friendly things to do this Christmas in Vancouver

Dec 19 2017, 1:13 pm

The holidays are the perfect time to not only relax and reflect on the year that’s passed, but a perfect opportunity to spend time with friends and family, taking in all the city has to offer. This holiday season, TELUS is encouraging Canadians to unplug for the holidays and enter #HolidayMode by trading in phone time for face time and spending quality time with loved ones.

To get you inspired to enter #HolidayMode, we’ve compiled 10 of the best family-friendly things to do during the holidays in Vancouver.

Shipyards Christmas Market North Vancouver

Shop over 50 local artisans and enjoy an outdoor light display, hot food trucks, and live music.  A perfect way to spend an evening out during the weekend.

  • Where: The Shipyards, Wallace Mews Road (at the foot of Lonsdale Ave)
  • When: Fridays 5 to 9 p.m., Saturdays noon to 8 p.m., Sundays noon to 6 p.m. – until December 23

Give back to those in need

Over the next several weeks, countless charities are accepting cash, toys, clothes and canned goods. We should be giving all year round, however, during the holiday season, it’s always great to give a little extra if you can.

Visit the Vancouver Christmas Market

With a total of over 50 unique vendors, local and international flavour, beautiful lights and delicious food, guests of all ages will find something to satisfy their yuletide appetites at this year’s Christmas Market.

  • When: On until December 24, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on December 24)
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza – 650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver

Hop on a ride at FlyOver Canada, Christmas edition

Want to visit Santa Claus at the North Pole? This holiday season, FlyOver Canada will be taking you way up north during its special holiday season winter wonderland experience.

  • Dates: Daily until January 4, 2015 (closed on December 25)
  • Times: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. up until December 23 and December 26 to January 5; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on December 24
  • Location: Canada Place pier (999 Canada Place, Vancouver)
  • Admission: Online tickets range from $14.19-$18.95 plus tax.

Karaoke Christmas Trolley Tour

Three hours of Christmas family fun featuring Stanley Park’s Bright Nights Display and Van Dusen Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights.

  • When: Now until December 30 (no tours on Christmas Day)
  • Where: Departure at 6:30 p.m. from Canada Place every evening

VanDusen Garden’s Festival of Lights

Experience the Festival of Lights, a frozen winter wonderland with over one million lights decorating VanDusen Garden.

Stroll with friends and family through themed areas and enjoy the Dancing Lights show on Livingstone Lake, the gnome performance, and the shadow puppet show. Have photos taken with Santa, savour holiday treats, and delight in much more!

  • When: On now until Sunday, January 4, closed on Christmas Day
  • Where: VanDusen Botanical Gardens – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver

Take the train at Stanley Park

During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Train and Plaza at Stanley Park sparkles with three million twinkling lights, decorating the darkness that comes early at this time of year.

  • When: On until Sunday, January 4 (Closed on Christmas Day)
  • Where: Stanley Park, more info here
  • Tickets: Entrance by donation (to see the lights), $6-11 for train tickets

See the tallest Christmas tree in the world

  • When:  Now until January 3
  • Holiday activities from 4 to 9 p.m.; Park is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (except Christmas Day when the park is closed)
  • Price: $69 for a family (two adults, one or two children – includes memberships for B.C. residents) or $32.95 for adults, $12 for children (6-12) 
  • Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park – 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver

Take in the holiday sights and sounds at Canada Place

The sails will be lit up in festive colours and you can also check out the Woodward’s Windows display.

The Woodward’s Windows are a treasured part of Vancouver’s history that was originally displayed in the Woodward’s department store. The windows featured classic holiday scenes with animated characters and elaborate decor.

Following the closure of the Woodward’s department store, Canada Place purchased the displays in 1993 and has continued to incorporate them into the Christmas at Canada Place experience.

Skate at Robson Square during their 12 days of Christmas festivities

The 12 days of Christmas are a festive time of year at the Robson Square Ice Rink. Bring your family and friends down to the ice rink this holiday season for a music series as local musicians will perform your holiday favorites from now until December 24. Their music line-up can be found here.

Holiday hours:

  • Christmas Eve (Dec. 24): 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Christmas Day (Dec. 25): noon to 5 p.m.
  • Boxing Day (Dec. 26): 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31): 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • New Year’s Day (Jan. 1): 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


Image: Sonika Arora / Flickr

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