12 family-friendly Christmas events in Vancouver

Nov 30 2016, 12:25 am

This post was written for Daily Hive by Stephanie Bradburn

Christmas is right around the corner. Santa season is a great time to kick back, relax and enjoy some festive fun with the family.

So to help you on your way to a very merry Christmas here’s our pick of the best family friendly events in Vancouver during the holidays.

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Scuba Claus – Vancouver Aquarium

  • What: This holiday season drop by the Aquarium for some festive underwater fun with Scuba Claus, the electric eel Christmas tree, and more. Throughout the galleries you’ll find plenty of holiday activities, shows and interactive displays to engage the whole family.
  • When: 2:30 pm daily for the month of December
  • Where: 845 Avison Way – Stanley Park

Burnaby Christmas Village

  • What: Heritage Christmas with old-fashioned fun. Special entertainment is scheduled throughout the season including theatre performances, community choirs, street characters and musicians.
  • When: December 1 to 9 Monday to Friday 1 to 5:30pm, Saturdays 1 to 9 pm; December 10 to January 2, daily  1 to 9 pm.
  • Where: 6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby

Bright Nights Christmas Train – Stanley Park

  • What: During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park Train Plaza sparkle with three million twinkling lights. Ride the Bright Nights Train and experience the lights, breathtaking displays, and live performers along the train route. Or view the displays at the Train Plaza by donation ($4 suggested). Your donations and a portion of ticket sales go to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. $1.4 million has been raised to help burn survivors and their families since 1998.
  • When: Daily 3 to 10 pm (matinees 10 am to 2:30 pm)
  • Where: Pipeline Road, Stanley Park

Vancouver Christmas Market

  • What: This authentic German-inspired Christmas Market creates the perfect atmosphere to mix and mingle with the family. During your visit you’ll experience a mix of traditional food and beverage, as well as a selection of authentic wood carvings and toys, knitted goods, nutcrackers, pottery and other unique gifts.
  • When: November 26 to December 31, 11 am to 9 pm
    Closed 6 pm Christmas Eve. Closed Christmas Day.
  • Where: Jack Poole Plaza 1055 Canada Place

Polar Express- Ride to the North Pole

  • What: Lots of fun for the whole family riding the Polar Express to visit Santa at the North Pole. Get your picture taken with the Hobo and Ride the Mini-Rail. See the new G Scale Train Set and more.
  • Where: 39645 Government Road, Squamish
  • When: Saturdays and Sundays 10 am, noon, 2 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm

Enchant Light Maze

Image: Enchant Christmas

Image: Enchant Christmas

  • What: Enchant 2016 brings the world’s largest Christmas light maze to the heart of the city, combined with a bustling local vendor market, live performances, warming seasonal eats and drinks, an outdoor fire pit, and much more.
  • When: From November 24 until New Year’s Eve 2016, 4 to 10 pm
  • Where: 1st and Crowe Street, between the Cambie Street Bridge and Olympic Village

Hansel and Gretel

  • What: Hansel and Gretel is a beloved holiday tradition featuring astonishing puppets in this classic opera fairy-tale. Engelbert Humperdinck’s dramatic score will thrill seasoned opera-goers and charm new audiences with familiar tunes that beautifully evoke the forest setting and the opera’s colourful characters and creatures.
  • When: December 1, 3, 8, 10 at 7:30pm, December 11 at 2 pm, December 7 at 12:30 pm
  • Where: Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton Street at Dunsmuir

Christmas at FlyOver Canada

  • What: FlyOver Canada will transform into a magical winter wonderland this Christmas season. Guests will have fun helping Santa Claus search for his missing elves during an exhilarating flight across Canada and on to the North Pole. The complete experience will last between 20 – 25 minutes and include an extended holiday edition of FlyOver Canada that leads guests on to Santa’s workshop in the North Pole.
  • When: Daily 10 am to 9 pm
  • Where: 999 Canada Place

Festival of Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge


Cliff walk/Capilano Suspension Bridge

  • What: The suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and canyon are transformed into a world of festive lights and visual enchantment. See the world’s tallest living Christmas tree (153 ft tall), experience the voice-activated light show, go on a scavenger hunt throughout the park, sing along with the holiday band, take a family photo at the Winter Pavilion, and more.
  • Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge – 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
  • When: November 24 to January 8, 2017; 11 am to 9 pm

Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain

  • What: Experience Christmas at Vancouver’s very own North Pole where you can have breakfast with Santa, visit his workshop, enjoy some outdoor ice skating, and meet real reindeer.
  • When: Daily 9 am to 10 pm
  • Where: 6400 Nancy Greene Way

Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden

festival of lights

VanDuseun Gardens/Facebook

  • What: The botanical garden is covered in more than a million lights. Reindeer and Scandinavian gnomes also roam the trails, and visitors can walk through the gingerbread wood, lantern alley, and Make-a-Wish candle grotto.
  • Where: Vandusen Gardens – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
  • When: December 1 to January 2 2017, 4:30 to 9 pm. Between December 16 and December 23 from 4:30 to 10 pm

A Dickens Christmas in the Village

  • What: Special three-day Christmas Farmers Market in the Village of Fort Langley. Themed after Charles Dickens book, A Chrismas Carol bring the family along  and get the chance to win a Christmas Farmer’s Basket, featuring a Turkey and all the trimmings for a family Christmas Dinner.
  • When: December 16 to 18, 10 am to 5 pm
  • Where: Fort Langley Community Hall, 9167 Glover Road, Fort Langley
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