What: Everything is merry and bright over in Kitsilano, too, as the West 4th Business Improvement Association (BIA) has been hosting its annual Kitsmas event, a month long festival that runs through Christmas Eve, designed to make holiday shopping a little easier, and more merry and decorative. Oh, and it even includes free valet parking on select dates! Seriously.
What: VanDusen Gardens’ annual Festival of Lights features more than a million lights to bring in the Christmas season. All tickets include a free ride on the Air France Carousel. Visitors can also stroll through interactive themed areas, watch the famous dancing lights show on Livingstone Lake, sing along to your favourite holiday classics at the Festival Stage, listen to stories and take a selfie with Santa, light a candle at the Make-A-Wish candle grotto, or simply warm up with a specialty beverage at the new licensed fireside lounge.
When: Friday, December 1, 2017 to Sunday, January 7, 2018 (Closed December 25)
Time: 4:30 to 9 pm, until 10 pm between December 15 and December 24
Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
What: Gateway Theatre’s adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens story features live music and energetic staging. Like all of their holiday shows of the past, A Christmas Carol will be a fun-filled spectacle for the whole family to enjoy together.
What: The Rio Theatre is showing Frank Capra’s holiday classic, It’s A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve. One of the most influential fantasy films ever made and one of the most universally adored examples of old-school Hollywood.
When: Sunday, December 24, 2017
Time: Doors at 6 pm, movie at 6:30 pm
Where: Rio Theatre – 1660 East Broadway, Vancouver
Tickets: Online, $10 in advance, or $12 at the door
What: This event allows merchants and community groups from the Steveston area to show off their creative talents by decorating their own Christmas trees, which will be on display inside the historic cannery for a friendly competition. Favourite designs are decided by votes, and the winners take a prize.
When: Friday, December 1 to Sunday, December 31, 2017
Time: 10 am to 3 pm (open to 2 pm December 24 and 31)
What: As warm and wonderful as the holidays are, there’s also a lot of stress and anxiety leading up to the big day. Arts Club Theatre Company has brought back the hilarious comedy The Day Before Christmas, which many audiences will be able to relate to. The play, which ironically was written by two playwrights who hate Christmas, centres on Alex, a perfectionist intent on holding on to her Christmas traditions, despite a turbulent whirlwind of family, work and other personal issues. This year’s production has some fresh new energy as it features two new leads, Jennifer Copping and Paul Herbert.
When: Now to Sunday, December 24, 2017
Time: Various times
Where: Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Centre – 203–162 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver
Vancouver Christmas Market at Jack Poole Plaza. (Vancouver Christmas Market)
What: Featuring more than 75 huts of authentic German sweets, treats, and treasures, the Vancouver Christmas Market is a holiday staple in the city and offers something for everyone of all ages. Each year, the Vancouver Christmas Market brings this festive Old World tradition to Vancouver. This cherished holiday event offers an authentic German feast for the senses.
When: Until Sunday, December 24, 2017
Time: 11 am to 9 pm daily (closes at 6 pm Christmas Eve)
Where: Jack Poole Plaza – 1075 Canada Place, Vancouver
What: Laugh through Christmas Eve with The Sunday Service at Fox Cabaret. Gather with friends and take turns drinking festive lagers and holiday hi-balls. The gang will be there, doing improv and making you laugh so you can celebrate the coming week.
What: The plant-based pizza and ice cream purveyor is serving not one but two holiday feasts on Christmas Eve, and not only is the menu insanely drool-worthy (and completely vegan, of course), but attendees also have the option to bring their own wine with no corkage fee. That is, if you’re not interested in ordering any of the craft beer or wines on the menu at the eatery already.
What: Fly with Santa and his elves on a magical flight across Canada and on to the North Pole! 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.
When: Now until Sunday, January 7, 2018
Time: Noon to 6 pm
Where: FlyOver Canada – 999 Canada Place, Vancouver