The best winter festivals to check out across Canada this year

Dec 18 2019, 4:32 pm

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It’s the most magical season of the year, and wherever you find yourself during the holiday season — you should be able to find a little piece of Christmas all across the country.

From venues decorated with millions of lights, to the best markets to purchase holiday gifts for the ones you love, here are the best winter festivals across Canada this year:

VanDusen Festival of Lights

vandusen festival of lights

VanDusen Festival of Lights (Farhan Mohamed/Daily Hive)

What: One of Vancouver’s largest holiday light displays, where this vast botanical garden will be covered in more than a million lights to help ring in the Christmas season.
Where: Vancouver
When: Saturday, November 30, to Sunday, January 5, 2020

Vancouver Christmas Market

Vancouver Christmas Market – Photo by @themacleansco

What: Vancouver Christmas Market features more than 80 huts of authentic German sweets, treats, and treasures.
Where: Vancouver
When: Daily, from 11:30 am to 9:30 pm (Nov. 20 to Dec. 23), and 11:30 am to 6 pm on December 24

Edmonton Christmas Market

What: A European-inspired Christmas market for the whole community to enjoy, featuring feature delicious food and traditional drinks, festive light displays, games, activities, vendors, workshops, and more.
Where: Edmonton
When: Thursday to Sunday,November 28 to December 21

The Calgary Farmers’ Market

calgary christmas market

Calgary Farmers Market / Facebook

What: Featuring special events for the whole family, this at this Christmas market in Calgary you can indulge in holiday treats like roasted nuts and mulled wine to warm you up and take the holiday edge off, as well as crafts for the whole family.
Where: Calgary
When: Thursdays to Sundays, November 14 to December 23

Lion’s Festival of Lights 2019

What: Over 500,000 shining lights will brighten up Calgary’s 14th Street NW this holiday season. The display is put together by volunteers who spend thousands of hours creating the shining assortment of Christmas figures and decked-out trees.
Where: Calgary
When: November 30 to January 8

Festival No√ęl dans le Parc


Noel dans le Parc/ Facebook

What:¬†No√ęl dans le Parc is an outdoor Christmas festival that goes on all month, spread out among three popular parks in Montreal, with¬†free music shows and events, holiday-themed drinks and bites, outdoor fire pits, Christmas trees for purchase, and plenty of holiday-themed photo thoughts.
Where: Montreal
When:¬†November 30 ‚Äď December 24

Village de No√ęl ‚Äď Atwater Market

Christmas Village


What: Atwater market will be transformed into a¬†‚ÄėChristmas Village‚Äô for its fourth edition of Village de No√ęl, with¬†40 local craftsmen and restauranteurs, concerts, choirs and shows, a sugar shack, an outdoor fire pit, creative activities, a Christmas tree sale, and face painting.
Where: Montreal
When:¬†Every weekend from November 29 ‚Äď December 22

Illumi Cavalia

What: Illumi ignites December’s dark skies with more than 10 million lights, the largest multimedia sound and light show on the planet.
Where: Montreal
When: Open until January 5, 2020

Toronto Christmas Market

December Events

Courtesy of the Toronto Christmas Market

What: The Christmas Market will feature daily entertainment on the outdoor stage, beer gardens, mulled wine, and various vendors, all wrapped up in holiday magic, as well as a famous 50-foot tree, which will flood the space with the glow of its 40,000 lights.
Where: Toronto
When: November 14 to Sunday, December 22, 2019 (closed on Mondays)

Holiday Fair in the Square

holiday fair

Holiday Fair in the Square

What: The Fair in the Square is a holiday market where you can find the perfect gift, combined with a festive holiday fair, rides, food, and so much more.
Where: Toronto
When:  December 7 to 23, closed Mondays

Glow Gardens

Christmas festival

Glow Edmonton/Facebook

What: Glow has stunning light displays, delicious seasonal food and drink, and an opportunity to take pictures with Santa. The indoor festival will have LED Swings and Hanging Picture Frames to light up your Instagram feed, as well as a Christmas market to find unique gifts for the special people in your life.
Where: Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Toronto, Ottawa
When: Dates vary by city




What: You can experience a massive tube slide, amusement park rides, ice skating, a visit to Santa’s workshop, and so much more at Aurora Winter festival this holiday season.
Where: Vancouver, Toronto
When: Dates vary by city

Get into the spirit of the season, and enjoy all the magic these festivals have to offer around the country.

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