For many, Christmas in Vancouver is the most wonderful time of year. If you’re spending the holidays in town, don’t miss out on Vancouver’s best Christmas events and attractions.
Standouts include the annual Rogers Santa Claus Parade, the world’s tallest living Christmas tree, free ice skating at Robson Square, Christmas concerts and the festive Vancouver Christmas Market. Of course, Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a little twinkle. Make your season brighter with a visit to Vancouver’s best Christmas light displays.
Without further ado, here are the Vancouver Christmas events you need to know about:
Christmas in Vancouver: Top 10 Vancouver Christmas Events
1) Annual Rogers Santa Claus Parade: Dec. 1
This free, one-day Christmas extravaganza evokes classic Christmas flick Miracle on 34th Street. An onslaught of red-and-green floats, marching bands, dance troupes, and community performers draw 300,000+ spectators to downtown Vancouver. Get in the spirit of giving by bringing a non-perishable food donation.
2) Free Ice Skating Robson Square: Nov. 15-Feb. 28, 2014
Take a twirl on the only outdoor rink in downtown Vancouver. Perfect for date night or family night, the Robson Square Ice Rink is free if you BYOS (Bring Your Own Skates).
3) Vancouver Christmas Market: Nov. 22-Dec. 24
Ja, bitte! A charming, old-world village in the heart of downtown Vancouver that’s bursting with Gemütlichkeit (German-style Christmas cheer). The evidence is in the menu: mulled wine, stollen, marzipan, bratwursts, weissbier and so many more tempting treats. Don’t forget to browse the Christmas crafts, admire the Tannenbaum, enjoy a live show decorate some gingerbread.
4) World’s Tallest Living Christmas Tree: Nov. 30-Jan. 4, 2014
Witness the mighty spectacle at Canyon Lights, the annual holiday lights event at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. The 46.4 m. (152 ft.) tall Douglas fir is adorned with luminescent bling. And so is the rest of the rainforest, including the suspension bridge.
5) Festival of Lights VanDusen Botanical Garden: Dec. 11-Jan. 4, 2014
An over-the-top, truly magical wonderland of 1.4 million twinkling Christmas lights arranged by playful themes like Santa’s Workshop, Candy Cane Trees, Dancing Lights and Gingerbread Walks. An ideal event for date night. Refreshments, cocoa, and more available from the onsite Truffles Cafe.
6) Vancouver Downtown 50-ft Christmas Tree Lighting: Dec. 6
You can come see the decadent beacon of Christmas shining bright at Jack Poole Plaza throughout December, but the must-attend event is the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony December 6. It’s free and involves caroling and sweet treats.
7) Carol Ships Parade of Lights: Dec. 6-Dec. 23
A very Vancouver tradition, 50 ships decked out in lights parade along the Burrard Inlet while fans watch and celebrate the spectacle from on shore. Find bonfire Carol Ships parties for landlubbers in West Vancouver and North Burnaby.
8) Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain: Nov. 23-Dec. 24
Set on Grouse Mountain, Vancouver’s version of the North Pole, this is a one-stop-shop for ice skating, live reindeer, romantic sleigh rides, gingerbread house viewing, Christmas music concerts, the chance to meet Santa and so much more. Don’t forget to go skiing/snowboarding while you’re up there there.
9) The Nutcracker at Queen Elizabeth Theatre: Dec. 28-Dec. 31
Alberta Ballet’s sugar-plum version of the traditional holiday classic The Nutcracker sparkles with festive holiday spirit. Choreographed by Edmund Stripe, with spectacular sets and costumes by Emmy Award-winning designer Zack Brown, The Nutcracker is set to the glorious Tchaikovsky score, played live by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
10) Vancouver Symphony Traditional Christmas Concert: Dec. 12-22
This event is best for old-school, classic Christmas lovers. Enjoy heartwarming Christmas music and carols performed by the talented Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Find more Vancouver holiday events or share an events in Kijiji’s community event section.
Have one to add? Help out by commenting below. We’ll be doing a special kids’ Christmas event list too.
Last modified: November 26, 2013