Naughty or nice, giving your kid(s) the opportunity to sit on Santa Clause’s lap to discuss toy requests has to be one of the most memorable holiday experiences for them and you. Whether they screech at the site of the big guy or pull his beard to test if it’s real or not, photo ops of these moments are priceless. Here is our round-up of the 6 best places to meet Santa in Vancouver.
6 Best Places to Meet Santa in Vancouver
1. Queen Elizabeth Plaza, November 22nd to December 24th
Visit Santa at his workshop at the atmospheric Vancouver Christmas Market, on now until Christmas Eve, from 11am till 9pm at the Queen Elizabeth Plaza. This is an authentic German-style Christmas market with dozens of vendors set up in rustic surroundings selling food, drinks, crafts, and many other unique items for decorating and gift-giving. There’s a special area for kids and a Christmas Carousel as well. Admission fee.
2. Vancouver Aquarium, November 27th to January 4th
See the super Scuba Claus at the Vancouver Aquarium, gaze at the electric eel-powered holiday tree, experience a 4D theatre adventure aboard The Polar Express, walk through a maze of decorated live trees, and many more fun new activities starting this weekend. Check the Vancouver Aquarium website for hours and more details. Admission fee.
3. Grouse Mountain, November 28th to December 24th
Experience Santa’s North Pole at The Peak of Christmas on Grouse Mountain, starting this weekend. Visit Santa’s workshop, meet real reindeer, check out the gingerbread village, make crafts, dress up as an elf, go on sleigh rides, and much more. Breakfast with Santa starts on December 14th. See the Grouse Mountain website for hours and more details. Admission fee.
4. Granville Island, December 6th to December 24th
Meet good old Santa at the Granville Island Kids Market and sing Christmas carols with him, listen to classic holiday stories, and watch elves do clever tricks. Daily from 11am-3:30pm. Get your shopping done here too with over 25 shops just for kids. Gift wrapping by donation starts on December 11th.
5. VanDusen Botanical Garden, December 10th to January 4th
Each year the VanDusen Botanical Garden creates a magical show with over 1 million lights that decorate the trees, shrubs, pathways, and everything else in the garden for the Festival of Lights (it’s the 30th anniversary this year). See the Dancing Lights show on Livingstone Lake, the gnome performance, and the shadow puppet show too. Have photos taken with Santa, savour holiday treats and more. Nightly from 4:30pm till 9pm. Closed December 25th. Admission fee.
6. Vancouver Community Centres, December 13th
Chances are your local community centre will be hosting a Breakfast with Santa this December. For the Kitsilano, Dunbar, and West Point Grey Community Centres the date is on Saturday, December 13th from about 10am till noon. Includes a full breakfast and lots of coffee for the parents. Activities include making crafts, storytime with the big guy in the red suit, and a chance to sit on his lap. Check the community centre links for more information. Registration is required and seats sell out fast every year so don’t delay! Admission fee.
Last modified: December 26, 2014