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 5 best places to meet Santa in Vancouver.

Jack Poole Plazanow until December 24th

Visit Santa at his workshop at the atmospheric Vancouver Christmas Market, on now until Christmas Eve, from 1pm till 9pm at the Jack Poole 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.

Vancouver Aquariumnow until January 7th

See the super Scuba Claus at the Vancouver Aquarium, gaze at the electric eel-powered holiday tree, experience a 4D theatre adventure with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: A 4-D Experience, 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.

Grouse Mountainnow until December 25th

Experience Santa’s North Pole at The Peak of Christmas on Grouse Mountain. 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.  See the Grouse Mountain website for hours and more details.

Granville Islandnow until 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 12th.

VanDusen Botanical Gardennow until January 7th

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. See the Dancing Lights show on Livingstone Lake, have photos taken with Santa, savour holiday treats and more. Nightly from 4:00pm till 9:30pm. Closed December 25th.

Last modified: December 11, 2023

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