12 Best Things To Do In Vancouver This Christmas - Updated 2023

things to do at christmas in vancouver

Blessed with a spectacular mountain backdrop and pleasant shores, Vancouver is a famous, bustling city in British Columbia, Canada. Not only does it offer natural attractions, parks, theaters, music, art scenes, and historic museums, but is also a great destination to enjoy a fun-filled Christmas holiday. With dazzling Christmas lights, a spectacularly festive tree, holiday markets, and exciting winter sports, there are many Christmas events in Vancouver that offers you all the excitement, adventure, and fun to make your vacation memorable. So, if you have this Canadian city in mind for your upcoming holiday plans, have a unique stay in one of the historic hotels in Vancouver and learn about some amazing activities that’ll help you have an enjoyable time. Check out some of the best things to do in Vancouver this Christmas.

1. Ride the Christmas Train in Stanley Park

Celebrate your Christmas holidays by riding the fascinating Bright Nights Christmas Train at the fabulous Stanley Park in Vancouver. Watch over three million sparkling lights illuminating the train and its surroundings. Look out for several wonderful animal displays on your ride and encourage your kids to identify the animals. Spend quality time with your loved ones by enjoying some of the family-friendly activities here, and create wonderful memories together.

Christmas Train in Stanley Park

Address: Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4, Canada

Website: Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park

Takes place: November to January

2. Have an enchanting Christmas tour of Victoria and Butchart Gardens (from USD 187.0)

Have a magical Christmas with this 12-hour tour from downtown Vancouver. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you’ll have a serene experience watching the native marine wildlife and the scenic coastal views during the 90-minute ferry ride through the Gulf Island. In Victoria’s Chinatown, explore sparkling shops and cafes. Under the shining Christmas lights, take a walk along the Inner Harbour for a magnificent ocean view.

You’ll also get to visit the enchanting Butchart Gardens, which is lit up with holiday lights and is popular for its themed flowerbeds and dancing fountain.

Victoria and Butchart Gardens Christmas Tour

Duration: 12 hours

15 reviews

3. Behold the beauty of VanDusen Festival of Lights

Posted by VanDusen Botanical Garden on Thursday, 1 November 2018

Visit the mesmerizing VanDusen Festival of Lights with your family and friends during your upcoming Christmas holiday in Vancouver. Countless lights illuminate this sprawling garden during this festive time. Stroll through the interesting, interactive displays here. Admire the spectacular dancing light event showcased at Livingstone Lake. Please your taste buds by devouring some savory treats. Your kids will love listening to Santa’s stories and taking photographs with him.

VanDusen Festival of Lights

Address: 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6M4H1, Canada

Website: VanDusen Festival of Lights

Takes place: November to January

4. Cross the thrilling Capilano Suspension Bridge

Make it a point to visit the illuminated Capilano Suspension Bridge this Christmas by booking your tickets for Canyon of Lights in Vancouver. The outstanding suspension bridge is 230 feet (70 meters) above the pleasant Capilano River and stretches out over 450 feet (137 meters). During this festive time, it is illuminated with thousands of lights and is a popular, must-see attraction at Christmas. Experience the charm and thrill of crossing this brightly lit bridge.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Christmas - Canyon Lights

Address: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver, BC, Canada V7R 4J1

Website: Capilano Suspension Bridge Christmas - Canyon of Lights

Takes place: November to January

5. Glide on ice at Robson Square

Robson Square 01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Xicotencatl used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Are you looking forward to enjoying the thrill of ice skating during your Christmas vacation in Vancouver? If yes, plan to visit the ice rink at Robson Square. Situated in the heart of downtown, adjacent to the famous Vancouver Art Gallery, you will find this amazing ice rink. The envelope of a clear dome safeguards this outdoor rink from the rain and you can feel the pleasant breeze as you skate. Enjoy the city’s winter tradition of gliding on ice by visiting Robson Square Ice Rink this Christmas. Do not worry if you don’t have ice skates, as you can rent it here.

Robson Square

Address: 800 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 3B7, Canada

Website: Robson Square

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 9am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 9am - 11pm

6. Fly with Santa at FlyOver Canada

Enjoy the magical experience of flying across scenic Canada with Santa up to the North Pole by visiting the outstanding FlyOver Canada. Soar from the east coast to the west coast in this jaw-dropping aerial excursion and let this experience gift you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. Fly with your entire family, enjoy delicious festive treats, and listen to the jolly rendition of ‘The Sounds of Christmas’.

FlyOver Canada

Address: 201 - 999 Canada Place, Canada, Vancouver, BC V6C 3E1, Canada

Website: FlyOver Canada

Takes place: December to January

7. Experience the festive spirit at Carol Ships Parade of Lights

Enjoy the decades-old Christmas tradition of Carol Ships Parade of Lights, where beautifully adorned vessels sail on the waterfront of Vancouver, during your sabbatical in this Canadian city. If you intend to sing melodious seasonal compositions, get the song sheet and sing your favorite, festive tunes as you celebrate Christmas here. Watch sweeping views of the sparkling city skyline, and devour scrumptious delicacies and Christmas specialties from the holiday menu.

Carol Ships Parade of Lights

Address: Harbour Cruises, 501 Denman St., Vancouver V6G 2W9, Canada

Takes place: December

8. Enjoy free horse & carriage rides at Kerrisdale Village

Have a great time exploring Kerrisdale Village in Vancouver this Christmas. Shop till you drop in beautifully decorated stores, enjoy sipping some delicious hot chocolate, and listen to the carolers sing beloved Christmas tunes. If you’re looking for a free Christmas thing to do in Vancouver, you’ll enjoy a horse-driven carriage ride. Look out for Santa - you may want to wish him a Merry Christmas, as he is likely to greet everyone he spots on his way.

Kerrisdale Village

Address: West 41st Ave, between Maple and Balsam Streets, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Website: Kerrisdale Village

Takes place: December

9. Watch the majestic Vancouver Santa Claus Parade

One of the best things to do in Vancouver in December is to view the majestic Vancouver Santa Claus Parade when holidaying in this fabulous Canadian city. Have a savory breakfast at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and meet and greet Santa before the parade starts. The event brings families together, so be sure to create lovely memories and celebrate Christmas with your loved ones. Marvel at this festive parade as it makes its way through the streets of Vancouver with great fanfare.

Vancouver Santa Claus Parade

Address: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Website: Vancouver Santa Claus Parade

Takes place: December

10. Plan a visit to Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

..."winter solstice lantern festival...as we speak"....yaletown..vancouver...just north...salish sea...at the border...

Posted by John Cannell on Sunday, 21 December 2014

Experience the Christmas spirit at the marvelous Winter Solstice Lantern Festival during your holiday in Vancouver this December. With numerous, shining lanterns, this festival brightens the darkest night of the year. From a glowing constellation of lanterns and wonderful music to fire dancers and storytelling, you can find it all at this festive event. Enjoy making your way through the maze of spectacular lanterns displayed here.

Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

Address: False Creek Community Centre, 1318 Cartwright St, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Website: Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

Takes place: December

11. View the edible village at Gingerbread Lane

Marvel at the incredible exhibition that features edible, festive displays. Buildings and houses made out of gingerbread are displayed in an attractive village setting. These are made by various cooking institutes, bakeries, public schools, noteworthy restaurants, and various organizations and individuals from the city. Admire these stunning culinary creations at the marvelous Gingerbread Lane.

Gingerbread Lane

Address: Hyatt Regency, 655 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6C 2R7, Canada

Takes place: December

12. View vintage-themed displays at Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum

Walk at your own pace through the streets of the open-air Burnaby Village Museum and view various vintage-themed displays, wreaths, eye-catching cedar swags, and more. At the bandstand, you get to develop your own magical event with lights that transform hues to sound. Enjoy the family-friendly activities, including a visit to Father Christmas. While you’re here, be sure to watch a theater performance.

Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum

Address: 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby, BC V5G 3T6, Canada

Website: Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum

Takes place: November to January

Have a magical Christmas in Vancouver

Native art and christmas spirit
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rominak used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Have a magical time exploring the Christmas markets and events in Vancouver. Plan your Christmas vacation here and enjoy all these Christmas activities in Vancouver this holiday season!

Frequently asked questions about things to do in Vancouver on Christmas

1. Which places to go on Christmas in Vancouver?

Vancouver is a lively city that has several places to go for a fun-filled Christmas. You can visit Victoria and Butchart Gardens, the ice rink at Robson Square, the Christmas train in Stanley Park, or FlyOver Canada.

2. Which are the best places to go with kids on Christmas in Vancouver?

There are several places to go with kids on Christmas in Vancouver. The mesmerizing VanDusen Festival of Lights and Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park are some of the best places that your kids would love.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Manjiri Kochrekar is a travel blogger from India. She loves exploring and learning various destinations, their history, culture, and peculiarities. Writing is her passion, which means she enjoys...Read more

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