‘Tis the Season: Things to do in Vancouver this Christmas
Get into the festive spirit with these family-friendly holiday activities in Vancouver, BC
The most wonderful time of the year has arrived! Vancouver makes for an ideal winter retreat, offering a myriad of vibrant holiday attractions to help the young and the young at heart ring in the holiday season. Read on to discover some of our favourite local merry-making activities.
Make Your Spirits Bright
Absorb the magnetic energy of the season at the Vancouver Christmas Market — a German-style holiday tradition taking over Downtown Vancouver’s Jack Poole Plaza Nov 13 to Dec 24. This must-visit attraction features over 80 European and local artisan stalls, holiday lights, and live entertainment. Be sure to bring your appetite to sample the variety of authentic German eats, then wash them down with warm festive beverages like Glühwein and apple cider. General Admission tickets are available for $12.99 per person (advanced reservations required).
A short stroll away is the annual Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park. Bundle up and climb aboard the holiday train for a whimsical journey through the magically-lit forest before making a final stop at the enchanting winter garden. There, a number of themed areas, tasty treats and unique light features await while holiday carols chime charmingly in the background. Bright Nights in Stanley Park runs Nov 26 to Jan 3. Tickets available here.
Battling inclement weather? Take a drive over to Glow Langley for this year’s Fairytale Christmas-themed drive-through winter experience. Cruise through a 20-minute illuminated wonderland and sing along to festive carols played on 105.5 Glow FM. Tickets are $34.99 and include popcorn and mini donuts. Buy tickets online at glowgardens.com now until Jan 1.
Vancouver’s favourite al fresco skating experience returns this December! Take to the rink and burn off those holiday calories at Robson Square Ice Rink, located in the heart of Downtown Vancouver. Take a break between laps on the heated outdoor patio while enjoying the Twelve Days of Christmas Live Entertainment offered Dec 13 to 24. Skate rentals for children and adults are available for purchase onsite. Visit robsonsquare.com for skating hours.
Take a Walk
Visit VanDusen Festival of Lights for a magical winter wonderland with more than one million lights decorating 15 acres of VanDusen Botanical Garden. Stroll along the lakeside, shimmering in the glow of Northern lights, or wander into a lush rose garden for a spectacular festive display. The Festival of Lights runs Nov 26 to Jan 3, with advance tickets available here.
Tip: In the spirit of giving, be sure to stop by the Scottish Shelter to light a candle and donate to Make-A-Wish.
Dash Through the Snow
Immerse yourself in natural beauty just beyond the city with a visit to North Vancouver. Head for the hills and experience the Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain, where you’ll feel the enchantment and radiance of twinkling lights, the calm echo of the snow and the joy of witnessing real reindeer. After reaching the summit, you’ll get to explore a festive light tunnel display, go snowshoeing, visit Santa’s workshop, and skate around an 8,000 sq ft tree-lined pond. Purchase tickets online for this experience, running Nov 25 to Jan 3.
Get your cameras ready and take your festive cheer to unimagined heights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Canyon Lights display. Towering 70 meters above the Capilano River, this iconic landmark comes dressed to impress, with an enchanting light display strewn end-to-end. The river and surrounding rainforest trees are illuminated by multiple colours, while the show-stopping “Arc de Lumina” light tunnel wraps its way along a portion of the Cliffwalk. Tickets available online Nov 20 to Jan 23.
Stay close to Versante Hotel with a visit to Steveston’s Winter in the Village, running all December long. Wander the streets of this historic Richmond village and view the creative displays in boutique windows and on building exteriors while treating those on your ‘nice list’ to local handcrafted goods. Finish off with a stroll along Fisherman’s Wharf to gaze at boats in the harbour that have been decked out for the holidays.
Have a Cup of Cheer
Looking for a spot to unwind and imbibe after a day of exploring the city sights? Visit Club Versante’s newest dining outlets, Bruno and Cask, to savour seasonal delicacies and multi-course menus alongside a line-up of festive libations that are sure to make spirits bright.
Sip in the season with two limited-time holiday cocktails offered at Bruno and Cask Dec 4 to 22. Visit Bruno for a bold and spicy Gingerbread Punch, infusing Canadian Whiskey and Top Hat Gingerbread Kombucha; at Cask, an elevated twist on a classic Rum & ‘Nog is on offer, with Mount Gay Eclipse Rum or one of the lounge’s premium whiskies as the spirit.
How sweet it is! Both outlets will feature a Smoked S’mores Chocolate Torte dessert complete with a graham-gingerbread crust, dark chocolate ganache, marshmallow, egg nog white chocolate mousse, and a candied cranberry “mistletoe” until Dec 22. The best part? Partial proceeds from this festive feature will be donated to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau to help families in need this season.
Let Us Take Care of the Cooking
Seafood-lovers will fawn over the decadent seafood brunch at Bruno, available Dec 25 to 31. This indulgent affair includes all-you-can-eat oysters, chilled shellfish, and tuna & crab poke alongside some mouthwatering signatures, like Liege Waffles, Salmon & Lobster Benny and Truffle Potatoes. This experience is available for $75 per person and includes a complimentary mimosa. Served 11:00am to 2:30pm.
Gather for an elaborate holiday spread at Bruno on Christmas Eve or Christmas night with a four-course feast that includes prime rib, Arctic char, and traditional turkey for an indulgent main course while live entertainment sets the festive mood. Available for $98 per person, with reservations starting at 5:00pm.
Ring in the new year in style and sophistication at Cask Whisky Vault, offering guests a lavish four-course meal in a lively atmosphere that features live music and holiday decor. Fill your cup (and your photo album), with countless picture-worthy installations while sipping rare exotic whiskies and bubbly as the clock strikes midnight. Choose between the early seating (from 5:00pm to 8:30pm) or the gala seating (from 8:45pm onwards). Pricing from $198 per person.
To reserve your holiday dining experience at Cask or Bruno, e-mail email@example.com and visit clubversante.com for more information, menus and dining guidelines.
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