COVID-19 FAQs: Overnight recreational camping and vacation travel for British Columbian’s will resume June 1, 2020 and reservations are strongly recommended.  For up-to-date travel advisories visit Destination BC.

Lights at Lafarge, Coquitlam. Photo: City of Coquitlam

8 Holiday Events In and Around Vancouver to Get You in the Festive Mood

By Mary Ann Bell

The countdown to Christmas is officially on and with less than a month left before the big day, we thought we’d share some of the festive activities and events taking place in the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains region! From light festivals and magical winter wonderlands to old-fashioned celebrations and traditional markets, there’s sure to be an event to suit everyone!

Christmas Glow, Milner Village Gardens, Langley. Photo: Christmas Glow

Christmas Glow Light Tunnel | Photo: Christmas Glow

Christmas Glow

Christmas Glow started in 2017 and was so successful that it is now experienced all over Canada. In BC there are two locations – Abbotsford Tradex and Harbour Convention Centre in downtown Vancouver. Stroll, laugh and play under the twinkle of a million lights and illuminated sculptures. This year’s theme in Abbotsford is Santa’s Sleigh Adventure where you will help Santa explore new ways to deliver presents using hot air balloons, planes, trains, motorcycles and more! In Vancouver the theme is Santa’s Lost Presents – help Santa find those presents. The artisan market is back with one-of-a-kind gifts, fresh produce and seasonal goodies. If you’re looking for the perfect spot for your Christmas selfie … Christmas Glow is it.  Glow is on in Abbotsford December 5 to January 4 and in Vancouver November 21 to January 5.

Heritage Christmas. Photo: Burnaby Village Museum

Heritage Christmas. Photo: Burnaby Village Museum

Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum

If you are interested in the sights, tastes, and sounds of Christmas past, present, and future, then the Burnaby Village Museum is where you want to be. Their amazing lights display will warm your heart and light up your soul. Walk through the winter wonderland near the Love Farmhouse, make your own light show with sound at the Bandstand, enjoy theatre performances and community choirs and of course, visits with Father Christmas. Heritage Christmas runs to January 3. More information.

Winterfest – Surrey

The train lovers (young and not so young) will love Winterfest! Set among the trees of Surrey’s Bear Creek Park, Winterfest invites visitors to take an enchanted train ride through a sparkling, festive forest. The Santa Express is a day-time journey through a series of interactive holiday displays and runs from 10am – 4pm. Look for Santa on the train platform (bring your camera for a quick pic), take some time to do a holiday craft and don’t forget to grab a cup of hot chocolate. The Christmas Night Train, running from 6pm – 9pm, transports riders to Bear Creek Park’s Enchanted Forest for a magical ride through glittering light displays. Winterfest runs to December 31. More information.

Bright Nights in Stanley Park. Photo; Bright Nights Facebook

Bright Nights in Stanley Park. Photo; Bright Nights Facebook

Bright Nights in Stanley Park

For over 20 years Vancouverites have been enjoying Bright Nights and the Stanley Park Christmas Train. The beautiful forest of Stanley Park glows with over 3 million sparkling Christmas lights, which are on display until January 1. Enjoy the festive Train Ride while passing by animated displays, twinkling lights and live performers. While riding the train in Stanley Park make sure to enjoy hot cocoa, and indulge in fresh buttered popcorn and churros. Also, be sure to visit Santa at the Railway Plaza’s North Pole. Your donations and a portion of ticket sales go to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. $1.4 million has been raised to help burn survivors and their families since 1998. More information.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Running until January 26, guests to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park will be dazzled by hundreds of thousands of lights glittering throughout the rainforest, across the Suspension Bridge, Cliffwalk and Treetops Adventure. Be sure to take part in the Snowy Owl Prowl, a children’s scavenger hunt and have fun decorating gingerbread cookies, singing along with your favourite and have fun creating your own wooden ornament or making your own holiday badge in the Winter Craft Tent. More information.

Peak of Christmas, North Vancouver

Peak of Christmas, North Vancouver

The Peak of Christmas, North Vancouver

A favourite Vancouver holiday tradition. Santa Claus, reindeer, ice skating, sleigh rides, carollers, holiday movies in The Theatre in the Sky. Operating until January 5, the spirit of Christmas comes alive with a magical celebration & a multitude of festivities atop Grouse Mountain. A highlight is to wander around Blue Grouse Lake through stunning light installations on the Light Walk, and then rent a magic carpet and slide on dedicated terrain groomed just for sliding! More information.

Lights at Lafarge Lake. Photo: City of Coquitlam

Lights at Lafarge Lake. Photo: City of Coquitlam

Lights at Lafarge

The City of Coquitlam is proud to be home to Metro Vancouver’s largest, free outdoor light display! The dazzling light displays encircle the 1.2 km Lafarge Lake loop and are designed into more than 10 zones including a winter lights entry gate, 90-foot caterpillar, woodland garden, outdoor dining table illuminated by a chandelier, fantasy forest with an elfin tree house, lighted woodland creatures, illuminated maple leafs, salmon, floating lotus flowers and giant-sized mushrooms, beehive and flowers! The Lights at Lafarge will twinkle until January 19. More information.

Lights on the Lake

Harrison Hot Springs plays host to their second annual winter lights festival. Lights on the Lake runs to January 12 and is sure to get visitors into the holiday spirit. And, in true Harrison Hot Springs form, the festival is Sasquatch themed! Light displays will depict the infamous Sasquatch hiking, biking, paddling, skiing, fishing, camping and windsurfing, all activities visitors can enjoy when they visit Harrison. The festival will also have a Christmas tree trail. More information.

For more Christmas Events check 7 Christmas Events In and Around Vancouver to Get You in the Festive Mood.

Share your Christmas and holiday season BC travel photos using hashtag #travelinbc.

Published: December 12, 2019

Mary Ann Bell

About the Author

As a tourism marketer and community manager for some of British Columbia’s most spectacular destinations, Mary Ann Bell spends her days writing, tweeting and posting! When she’s not online, Mary Ann can be found exploring Vancouver’s North Shore trails with her family and her camera, and trying new restaurants in the hunt for the best taco in Metro Vancouver.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989