Christmas is here and tis the time to spend some quality time with friends and family.
Not only does the holiday land on a weekend this year, but it is also expected to be the first White Christmas in many years. And despite recent restrictions, there are still many activities you can enjoy with your family this weekend to soak in the festive cheer.
There are many social distance safe festive and non-festive events taking place all over the city, that everyone can enjoy. So check out this week’s roundup of fun and exciting things to do in Metro Vancouver this long weekend.
Note however that many events may be closed on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, so be sure to check out their schedule before going.
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This Weekend – December 24-27
Experience the Magic of Lumagica Before It’s Gone
This massive light festival will be taking place at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds. The fairgrounds are transformed into various magical lands that capture the spirit of the holidays. Stroll on a 1km walk that is fully light up and take a light tunnel through to Gingerbread lane. It eventually leads you to a North Pole village and tonnes of amazing displays. The event ends on December 30, so this weekend will be your last chance to check it out.
Enjoy A Last Ride Through The Magical Winter Lights at PNE
Ending on the 31st, This is your last weekend to check out this beautiful drive-through. PNE/Playland has once again transformed into a drive-through Winter Lights event this year. This is perfect for a safe and entertaining experience with your family. Without having to leave your car you can enjoy nine enchanted lands filled with glowing lights and live performers. There is also a feast of treats to enjoy at this festival.
Check Out The Shipyards Skate Plaza
The Shipyards’ North Vancouver large, covered outdoor plaza has been turned into a FREE free ice rink for the season. Skate rental is also available on-site, along with helmets and skating aids. Although it is closed on Christmas Day, they remain open on December 24, from 1-5 p.m. and daily from December 26 – February 28 from 1-8 p.m.
Be Enchanted at Burnaby Village
The Burnaby Village Museum will host their annual event, Heritage Christmas. It is a completely transformed holiday experienced with traditional decorations, lights and holiday spirit. The entire village will be adorned with festive displays. The event will be ongoing till January 3, and the best part yet—it’s free. They have also recently announced that they will be open on weekday evenings and no reservations are required.
Last Weekend to Drink At The Wizard’s Den
Feel some magic and unleash your inner Harry Potter and experience this unique wizard-themed bar. The Wizard’s Den will have you creating boozy potions of your own and learning how to “perfect your brew.” The location is hidden to the public so you will need to get tickets to enjoy the secrets of being a boozy wizard. he event ends on December 30, and there are limited tickets available.
On-Going Holiday Things To Do
Experience Magical Illuminated Art
Although the event itself has ended, Lumière continues to illumiated the streets of downtown Vancouver. A number of beautiful art displays has been set up throughout our downtown core. The stunning pieces at English Bay, Bentall Centre and Granville Island will be remaining up over the holidays and into the New Year. These free to view installations are perfect for a beautiful walk downtown this December.
Take A Festive Mini Train Ride
The City of Surrey Bear Creek Park is hosting a Santa Express and Christmas Night Train and it’s absolutely magical. The event is on from December 6th – 31st, with tickets starting at $11.50 per person (children under the age of 2 rides free). You can get more information here.
Fly Over the North Pole
FlyOver Canada has started their Winter show. You can now take a ride simulating flying all across Canada and visiting the North Pole, the entire experience lasts about 20 minutes and full of exciting scenes. The show will remain until January 3, 2022.
Get A Drink With Santa at ‘Tinseltown’
A Christmas themed pop-up bar has opened up for guests on Granville Street in Vancouver. Tinseltown’ is a fully immersive Santa’s workshop inspired cocktail bar that is likely to be very popular this winter. There will be festive lights, decor, and even Santa and his elves. Although there are limited tickets available, they have extended their takes till January 2, 2022, and it can also be booked for private sessions.
Browse Holiday Shops and Bright Lights
The City of New West is illuminating their city streets and shops with a number of events in the uptown and downtown areas. You can visit a Holiday Food & Craft market this weekend, or attend Uptown Live Christmas where there is live music and installations, or Shine Bright Downtown. New West is also a great place to take a date, discover all the fun things to do there.
Check out some Neighbourhood Houses
There are many homes all over Metro Vancouver that are beautifully decorated. From Vancouver to Langley and everywhere in between, there is bound to be one near you to check out with friends and family this weekend. Some impressive displays even sync up with music.
Of those, the lights at Canuck Place is a great place to browse holiday lights for a good cause. Light a Life signifies the beginning of the holidays to help short lives shine bright at Canuck Place. Donations for those interested can also be made online. However, please be sure to stay away from the yard and enjoy from a distance, as the yard and home is for residents and staff only.
Go Skating Under The Sky
Robson Square’s Ice Rink is now open for the season. Enjoy gliding in this iconic space in the heart of downtown, right in the centre of all the hustle and bustle of holiday happenings. Skating here with the family is truly magical and out of a Christmas movie it feels. Best of all, bring your own skates, and the experience is free!
Experience ‘Lights with Heights’
With much anticipation Canyon Lights will be returning to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. You can witness the Capilano River become illuminated, while walking across the illuminated 140 metres long breath-taking suspension bridge. The entire rainforest and infamous Treetops Adventure is also lit up with dazzling lights.
Visit The North Pole
Grouse Mountain’s Peak of Christmas is a perfect place to go and pretend you are actually at the North Pole. With a winter wonderland village, actual reindeer, ice rink, sledding and a Santa’s workshop, there is tonnes of family fun to be had here.
Hop On To The Stanley Park Christmas Train
Bright Nights in Stanley Park returned after having to be closed due to the pandemic last year. The train has been running for 24 years, and is a favourite holiday tradition for many. It delights guests with decorated lights, music and an entire Christmas village. It’s a great family event full of festive glee.
Be Mesmerized At VanDusen Gardens
Back to offer all the enchantment, the VanDusen of Festival of Lights returned. This event has run every year since 1984. Over the years it’s grown to encompass more than 1 million dazzling lights and displays and spread holiday cheer.
Walk Around a Lit Up Lake
Lights at Lafarge is the largest free outdoor display in Coquitlam. For 9 full weeks, this huge and beautiful display will light up the 1.2km stroll around the lake. This is an annual event, where people get to enjoy the garden unique designs with their family and friends.
See A Million Twinkling Lights at Glow
Given the success of last year’s experience, Glow Langley is bringing back its drive-through winter wonderland event. Guests can enjoy magical landscapes, a million twinkling light displays, and festive joy all from the comfort of their car.
Get Inspired by Lights of Hope
The Lights of Hope are back on at St. Pauls Hospital in downtown Vancouver. Located at 1081 Burrard Street, the lights take up the entire front interface of the hospital. They bring hope to patients and support staff, and joy to passerbys. People are encouraged to give hope by donating at the Living Light installation or online.
Shop At The Largest Christmas Store in BC
The Christmas Store at Potters Nursery is back. The entire nursery has transformed into a magical winter wonderland and has all your holiday wants and needs. The massive 28,000 sq-ft space is full of enchanted decor, wonderful gifts, and so much more. A number of themes that make this spot worthy of being added to your holiday “things to do” bucket list.
On-Going ‘Non-Holiday’ Things To Do
Enjoy Junk Food as Art
There is a fun new gallery in Richmond where many beloved snacks and treats are on display in a super fun and interactive concept. The junk food gallery is on display at Lipont Gallery in Richmond. The best part… it’s entirely FREE.
Enjoy DaVinci’s Art & Greatest Inventions
The DaVinci exhibit is an exclusive multi-room exhibit and a unique interactive experience showcasing the work of Leonardo da Vinci. This is the first time this art exhibit has come to Canada, and has drawn millions of visitors worldwide. Check out the educational program available for kids as well. Take advantage of the exhibit on now before it’s gone for good.
Check Out The New Bridge in West Vancouver
Another beautiful pathway now exists amongst treetops here in B.C. This time it is a 200m long wooden “Trestle Bridge” in West Vancouver, on route up to Cypress Mountain Resort. The stunning bridge opened up last week. The path providing stunning views of the Burrard Inlet, and the Burrard Peninsula.
Play Inside Unique Displays At The Moon and Back Gallery
An impressive immersive experience just reopened in Richmond and it is absolutely stunning. The Moon and Back Gallery has a series of rooms with augmented virtual reality. The experience will make you smile, bring your pictures to life, and is truly out of this world.
Discover Hidden Lounges and Speakeasies
What started as murmurs surrounded by a hint of secrecy, a new hidden lounge opened up in Chinatown, and it is one worth checking out—if you have the password that is. As a matter of fact, it’s not the only. If you’re up for more mystery, check out some of the other Vancouver speakeasies and secret bars.
Check Out Imagine Picasso
Imagine Picasso opened to the public, allowing guests to experience 200 of Pablo Picasso’s paintings from various eras of his life. Slightly different from the Imagine Van Gogh exhibit, the set up for this event mimics an illusive maze where visitors can roam around gazing at moving art come to life, quite literally. The exhibit will run until January 8, 2022.
Experience the Sistine Chapel in Vancouver
If you love the art of ages, experience Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition in Vancouver. The exhibit will take place at Canada Place. Without going to Rome, this will allow you to see a life-sized close-up of the greatest masterpieces of Michelangelo. Tickets are on sale now.
Get Dazzled At A Hidden Wonders Show
Have a magical experience in New West by checking out this Hidden Wonders is a 75-minute performance by Canadian magician Shawn Farquhar. Champion of Magic, who is originally from Maple Ridge, B.C. The show is getting rave reviews from across North America. The coolest part is that the venue is hidden and secret to only ticket holders.
Go On a Kid-friendly Winter Walk or Hike
Bundle up and go for a winter walk in many of the beautiful locations here in B.C. There are some parks and trails that are even more beautiful in the winter. Queen Elizabeth Park, Green Timbers Forest, or Pacific Spirit Regional Park are just a few parks that are perfect for a stroll with kids and are exceptionally beautiful during the winter-time. Be sure to wrap up though and wear the right footwear, it could get slippery out there.
Check Out The Art of John and Yoko
If you are a John Lennon fan or of Yoko Ono, the Vancouver Art Gallery is hosting “Growing Freedom: The instructions of Yoko Ono and The art of John and Yoko” started last week. The exhibit will look at the couples collaborative projects as well as artistic instruction work by Yoko Ono.
Regardless of what you do, we hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend with your friends and family!
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