The holiday season is here and Vancouver has a ton of festive events to help you get into the Christmas spirit this year. From free things to do to date night experiences, the city is brimming with magic this time of year.
If you're looking for fun things to do in Vancouver there's no shortage this month, and each event seems more enchanting than the last. While it's tempting to stay cozy inside when the weather gets colder, these Christmas events will lure you outside to enjoy the season.
Think dazzling lights illuminating the night, tasty treats, and holiday music all around. Make sure to take advantage of the seasonal fun, because it will be over before you know it!
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Price: $66.95 for adult day admission tickets.
Address: 3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver, BC
Why You Need To Go: The Capilano Suspension Bridge is pretty magical any time of year, but when it glows under the illumination of colourful light displays it gets even better.
You'll wander into the lush forest here, travelling among the trees on bridges and treetop platforms, and of course, walking along the long suspension bridge above the Capilano River. The forest glitters during the Canyon Lights event, with twinkling pathways to guide you through it.
You can get a hot chocolate while here and enjoy some of the festive live music, feeling like you've been transported to a magical winter wonderland.
Bright Walk in White Rock
Address: 15010 Marine Dr, White Rock, BC
Why You Need To Go: Canada's longest pier puts on a glowing show during the holidays, from December 2 to January 7. The Bright Walk in White Rock is about 40 minutes from Vancouver, so a bit of a drive, but worth every minute of the journey.
With the ocean breeze in the air, you can wander through the twinkling archways and past the brightly lit displays along the waterfront here. End your trip with a long walk out onto the pier, that stretches far out into the ocean. Even the pier itself is lit up with holiday colours at night, making it that much more beautiful.
This is the perfect activity for anyone wanting to escape the city for a while and get in the festive mood while at it.
The Vancouver Christmas Market
Price: $19.99 for general admission.
Address: Jack Poole Plaza, 1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC
Why You Need To Go: This annual German-style market brings downtown to life from November 16 to December 24 and makes the perfect date night or night out with friends.
There's anything and everything you could want here to get into the holiday mood, from live music and tasty treats to little gifts you can buy for loved ones. Grab some mulled wine and walk around the charming market, checking out all the local vendors, pretty decor, and incredible food.
The atmosphere of the market is super magical and will make you feel like you're on a trip to Europe. There's even caraol here to add to the enchanting vibe.
Address: 655 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC
Why You Need To Go: This is the longest-running gingerbread lane in Canada, so a visit here is pretty special. You can walk through rows of tasty-looking homes, made by the local community and displayed at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The long tradition is in its 31st year and is helping raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. You can donate to the foundation while at the event, or online at the donation page.
On top of being for a good cause, it's also just a fun thing to go and check out in the city. Some of the gingerbread houses have elaborate decorations that are impressive to see.
You have lots of time to go and see the 2023 Gingerbread Lane event, as it starts on December 1 and runs until December 29.
Price: $25 for general admission.
Address: 2901 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC
Why You Need To Go: From December 8 to 9 and 14 to 23 you can go and experience this festive event at the PNE. It's a full-on wintry display, with lights everywhere, skating, shopping, and food. You can feel like you're in a Hallmark movie as you go for a skate on the ice rink surrounded by colourful lights, and then cozy up with a hot chocolate and some holiday treats after.
The festival has a beautiful display of lights that you can walk through, with a picturesque light tunnel, and an illuminated train. You can also right the PNE Express Train, which takes you on a magical journey past sparkling lights and through dazzling tunnels.
There's also ice bumper cars at the ice rink that you can try out with some friends if you want some excitement, with a side of competition.
This place makes for a night full of festivity, where you can get all the holiday fun rolled into one magical evening.
VanDusen Festival of Lights
Price: $24 for adults.
Address: VanDusen Botanical Garden 5251 Oak St, Vancouver, BC
Why You Need To Go: This stunning botanical garden becomes even more enchanting during its Festival of Lights event, which runs until January 7. Stepping into the garden you'll be met with vibrant displays of lights, illuminating the beautiful nature all around.
Over a million dazzling lights are covering the garden, some presenting unique displays and dancing in the night. The whole area truly glows, creating a magical atmosphere that you can wander through. Although you're in the city you'll feel like you've entered into a fairytale, as you walk through the shimmering pathways throughout the garden. There are also food vendors here to check out, so you can spend a whole evening here.
Make sure to buy your tickets online ahead of time, because they aren't sold on-site.