This Charming BC City Goes All Out For The Holidays & Here Are 7 Cozy Activities To Do There
Yuletide spirit meets West Coast vibes.
The temperatures are dropping and there’s something magical in the air: the holiday season’s almost here. Translation: the world around you is about to get a whole lot busier.
Sure, there are tons of loved ones to check off your gift list and so much seasonal baking to do — but wouldn't you prefer a dreamy escape from all the hustle and bustle? And no, a getaway doesn’t always have to mean tan lines and sunscreen; you can immerse yourself in the holiday spirit by visiting a coastal wonderland not too far away: Victoria.
This vibrant city knows how to do this time of year in ways only your favourite heartwarming movie can dream of. Here, you can take carriage rides, explore historic architecture (elegantly decorated with twinkly lights) and check out countless merry events.
There are so many things to do and discover on a trip to Victoria, so check this list twice and let the yuletide adventure begin.
Stroll Through The Butchart Gardens
Address: 800 Benvenuto Ave., Brentwood Bay, BC
Why You Need To Go: With over 55 acres of greenery, these gardens are festooned with extravagant Christmas light displays that would make Buddy the Elf proud. If your sweet tooth’s aching, grab some hot cocoa (mini marshmallows included), and you’ve got yourself a Hallmark-worthy evening.
Pro tip: go closer to sundown. The night sky creates the perfect backdrop for all those sparkling lights.
Snack On Tea & S'mores At The Fairmont Empress
Price: $89 per person
Address: 721 Government St., Victoria, BC
Why You Need To Go: Live your best Bridgerton life at this luxury hotel and experience the royal treatment with a spot of afternoon tea and delectable finger foods.
If tea isn't your speed, not to worry, you can also head out onto the veranda for hot cocoa and holiday-themed treats, including ooey-gooey s'mores. Bring your bestie along, cozy up by the fireplace and see who can roast the perfect marshmallow first.
Wander The Grounds Of The B.C. Parliament Building
Address: 501 Belleville St., Victoria, BC
Why You Need To Go: OK, this one might seem a little out of left field, but the grounds surrounding the B.C. parliament buildings are something out of a posh dream.
Every year, the legislature puts on a grand event to celebrate the lighting of its building and Christmas tree. There’ll be carolers singing and, obviously, yummy treats.
Check Out Gingerbread Houses At The Parkside Hotel & Spa
Address: 810 Humboldt St., Victoria, BC
Why You Need To Go: This charitable and equally delicious event by Habitat for Humanity Victoria showcases grand designs that are not only awe-inspiring but also entirely edible.
Nothing gives off major holiday vibes quite like tasty gingerbread. The warm aromas of cinnamon and molasses will have you thinking you're back in grandma's kitchen. So grab your crew and discover your favourite creations (all while supporting a great cause).
Walk Through The Clouds At The Malahat SkyWalk
Address: 901 Trans-Canada Hwy., Malahat, BC
Why You Need To Go: Have you dreamed about standing over the treetops and gazing at the shimmering lights that brighten the horizon? Well, that's exactly the experience you get when you visit the Malahat SkyWalk during this enchanting time of year.
Their Holiday Magic event is the affair of the season. Paired with a blazing fire and Christmas tree, warm bevvies and sweet treats, you'll feel as if you stepped into Whoville. And if you embark on the 600-metre walk up, you might be able to catch a glimpse of the big man himself from the lookout platform.
Grab A Drink & A Bite At Bard & Banker
Price: Starting at $7.95
Address: 1022 Government St., Victoria, BC
Why You Need To Go: The historic Bard and Banker is the place to be for cozy flavours and ambience. The Victoria pub has it all, from over 30 beers and ciders on tap, live performances and a diverse menu featuring local, homemade eats.
During the holidays, The Bard really knows how to deck the halls. Join them for a magical lunch with Santa and release your inner child. You may be past the age of sitting on his knee but don't hesitate to slip him your wishlist or document the moment with a picture (or two).
Admire Decked-Out Trees At The Bay Centre
Address: 1150 Douglas St., Victoria, BC
Why You Need To Go: If you're a fan of unique decor, head on over to the Festival of Trees at The Bay Centre. Every year, local businesses and community members come together to spread holiday cheer in support of the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Get some shopping done, take in the bright displays and be merry.
Winter may be a time of tradition, but who says you can't make your own as you go? Book a weekend away in a city that probably rivals the North Pole in holiday cheer and take some time to connect with your people.
Once you get a whiff of all the fresh pine and mouthwatering pastries that linger in the Victoria breeze, you'll want to stay there all season long.