There’s just something magical about the holidays in British Columbia when the region turns into a true Winter Wonderland. It’s as close to Santa’s workshop at the North Pole as you’re likely to get. Take advantage of the myriad of holiday activities and enjoy favorite snow sports this holiday season.
Victoria for the Holidays
From Nov. 20 through Jan. 6, the Bay Centre transforms for the annual Victoria Festival of Trees. The Victoria Festival of Trees is a cherished holiday tradition and the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season in the city. The event supports kids from the community who need the care only BC Children’s Hospital can provide.
The Magic of Christmas at Butchart Gardens, set Dec. 1 through Jan. 6, greets the season with colorful lights, carolers, ice skating and plenty of holiday festivities. Stroll through the Twelve Days of Christmas display and stop in at the Coffee Shop to warm up with hot cocoa and gingerbread.
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Holidays in Vancouver
Ride the Christmas train to see the Bright Nights in Stanley Park as the Train Plaza sparkles with three million twinkling lights. Experience the lights, breathtaking displays and live performances along the train route or view the displays at the Train Plaza by donation ($5 suggested).
Heritage Christmas is celebrated from Nov. 23 to Jan. 3 at Burnaby Village Museum in Burnaby, just east of Vancouver. Stroll through the Village streets to see wreaths, cedar swags and vintage-themed displays. Visit with Father Christmas and enjoy street characters, musicians and theatrical performances.
For winter sports enthusiasts, head to Grouse Mountain in Northern Vancouver for Peak of Christmas from Nov. 22 through Jan. 5. Stroll through the light tunnel and skate on the mountaintop ice pond, surrounded by snow-topped trees. Watch Christmas movies at the Theatre in the Sky or visit Elf Headquarters and create your own Christmas craft. Christmas activities are all complimentary with a mountain admission ticket or lift ticket.
The 4th Annual Tofino Winterlights Festival celebration of light and art at the Tofino Botanical Gardens runs nightly from 5-9 p.m. from Nov. 29 through Jan. 5. This family-friendly festival features live entertainment and children’s activities. Experience the magic of Tofino Winterlights all month long with the purchase of a Winterlights Pass.
Christmas in Whistler
Each Monday and Wednesday beginning Dec. 9, you can celebrate a great day on the slopes with a Family Apres at Whistler Olympic Plaza. Activities include snow sculpting, ice skating, musical and dancing performances, face painting, hula hooping, characters in costume, arts and crafts, popcorn, hot chocolate and s’mores, and more. Adults can sit back and sip a warm beverage while watching the kids play.
Start a new Yuletide tradition with a stay in a region that will greet you with bells on.