In Vancouver, the holidays are a truly magical time, and you won’t want to miss the many exciting events across the city. 

1. The Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver Kids in the City program: We experienced this during the summer, but the program also runs over the holiday season. With a dedicated games room, special kids treats at YEW and a lobby filled with the Festival of Trees in support of the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

2. The Vandusen Gardens Festival of Lights  runs until December 31 and is one of my favourite events of the season. There are over 1 million lights and this year Van Dusen has expanded the festival to 5 extra acres!

3. Christmas at Canada Place, including Woodward’s Windows. The Woodward’s Windows are a treasured part of Vancouver’s history. Originally displayed in the popular Woodward’s department store, the windows featured classic holiday scenes with animated characters and elaborate decor. Handcrafted in the 1960s, the displays included The Candlestick Factory, Santa’s Workshop and The Lamplighter. Following the closure of the Woodward’s department store, Canada Place purchased the displays in 1993 and has continued to incorporate them into the Christmas at Canada Place experience. Another favourite treat at Canada Place is their Avenue of Trees.

4. Robson Square ice rink is fully decked out for the holidays, and is free if you bring your own skates. The orca-painted zamboni is always a hit, and whenever I take the family we indulge in brownies at the Vancouver Art Gallery Cafe!

5. The Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge are in their 10th year. The suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rain forest and canyon are transformed into a world of festive lights and visual enchantment. See the world’s tallest living Christmas tree (153 feet tall!), go on a Snowy Owl Prowl, decorate gingerbread cookies and make your own Christmas card (by donation) in the Winter Pavilion, and sing-along with the holiday band.

6. The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain is a fab place to visit Santa after an ice skate, sitting by real outdoor fires or vote for your favourite gingerbread house in the SOS Children’s Gingerbread Village. The events run until January 4th.

7. The Vancouver Christmas Market, with it’s colourful décor, authentic gifts and family entertainment is a great place to get stocking stuffers and sip mulled wine!

8. If you like history, the Burnaby Village Museum is a cool place to go. There’s lots to see and do including: vintage-themed displays that include wreaths, Eco-sculptures and the challenge of the NEW Twelve Days of Christmas Scavenger Hunt. Soak up the seasonal entertainment including musicians, street entertainers, actors, carollers, & special guests.

9. Head to the new Tsawwassen Mills Outlet Mall, give your little on a few bills and have them buy you a present!!