Family Christmas Activities Guide around Metro Vancouver

It's mid November already and before I know it, the hustle and bustle of the holiday will be sweeping me in.   I thought I should quickly write up a post on what to do around town during this festive time with little ones in tow.  Christmas is my favorite season !

I will separate this Christmas Activities Guide into 3 sections:  BY DONATION, PAY ADMISSION and FREE.

If you're considering checking out the PAY ADMISSION venues, I highly recommend going there early December to avoid the crowd.  For those with wee ones, the street lights displays are great because you can come and go at your convenience ! Babies and kids of all ages love those brightly lit Christmas lights.  Dress warm, make a cup of coco to-go for yourself, take a stroll with your little ones and watch them marvel at the sight of twinkling lights.


BY DONATION:


STANLEY PARK BRIGHT NIGHTS
Date:  December 5, 2013 - January 5, 2014
During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Train and Plaza at Stanley Park sparkles with three million twinkling lights, decorating the darkness that comes early at this time of year.

Entrance to the Bright Nights Train Plaza is by donation (you don't need to purchase train tickets to see the holiday lights). Donations will be accepted at the front gate. We suggest a minimum $4.00 donation.

If you're interested in the train ride:
*Partial proceeds from the sale of Bright Nights tickets go to the BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund, which helps burn survivors and their families.
Train tickets:
Adult: $11.00 includes GST;
Child, Youth & Seniors: $7.00 includes GST

(Children & Youth 3-17, Seniors 65+)

Children Under 3 years of age are free
Matinee (Wed, Sat & Sun Matinees 11am - 3pm): $6.00 (all ages)
Hours & Tickets info:
http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/bright-nights-train.aspx
http://www.burnfund.org/our_programs/bright_nights.php

It's beautiful here !  We went before we had the kids so we might take them to check out the lights this year.  We probably will do the train ride as my eldest, who's 3, loves train.  I don't know how my 9 months will fare but we'll find out soon enough!


PAY ADMISSION:

VANCOUVER CHRISTMAS MARKET
Date:  November 22nd - December 24th
Hours:  11am - 9pm

Admission is $6 for adults (13+) Monday to Friday from 4:00pm to 9:00pm and weekends from 11:00am to 9:00pm. Adult admission is $3 Monday to Friday from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Youth admission is $3, children (up to 6 years old ) are free. Rates include tax and tickets can be purchased online in advance.

Entrance to the market is near the corner of Georgia and Hamilton in downtown Vancouver. Follow the Vancouver Christmas Market on Facebook and Twitter for more information about activities, events, and live entertainment.


FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AT VANDUSEN BOTANICAL GARDEN (vancouver)
A magical experience for the whole family with 1.4 million twinkling lights.
Date:  December 11 - January 4, 2014 (closed December 25th)
Hours:  4:30 to 9 p.m. each evening
 
A few highlights at the garden:
  • Dancing Lights on Livingstone Lake: starting at 4:30 p.m. Two different shows - one show on the half hour and a different one at the top of the hour. Two different shows repeating in sequence throughout the evening.
  • Photos with Santa and the backdrop of a million twinkling lights: Dec. 11 - 24
  • Special themed areas; Gingerbread Wood, Golden Chain Walk, Candy Cane Lane
Available at Tickets Tonight, Admissions Desk or at the gate:

Adult (19-64)$14.25
Senior (65+)$10.50
Youth (13-18)$10.50
Child (3-12)$7.75
Children under age 3free
Family (2 adults + children age 18 and under)$32.50
VanDusen Members$11.25
VanDusen Family Members$27.25


CHRISTMAS AT HYCROFT (Vancouver)
Date:  November 21-24, 2013
Time:  Daily 11am - 9pm, Sunday 11am - 6pm

ADMISSION: Adult $13 Child $5 (5 – 11 years) VALET PARKING $5
More info:  http://www.uwcvancouver.ca/index.php/programs-events-events-entertainment/christmas-at-hycroft


LUMINESCENCE AT VANCOUVER AQUARIUM
Date:  November 28, 2013 to January 22, 2014
Hours:  10 am to 5 pm daily.  Doors close at 4:45 p.m.

Perhaps the most creative display of lights, Vancouver Aquarium has put together an aquatic light show featuring the incredible world of fluorescent and bioluminescent ocean light. Find out why and how aquatic animals like anemones, cuttlefish, jellies and corals glow in the deep. Don’t go home without a meet-and-greet with Scuba Claus – underwater Santa. The show is included with the price of admission: $21 for adults; $16 for youth 13-18, students and seniors; and $13 for children 4-12.



GROUSE MOUNTAIN'S PEAK OF CHRISTMAS (north vancouver)
Sleigh bells ring, choirs sing! Grouse Mountain presents a magical celebration and a multitude of festivities.
Bring your family to Santa's Workshop and meet reindeer, or take a sleigh-ride through our mystical alpine forest. You can also experience the tranquil beauty of skating on our 8,000 square foot mountaintop Ice Skating Pond, surrounded by snow-topped trees.
For more info.:
I went to this few years back (company's event). It's beautiful ! If you have older kids it might be worth it for an evening out with the whole gang ! But since I got two little ones, who wouldn't last longer than an hour up there, I can't justify paying the $$ admission cost.


BEAR CREEK PARK TRAIN (surrey)
Date:  Friday, Dec. 13 till Sunday January 5 2014 – Closed December 25th
Hours:  10am to 4pm daily
Come and Meet Santa in the station. Receive a candy cane and activity bag to take home. Take a ride through the Christmas display.
Adults $5 Child $7.50


 
CANDYTOWN (Yaletown, Vancouver)
Date:  Saturday, November 23, 2013
Time:  12-9pm
Location:  1000 – 1100 block of Mainland Street
 
Featured Activities:
  • “All I Want for Christmas” Gift Market
  • Free Horse Carriage Rides
  • Live Music
  • Visits with Santa 1PM – 6PM
More info:  http://yaletowninfo.com/events/candytown/

 
SANTA CLAUS PARADE
Date:  Sunday, December 1st, 2013
Time:  Parade starts at 1pm
Location:  The Parade is in downtown Vancouver, located just blocks from the Burrard, City Centre, Granville and Waterfront SkyTrain stations.
Parade route:  The Parade starts at Georgia and Broughton, travels east on Georgia to Howe, turns south on Howe, and finishes at Howe and Davie. (1.8 kms)
 
 

 
ILLUMINATIONS AT HERITAGE CHRISTMAS (BURNABY VILLAGE MUSEUM)
Dates & Hours:
November 23 - December 13, 12noon-4:30pm
December 14 - January 3, 2014, 12noon-9pm
(closed December 24 & 25)

Free gate admission, Carousel rides are only $2.21 each.

With a stroll through the Village visitors will enjoy the traditional sights and sounds of Christmases past. There is a new Twelve Days of Christmas scavenger hunt, seasonal entertainment and a special display by the Canadiana Costume Society.

I went here last year.  If you don't expect crazy display of lights, it's quite a pleasant walk around.  There's enough going on to entertain the kids.  Dress warm as it's all outdoor.  The Carousel is the only indoor area there.  I read on the site "New this year, there will be 400 sound-reactive lights at the bandstand that twinkle and change colours in response to sound. Visitors can sing carols, clap their hands and make noise to create their own magical holiday light show."  I would like to try that out !  Did I mention it's FREE ?


ICE SKATING @ ROBSON SQUARE
Date:  November 15, 2013 - February 28, 2013
Hours:  Sunday - Thursday from 9am - 9pm |  Fridays & Saturdays from 9am - 11pm

Located at 800 Robson Street (just across from the Vancouver Art Gallery in the heart of downtown Vancouver).  Skating is free; skate rentals are $4, helmets and ice cleats are $2.


 

TRINITY STREET CHRISTMAS LIGHT FESTIVAL
Date:  Mid-December 2013 - January 2, 2014

The 2400-2900 blocks of Trinity Street will once again be a blaze of holiday lights as they compete for the honour of best block.

Take in the lights on Trinity Street from December 4/12 to January 6/13. Remember, the Trinity Street Christmas Light Festival is best enjoyed by walking the route so please use your feet to see our street and make this a green event.
 

LADNER VILLAGE CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING (Delta)
Date:  November 28, 2013
First annual Christmas Tree lighting Festival from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  Santa himself will be on hand to officially light the Ladner Village Christmas tree at approximately 7:10 p.m. The event will be held rain or shine.
Location:  5028 48th Avenue, Delta


MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS PARADE (Langley)
Date:  December 7th, 2013
Time:  6pm
Location:  downtown core of Langley City


CHRISTMAS PARADE OF LIGHTS (New Westminster)
Date:  December 7th, 2013
Time:  11am
Location:  Columbia Street & 6 Street (ends at Hyack Square)


CHRISTMAS IN STEVESTON VILLAGE (Richmond)
Date:  December 1st, 2013
Time:  12-5 pm
Location:  Bayview street, Between No. 1 Road & Easthope Avenue
Steveston is preparing to welcome the holiday season with a community display of lights, music, horse-drawn carriage rides, carollers, and the arrival of Santa!


Below is a list of street Christmas light displays I gathered from various sources.  Some are unconfirmed so I suggest you go only if you're in the neighborhood.  Dress warmly and drive safely !


Burnaby

6728 Grant Place
Come by and see the display — it’s worth the stop. The family have been doing their light display for more than 25 years in the North Burnaby area, and hope this year to bring joy and happiness to many more appreciative visitors. The display is dedicated to dear departed family and friends whose memories remain lit in their hearts, like just like the lights.

8222 Burnlake Drive
The display includes 20,000 lights, a seven-metre tall animated tree and a house full of lights dancing to music. Once again the family is collecting donations for BC Children’s Hospital. Lights are on daily from 4:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

4990 Belleville Ave.
The family is collecting donations for Variety the Children’s Charity.

5951 Baffin Place.
The Sherwood family’s annual neighbourhood lightup event will delight all. From 6-9 p.m. every night until Jan. 2.

950 Kensington Ave.
Collecting donations for Michael Cuccione Foundation.

1440 Cambridge Drive
Collecting donations for BC Children’s Hospital.

Also check out:
4187 Williams St.
5067 Dover Street


Coquitlam/Port Coquitlam/Maple Ridge

646 Claremont
Come up the driveway for the best view. Featuring a complete nativity — baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, shepherds, and the three wise men — lights to music, Santa and Mrs. Claus, reindeer, Christmas trees and more. Over 7000 lights. Daily from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Donations accepted for the Knights of Columbus charities.

1440 Cambridge Drive
Electric train with bells and whistles; electric train with falling snow; nativity scene; more than 30,000 lights with music; five geese pulling a sleigh; 5.5-metre candle; gingerbread houses and people; Santa’s workshop with elves, and a hot-air balloon. Collecting for BC’s Children’s Hospital. Open 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

2988 Forestridge Place
Just below Westwood Golf Academy, the Bilesky family display features lots of lights and yard decorations, from Disney characters, wise men and angels to a herd of grazing reindeer on the rooftop. A big Santa greets visitors, carols play and Santa waves as he appears from out of the chimney. Donations accepted for Variety, the Children’s Charity.

3970 Cedar Dr.
Interactive displays with Santa, reindeer, snowmen and angels add to the 50,000 lights strung up here. 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. until Jan. 1.

Also check out:
678 Folsom street Coquitlam
927 Lillian St., Coquitlam
2638 Brewster Dr., Coquitlam
3313 Rae St., Port Coquitlam
21456 Maple Ridge Bob & Gail Watson
11940 Hood St., Maple Ridge
21456 122 Ave., Maple Ridge
21614-122nd Ave, Maple Ridge
North Pole BC 22351 144th Avenue November 26th to December 24th


Delta

11548 86a Ave
Bob and Maureen Mussato have a wonderful bright Christmas display of thousands of lights, and also lawn ornaments. Come see this display and we promise you will be feeling a lot like Christmas. Open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

11147 Huff Blvd Delta BC - Christmas light show / display featuring choreographed lights and sound, lawn displays and thousands of lights!  Light show is once an hour, featuring 8 songs including Polar Express, Hot Chocolate, Wizards of Winter, Carol of the Bells and more...

Also check out:
11385 86 Ave North Delta
11422 - 75 Ave., North Delta
11425 - 11427 90th Ave., North Delta
3560 Arthur Ave., Delta


Langley/South Langley

23145 0 Ave.
Parallel Acres is having their Christmas display until Dec. 31, from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. All welcome, but no dogs please.

The Land of Christmas 20169 32nd Ave. Langley
Largest Christmas display Castle in all of Canada! 3 Stories !

Also check out:
19646 49th Ave., Langley
23145 0 Ave, Langley
4732 207A St., Langley


Richmond

12138 4 Ave., Richmond, Steveston merchants
3999 Williams Rd., Richmond
5193 Hummingbird Dr., Richmond
Garry Street near Fentiman Place


Surrey/South Surrey

16681 20th Ave.
This display includes 250,000 lights, two-metre toy solders, a nativity scene, dancing lights, a life-size gingerbread house, a skating scene, and many others. There is also a photo area where you can sit in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. The family is continuing to collect donations for BC Children’s Hospital again this year. Open 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. every night.

15659 93A Ave.
This traditional display has 15,000 lights, which include toy soldiers, candlesticks, lit trees, and Santa, his nine reindeer and life-size sleigh. The deer dance to the Christmas music played. Donations are accepted for BC Children’s Hospital. Open 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. until Jan 1.

11478 — 139th St.
The Fox family’s display is a large and colourful one. Donations to the Fraser Valley Conservancy Society greatly appreciated. Open 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. until Jan. 8.

15466 91A Ave.
The Lagerstroms take their lights seriously. About 60,000 lights are synchronized to music broadcast on 88.3 FM radio. Open Sun. to Thurs. from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fri. and Sat., 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Christmas and Boxing Day until midnight.

Also check out:
12755 114A Ave (9000W of Christmas lights all synced to music)
9277 132 St Surrey B.C. Hopkins’s lights
3326 Rosemary Heights Cres., Surrey
15499 22nd Ave., South Surrey
3248-141A St., South Surrey
9467-127th st., Surrey , BC YouTube13675 Grosvenor Rd., Surrey BC
6585-193rd St., Surrey
14380 66 Ave., Surrey
159a & 37a Surrey BC , Morgan Creek
16681 20th Ave. - Donate BC Children's Hospital
15659 93A Ave. - Donate BC Children's Hospital.
16956 60A Avenue, Cloverdale
11478 - 139th St. - Donate Fraser Valley Conservancy Society
19368 62A Ave Surrey, BC (close to Willowbrook Mall)
15466 91A Avenue - Lagerstrom’s Christmas Light Show12755 114A Ave. Surrey
13130 65B Ave., Surrey
11082 Jay Cr., Surrey
6369 165A Street, Surrey
11084 153A St., Surrey
19158 48th Ave., Surrey
15466 91 Ave., Surrey
6369 165A St., Surrey
66th Avenue and 192A Street
Entire neighbourhood just northeast of 64th Avenue and 184 Street
12953 20 Ave., Surrey St. Marks Church Journey of Christmas
Winter Ice Palace at Cloverdale Arena Dec 18th to Jan 2nd

Vancouver

2400-2900 Trinity St.
These blocks will be a blaze of lights for the annual fundraiser for Harbour View Daycare. Best enjoyed by walking, you will get to experience the brilliance of the lights for the holiday season and feel the spirit of one of the great neighbourhoods of Vancouver. For a $2 donation you can vote for your favourite light display. Until Jan. 2.

West End and Stanley Park
See 15,000 coloured lights decorate trees on Beach Ave. Take a stroll by the Lost Lagoon fountain, which is adorned with lights. See a decorated tree at George Wainborn Park at 450 Beach Ave.

1489 McRae Ave.
Christmas at Hycroft, presented by the University Women’s Club, is always worth a visit.

1081 Burrard St.
The Lights of Hope is in the courtyard of St. Paul’s Hospital. Over 400 multi-coloured stars shower light down onto the street. Take the detour when you’re downtown, it’s worth it. Donations accepted for the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation. www.helpstpauls.com

1690 Matthews Ave.
Canuck Place is lit up once again. Volunteers have placed thousands of lights around majestic Glen Brae mansion and turned its gardens into a magical sight.

1412 Laurier St.
An annual tradition for the O’Toole family. Enjoy its lights and surprises.

Also check out:
2175 West 16th Ave
750 Hornby St., Vancouver The Vancouver Art Gallery
Bloedel Conservatory, Queen Elizabeth Park
East 17th Avenue and Sophia Street, Vancouver
East 12th Avenue and Semlin Street
2175 West 16th Ave, Vancouver
Triumph and Nanaimo Street, Vancouver
4399 Prince Edward St., Vancouver
2636 E. 40th Ave., Vancouver
1412 Laurier Ave. Vancouver
Jervis Street % Beach Avenue George Wainborn Park 450 Beach Ave.
999 Canada Place St Christmas at Canada Place
Woodward's Hastings and Abbott

North Vancouver

4967 Chalet Place
Collecting donations for Harvest Project
3735 Capilano Rd., North Vancouver Capilano Suspension
256 6th St. E, North Vancouver
 333 Brooksbank Ave., North Vancouver Park & Tilford GardensCity Hall, North Vancouver
Dundarave, West Vancouver