Best Christmas Events in Vancouver 2013
The Holiday Season is upon us and we all know it can zip by faster than St. Nick on Christmas Eve after hitting the snooze button on his alarm clock a few too many times. The following list was compiled to help with your own list of festive "to dos" before "you know who" slides down the chimney.
Vancouver German Christmas Market - Nov.22 to Dec.24/2013
650 Hamilton Street, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver, BC
The Vancouver German Christmas Market is in its third year in the city, bringing a much needed boost to the spirit of those that wish for more traditional flare during the holiday season. The "village" follows the theme of its European predecessors in bringing the classic German Christmas Market to downtown Vancouver, providing a warm glow to the corners of Georgia, Cambie, and Hamilton.
VanDusen Botanical Gardens Festival of Lights - Dec 11 to Jan 4/2014
Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, Vancouver, BC
It's not Christmas in Vancouver until you've attended the VanDusen Botanical Gardens Festival Of Lights. Walk along the varied pathways found within the garden grounds and explore the fantastic multi-colored light creations. The lights surrounding the pond area are coordinated to dance along to musical numbers that illuminate the setting even more. Transiberian Orchestra fills the cold winter air while you sip on hot chocolate and share roasted chestnuts.
Grouse Mountain Peak of Christmas - Nov 23 to Dec 24/2013
Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver, BC
We'll leave the Grind for fans of granola and New Balance sneakers. We find that Grouse shines best during the winter months, especially at the annual Grouse Mountain Peak of Christmas. Skiiers and snowboarders make way for Santa's sleigh from late November until Christmas Eve, when this proverbial snow capped mountain turns into the North Pole.
Bright Nights at Stanley Park - Nov 30 to Jan 1/2014
Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC
The Vancouver Park Board and BC Professional Firefighter's Burn Fund work in unison to put together what is now a 15 year running Christmas tradition for the whole family that shows no sign of slowing down. Every year more lights and decorations are added to BC's very own rainforest and every year more and more people show up in mitts, earmuffs, scarves and toques with steaming hot chocolate cupped close in hand.
Santa Claus Parade - Dec 1/2013 1PM
Georgia & Howe streets route, Downtown Vancouver
While Vancouver is accustomed to any public gathering surrounding the Vancouver Art Gallery resulting in an angry protest or cloud of support for the legalization of certain pharmeceuticals it's safe to say that everyone will be on their best behavior for the man with the list of Naughty or Nice. Santa Claus is coming to town and he and his entourage of reindeer, vertically challenged contract workers (PC for "elves"), holiday characters, and an assortment of sponsor based Christmas floats will cruise through downtown to the delight of onlookers, inciting visions of sugarplums and Starbuck's Peppermint Mochas.
Avoid rain dances days before this event because nothing puts a damper on the parade like...dampness. Come early with blankets or fold out chairs to secure a good cement block of real estate and check out the Christmas Square on the corner of Georgia and Howe Street. Kids will be treated to Face Painting, Balloon Twisting, Gingerbread Decorating, a Writing Letter to Santa Booth, Coloring Station, in addition to Musical Performances for the whole family to enjoy.
GOH Ballet The Nutcracker - Dec. 14 to 22/2013
Centre for Performing Arts, 777 Homer Street, Vancouver, BC
The GOH Ballet's rendition of The Nutcracker is the classiest Christmas affair of the season. For dance arts enthusiasts, this offering from the most prestigious youth ballet company in the country is a must-see. For those fond of the magical aura that comes with Christmas, The Nutcracker will only serve to elevate their senses for all that it is dear during this time of the year. And for those in attendance as casual observers, the pre-show and intermission mingling is as much a part of the fun as the entertaining show held before them. This is the holiday event of the year where you put on your best evening attire (leave Grandma's bright red and green knitted Christmas sweater in the closet!), go for an early dinner, and prepare to paint the town the tone of sugarplums.
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver, BC