2018 Christmas and holiday events in Vancouver

From Christmas markets to festivals to festive pop-up spaces, there's a lot going on this December

Looking for a way to get in the holiday spirit? There's an event for that. And whether you're looking for some family fun or a romantic storll, we've got you covered.

 

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Aurora Winter Festival

Aurora
An artist rendering of the layout of the new Aurora Festival at Concord Pacific Place.

Nov. 23 to Dec. 30

Concord Pacific Place

aurorawinterfestival.com

Escape into a hidden village by the North Pole filled with Christmas light displays and magical characters. Enjoy the market huts, food gardens, amusement rides, live entertainment and more. From visiting Santa’s Workshop to lacing up your skates on the Frozen River, there is something for every age.

Join Santa and his elves as they share their favourite Christmas stories in a magical story telling show and enjoy a variety of holiday crafts in his workshop. The festival is also home to a number of exciting attractions and rides — climb the stairs to the 200-foot tube park, bring out your inner child on the train or ride on the 60-foot Ferris wheel to get the best vantage of the entire festival.

Vancouver Christmas Market

Holiday events
The Vancouver Christmas Market runs Nov. 21 to Dec. 24 at Jack Poole Plaza.

Nov. 21 to Dec. 24

Jack Poole Plaza: 1055 Canada Place

vancouverchristmasmarket.com

This annual holiday event offers an authentic German feast for the senses. Stroll the twinkling pathways of a European-inspired Christmas village and discover unique treasures at one of the more than 80 artisan huts offering handcrafted gifts for everyone on your list. Meanwhile, festive foodies can sample Glühwein (mulled wine), a selection of German and Austrian beers, and a variety of sweet and savoury epicurean delights.

Get into the holiday spirit with a lively line-up of holiday entertainment, ride the Christmas Carousel, embark on a market-wide scavenger hunt, and grab some Instagram-worthy photos with market mascots Holly and Jolly — as well as meeting Santa himself. The market and Children's Wish have teamed up once again to help give the gift of wishes to children diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Enjoy special events during Children's Wish Weeks at the market is Nov. 23 to Dec. 7.

Candytown

holiday events
Candytown takes over Yaletown Nov. 24 from noon to 7 p.m. along Mainland, Hamilton and Davie streets.

Nov. 24: noon to 7 p.m.

Mainland, Hamilton and Davie streets

yaletowninfo.com

Yaletown is set to once again transform into an enchanted winter wonderland with the arrival of CandyTown, the city’s only free Christmas festival. Kids can visit with Santa and other colourful characters, while adults will enjoy food and drink from street vendors while listening to live music and carollers. Other highlights include ice sculptures, horse and carriage rides, candy making, a gift market, a public disco and more.

Pop-up at Reflections: The Garden Terrace

holiday events
The Garden Terrace, a pop-up lounge at Reflections in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, runs now through Dec. 31.

Nov. 15 to Dec. 31

Rosewood Hotel Georgia

rosewoodhotels.com

Located at Reflections within the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, the Garden Terrace has been transformed into a winter wonderland making it an ideal spot to drop by for a warm winter cocktail and quick bite after a day at the office or holiday shopping. This is the third annual pop-up at Reflections and in keeping with the holiday spirit, all guests will be treated to a complimentary hot apple cider and caramel corn upon arrival.

As well, executive head chef Harold Lemos has created a special winter terrace menu, including favorites like the signature Gruyere and Emmental fondue and turkey and sage sausage rolls. Guests can sip on winter classics such as mulled mine and hot toddies or indulge in a signature holiday-inspired cocktail, including the Scrooged Up, a combination of citrus, spice and sweet, made with Grey Goose vodka, mandarin lemon, winter spices and chocolate white egg foam or the Christmas G&T, a festive take on the traditional cocktail, made with Botanist gin, cranberries and a clove studded orange swath.

Bright Nights in Stanley Park

holiday events
Bright Nights in Stanley Park takes place from Nov. 29 to Dec. 24.

Nov. 29 to Dec. 24

Stanley Park

vancouver.ca

The annual Bright Nights in Stanley Park event, a partnership of the Vancouver Park Board and B.C. Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, is aptly named — more than three million twinkling lights will brighten the night sky in Stanley Park. Other highlights include festive displays, live entertainment and even Santa Claus himself. Enjoy live performers and, of course, train rides this holiday season in Stanley Park.

Weirdos Holiday Market

Weirdos
The Weirdos Holiday Market runs Dec. 8 and 9 at the Hall on Venables Street.

Dec. 8 and 9: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Hall: 1739 Venables St.

$2 at the door

The Weirdos Holiday Market returns in a new, larger location with more vendors and even more incomparable strangeness for everyone’s gift-giving list. Curated by Rachel Zottenberg, owner of popular local oddities shop This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven, the Weirdos Holiday Market features a wonderfully peculiar mix of artisan products geared to shoppers looking for left-of-centre gifts, including “whimsical sculptures” created using salvaged animal bones and found organic matter; pottery pieces fused into the shapes of human mouths, nipples, feet and hands and more.

New this year is the addition of appropriately curious live entertainment, including classic sideshow acts such as sword swallowing, bizarre weightlifting, and more unbelievable feats of the human body. Alternately, take a turn in the bouncy castle or take a seat for a Tarot card reading.

VanDusen Festival of Lights

Vandusen
The VanDusen Festival of Lights takes place from Dec. 1 to Jan. 6.

Dec. 1 to Jan. 6

VanDusen Botanical Garden

 vandusenfestivaloflights.ca

The popular holiday event sees the garden transformed into a living light show with the use of millions of lights. Organizers recommend buying tickets in advance to save money, skip the line and secure a spot.

Flyover Canada Christmas

Flyover
Flyover Canada is taking kids of all ages to the North Pole to look for Santa.

Canada Place

Christmas at Canada Place runs from Dec. 7 to 31

flyovercanada.com

Fly like Santa from the east to west coast before your exhilarating trip to the North Pole. The fun doesn’t stop there, enjoy festive treats and classic Christmas movies on the flight deck outside Canada Place or listen to our live entertainment, visit with Santa or check out the iconic Woodward’s window holiday displays.

sthomas@vancourier.com

 

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