Credit: Tourism Vancouver/ VanDusen Gardens


One of the best parts of the Holidays is seeing a city all dressed up in twinkly lights. When it comes to Christmas, Vancouver does not miss that Polar Express as there is certainly no shortage of luminescent scenes to be seen across the city. Glow is brand new and an indoor option. And Aurora has a new location offering a larger and improved experience from its inaugural year. Strap on your camera and get ready to enjoy the festivities with these sparkling Vancouver activities:

Glow Gardens
Where: Harbour Events Centre
When: November 21, 2019 – January 5, 2020

Laugh, stroll and play under the twinkle of a million lights as you explore the light gardens and illuminated structures. There are playgrounds that will entertain the kids for hours, while you kick back at the licensed bar and enjoy some seasonal beverages, delicious food, and live music. Shop the vendor market, showcasing the best local artisans and boutique businesses, alongside delicious food and drink options.

Aurora Winter Festival
Where: Hastings Park/PNE
When: November 22, 2019 – January 5, 2020

Aurora Winter Festival made its Vancouver debut last season, and by popular demand is set to return in 2019. This season’s event will be four times larger than the previous year and will feature expanded activities and programming in the Mystical World experience, an increased ice-skating surface, a longer tube park, and double the number of rides and games. The festival incorporates LED light sculptures with mystical worlds and characters alongside food trucks, a 200-foot tube park, a frozen river skating rink, amusement rides, and market vendors.

Canyon Lights
Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
When: November 22, 2019 – January 26, 2020

Capilano Canyon Lights is one of Vancouver's most festive activities. Check out the world's tallest Christmas trees, and re-capture the feeling of wonder and excitement of the holiday season and be amazed by the hundreds of thousands of lights throughout the park. The suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest, and canyon are transformed into a world of festive lights and visual enchantment. 

VanDusen Festival of Lights
Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden
When: November 30, 2019 – January 5, 2020

At this annual Christmas event, garden goers can enjoy VanDusen Botanical Garden’s thousands of twinkly lights. Walk through the gardens and find yourself in an enchanted forest filled with glowing Christmas cheer. 

Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park
Where: Stanley Park
When: November 28, 2019 – January 1, 2020

During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park Train Plaza sparkle with three million twinkling lights. Enjoy hot chocolate, holiday snacks, and pure holiday cheer.

Vancouver Christmas Market
Where: Jack Poole Plaza
When: November 20 – December 24, 2019

A beloved Vancouver holiday tradition for both locals and visitors, the market features over 80 huts of authentic German sweets, treats, and treasures. Don’t forget the Christmas lights and decorations that illuminate the market at night. Vancouver Christmas Market can be found at Jack Poole Plaza beside Vancouver Convention Centre West and the Olympic Cauldron.

Butchart Gardens the Magic of Christmas  
Where: Butchart Gardens, Victoria, B.C.
When: December 1, 2019 – January 6, 2020

Hop on the ferry and make your way to Vancouver Island to visit the famous Butchart Gardens in Victoria B.C. The trip across the water is worth it to fully immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit. Colorful lights, carollers, ice skating and festive fare—Christmas is a cheerful time of year at The Gardens. Bundle up and stroll through the Twelve Days of Christmas display, sing along to the sounds of the season with traditional carollers or listen to the festive brass, then stop in at the coffee shop to warm up with a hot chocolate and gingerbread by the fire.

St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope
Where: St. Paul’s Hospital
When: November 14, 2019 – All Season Long

This year, St. Paul’s Lights of Hope will shine for the first time in a special celebration on November 14 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. There will be the official lighting of the display, as well as fireworks from 6:30 PM – 7:00 PM. This annual event has been put on for the past two decades, with donations for the display directly supporting all Providence Health Care sites and St. Paul’s Hospital.

2019 Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting
Where: Robson Square
When: November 29, 2019 

The annual Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting will take place on Friday, November 29 this year. Watch four magnificent holiday trees, one of which is 76 feet tall, come alive with hope and light. This free family-friendly event features live entertainment and music, plus free cookies and hot chocolate. Take a photo with Santa and his elves and experience this festive Vancouver tradition.