The holiday season is approaching fast, and although it’s still November, many people have chosen to celebrate early by decorating their homes and buying tickets to various Christmas events. It seems that this year, people are ready to bring on the holiday cheer as soon as possible! Some events in Vancouver have been cancelled as a result of COVID-19, but many will still still be operating with new safety precautions in place. Here’s our list of holiday events and activities you can still enjoy this season:
Looking for somewhere to go on a casual walk while experiencing magical Christmas light displays for free? Visit Granville Island and explore the buildings and alleyways in and around the Public Market. Parking is free, but there are many retail shops, cafes and restaurants that may tempt you to spend a little on a treat for yourself while you’re there.
Dates: Now until January 3rd
Safety: All lighting displays are outside. Wear a mask, maintain your distance and follow current health guidelines if you are entering any stores or restaurants.
With more than one million lights over 10 acres, VanDusen Botanical Garden is certainly a winter wonderland. Experience the holiday lights and music on a one-way path through the gardens, designed to safely take you through all of the themed areas without missing a single display. As of mid-November, some dates have already sold out, so get your tickets ASAP!
Dates: December 8th – January 3
Safety: This is an outdoor experience that has been modified to make physical distancing easier with the implementation of a new one-way path and a time limit of 45 minutes. Capacity is limited, and tickets must be reserved ahead of time.
Cost: $8.00 to $14.00 ( plus fees )
Let FlyOver Canada take you on a trip across Canada with a stop at the North Pole to visit Santa and his elves.
Dates: November 19 – January 3
Safety: Because this is an indoor attraction, masks are required and capacity per ride is now limited. Guests are are asked to keep a physical distance of 2 metres (6 feet) by using floor markings, and pre-purchasing tickets beforehand is encouraged.
Cost: Adult tickets are $23-$26 (Ticket prices vary based on projected visitation that day). Children are $10 off and students and seniors are $6 off of the adult price.
Jump aboard the train at Stanley Park to take a trip through the woods, lit up with magical Christmas light displays. Santa will not be making an appearance at the event this year, and the lights will only be set up on the train route to prevent people from congregating in the plaza area. This is a great place to bring the kids, but remember to keep your group small (6 people or less) and only attend with members of your own household.
Dates: November 26 – January 1
Safety: This attraction is outdoors, but masks are still mandatory for all guests aged 3 and older. Guests will enter via contactless ticket scanning. Pedestrian traffic flow will be one-way only and clearly marked.
Cost: $10 + GST, Children 2 and under are Free. Buy your tickets ASAP, some dates are selling out already!
Visit Capilano Suspension Bridge Park to experience one of the most spectacular light displays in the city. Everything from the bridge itself, to the forest and cliffwalk will be lit up for you to enjoy and explore.
Dates: December 1 – January 3
Safety: Tickets are available online only, for pre-purchase on specific dates. There will be a limited quantity of tickets available each night, and masks will be required in certain zones indicated by signage.
Cost: Ticket prices range from $18.95 (child) to $54.95 (adult)
If you’re looking for a Christmas activity that’s as COVID-safe as possible, this is it! Stay inside your car with members of your own household and drive through the PNE’s WinterLights displays. Areas include The Merry & Bright Forest, Polar North, and Candy Cane Lane. Expect to see live performers and hear plenty of cheery Christmas music as you make your way through the park.
Dates: December 11 – 13 & 17 – 23
Safety: Stay safe inside your car with members of your household! Tickets can be bought online ahead of time and will be scanned through your vehicle window.
Cost: $39-$49 depending on how many people are in your vehicle.
The most authentic white Christmas experience you can find in Vancouver! With real snow, real reindeer, outdoor ice skating and light displays, Peak of Christmas at Grouse will not disappoint.
Dates: November 20 – January 3
Safety: Skyride reservations need to be made in advance with ticket purchase. Face coverings are required for all indoor areas and any areas where physical distancing is not possible.
Cost: All activities are all complimentary with a Mountain Admission Ticket, Annual Membership, Winter Season Pass, or Lift Ticket.
Bonus Holiday Safety Tips:
- Always adhere to current guidelines as set by the BC Provincial Health Officer, in regards to mask protocol and who you interact with, whether it be with your immediate family, household or core bubble.
- Always social distance where possible.
- Book tickets in advance, as dates in December are already selling out with venues being required to lower their maximum capacity.
- If you can, go at non-peak times for the extra comfort of increased social distancing.
- Remember to bring your mask!