Vancouver Christmas Events 2021

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Christmas Events Vancouver

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Christmas Events in Vancouver 2021

Looking for Christmas events in Vancouver? Me too! And I must say, I am so happy to have some updates to provide this year! Last year’s Christmas event Vancouver post was downright depressing!

In 2021 however, Vancouver holiday cheer is back on – at least most of it. We are seeing the return of Vancouver’s beloved German Christmas Market, the VanDusen Festival of Lights and the Stanley Park Christmas Train.

There are a couple of events still missing (including the beloved Santa Claus Parade) and a few events have had to modify their programming to limit in-person interactions. Still, you will find plenty of fun Vancouver Christmas events to get you in that long-awaited and well deserved festive mood.

2021 Christmas Events Vancouver – The Need to Know

How tired are we of hearing “Things are going to look a little different this year?” Well, of course they are… but not that different. Here is what you need to know in order to seamlessly enjoy a Christmas event in Vancouver in 2021.

  • Certain Christmas activities in Vancouver will be modified this season as venues have had to look carefully at their programming to keep guests safe. Most notably, a number of one-on-one meet with Santa events have been cancelled. Sing-alongs and Christmas Karaoke? Totally off the table.
  • Another important thing to know when considering Christmas things to do in Vancouver is that most places have done away with selling tickets at the door. Almost every venue requires you to purchase tickets online in advance.
  • Most Christmas events in Vancouver are requiring proof of vaccination for those 12 years and older. Notable exceptions are the PNE Winter Lights (you are in your own car) and the Canyon Lights (outdoors).
  • And finally, regardless of vaccination status, masks are expected to be worn at indoor events and anywhere you cannot social distance.

The 15 Best Vancouver Christmas Events 2021


Lumière makes for the perfect Christmas activities Vancouver teaser as it happens in November (only). It consists of numerous beautiful light installations around the city, typically set against a stunning backdrop such as English Bay.

In our family, we like to pick a cold crisp evening for a hot chocolate stroll. (This is one of the few holiday events in Vancouver that does not require pre-planning or pre-booking).

Where: Various locations around downtown Vancouver
When: Nov. 12 – 30, 2021
Cost: Free
Learn more:

Winter Lights at the PNE

Load your family or friends into the car for a magical holiday experience at the PNE.

At this drive-through holiday experience you can enjoy yummy drinks and snacks, holiday music, festive lights, and talented performers.

Christmas Vancouver Events
Image Credit: Winter Lights PNE

Where: PNE – Gate 9 (off Bridgeway St.)
When: Select evenings Dec. 3rd – 31st, 2021
Cost: Cost is by the car. $32 – $37 (date dependent)
Learn more:

The Vancouver Christmas Market

This festive outdoor market includes entertainment for both kids and adults including live music, a Christmas carousel, fantastic food and drink options (get your collector’s Christmas mug), roaming gingerbread mascots, and a 30 foot twinkling Christmas tree (great for those holiday selfies!). You may also find the perfect gift or ornament at one of more than 80 artisan huts within the plaza.

Vancouver Christmas Market

Where: Jack Poole Plaza – 1055 Canada Place.
When: Nov. 13th – Dec. 24th 2021
Cost: Adult $12.99, Seniors $10.99 Youth (7-12 years) $6.99, 6 and under are free.
Learn more:

VanDusen Festival of Lights

Van Dusen Festival of Lights
Photo Credit: VanDusen Gardens

Over one million tiny bulbs makes the Van Dusen Festival of Lights one of the best displays of Christmas lights Vancouver has to offer. Guests can enjoy a festive stroll through the gardens while being entertained by holiday music and sampling delicious holiday treats and drinks.

Where: 5251 Oak St.
When: Nov. 26th to Jan. 3rd, 2022 (closed on Christmas Day)
Cost: Adult $17, Senior and Youth (13-18) $13.5, Child (4-12) $13, Tot (0-3) Free. Tickets available exclusively online.
Learn more at:

Peak of Christmas Grouse Mountain

Peak of Christmas Grouse Mountain 2021
Photo Credit: Grouse Mountain

For the Peak of Christmas Vancouver, Grouse Mountain is transformed into the North Pole, including the SOS Gingerbread Village, Santa’s workshop, elf craft station, ice skating rink, sleigh rides, magical light walk in the trees, a sliding centre and more.

Note: Breakfast with Santa is happening for 2021!

Where: 6400 Nancy Greene Way.
When: Nov. 25th – Jan. 3rd, 2022
Check website for additional events including Breakfast with Santa.
Cost: Adult (17-64) $61, Seniors $54, Children (5-16) $34, Tots (0-4) Free, Family Pass (2 adults, 2 kids) $161.
Learn more at:

Capilano Suspension Bridge Lights

Transformed for the festive season and decorated in thousands of lights are the suspension bridge, the Treetops Adventure, the Cliffwalk, the rainforest and the canyon. Go on a Snowy Owl Prowl scavenger hunt, enjoy the festive tunes and enter to win a fabulous Canadians Rockies Vacation.

New this season – the world-famous bridge will be lit, end to end, with a multi-colour changing display, adding to the magic of crossing the canyon.

Canyon Lights Capilano Suspension Bridge
Photo Credit: Capilano Suspension Bridge

Where: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver.
When: Nov. 20th – Jan. 23th, 2022 (closed on Christmas Day)
Cost: Adult $54.95, Senior $49.95, student 17+ with ID $41.95, Youth (13-16) $29.95, Child (6-12) $18.95, Under 6 are free. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.
Important Note: Strollers are not permitted on the attractions (suspension bridge etc.)
Learn more at:

Christmas Train Stanley Park

A true Vancouver tradition, the Bright Nights Christmas Train and Plaza at Stanley Park simply glows with 3 million lights, festive music and live actors making their rounds. The Bright Nights train will once again be sounding its whistle and chugging through the sparkling magically-lit forest of Stanley Park this Christmas.

Christmas Train Vancouver
Photo Credit: Gotovan on Flickr

Where: 2099 Beach Ave.
When : Nov. 26th – Jan. 2nd 2022 (closed on Christmas Day)
Cost for Train: $7.50 – $15.30 (Sold online only.)

Learn more at:

CandyTown Yaletown

This free Vancouver winter festival transforms Mainland and Davie streets into a winter wonderland. Lights and candy canes adorn lamp poles, costumed characters parade down the street, and live holiday music sets the stage for Yuletide cheer.

This year’s event will also include some on Vancouver’s favourite food trucks, ice carving, horse carriage rides (by donation with proceeds going to the Roundhouse Community Centre), visits with Santa and the Ice Queen as well as a CandyTown Cocktail Tour (19+).

Show your support for hard-hit local businesses by doing some of your seasonal gift buying while enjoying the free festivities.

Candytown – Vancouver at Christmas
Image credit: Jade Stone Photography

Where: Yaletown
When: Nov. 27th 12pm-6pm
Cost: Free
Learn more at:

Festive Afternoon Tea

My daughter and I discovered this lovely holiday experience while scrambling to find something festive to do in December 2020.

Several Vancouver establishments offer a very cheery holiday afternoon tea menu, including the holiday tea at The Bayshore’s H Lounge and The Fairmont Vancouver’s Winter Wonderland tea service.

While Ladurée (the gorgeous macaron shop on Robson St.) doesn’t specifically offer a holiday themed afternoon tea menu, the shop is so nicely decorated that it will surely bring out your festive spirit.

Afternoon Tea – Christmas Things to do Vancouver
H Lounge Afternoon Tea Service

Festive Winter Patios in Vancouver

If there was any upside to indoor dining being so limited over the past 18 months, it’s that Vancouver’s patio dining scene became so much better!

While it can be a little tricky to score a reservation, The Winter Terrace at Reflections (Hotel Georgia), the WinterLust dining experience (The Westin Bayshore) and the lovely patio at The Roof (Black and Blue Restaurant) are all wonderful places for festive cocktails and creative holiday cuisine.

Another excellent holiday dining choice is Yaletown’s Brix & Mortar where, if you are lucky, you just might score one of their cozy and festive courtyard tables. (That said, the inside tables are also really lovely.)

Brix & Mortar – Holiday Dining Vancouver
Image Credit: Brix & Mortar

Christmas Canada Place

This family-friendly experience features the historic Woodward’s Windows and Avenue of Christmas Trees, a special holiday-themed Sails of Light display, Canada’s North light display and more!

These displays are located very close to both FlyOver Canada and the Vancouver Christmas Market if you are looking to have an action-packed holiday outing.

Christmas Canada Place
Photo Credit: Vladimir Kostka on Flickr

Where: 999 Canada Place.
When: Dec. 3rd, 2021 – Jan. 2nd, 2022
Cost: Free
Learn more at:

Robson Square Ice Skating

Surrounded by festively decorated trees, the Robson Square Ice Rink is a perfect place to impress your friends with that axle you have been patiently waiting to show off.

Robson Square Ice Rink
Photo Credit: McCrea on Flickr

Where: Downstairs at Robson and Howe.
When: Dec – Feb. 28, 2022 (dates TBC)
Cost: Skating is free, skate rental $5, helmets are free with skate rental.
Learn more at:

Festival of Trees Vancouver Fairmont

This long-running BC Children’s Hospital Foundation fundraiser sees the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver turned into a festive forest full of twinkling Christmas trees. Pop by to take a peek and then vote on your favourite one.

All proceeds this year will go towards mental health programs at BC Children’s Hospital.

Where: 900 West Georgia
When: Nov. 26th – Jan. 2nd, 2022
Cost: By donation
Learn more at: festival-of-trees-vancouver/

Vancouver Lights of Hope

Lights of Hope Vancouver

This spectacular volunteer-driven display of lights is an annual fundraising initiative for St. Paul’s Hospital.

Where: 1081 Burrard Street.
When: Nov. 18th – Jan. 2nd, 2022
Cost: A donation to help St. Paul’s hospital reach their fundraising goal is appreciated.
Learn more at:

FlyOver Canada Christmas

Flyover Canada’s family-friendly flight simulation ride uses the latest in projection to create a true flying experience (complete with wind, scents and mist !) During the Christmas holiday season, flyers are taken on a magical journey with Santa across Canada and on to the North Pole. The festive experience is enhanced with holiday music, lights, hot drinks and festive food.

Christmas Events Vancouver 2016
 Photo Credit: Flyover Canada

Where: #201 – 999 Canada Place.
When: Dec. 9th – Jan. 3rd, 2022 (closed on Christmas Day)
Cost: Adult $23-25, child 12 and under is 50% of adult rate. Buy tickets online here.

Hot deal: Book a time before 2pm and one child is admitted for free with every adult ticket purchased.
Learn more at:

More Holiday Fun


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