16 Best Christmas Events in Vancouver (2023)

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Last update: December 7th, 2023 at 11:25 am

Vancouver Christmas Events

Affiliate Disclosure: This 2023 Christmas Event Vancouver post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. All opinions are entirely my own.

Christmas Events Vancouver 2023

Welcome to the enchanting winter wonderland of Vancouver, where the spirit of Christmas comes alive with a plethora of festive events and activities in 2023!

As the city gears up for the most magical time of the year, both Vancouverites and those just visiting Vancouver for Christmas can look forward to a spectacular lineup of events that promise to light up the cityscape and warm hearts.

Whether you’re eager to glide gracefully on the city’s iconic outdoor ice rinks, savor delicious seasonal delicacies at the Christmas Market Vancouver plaza, or be serenaded by carolers in the snow-kissed streets, this year’s Vancouver Christmas events promise unforgettable moments and cherished memories.

So, bundle up, grab a cup of hot cocoa, and explore this Christmas Vancouver events guide for 2023. Let the holiday festivities begin!

The 16 Best Vancouver Christmas Events 2023

1. The Vancouver Christmas Market

As far as Vancouver Christmas markets go, this one is the most popular in the city. In fact, it is also one of the most beloved, must-do Christmas events in Vancouver, period.

The festive market plaza offer 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. 16th – Dec. 24th 2023
Cost: Adult $19.99, Seniors $16.99 Youth (7-17 years) $11.99, 6 and under are free.
Learn more: vancouverchristmasmarket.com

2. The PNE Winter Fair

What was previously Winter Lights at the PNE is now the Winter Fair ! Join in the fun as the PNE transforms into an immersive magical holiday experience for the entire family!

This event celebrating Christmas in Vancouver runs for ten festive nights and features a nightly concert series, a large indoor skating rink, magical holiday theatre shows that will be a favourite for the little ones, a winter market, tasty food and beverages, and a sparkling walk-thru Winter Lights display!

Christmas Activities Vancouver 2022
Image Credit: The PNE Winter Fair

Where: Pacific Coliseum at the PNE
When: Dec. 8-9th & 14-23rd 2023
Cost: Adults $15, Seniors $12 Youth (4-17 years) $12, under 4 are free.
Learn more: PNE Winter Fair

3. Van Dusen Festival of Lights

Van Dusen Lights – Christmas in Vancouver

This Van Dusen Botanical Gardens Festival of Lights is another must-do Christmas event in Vancouver!

Over one million tiny bulbs makes this garden 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.

In recent years, Van Dusen has really upped their game in terms of their food and beverage offerings at this event. In addition to traditional favourites like hot chocolate and mini donuts, the 2023 event includes gelato from La Glace, Mr. Arancino risotto balls, NaMì Vietnamese, Ay!Mamacita Mexican and Japadog hot dogs!

VanDusen Festival of Lights Vancouver

Where: 5251 Oak St.
When: Nov. 24th to Jan. 7th, 2023 (closed on Christmas Day)
Cost: Adult $24, Senior and Youth (13-18) $16.50, Child (5-12) $11, Tot (0-3) Free. Tickets available exclusively online.
Learn more at: vandusenfestivaloflights.ca

4. Peak of Christmas Grouse Mountain

Peak for Christmas 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.

Where: 6400 Nancy Greene Way.
When: Nov. 24th – Jan. 2nd, 2024
Cost: Adult (17-64) $75, Seniors $65, Youth (13-17) $55, Child (5-12) $39 Tots (0-4) Free, Family Pass (2 adults, 2 kids) $189.
Learn more at: grousemountain.com

This venue is also an amazing place to experience a Vancouver Breakfast with Santa. The dates for 2023 are: Nov. 25-26th, Dec. 9-10th, 16-17th and 18-23rd. See booking options here.

5. The Canyon Lights at The Capilano Suspension Bridge

If you a looking for somewhere special to enjoy Christmas lights in vancouver, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a great holiday choice.

Transformed for the Christmas season and decorated in thousands of twinkling 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.

Canyon Lights Capilano Suspension Bridge
Photo Credit: Capilano Suspension Bridge

Where: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver.
When: Nov. 17th – Jan. 21st, 2024 (closed on Christmas Day)
Cost: Adult $62.95, Senior $57.95, student 18+ with ID $49.95, Youth (13-17) $34.95, Child (6-12) $24.95, 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: www.capbridge.com

6. Christmas Train Vancouver (Stanley Park )

Stanley Park Train

Update Nov. 8th, 2023: Great news! The Vancouver Christmas Train is finally back in service! Tickets go on sale Nov.9th, 2023 at 9am! (Do not hesitate – these will go quickly!)

Update Nov. 10th, 2023: Not so great news! Train tickets for the 2023 season sold out in 90 minutes! I still highly recommend visiting Bright Night Stanley Park event without train tickets though. It is a wonderful, festive event supporting the BC Burn Fund.

Bundle up the family and enjoy a festive ride on this vintage 1961 locomotive that winds its way through beautiful light displays within the Stanley Park forest.

In addition to riding the Bright Nights Train, visitors can check out the vintage fire truck, snap a selfie with a firefighter, get festive in Santa’s North Pole workshop, or find a cozy spot to enjoy the live entertainment.

Food vendors will offer a great selection of comfort food like churros, pretzels, popcorn and hot chocolate.

Note: Bright Nights is the single largest fundraiser for the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund which provides life-saving, life-supporting, and life-enriching services to burn survivors and their families from across the province.

Where: 2099 Beach Ave.
When : Nov. 30th, 2023 – Jan. 1, 2024 (closed on Christmas Day)
Tickets: Buy tickets for the Christmas Train Vancouver, BC here.

Learn more at: vancouver.ca

7. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

The annual VSO tradition returns! Celebrate the holiday season with family and friends as you gather to hear your favourite carols and Christmas music sung by special guest soloists and performed live by the VSO.

In addition to these wonderful concerts around Greater Vancouver, the VSO also performs live scores to popular holiday classic movies on select dates throughout December. (The Snowman, Elf and more!)

Learn more or purchase tickets at: vancouversymphony.ca

8. CandyTown Yaletown

In its 11th year, this annual Vancouver winter festival transforms Yaletown 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 festival provides a great setting for finding some thoughtful holiday gifts, while at the same time showing your support for the hundreds of local merchants in the area.

Candytown – Vancouver at Christmas

Where: Yaletown
When: Dec. 2nd, 2023
Cost: Free
Learn more at: yaletowninfo.com

9. Festive Afternoon Tea

While not one of the more traditional Vancouver Christmas activities, several Vancouver restaurants offer cheery, holiday afternoon tea menus. These include the beautiful holiday tea at The Bayshore’s H Lounge and The Fairmont Vancouver’s Festive Afternoon Tea.

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

10. Festive Winter Patios in Vancouver

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

11. Gingerbread Lane

Gingerbread Lane – Christmas Activities in Vancouver
Gingerbread Lane – Hyatt Regency Vancouver

The Hyatt Regency Vancouver is thrilled to announce the 31st Gingerbread Lane event , their cherished holiday displays supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The gingerbread house will open to the public from December 1st to December 29th, spreading holiday joy and granting the wishes of children facing critical illnesses.

Gingerbread Lane offers a unique opportunity for the community to witness the exceptional talents of local individuals and groups who use gingerbread as their canvas to create awe-inspiring masterpieces. 

Where: Hyatt Regency
When: Dec. 1st – 29th, 2023
Cost: Free
Learn more at: gingerbreadlane.ca

12. 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. 1st, 2023 – Jan. 2nd, 2024
Cost: Free
Learn more at: www.canadaplace.ca/

13. 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. (This also happens to be one of the most budget-friendly Christmas activities in Vancouver!)

Outdoor Ice Skating Vancouver
Robson Square Ice Rink

Where: Downstairs at Robson and Howe.
When: Dec 1st, 2023 – Feb. 28, 2024 (dates TBC)
Cost: Skating is free, skate rental $5, helmets are free with skate rental.
Learn more at: robsonsquare.com

14. 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. 23rd – Jan. 2nd, 2024
Cost: By donation
Learn more at: festival-of-trees-vancouver/

15. 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. 23rd – Jan. 25th, 2024
Cost: A donation to help St. Paul’s hospital reach their fundraising goal is appreciated.
Learn more at: https://helpstpauls.com/lights-of-hope

16. 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 get to Soar with Santa on a magical journey 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: Nov. 16th – Jan. 1st, 2024 (closed on Christmas Day)
Cost: Adult $28, child 12 and under is $18. Buy tickets online here.

Note: If you are looking for a unique Breakfast with Santa in Vancouver, Flyover offers a fun package that includes a buffet breakfast, the Soar with Santa show, a souvenir gift and, of course, a meet-and-greet with Santa himself. Dates for 2023 are: Nov. 18-19th, 25-26th, Dec. 2-3rd, 9-10th and 16-17th.
Learn more at: flyovercanada.com.

More Holiday Fun

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