That last couple of weeks of December are crazy! You are scrambling with shopping, getting ready for the holidays, and trying to jam as much fun as possible into that small window of vacation time you have. You want to do things over the holidays and experience Christmas right here with your friends and family. Here are a few highlights of the season that I am sure you will enjoy!


Each holiday season, my family and I love to drive around and see all of the houses and neighbourhoods all lit up.  We each choose which one is our favourite.  We also go to these great events.  Here are our favourites:

Trinity Street Christmas Light Festival

Until Dec. 20, 6 to 9 p.m. | 2400-2900 Trinity Street, Vancouver

Take public transportation to this car-free jaunt into winter wonderland featuring hot chocolate, treats and choir singers. Check their Facebook page for more details.

30th Annual Festival of Lights

Until Jan. 4 | VanDusen Gardens

Tickets and Info: From $11 at

With more than a million lights, warm seasonal beverages and Scandinavian Christmas elves to serenade the crowds, the Festival of Lights is a Vancouver tradition.

Bright Nights Christmas Train

Until Jan. 4 | Stanley Park

Tickets and Info: from $6 at

You can catch the three million lights on display from the comfort of the Stanley Park Christmas Train.

Canyon Lights

Until Jan. 3 | Capilano Suspension Bridge

Tickets & Info: Adults $32.95 at

Check out the world's tallest living Christmas tree and test your nerves on a decorated suspension bridge over the Capilano River. But it's best to visit on weekdays to avoid the crowds.

North Pole B.C.
Until Dec. 24 | Tradex, Abbotsford
Tickets and Info: From $11.90 at

If Santa Claus had a fan convention, this would be it. This year, the event has taken over the massive Tradex space, filling it with a gingerbread bakery, a toy inventor, live entertainment, and of course, the man with the white beard himself.

The 21st Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

Dec. 21 | Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Tickets and Info: $5 from

Connect with thousands of years of culture with the long-running Solstice Lantern Festival at the Sun Yat Sen Gardens. Create your own lantern, enjoy traditional treats and enjoy drumming from African Crossing and Uzume Taiko.

Country Christmas

Until Dec. 21 | Timberline Ranch, Maple Ridge
Tickets and Info: From $7 at

Get out of town and experience Christmas on a 73-acre horse ranch. Included in admission is a wagon ride, a petting zoo, and a free cookie from the bakery.

Hi-Light Festival

Until Dec. 31 | Park and Tilford

Free Santa visits, hot chocolate, face painting. You can also grab a fire truck ride with a donation to the North Vancouver Firefighters charitable society.


Dec. 18 | Vogue Theatre

Will Ferrell is a fish out of water as buddy, the man who was raised as an elf. It’s a free screening at the historic Vogue Theatre, but don’t forget to bring a donation for the food bank.

The Shortest Day 2014

Dec. 21 | Pacific Cinemateque

Gremlins & Batman Returns

Dec. 19 and 26, 11:30 p.m. | Rio Theatre
Tickets & Info: From $6 at

The Rio Theatre reminds us that the holidays are also a time for animatronic monsters, masked super heroes, and cat ladies dressed in stitched together PVC body suits. Both screenings are 19 and over, so adult families can share a selection of fine adult beverages.

Holiday Films at Vancity Theatre

Dec. 20-21 | Van City Theatre

Tickets & Info:

Catch a screening of holiday classics It’s a Wonderful Life and The Muppet Christmas Carol and stick around for some great indie films including, Vancouver Asahi and Advanced Style.


If all this holiday rigmarole isn’t really your thing, here is a great way to escape the relentless blare of Bing Crosby:

George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

All Year | 5191 Robson Road, Delta

Tickets and Info: from $5 at

Take a break at a bird sanctuary where you can wander around 300 hectares of managed wetlands. There may even be some snow geese lingering. Just remember to leave the pets at home.

Go for a walk

All Year | Deer Lake, Burnaby


The best thing about staying in Vancouver for the holidays is that going outside doesn’t always mean stuffing into three layers of goose down and wool. A walk around Deer Lake in Burnaby takes about 45 minutes and is an excellent way to leave behind the noise of the season. And on top of that, it’s 100 per cent free.

Enjoy your holidays!  From my family to yours!

Posted by Tony Cikes on


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