2021 Festive Experiences in Greater Vancouver

Greater Vancouver Holiday Experiences

Are you excited for this holiday season?  This season looks so much better than the last.  So many more things are open and operating this year. Businesses were able to plan for this season, unlike last when many had to switch gears or shut down at the last minute. So In honor of all the wonderful festive holiday experiences happening this year, I have compiled a list of events from Whistler to Hope.

This year, embrace the more “normal” season and get out and enjoy all that the holidays have to offer!


Dickens Days Festival at Ripples Estate Winery/New Wave Distilling

UPDATE: Cancelled due to flood damage
Nov 26-28th & Dec 3-5 during business hours


Highstreet Holiday Festivities

TREE LIGHTING: November 27 to December 18 5-530 PM Daily

The Fraser Valley’s biggest and brightest Holiday experience returns on November 20th at 5:00 pm at the annual Highstreet Holiday Show and Tree Lighting. Highlights include the lighting of a 65-foot Christmas tree – one of the tallest in Canada, the arrival of Santa Clause, Rudolf, Frosty, and ‘Spandy Andy’ the dancing elf, a 40-piece marching band, a team of festive dancers, live
music, and a magical snowfall. Holiday Shows run every Saturday from 5pm – 5:30pm, with pre-show festivities starting at 4:30 pm,
until December 18th.

November 21 – December 24

With safety measures in place, our private experience allows families to have a perfect photo moment inside Santa’s Shop. Photos are by appointment only, please visit highstreetsanta.com for more information.

November 21 – December 10

The kids’ wish lists to Santa can be dropped at Highstreet’s oversized mailbox, located inside the post office at London Drugs’, Highstreet. Santa’s helpers are ready to collect the letters and ensure a personalized note will be mailed back to every girl and boy. Letters must be received by December 10th.


Trees of Hope

Nov 16 to Dec 29
This is the 13th year, the trees of hope display has been set up at Seven Oaks Shopping Centre, in support of the Abbotsford Police Foundation.  Displayed in the common areas of the mall. Enjoy the beautifully decorated trees by local businesses. Cast your vote for your favorite. This is a FREE event. No tickets or reservations are needed.




Lights at Lafarge

November 27, 2021 to January 31, 2022 – Town Centre Park

Immerse yourself in festive lights as you walk along two walking loops within Town Centre Park.  This is a FREE event.  Less congested times are weekdays before 6pm and after 8pm.


Harrison Hot Springs

Christmas Tree Trail

Nov 20 to Dec 31

Walk along a self-guided tour through the village admiring the decorated and lit Christmas trees.  This is a FREE event. No tickets or reservations are needed.


Lights By The Lake 

Update: Delayed start date due to flooding

Running  to Jan 10, 2022 

The Harrison Lake lagoon will be lit up this holiday season. Enjoy the beautiful lights by the lake and soak up the holiday feeling. This is a FREE event. No tickets or reservations are needed.



Glow Langley

November 18, 2021 to January 1, 2022

Glow is back again this year. It will be a drive-thru format again. Last year my family enjoyed the Glow experience from the warmth of our car complete with mini donuts and popcorn! Last year the experience lasted about 20-25 minutes. It was a beautiful display of festive lights. Glow uses about 1 million lights for their display so there are lots to see. They even had Santa there to wave hello.  This year the theme is “A fairytale Christmas”  You can even order your holiday poinsettias with your ticket and it will be delivered to your car upon arrival.  Tickets are available online.


Christmas in Williams Park 

Nov 26 to Dec 19 5-9pm DAILY
After a delayed start to their season last year, I am excited to see Christmas in Williams park is back this year.  This year it will be a drive-thru event again but you will not need to purchase tickets. They have extended the dates of the event to accommodate as many people as they can.  This is a FREE event, but donations are appreciated to help the event return year-to-year.



North Vancouver

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge

Nov 20, 2021 to January 23, 2022

This year the world-famous bridge will be lit, end to end, with a multi-colour changing display, adding to the magic of crossing the canyon above the illuminated Capilano River. Journey into the rainforest and walk high above the forest floor between the eight tallest Christmas trees in the world on Treetops Adventure. The mesmerizing “Arc de Lumina” light tunnel will once again wrap its way along a portion of Cliffwalk. Perfect Instagram moments galore! Enjoy live festive tunes and explore the Park in search of lit snowy owls in the popular Snowy Owl Prowl scavenger hunt to win a grand prize Canadian Rockies trip. Tickets can be purchased online. Children under 6 are FREE.



Squamish/Britannia Beach

North Pole Express

November 27/28, Dec 4/5, 11/12 and Dec 18/19

Take a train ride to the “North Pole”. Enjoy hot chocolate and a cookie on your journey. Get treated to Christmas carols and stories too.  When the train pulls into the station after your journey you will enter the “North Pole Workshop and Gingerbread Village” where you will get a chance to meet Mr. and Mrs. Clause! Tickets are available online.


Britannia Mine Museum

Dec 4/5 & 11/12 11-3pm

Britannia Mine Museum is giving kids and adults a chance to visit and get a photo with Santa this Festive Season. Every family receives a digital picture with Santa.

Santa’s Mailbox will also be on site to mail those important letters, so don’t forget to bring your letters for Santa along. We will make sure they’re sent off to the North Pole. Complementary Hot Chocolate and Christmas cookie will also be provided!

NOTE: Photos will Santa are an additional cost over the day admission tickets.  Photos will Santa are $25 per family (5 max) each additional person is $5 . Click here to reserve your spot for a tour.



Potters Christmas Store

Early September to Christmas

Potters Christmas store is the largest Christmas store in Western Canada. They literally have everything Christmas. It is FREE to walk around and take in the festive holiday magic in the store.  They have hundreds of Christmas trees decorated in a variety of ways, lots of gift ideas including gourmet treats from local businesses.



December 3 to 30th 4-10pm (closed Dec 25)

An enchanting festival light extravaganza.  Lumagica is an outdoor/indoor global holiday experience making its debut in Canada at the Cloverdale fairgrounds.

A 1km light walk to escape on a fantastical journey through diverse lands to capture and believe in the spirit of the Holidays. You are then transported through a light tunnel to Gingerbread Lane, leading to the magical North Pole Village. Soak up the magical atmosphere with interactive displays, animation, photo opportunities and surprises galore for all ages. Hot cocoa, mulled wine, and snacks from various vendors are available in the park. Purchase tickets online.  Children under 4 are free. Parking is $5 onsite.


Cloverdale Christmas Trees 

Nov 27 to Dec 19

Drop in to the museum of Surry, anytime during business hours to admire the tree festival. Cast your vote for your favorite one and have a chance at winning at $100 shopping spree.  This is a FREE event.


Surrey Holiday Lights

Nov 25, 2021 to Jan 2, 2022

Explore the Holiday Lights Tent to visit Santa and his Elves, The Gingerbread Village, The North Pole, Holiday Market, Lights Around The World, and more! The outdoor Snowflake Stage and indoor North Pole Stage will have live music featuring holiday classics and contemporary music as well as Christmas Musical.  The exhibition lasts approximately 1 hour. Food trucks will be on site.  Kids 5 and under are FREE. Purchase your tickets online. 




Vancouver Playhouse


December 10-12

Arts Umbrella’s renowned Mixed Nuts dance production is returning for the holiday season and marks Vancouver’s only full-length production of The Nutcracker.

Guests can expect a modern and engaging twist on the Tchaikovsky classic. Bringing together a flavoursome assortment of dance styles from hip-hop, to ballroom, to the classic grand pas-de-deux, families and kids of all ages can enjoy this extra-special holiday treat.
This year features dancers ages 13-22, performing old favourites and new pieces choreographed by leading Vancouver and Canadian dancers including Ballet BC and Kidd Pivot company members.
In addition to the fabulous performances, guests can expect a magical silent auction to help get everyone into the holiday spirit!
Tickets to Mixed Nuts are now available here.


Bright Lights – Stanley Park

Nov 26, 2021 to Jan 2, 2022

Take a train ride through the Stanley Park forest and enjoy festive lights and displays along your journey. Tickets are available online – it is a very popular event and tickets often sell out each day. Children 2 and under are FREE.  There is a matinee train as well as the evening train.


Lumiere Vancouver

November 12-30

Lumiere is a series of public artworks inspired by light and artistic expression.  This is a FREE experience that is setup throughout Vancouver. With artwork set up in English Bay, Jim Deva Plaza, Downtown Vancouver and on Granville Island. No tickets needed.


PNE Winter Lights

Select Nights – December 2021

Load up your family sleigh for a magical holiday drive-thru journey through Hastings Park!

Grab a hot cocoa, crank up the carols, and prepare to enjoy this safe and entertaining experience from the warmth of your car. You will be transported through nine enchanted lands filled with glowing lights, special characters and festive performers along the way.

Food trucks are on site as well.  Reserve your tickets here.

Access to the event is through Gate 9 (east of Playland, off Bridgeway Street).


St. Andrew’s – Wesley United

Chor Leoni presents the joyous return of their treasured holiday tradition, Christmas with Chor Leoni, performed live December 17, 18 & 20 at 8pm, December 18 at 2pm and 5pm and December 20 at 4:30pm in the newly restored St. Andrew’s-Wesley United (1022 Nelson St). Featuring an eclectic program of boisterous holiday classics and soulful candlelit carols, the annual Yuletide program will premiere six new arrangements, bolstered by critically acclaimed violinist/fiddler Cameron Wilson. Click here for more info and tickets.

Vancouver Christmas Market

Nov 13 to December 24 – Jack Poole Plaza

Its back for 2021! With reduced capacity and pre-sale tickets online the Vancouver Christmas Market is another awesome festive option for the holidays. From amazing holiday gift ideas at the artisan shops, to special eats and treats to entertainment and a holiday life carousel and so much more! There is so much to keep you busy.  Get your tickets here.


Vandusen Festival of Lights

Nov 26, 2021 to January 3, 2022

Experience a magical winter wonderland with more than one million lights decorating 15 acres of VanDusen Botanical Garden. Stroll along the lakeside, shimmering in the glow of northern lights, or wander into our lush Rose Garden – reawakened and illuminated for a spectacular winter replica through the artistry of our garden stewards.   Tickets are available online and must be purchased in advance.  Children 4 and under are FREE.



Vallea Lumina

Nov 26,2021 to April 18,2022

Enjoy a multimedia night walk to find hidden wonders.  A light show set within the forest that is perfect for all ages.  Children 5 and under are free. Purchase tickets online.



Multiple Locations – Fraser Valley

A Very Valley Holiday

Keep an eye out for the latest festive experiences in the Fraser Valley, from events to shopping and getaways.


North Star Experience – Imagination Train

Starting November 24th, there is a new holiday train ride coming to Surrey, Burnaby and Tsawwassen!

From the second you step in the train car and look through the window, you’ll be immersed in a whole new world. «CHOO CHOOO», the whistle blows as you depart the station and emerge in the Canadian wilderness. Spot animals, big and small, through trees and valleys. When the sun sets and the moon rises, spirit animals will come out to play while they guide you and the North Star through a winter wonderland. Mountains, valleys, villages, oceans flash by as you make your way further and further North, all with the magnificent background of the Northern Lights. Oh – a flash of a red coat, the footprint of a reindeer – is that who we think it is?  Disembark from the North Star to discover 3D Santa and all his forest friends. Before finishing your journey you can choose to capture the memory by taking a photo with your own device. Tickets are only $5 for a pod (seats 2). Children 2 and under can sit on a parents lap.  A great inexpensive holiday experience for the whole family!

3D projection winter wonderland experience – at one of the following shopping centres:
• Metropolis at Metrotown (Lower Level near Grand Court)
• Guildford Town Centre (Lower Level near Centre Court)
• Tsawwassen Mills (Located near Entrance 3)

Review: We were gifted the opportunity to check out the North Star experience on opening day.  It was nice to get away from all the chaos we were experiencing at home with the floods and enjoy a festive day out. It was just what we needed. The kids got a kick out of the setup and it was a wonderful added touch with the staff dressed up like conductors and really playing the role.  We enjoyed the peace and calm of the music and sounds. It was relaxing and not a “busy” experience.  The ride lasts about 10 minutes from getting seated to coming out. There is a spot for photos by the door. 


Looking for more things to do?


Modern Mama keeps an updated list of events happening in your local area. Check back often as it is always being updated.
Fraser Valley  & Vancouver


Did I miss a festive experience? If you know of one that is not listed, please email me the details at tina@modernmama.com to get it added to the list.



Tina Evans



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