There’s holiday magic in the air. Christmas tunes have taken over the radio and Vancouver is decked out in lights. Now that the frenzy of Black Friday weekend is over, it’s the perfect time to focus on what’s really important—spending time with loved ones. While we’re still waiting on snow, there are plenty of things to do together to get into the holiday spirit. From dazzling light displays to nostalgic traditions, make time for a little festive fun this holiday season. Check out our top 10 must-do accessible winter activities in the Greater Vancouver and surrounding area.
Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village | On now until January 3rd
Step back into the past and experience the magic of Heritage Christmas at the Burnaby Village Museum. During the holiday season, this 1920s town is transformed into a festive winter wonderland, complete with carolers, live music, theatre performances and more. Explore the village by taking part in the 12 Days of Christmas Scavenger Hunt or enjoy holiday-themed displays and activities. The free attraction offers family favourites like crafts, baking, and visits with Santa. Visit the Burnaby Village Museum website for details.
Lights at Lafarge | On now until January 19th
Though the days are getting shorter, the nights are bright at Lafarge Lake. Coquitlam’s Lights at Lafarge features more than a kilometre of dazzling light displays which switch on at dusk (around 4:30pm). Walk the loop and travel past a fantasy forest, illuminated maple leafs and giant mushrooms, and an outdoor dining table lit by a chandelier. Enjoy a relaxing stroll or check out the free activities taking place each night, like Light It Up Sports or Winter Sweater Night. This year, you can also sing along with caroling groups and help set a world record at Jingle Bells Night on Friday, Dec. 20. Visit the City of Coquitlam website for more details about pop-up activities and special themed nights.
Christmas at Canada Place | On now until January 1st
There are few things that say “Canadian Christmas” quite like a 15-foot tall moose light sculpture. The “Christmoose” is just one of many enchanting displays along the walkway at Canada Place. The Woodward’s Windows, one of Vancouver’s most nostalgic traditions, feature classic holiday scenes with charming animated figures. You can also stroll along the festive Avenue of Trees and see the iconic Sails of Light. The free attraction is open 8am – 11pm daily. Check out their website for details.
Christmas in the Village of Fort Langley | December 13th – December 15th
Experience a merry little Christmas market in historic Fort Langley. The 5th annual Christmas in the Village Festival Market will feature traditional Christmas food and gifts, live music, and a chance to win a Christmas Farmer’s Basket, featuring a turkey and all the trimmings for a family dinner. Check out the Community Hall, decked out in lights and boughs, meet Santa and his elves, and shop for gifts from local vendors. Entry is by donation.
Vancouver Christmas Market | On now until December 24th
The Vancouver Christmas Market is celebrating its 10th anniversary! This beloved holiday event brings the German tradition of Chrstkindlmarkts to Vancouver. Shop for handcrafted gifts at more than 80 artisan huts and enjoy authentic German eats and treats. There are also a number of attractions sure to get you in the holiday spirit, like the Christmas Carousel, walk-in Christmas tree, Kinder Kraft Igloo and live entertainment from the Flying Stage. Are you a caregiver interested in attending with someone you support? Show your registered caregiver card to staff at the beginning of the transaction for free admission. Jack Poole Plaza is a fully accessible venue, and additional measures are implemented through the market for accessibility. Save $2 on your ticket when you buy online on their website!
Christmas Glow | On now until January 5th
Even on dreary winter days, you can experience cozy holiday magic at Glow, a family-friendly indoor wonderland. The festival is back, now in two locations in Greater Vancouver: the Harbour Convention Centre in Vancouver (until January 5th) and Tradex in Abbotsford (until January 4th). With live entertainment, a vendor market and kid-friendly activities, it’s perfect for family adventures, outings with friends, or date night. Explore interactive light displays, meet Santa and go for a ride on Glen the Glow-comotive. With so much to do, everyone can get into the holiday spirit! Tickets are available on their website and prices online range from $17 for children and seniors to $23 for adults. Free entry into Glow is offered for caregivers accompanying the people they support. Simply show proper identification to receive this special deal. ID such as an Access2 card are valid. More information can be found here.
Bright Nights at Stanley Park | On now until January 1st
All aboard to the North Pole! Bright Nights at Stanley Park returns for its 22nd year, with more than three million lights twinkling across the forest. Hop on the Christmas Train for a ride through breathtaking displays. Plus, enjoy live performers along the train route and amazing food vendors serving up holiday treats in the plaza.
Artists from our own Alternative Creation Studios contributed to the Bright Nights display. Keep an eye out for Rabbit and Roo, dressed for the holidays. Your donations at the front gate ($5 suggested) and a portion of ticket sales go to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. $1.4 million has been raised to help burn survivors and their families since 1998. Find more info at www.brightnights.ca and book your tickets here.
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VanDusen Festival of Lights | On now until January 5th
Experience the awe of one of Vancouver’s largest light displays at the VanDusen Botanical Garden! The Festival of Lights features around a million lights, transforming the gardens into an enchanted winter attraction. Get your holiday cheer on and enjoy everything the festival has to offer, from the Dancing Lights on Livingstone Lake to photos with Santa in the lodge. Catch choirs, singers, and bands performing live on select nights or sneak in some holiday shopping at the Portobello West Winter Wonderland Market, which pops up December 16 to 23. Most paths in the gardens are paved and fully accessible for wheelchairs. However, it’s important to note that the Heather Garden, Black Garden, and Gingko Garden are not fully accessible. All tickets include a free ride on the carousel. The event often sells out in the days leading up to Christmas, so grab your tickets on the Festival of Lights website.
Lights by the Lake at Harrison Hot Springs | On now until January 12th
Lights by the Lake has returned for its second year to lend a festive atmosphere to Harrison’s natural beauty. A one-kilometre trail of lights illuminates the lakefront. Stroll along the promenade (fully paved and wheelchair friendly) and keep an eye out for the elusive Sasquatch. New this year is Harrison’s outdoor skating rink, which is free to access and open daily. Bring your own skates or rent a pair from the concession for a small charge. Find more info on the Lights By the Lake website.
Alice in Wonderland – Annual Christmas Pantomime (Relaxed Performance) | December 14th
Enjoy a hilarious Christmas tradition—pantomime! Metro Theatre’s annual Christmas panto returns, bringing a classic story to the stage. Follow Alice into Wonderland as she chases the White Rabbit, meets the Mad Hatter, and encounters the fearsome Queen of Hearts.
Metro Theatre offers a relaxed performance to audiences with sensory processing and communication disorders, individuals who identify on the Autism spectrum, and other learning disabilities and sensitivities. Audience members are free to make noise and come and go throughout the show. Light and audio levels will also be adjusted. Purchase your tickets here to experience this whimsical tale.