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While it’s not typically snowy for the holidays here in Vancouver, there’s no shortage of holiday activities to keep things festive. The city and surrounding area provide countless activities for the holiday season
You can start the festivities by heading to the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and strolling through their annual Festival of Trees, with sponsors decorating a collection of trees in support of BC Children’s Hospital. The trees are on the ground floor, the hotel lobby, and throughout the attached Pacific Centre Mall. From there, it’s just a short walk over to the Hyatt Regency Vancouver to see their massive display of gingerbread houses in the hotel lobby.
If more shopping is the order of the day, then B.C.’s largest shopping centre, Metropolis at Metrotown provides the perfect outlet. Easily accessed via the public transit SkyTrain, Metrotown has over 400 shops and services where shoppers will definitely find something for everyone on their Christmas list. For more unique gift ideas, check out some of Vancouver's shopping neighbourhoods
For family holiday fun, check out Bright Nights in Stanley Park. This miniature train will take riders through the fully-transformed forest of Stanley Park, where over two million twinkling lights and animated displays create a visionary spectacle. Other great in-town holiday activities include the Vancouver Trolley's Karaoke Christmas Tour which takes on an unforgettable ride to the Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Gardens.
For unique holiday dining experience, head out on the water with the Harbour Cruises & Events Carol Ship Dinner Cruise – a fun and festive way to end the day. Guests will board a Harbour Cruise vessel which joins other boats decorated with holiday lights in a parade that cruises along the waters of Burrard Inlet and False Creek. Guests get to savour a buffet dinner while enjoying onboard entertainment. For a very west-coast holiday activity, check out Luminescence at the Vancouver Aquarium. See the natural bioluminescent lights emitted from some very interesting sea creatures (video below), a christmas tree powered by electric eels, and the popular "Scuba Claus".
For those who need a winter wonderland during the holidays, head up to Grouse Mountain Resort. The Skyride whisks passengers to the top of the mountain where they will find a number of activities incorporated in the festive Peak of Christmas. Highlights include Santa’s Workshop and live reindeer, outdoor ice skating, mountaintop sleigh rides and Christmas choir performances. You can even have breakfast with Santa on select days!
For the active and outdoorsy, Grouse Mountain also boasts a guided Snowshoe Fondue Tour. After a tranquil one-hour guided snowshoe tour to enjoy the amazing snowy environment, participants will head to Altitudes Bistro in the main chalet to warm up and indulge in a three course fondue dinner: broth, cheese and chocolate!
While over on the North Shore, be sure to also check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge to see the Canyon Lights display after dusk and take a thrilling Treetops Adventure walk. With 250,000 sparkling lights strung along the railings of the bridge and throughout the park, it’s a seasonal sight that is not to be missed!