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Yule Love It! Vancouver’s Top Christmas Tours & Activities

Best Christmas Tours in Vancouver
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Vancouver during the holiday season has a charm all its own – the streets light up, the markets bustle, and there’s a buzz in the air that’s hard to beat. 

It’s a time when the city shows off its festive best, from dazzling light displays to cozy, cheerful gatherings. 

Curious to see what the city has to offer? Our list of top Christmas tours and activities is just the ticket to start your Vancouver holiday adventure.

Tours in Vancouver during Christmas

Of course, you’d want to see how Vancouver glams up for the holidays. To see all the festive lights and soak in the holiday spirit, you can take part in one of these five tours!

Victoria and Butchart Gardens Christmas Tour

Location: Victoria, Vancouver Island

How to Get There

Enjoy convenient hotel pickup from one of 20 locations across Vancouver. After being picked up, you’ll head to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal for a picturesque 1.5-hour ferry cruise through the Gulf Islands, leading you to Vancouver Island.

What to Expect

Your journey begins with a scenic 1.5-hour ferry cruise through the serene Gulf Islands to Victoria.

Once there, you’ll have ample time to explore the festive streets of Government Street and Chinatown, and enjoy the ambiance of local artisan cafés. 

At the Inner Harbour, you can also enjoy ocean views and photograph the beautifully decorated Parliament Building and Fairmont Empress Hotel. 

The tour’s crowning jewel is the visit to Butchart Gardens. There, amidst the dazzling Christmas lights, holiday wreaths, and melodious carols, you’ll fully immerse in the Magic of Christmas.

How to Reserve

Prepare around CAD 265 for the tour if you’re getting your tickets from the Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing website

Pro tip:
You can reach out to Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing by 7 PM the night before departure to confirm your pickup time.

Vancouver Christmas Light Tour Private

Location: Burnaby, Surrey, Vancouver

How to Get There

Enjoy the convenience of being picked up directly from your hotel, whether you’re staying in Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, or Vancouver. A luxurious vehicle, complete with your own personal chauffeur, awaits to whisk you away on this magical tour.

What to Expect

This exclusive two-hour private tour is the perfect way to experience Vancouver’s stunning Christmas light displays. 

As the city shines in festive illumination, you’ll be driven around in comfort and style, allowing you to fully immerse in the holiday spirit without the hassle of navigating crowds or public transport. 

From the twinkling lights of neighborhood displays to the grandeur of citywide decorations, you’re in for an evening of breathtaking sights. 

The intimate setting of a private tour ensures a personalized and memorable experience, making it an ideal choice for a special night out.

How to Reserve 

To book this private tour, contact Globalduniya Canada

Pro tip:
The tour requires a minimum of two people and costs around CAD 600, as per Get Your Guide. The price includes private transportation and bottled water.

Holiday Festive Dinner Cruise Tour in Vancouver

Location: Harbour Cruises Marina

How to Get There

To reach the Harbour Cruises Marina at 501 Denman Street, you can opt for various modes of transport. 

If you’re staying in downtown Vancouver, a short taxi or rideshare journey is convenient. For those preferring public transport, numerous bus routes service the area around Denman Street. 

Additionally, if you’re up for a scenic walk, the marina is accessible from many central locations in Vancouver. Ensure to plan your route for a timely arrival at 7 PM.

What to Expect

This 3.5-hour dinner cruise is a blend of culinary delights, live entertainment, and breathtaking views including the stunning nighttime skyline.

Aboard the vessel, you’ll be treated to a sumptuous Festive Buffet Menu, echoing the flavors of the season. Dance to the rhythms of live music and a skilled DJ, while the cash bar serves a selection of drinks to complement your dinner. 

As the cruise glides through the waters, enjoy spectacular views of Vancouver landmarks like False Creek, Canada Place, Stanley Park, Lions Gate Bridge, and English Bay. 

The tour is limited to a max of 10 travelers at a time, so expect an intimate vibe.

How to Reserve

Reservations can be made on Harbour Cruises’ website or by calling +1 (702) 648-5873. Prepare to pay starting from CAD 168.37 for the experience.

Pro tip:
If the cruise is canceled due to the weather, you may get a refund or book another day.

Vancouver City and Capilano Suspension Bridge Canyon Lights Tour

Location: Canada Place, Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing Welcome Kiosk

How to Get There

You can opt for a convenient hotel pickup from most downtown Vancouver hotels, arranged 45 minutes prior to the tour start time. Ensure to confirm your pickup location and time with Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing by 5 pm the night before the tour.

If you prefer to meet at the location, just be there 10-30 minutes before start time (12 PM).

What to Expect

This 5-hour tour offers a comprehensive exploration of Vancouver’s diverse urban landscape and the enchanting Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. 

Start with a journey through downtown Vancouver, visiting landmarks like Gastown, Chinatown, and the bustling arts and financial districts. Enjoy the tranquility of Stanley Park and the bustling atmosphere of Granville Island’s public market. 

The tour’s highlight is the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, where you’ll walk across the famous suspension bridge, illuminated by thousands of twinkling lights, offering a magical experience. 

This family-friendly tour provides an insightful and personalized experience of Vancouver’s cityscape and natural wonders.

How to Reserve

Reservations can be made through Viator, with prices starting at $109.66. You can also go directly to the Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing website to get your tickets from them.

Pro tip:
If there aren’t enough travelers to go on the tour, the operator may cancel it altogether and offer alternative arrangements.

Holiday History & Hot Chocolate Tour

Location: Downtown Vancouver

How to Get There

The meeting point for the Holiday History & Hot Chocolate Tour is conveniently located at the intersection of Robson Street and Granville Street in downtown Vancouver. 

This area is easily accessible by public transit, including buses and the SkyTrain, or if you’re nearby, it’s a pleasant walk. For those driving, there are several parking options in the downtown area.

What to Expect

This unique two-hour walking tour, led by the engaging team at Forbidden Vancouver, takes you through the city’s historic downtown. 

Marvel at the beautifully decorated lobbies of heritage buildings and delve into intriguing tales of past murder and mayhem. 

A highlight of the tour is a private viewing inside the Marine Building, a stunning example of art deco architecture. 

The tour concludes with a delightful treat – hot chocolate at the renowned Mink Chocolates, known for their award-winning confections. 

This tour offers a perfect blend of history, architecture, storytelling, and chocolate indulgence, making for a memorable holiday experience.

How to Reserve

Reservations are essential for this popular tour, especially given its limited availability. It runs on Saturdays and Sundays at 11 am and 2 pm from December to early January. 

The cost is CAD 49 for adults and CAD 45 for seniors and youth.

Pro tip:
On a regular day, check out The Monumental Scandals Tour, a pared down version worth CAD 17 less but without the hot chocolate!

What to Do During Christmas in Vancouver

Aside from these tours, there’s also a long list of other things you can do in Vancouver during the holiday season. Check out these activities, which can all be enjoyed alone or with friends and family!

Drop by PNE Winter Fair

Drop by PNE Winter Fair

Heading to the PNE Winter Fair is like stepping into a Christmas card come to life! Imagine twinkling lights everywhere, laughter, and the smell of hot cocoa in the air. 

It’s not just about looking at pretty lights; you can lace up some skates and hit the ice, or wander through the holiday market to find cool, handmade gifts. 

There’s always something happening on stage, from heartwarming Christmas concerts to fun shows. And yes, there’s plenty of yummy food to try. 

Pro tip: Want to avoid the crowds and have more room to explore? Try visiting on a weekday.

Admire the Festival of Lights at VanDusen 

Admire the Festival of Lights at VanDusen 

The VanDusen Festival of Lights turns a garden into an enchanting, glowing wonderland. It’s like walking through a maze of a million sparkling lights! 

Each corner of the garden has its own surprise, from dazzling light tunnels to cozy spots to grab a selfie with Santa. 

It’s a great mix of magical lights and cool interactive stuff, plus tasty snacks to munch on while you stroll. 

Pro tip: Buy your tickets online before you go – it saves time and makes sure you don’t miss out!

Extend the Fun to Dundarave Festival of Lights

Extend the Fun to Dundarave Festival of Lights

Dundarave Festival of Lights is all about cozy, community vibes. Picture this: a whole bunch of Christmas trees, each with its own style, lighting up the beach. 

Families, local groups, and businesses all pitch in to decorate these trees, making each one unique. You can take a leisurely walk along the beach, tree-gazing and enjoying the ocean view. 

They’ve got free concerts and a little Christmas market too. Plus, it’s all for a good cause, supporting local charities

Pro tip: Head there as the sun is setting for that perfect mix of twilight and twinkling lights.

Enjoy the Festivities at the Vancouver Christmas Market

Enjoy the Festivities at the Vancouver Christmas Market

The Vancouver Christmas Market is where holiday cheer meets a European twist. Think of a bustling market in the heart of the city, with wooden huts selling all sorts of treasures – from handmade crafts to delicious German snacks. 

The air is filled with the scent of mulled wine and gingerbread. It’s not just about shopping; there’s a carousel for the kids (and the young at heart!), live music, and loads of festive photo ops. 

Plus, there’s something about sipping hot apple cider under the twinkling market lights that just feels like Christmas.

Pro tip: If you’re going with friends or family, consider getting a group pass to save a few bucks.

Watch the Goh Ballet Nutcracker

Watch the Goh Ballet Nutcracker

The Goh Ballet’s performance of ‘The Nutcracker’ is a holiday tradition that’s not to be missed in Vancouver. 

This enchanting ballet brings the classic Christmas story to life with stunning costumes, beautiful sets, and breathtaking choreography. 

The talented dancers, accompanied by wonderful music, create a magical atmosphere that captures the spirit of the holiday season. 

The performance typically features guest artists from world-renowned ballet companies, adding an extra layer of brilliance to the show.

It’s a perfect outing for the whole family, offering a blend of artistic excellence and captivating storytelling. 

Pro tip: Book your tickets early as these performances often sell out, and consider attending a matinee show for a more relaxed experience with younger audience members.

Enjoy Bright Nights at Stanley Park

Bright Nights at Stanley Park is a dazzling holiday event that transforms the park into a luminous fairy tale. 

This event is famous for its spectacular light displays, featuring millions of twinkling lights decorating the trees, paths, and structures of the park. It’s a fantastic outdoor adventure for all ages, with a portion of the proceeds going to a great cause. 

In addition to the lights, there’s a Christmas train that offers a delightful ride through the enchanted forest, complete with holiday-themed music and decorations. 

Pro tip: Don’t forget to grab a hot chocolate and some snacks from the concession stands to keep you warm while you explore. 

Spend a Day on Granville Island 

Spend a Day on Granville Island 

The Christmas Lights at Granville Island offer a more laid-back but equally charming holiday experience. 

The island comes alive with festive lights and decorations, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

It’s a great place to enjoy a leisurely evening stroll, soak up the festive ambiance, and maybe catch some live street performances. Granville Island is also known for its unique shops and art studios, making it an ideal spot for finding special holiday gifts. 

Pro tip: The Public Market stays open late during this season, so you can have more food options when you feel like spending the night out during the holidays.

Peek into Grouse Mountain’s Peak of Christmas

Peek into Grouse Mountain’s Peak of Christmas

The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain is like stepping into a snowy winter wonderland. This event offers a unique mountaintop holiday experience with stunning views of the city and nature. 

Activities include ice skating on a mountaintop pond, sleigh rides through the snowy forest, and visiting Santa’s Workshop. 

For animal lovers, there’s even a chance to meet real reindeer! The mountain atmosphere is truly festive, with holiday decorations and lights sparkling in the snow. 

This is a great place for those who want to combine the magic of Christmas with outdoor winter activities. 

Pro tip: Dress warmly in layers, as the mountain can be much colder than downtown Vancouver.

Glide on Robson Square Ice Rink

Glide on Robson Square Ice Rink

The Robson Square Ice Rink is a classic Vancouver winter activity that brings a touch of magic to the heart of the city. 

Situated just below street level, this outdoor rink offers a fun and festive skating experience for all ages and skill levels. 

The rink is beautifully lit with twinkling lights, creating a charming atmosphere, especially in the evening. Skating is free if you bring your own skates, and rentals are available at a reasonable cost. 

The rink often hosts special events and live music, adding to the lively holiday spirit. 

Pro tip: Check the rink’s schedule for less busy times if you prefer a more relaxed skating experience, or for themed skate nights for a bit of extra fun.

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