Christmas lights happen all around Vancouver. Given the many places to see the gorgeous lights in the city, we understand that you may have a hard time knowing where to start.
That’s why we’re here to show you the best places to see Christmas lights in Vancouver so you don’t miss anything!
Head to See the Festive Lights at Granville Island
Where: Granville Island, 1661 Duranleau St., Vancouver
When: November 12, 2022 to January 3, 2023
At Granville Island, they’ve got these gorgeous holiday lights all around, lighting up the place, from the public market to the Granville Island hotel. Towards the southeast end, you’ll also spot the historic industrial crane all aglow during the holiday season.
Pretty much every building on this 40-acre spot is gonna be all lit up for the season, making the streets a delight to stroll through.
Make sure you check out that lovely star in the courtyard of the Public Market, and take a stroll through those secret little alleyways where you’ll find charming canopies of twinkling lights above.
Enjoy the Outdoor Christmas Lights at Canada Place
Where: 999 Canada Place, Vancouver
When: December 2, 2022 to January 2, 2023
Canada Place, you know, the Vancouver Cruise Terminal, really knows how to go big with their holiday lights, decorations, and activities on the Canadian Trail over on the Promenade Deck.
They’ve got this whole long stretch of deck lined up with beautifully decorated trees, those cool old Woodward’s Christmas displays, and a rainbow of colorful lights.
If you’re in the mood for some holiday shopping, just make your way to the other side of the Vancouver Convention Centre, right across from Canada Place, and you’ll find the Vancouver Christmas Market waiting for you.
Get Amazed at the Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Where: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
When: November 19, 2022 – January 22, 2023
Admission: $26.95 to $66.95
Step onto that world-famous Capilano Suspension Bridge, decked out with these amazing multi-colored displays that stretch from one end to the other. You’ll be swaying high above the Capilano River, and the view is something else.
The rainforest is also lit up above, making it look like you’re walking through an enchanted forest that leads to the sparkling cliffside pathway of Cliff Walk.
Just a block away, on Capilano Crescent right off Ridgewood Drive, you might score some free street parking if you arrive a bit earlier than the crowd.
Check out the VanDusen Festival of Lights
Where: 5251 Oak St, Vancouver, BC V6M 4H1, Canada
When: November 25, 2022 to January 2, 2023
The VanDusen Botanical Garden, one of Vancouver’s best gardens, goes all out with over a million lights decorating its 15 acres of green beauty. And that’s not even the best part – they’ve got these dancing light shows that kick off every 20 minutes.
Explore the various gardens like the Rose Garden and Japanese Maples, and even the ponds tucked away inside, because each of them has their very own mesmerizing light display going on.
If you want to steer clear of the crowds, your best bet is to visit during the first two weeks of the event from Monday to Thursday. It’s usually less crowded during those days.
Explore the Bright Nights in Stanley Park
Where: Stanley Park, 690 Pipeline Road, Vancouver
When: December 1, 2022 to January 1, 2023
Admission: By donation
Stanley Park, the largest and best-known park in Vancouver, is one of the best places to see Christmas Lights in the city. Bright Nights is a real dazzler with millions of twinkling holiday lights, and there’s a bunch of fun stuff to keep you entertained.
There’s tons of food trucks, live performances, and even a chance to snap a photo with firefighters. There’s also a small craft hut with movies playing and tables with crayons and coloring papers for the young ones.
If you’re planning to hop on the night train during the years it’s running, avoid going before it gets dark as it’s the lights that truly make the ride something special.
Join the Lights of Hope at St. Paul’s Hospital
Where: 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver
When: November 17, 2022 to early January
Along Burrard Street, the Lights of Hope at St. Paul’s Hospital is hard to miss. The building’s exterior will be lit up with illuminated stars from top to bottom, with starlights twinkling and creating a mesmerizing display.
Take a closer look, and you’ll spot the names of people and companies who’ve pitched in to raise money for the hospital. They buy these ‘stars’ on the building, which make up the hospital’s decorations.
To get the most out of this event, your best bet is to attend the launch. They have photo opportunities with Santa, craft activities, and even free hot chocolate!
Check out the Festival of Trees at Fairmont
Where: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, 900 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
When: November 23, 2022 – January 1, 2023
For more than three decades now, the historic Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver has been getting into the holiday spirit by decking out its lobby and public areas with a stunning array of uniquely-designed Christmas trees.
This event serves a noble cause by raising funds for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Guests not only get to enjoy the festive display but also have the opportunity to vote for their favorite tree or contribute through donations.
Don’t forget to wander around the hotel’s lobby because just when you think you’ve seen all the trees, there’s more to discover.
Attend the PNE Winter Fair
Where: Pacific Coliseum, 100 North Renfrew Street, Vancouver
When: December 8-9, 14-23, 2023
PNE Winter Fair, a 12-day holiday event that lets visitors walk through magical light displays and an endless line of vendors at the outdoor market that sell almost everything from holiday decor clothing, and gift ideas.
At the Agrodome, there’s also a frozen pond for ice skating or riding in ice bumper cars. You can also catch live performances like ‘The Nutcracker on Ice’ and ‘The Magic of Santa’ holiday musical.
Explore the fairgrounds where you’ll find roving entertainers and additional live shows at the Winter Chalet to keep you entertained.
Get Enchanted at the Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain
Where: 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9, Canada
When: November 25, 2022 to January 2, 2023
You know those Christmas villages you see in the movies? The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain is exactly like that. There’s a magical atmosphere with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and you even get to meet Santa!
There are also Christmas movies playing in the Theatre in the Sky and live entertainment before Christmas day.
Don’t forget your winter boots and warm clothing as it gets very cold here during the winter months.
Hang Out at the Dundarave Festival of Lights
Where: 25th St, West Vancouver, BC V7V 4H8, Canada
When: December 3 until January 8, 2024
Admission: By donation
The Dundarave Beach Park, the largest outdoor tree display in the region, is quite literally a forest of lights, with 130 outdoor Christmas trees on display, fully-illuminated for the holiday season.
Additionally, there are three consecutive Saturdays filled with ‘Entertainment and Merriment.’ This includes a tree-decorating party, a festive light-up event, and it all culminates with a wassail and bonfire night.
This festival plays a vital role in raising funds for local homeless programs and initiatives. Your donations go a long way in helping those who are less fortunate in our community.
Experience the Lights to the Lodge at Cypress Mountain
Where: Cypress Mountain Nordic Ski Area, 5000 Cypress Bowl Road, West Vancouver
The Lights to the Lodge at Cypress Mountain is a trail lit with LED lights that run through the forest boughs of ancient Cedar, Fir and Hemlock trees. It’s a one-kilometer snowshoe trek to the historic Hollyburn Lodge.
Following all the festivities, you can treat yourself to some delicious hot chocolate, beer, burgers, and cookies, and then make your way back to the base area on a snowshoe trail that’s also beautifully lit up for your enjoyment.
The trail opens up at 5 pm, so it’s a good idea to arrive around that time to ensure you have enough time to complete the snowshoe loop and fully enjoy the lodge experience.
Be Part of the Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival
Where: Yaletown, Granville Island and Strathcona
When: December 21, 2023
Even though the Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival happens during the Christmas season, it’s not really centered around the Christmas theme. Instead, it’s more of a celebration of the passing year and various cultural traditions.
It takes place in three different venues—Yaletown, Granville Island, and Strathcona. There’s a whole bunch of activities to get into, like making lanterns, a procession through the streets, music, fire performances, and various entertainment options.
If you’re looking for a bit more breathing room and fewer crowds, consider heading to the Granville Island event, as it tends to be slightly less busy compared to the others.