Today the skating rink at Robson square (downtown at 800 Robson street between Hornby and Howe) opens and will be open until the end of February! This outdoor rink is free fun for the whole family. The rink is open 9am to 9pm except Fridays and Saturdays when it’s open until 11pm. Skating is free if you bring your own skates but for a nominal fee you can rent skates there. They also provide a concession stand to warm up with a hot drink after you’re done skating!
When I was in high school my friends and I started a tradition of going to Bright Nights every year. We would go to the petting zoo, ride the train and then we would all go out for hot chocolate. The petting zoo is gone, but the tradition continues now that we have kids of our own. Personally, I think it can be enjoyed by people of all ages, but probably only the little kids will want to go with their parents. With over 2 million lights, The Vancouver Parks Board and the Fire Fighter Burn Fund run the event with partial proceeds from the train and all donations at the event help raise funds for the important work carried out by the British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund.
I’m super excited that it opens for the season this year on Thursday! Matinees run Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 3pm, nightly from 3pm to 10pm (11pm on Friday and Saturday).
This Sunday Santa Claus is coming to town in the ninth annual Santa Claus parade on Sunday, December 2!! Go for the whole day (events start at 10am at Christmas square with gingerbread decorating, face painting, entertainment and more! The parade starts at 1pm and runs along Georgia Street to Howe. After the parade, you.can get your photo taken with Santa!
More info can be found on the parade website
Santa will then be heading to Surrey for their Santa parade happening at 5pm at Cloverdale Town Center. To find out more about the Surrey event, click here.
Starting tomorrow and running through December 24, Grouse Mountain presents, a Peak of Christmas. Though a bit of a more expensive family activity, $79.95 gets a family of four (two adults and two children) access to access to the Skyride, Holly the Jolly Reindeer show, antler making, sleigh rides, Gingerbread Lane, mountaintop ice-skating, Santa’s Workshop and more festive fun. This year they have centered their festivities around REAL visiting reindeer named Dancer and Vixen. Events include (taken from their website):
This weekend Heritage Christmas opens at the Burnaby Village Museum and runs November 24 – January 4, 2013. This free event is open daily except December 24 & 25.
November 24 – December 14, 12noon-4:30pm
December 15 – January 4, 2013, 12noon-9pm
The Village is illuminated this festive season with spectacular displays of lights that are sure to put you and your family into the holiday spirit! Lights in our parking lot are a teaser of what’s to see inside. Delight in the shimmering Winter Wonderland near the Love Farmhouse, an Angel-Crossing at the bridge, a Holiday Lane and be wowed by the gigantic multi-coloured Christmas tree sparkling near the carousel. (To preview some of the scenes, head to our Photo Gallery.)
Eco-sculptures, adorned with shining holiday lights, are out of their winter hibernation and along the edge of the meadow.
And of course, you can enjoy the traditional sights, sounds and tastes of Christmases of the past throughout the entire village – as you stroll through the Village look for scenes from storybooks, take part in a scavenger hunt, enjoy the seasonal entertainment and be sure to look for the special display by the Miniature Club of BC.
With so many things going on here, there is something for the whole family. Carousel rides are $2.30 each. Schedule of events can be found here.
Also opening this weekend on Saturday, November 24, though running through Monday, December 24 daily is the Vancouver Christmas Market.
The Vancouver Christmas Market is an authentic outdoor German Christmas village featuring unique holiday shopping, seasonal music and entertainment, kids activities and traditional food and drinks. Kids activities include: carousel ride, Holly and Jolly the gingerbread mascots, decorate a chocolate lollipop or your own gingerbreadman. It takes place in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza.
Cost: $5; $2 kids 7 – 12; free for kids 6 and under
Visit their site at Christmas Market
The holiday season is upon us and this weekend starts a couple holiday fairs for the whole family.
Candytown (November 23 & 24) is a new holiday festival put on by the Yaletown business association. Lights and candy canes will adorn lamp poles and costumed characters will parade down Mainland street transforming the heritage district of Yaletown into a winter wonderland. You’ll also find Mainland Street filled with local artisans, street performers and live music.
Friday, November 23 » 3pm – 9pm
Scotiabank Yaletown Ice Rink 3pm – 9pm
All I Want for Christmas Street Market 3pm – 9pm
Horse-drawn carriage rides 3pm – 9pm
CandyTown Cocktail tour 6pm – 9pm
Saturday, November 24 » 12 noon – 9pm
Scotiabank Yaletown Ice Rink 12 noon – 9pm
Appearance by NHL alumnus Trevor Linden 12 noon – 3pm
All I Want for Christmas Street Market 12 noon – 9pm
Horse-drawn carriage rides 12 noon – 9pm
Visits with Santa (bring your own camera!) 1pm – 5pm
Reindeer barn 1pm – 5pm
CandyTown Cocktail tour 6pm – 9pm
For more information, visit their site at Candytown