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A Guide to Classic Canadian Christmas Traditions in the Greater Vancouver Area

Whether you’re a newcomer to Canada or visiting the Greater Vancouver area during the holiday season, get ready to embark on a magical journey through these classic Christmas attractions and events. This guide will help you explore and immerse yourself in the festive spirit while highlighting some of the most beloved local experiences!

1. Ice Skating at Robson Square

One of the most iconic Vancouver traditions is ice skating at Robson Square. Nestled in the heart of the city, this outdoor ice rink offers a perfect opportunity to lace up your skates and glide beneath the sparkling city lights. It’s a romantic and fun experience and easily accessible by public transportation.

2. Stroll Through VanDusen Festival of Lights

VanDusen Botanical Garden hosts the Festival of Lights, a long-running and captivating holiday light display through its grounds. Parking is limited and so we advise using alternative modes of transportation or plan your trip accordingly to find parking!

3. Attend the Santa Claus Parade

The Vancouver Santa Claus Parade is a beloved tradition where Santa himself arrives in grand style. It’s a festive extravaganza featuring colourful floats, marching bands, and, of course, Santa’s sleigh. Unfortunately the event was unable to find a title sponsor and so it has been cancelled for the 2023 year.

image courtesy of Vancouver is Awesome (VIA)

4. Attend the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

Embrace the cultural diversity of Vancouver with the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival, where the city comes alive with lantern-lit processions, live music, and artistic performances. It will take place at three different venues in 2023 – in Yaletown, at Granville Island and in Strathcona.

5. Enjoy a Classic Canadian Feast

Although Canadian and American Christmas feasts tend to have lots of overlap, some uniquely classic Canadian additions include a hearty serving of tourtière (meat pie), butter tarts, and buttery shortbread cookies. Specifically in the Greater Vancouver area, with the diversity of cultures and cuisine that we have access to, “traditional” Christmas feasts include a wide range of options that are perfect for sharing with your loved ones (hot pot or korean barbecue anyone?)

6. Visit Glow Langley: A Christmas Carnival Wonderland

Glow Langley has been a staple to the community since 2017 and is dedicated to creating magical moments and ensuring the best possible value for you during this festive season. The Christmas Carnival theme magically transforms the Glow Garden Centre into a magical wonderland, complete with sparkling lights, charming Christmas displays, and a wealth of festive activities for the whole family. The joy of the season fills the air, inviting you to immerse yourself in the magic.

When it’s time for holiday shopping, don’t miss the Merry Maker’s Market, where over 20 vendors showcase treasures galore, perfect for finding unique gifts for your loved ones. There will also be gourmet food trucks ready to serve mouthwatering treats, satisfying your cravings throughout the event.

But there’s more. Step outside to experience the enchanting outdoor light displays in the crisp winter air. There are also expanded indoor spaces this year, ensuring you stay cozy and dry while enjoying the event, no matter the weather.

To ensure families are getting the best value of spending their time at Glow Langley, throughout the season, there are special events like FREE snack nights, (mini donuts anyone?) designed to make your visit truly special.

On December 6, there is also an exclusive event for seniors, where they will receive $6 off admission! During this special occasion, you’ll be treated to a quartet singing classic Christmas tunes and special festive treats curated just for you. It’s our way of saying thank you and spreading holiday cheer. Click here to buy tickets for Glow Langley, where magic, joy, and affordability come together to create cherished memories for you and your family.


As you explore these classic Canadian Christmas traditions in the Greater Vancouver area, you’ll quickly discover that the holiday season is a time of warmth, joy, and community. Be sure to include Glow Langley’s Christmas Carnival in your festive itinerary, and experience the enchantment it offers alongside these beloved local traditions. Whether you’re ice skating, admiring the festive lights, or savouring holiday treats, we hope your first Canadian Christmas will be a memorable and heartwarming experience.

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Glow-ing Is The New Black

Glow-ing Is The New Black

We’re lighting up Black Friday with a big announcement: Fun doesn’t just happen on the weekends anymore! With our Black Friday sale, you can plan a weekday visit to Glow Langley, and save 30%* on your tickets. We want everyone to have a chance to step into our wonderland of dazzling lights and create heartwarming memories.

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