Top 8 Holiday Things to Do with Kids in Vancouver
The holidays are upon us, and that means that there are a plethora of meals to plan, presents to buy, and charities to support. But wait! Before you get caught up in all of the “things to do” that accompany the season, be sure to plan a bit of fun – especially if you have children in your life. From festivals to Santa sightings, here is our countdown of the top 8 places to head with the young ones in Vancouver at Christmastime.
8. The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker is perfect for kids as the show is filled with wonder and a fanciful cast of characters. Kids love watching the live performance as they are transported to the magical world of Clara and her imagination. This show performed by Bunheads Adult Ballet School is so mesmerizing to watch.
7. A Christmas Carol
You may want to leave the teeny ones at home, but A Christmas Carol is a holiday classic for children of all ages to enjoy. Pacific Theatre brings to life this tale of a miserly soul whose mind is changed by viewing his past, present, and future during the holiday season.
6. VanDusen Botanical Garden
Not only does the VanDusen Botanical Garden have beautiful plantings, bird walk tours, and storytime for preschoolers; but the gardens are decked out as the holidays go into full swing. Visit their Festival of Lights where over 1 million lights decorate trees and pathways, and children can tell their Christmas wishes to Santa himself. Their Dancing Lights show takes place on Livingstone Lake, and you can also enjoy a holiday snack as you peruse the decorated gardens.
5. Vancouver Santa Shuffle
Adults can shuffle in this annual 5k Fun Run while the kiddos participate in the 1km Elf Walk. No matter their pace families can enjoy this annual event together. The best part is that dressing up is encouraged! Have fun getting together crazy Christmas costumes like Rudolph, Mrs. Claus, or the 3 Wise Men as you prepare to burn off a few pre-Christmas calories at the Vancouver Santa Shuffle.
4. The Peak of Christmas
For kids who have always wanted to visit the North Pole, this is the place! A real winter wonderland, Grouse Mountain is known as The Peak of Vancouver and offers activities year-round. In the snowy season, guests can ski, snowboard, and ice skate. When the holidays hit, Santa arrives in his workshop. Children can see real reindeer, make crafts, go on sleigh rides, and enjoy other Christmas activities up on the mountain during The Peak of Christmas.
3. Kids Day
Head to the Vancouver Christmas Market for live entertainment, free arts and crafts, and participate in a market-wide treasure hunt. Children can bring a donation for the Children’s Wish Foundation instead of paying an entrance fee, which is a fabulous way to teach them about charity during the holiday season. Kids Day also includes visits by princesses, time with Santa, playing in the Kinder Kraft Igloo, and carousel rides. What a fun time!
2. Candytown – A Yaletown Holiday Festival
This outdoor festival takes place in downtown Vancouver on 3 streets that are transformed into a winter wonderland. Adults can get a bit of shopping done with local merchants as costumed characters walk through the streets. Listen to live music and carolling and take a peek at the ice sculptures. Kids can also visit with Santa and the Ice Queen, and everyone can get a bite at one of the food trucks on-site. Candytown has so much to offer during a whole day of fun for families.
And #1! Christmas Glow Vancouver
If having a winter wonderland indoors seems too good to be true – it’s not! That is exactly what happens when guests visit Christmas Glow Vancouver. Adults and kids alike will enjoy light displays, live entertainment, and interactive hanging lights that make the perfect backdrop for an adorable photo.
There are also a ton of child-centric attractions such as bouncy reindeer, visits with Santa, playing on the playground, and a ride on Glen the Glow-comotive. Adults can cross items off of their gift list by shopping at the artisan and boutique market booths, and families can enjoy the many food and drink options. Bonus: there is a licensed bar with seasonal beverages for those who are of age.
While you are there, don’t forget to let the little ones stroll through the light tunnel and sit on the LED swings. Christmas Glow Vancouver is truly a magical place to be during the holidays as they offer a bit of something for everyone.
No matter what you choose, be sure to plan ahead to include some family fun along the way. Want an extra tip? Sing carols and look at lights while you are on your way home to make your time even more festive.