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Christmas Activities Vancouver

Planning a Christmas getaway to Vancouver? This city is a magical place year round, but takes the magic to a new level for the holiday season with Christmas activities like ice skating, festive markets, holiday entertainment and live shows, and cozy indoor celebrations to make your Christmas getaway to Vancouver exciting and memorable.

Explore some of the best Christmas activities in Vancouver below! 

Explore Vancouver’s Winter Wonderland

Christmas tree in downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Experience enchanting light displays, an open-air ice rink, and the lighting of one of the largest Christmas trees in all of Canada.

Capilano Canyon Lights

One of the most popular holiday activities in Vancouver is the Capilano Canyon Lights, a holiday installation at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Cross the world-famous suspension bridge over the Capilano River, decorated with thousands of sparkling lights, then venture into the rainforest to walk high above a colorfully-lit winter wonderland. 

Robson Square Ice Rink

The Robson Square Ice Rink, a great holiday activity in Vancouver for families, couples, and friends, returns this year to the heart of downtown Vancouver. This ice skating rink opens annually in December, ringing in the start of winter and running through February. 

Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting

Visitors and locals alike gather for the lighting of western Canada’s tallest Christmas tree, the 76-foot tall tree at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Donors purchase bulbs to help light the tree, with proceeds benefiting the Vancouver Children's Festival. This free, family-friendly event will feature live entertainment and music, free hot chocolate, visits with Santa, and the iconic tree lighting ceremony. The Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting will take place on Friday, December 2023 at 6 pm.

Fleurs de Villes NOËL

Downtown Vancouver will host the Fleurs de Villes NOËL celebration from December 8 through December 17, 2023. See Vancouver’s bustling downtown streets adorned with extravagant floral arrangements and sculptures, including a self-guided floral trail through the city’s shopping district. This holiday celebration features floral displays like winter ice skaters, snow queens, reindeer, and even interactive selfie stations! 

Festive Shopping Experiences

Christmas gifts wrapped in bows and strings.

Visit the local Christmas markets and popular downtown Vancouver shopping destinations for all of your holiday shopping.

Robson Street

Robson Street, downtown Vancouver’s famous shopping district, is just steps from our Vancouver boutique hotel and is home to 150 of the city’s most popular shops. This street spans three blocks, and offers delicious dining options from upscale restaurants to quick pub bites to keep you fueled up for your holiday shopping in Vancouver.

Alberni Street

Alberni Street, also known as Luxury Row, is home to most of the luxury stores in Vancouver. This high-end shopping destination runs parallel to Robson Street, making it easy to visit both places and tackle your holiday shopping list, have a fantastic meal, and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Vancouver Christmas Market

A Christmas trip to Vancouver isn’t complete without a visit to the Vancouver Christmas Market. This outdoor market hosts over 50 vendors, offering traditional German food and products plus Christmas karaoke, a lantern parade, Christmas trivia, and more.  

Holiday Entertainment and Christmas Shows

Book with Christmas music.

Enjoy the sounds of the season with stunning theater performances and merry musical concerts.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Christmas Concerts

When it comes to holiday entertainment and Christmas shows, Vancouver doesn’t disappoint. One holiday tradition in Vancouver is attending a Vancouver Symphony Orchestra concert, a Traditional Christmas concert featuring talented guest soloists and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. This traditional Christmas show takes place at multiple venues – visit the VSO’s website for the schedule and event details. 

In addition to their famous Traditional Christmas show, The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has a busy Christmas season with other shows like Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Home Alone in Concert, The Snowman, and Elf in Concert! 

Centre Vancouver Holiday Shows

The Centre Vancouver will host two Christmas shows this year, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Nutcracker. The Winnipeg Ballet will perform their one-of-a-kind rendition of Nutcracker in Vancouver’s only professional production of this classic show. These unforgettable holiday experiences and others are waiting for you on your Vancouver Christmas getaway! 

Cozy Indoor Yuletide Celebrations

Christmas ornaments at a holiday market.

When it gets a little too cold outside, opt for these indoor yuletide events to stay warm.

Vancouver Aquarium's Holiday Splash

Get away from the winter chill with cozy indoor celebrations in Vancouver, like the Vancouver Aquarium’s Holiday Splash. Check out the aquarium’s THE POLAR EXPRESS 4D Experience, enjoy the holiday atmosphere, and delight in the Jelly Snow Globe! 

Vancouver Art Gallery

The Vancouver Art Gallery is open 7 days a week, the perfect place to enjoy the warmth of the indoors while experiencing ground-breaking exhibitions and selections from the museum’s collections. This art gallery is the site of the Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting – why not start with a museum visit and wrap up your evening with the tree lighting ceremony? 

Pacific Arts Market

For a fun holiday night out in Vancouver, visit the Pacific Arts Market. This free gallery and market in Vancouver features studios and gallery space, with over 100 local artists creating and selling their work. Stroll the halls and see the incredible variety of talents (and great Christmas gifts) available at this cozy indoor gallery, market, and studio space. 

From the captivating Capilano Canyon Lights and festive ice skating in Robson Square to live holiday shows and the city’s Christmas tree lighting, Vancouver is a winter wonderland during Christmas. Stay in in the heart of downtown Vancouver to be close to the holiday magic with Carmana Hotel and Suites, giving you easy access to these remarkable experiences.