Vancouver shines bright at Christmas. With its sweeping ocean and mountain views, picturesque waterfront parks and host of quaint shopping and dining districts, Vancouver dazzles in every season. However, explore the city in December, and you'll find an extra touch of whimsy. Festive window displays, strands of twinkling lights and exquisitely decorated Christmas trees inspire all the holiday feels.
While this year may feel slightly different, it's a great opportunity to embrace the holiday spirit and rediscover just how magical Vancouver is.
Plan Your Day of Merriment
As all of the attractions mentioned below require timed ticket entry, you'll need to plan your day in advance. It's best to begin your day of Christmas cheer downtown and Fly Like Santa first. Make The Peak of Christmas your next step stop, and finish with Canyon Lights after dark. You can either drive to the attractions and pay for parking or take public transit. FlyOver Canada is located mere steps from Waterfront Station's Sea Bus, Sky Train and Canada Line transit. For Grouse Mountain and the Capilano Suspension Bridge, simply catch the Seabus and hop on the Grouse Mountain bus (#236) after disembarking at Lonsdale Quay. The Capilano Suspension Bridge also offers a free shuttle on a first-come, first-serve basis, which departs from Canada Place. Check their website for more information.
To help guide your adventure, check out these top Vancouver attractions showcasing festive fun this season. The bonus? You'll save 35 percent when you purchase tickets to all three through VancouverAttractions.com.
Fly Like Santa at FlyOver Canada
Located in Vancouver's vibrant Harbour District, FlyOver Canada promises a thrilling coast-to-coast adventure with a unique holiday twist in December. Buckle-up, and take off from the eastern shoreline on your epic flight west, soaring over Canada's iconic destinations. Throughout the journey, keep a close watch for Santa's runaway elves as he desperately needs them home before Christmas Eve. Then, hang on to your toque as your flight veers sharply off course for an enchanting visit to the north pole. Complete the experience with lunch at the Flying Whale Waterfront Café and a wander along the Canadian Trail pathway to capture views of the North Shore Mountains and Stanley Park.
The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain
Discover a shimmering winter wonderland at The Peak of Christmas in December, when the north shore's famous ski hill transforms into the north pole. Plan to spend an entire afternoon experiencing all of the merriment, from the alfresco ice skating and twinkling light displays to seeing Santa's reindeer and crafting in the bustling Elf Headquarters. Then, take in a Christmas movie in the Theatre in the Sky and, of course, stop by Santa's workshop to wish him a very Merry Christmas. Dress warmly and bring your camera as Grouse Mountain boasts epic views of downtown Vancouver.
Canyon Lights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge
For the pinnacle of luminary displays, visit Canyon Lights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge. This hallmark holiday event is a beloved tradition among locals. Venture out on the sparking suspension bridge, high above the Capilano River and rainforest floor, to experience a spectacular canopy of colour. Gaze up at the world's eight tallest Christmas Trees, check out the 'Arc de Lumina' light tunnel and search for holiday cheer on the Snowy Owl Prowl scavenger hunt. Canyon Lights delights kids of every age; however, strollers aren't permitted on the attractions for safety reasons. Babies should be carried in a purpose-designed carrier.