Victoria! You are in luck, there are absolutely HEAPS of Christmas events in the area this year.
In this list, we outline our favourite annual events (plus some cool new ones) but if you are looking for the MASTER LIST of all holiday events happening around Victoria, the Peninsula, West Shore, and even some up island- then head to our Christmas calendar of events on ChatterBlock.
We hope you have a very merry Christmas :^)
The 27th Annual Festival of Trees is proudly hosted by the Bay Centre. Visit us, and see the Bay Centre transformed into a lush forest of hand-decorated trees. Share in the spirit by voting for your favourite, with all proceeds supporting the most urgent health care needs of kids in BC.
When- November 21 - January 6
Where- The Bay Centre Victoria
Cost- By donation
A “sweet” pick when it comes to kids Christmas events Victoria! This year it is Parkside Hotel (previously Laurel Inn) that will host some of the country’s best bakers as they compete in Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase. Parkside Hotel works in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Victoria on this incredible annual event.. all funds raised from the public support Habitat for Humanity Victoria and it’s efforts to make affordable homeownership possible for low-income families living in the Victoria region. So come on down and check out this years creations!
When- November 16th- January 5th, everday, 10am-9pm
Where- Parkside Hotel, Victoria
Cost- By donation
Ho, Ho, Ho… Bring the family to this festive, annual parade to celebrate the holiday season. Enjoy an array of dazzling floats and marching bands that travel along the magically lit Government Street from Victoria’s Inner Harbour to Chatham Street. Meet up at the Capital Iron parking lot for delicious free treats courtesy of Island Farms. Parking will be a bit of a nightmare so I suggest making a day of it downtown and arriving early or consider taking public transit!
When- Saturday November 30th, 5pm- 7pm
Where- Inner Harbour, Victoria (along Government St. up to Chatham)
It's the 11th annual Christmas Tree Light-Up in Centennial Square- turning into a Victoria holiday tradition. There will be musical performances, free treats, toonie rides on the Ferris Wheel, and of course thousands of lights switched on at 4pm! Bring the whole family- rain or shine.
When- Saturday November 30th at 4pm
Where- Centennial Square, Victoria
Cost- Free. Donations accepted for the Mustard Seed.
One of my favourite Christmas events in Victoria! The Oak Bay light up will be the last Sunday in November and will be at precisely 5 pm! The thousands of lights that have been hung on the buildings, lampposts, and trees will light up, and Christmas will officially be right around the corner. Family fun begins at 2 pm with bouncy castle, street hockey, games, crafts, face-painting, music, magicians, and an appearance from Santa! The lighted truck convoy concludes the festival.
When- Sunday November 24th, 2019 at 2pm (light up happens at 5pm)
Where- Oak Bay Village
“If you’ve finally had your fill of “It’s a Wonderful Life” but are still in search of seasonal catharsis, might I suggest a very charming alternative, one that offers sentimentality without shame? It’s called “Every Brilliant Thing,” and it’s pretty much guaranteed to keep your eyes brimming.” —NEW YORK TIMES
When- Shows run from in December at various dates and times. See schedule.
Where- Belfry Theatre, Victoria
Can you imagine a more magical place to visit with Father Christmas than the decorated street of Old Town? Share your holiday wishes and have your photo taken to preserve this special moment. Included with admission.
When- Christmas in old town runs November 22 - January 9
Santa will be there during weekends from 10am - 3pm
Fri-Sun, December 6-8, December 13-15, December 27-29
Where- Royal BC Museum
Cost- Regular admission rates apply, photos with Santa are by donation.
Christmas Classic Movie Nights
Cuddle up for these family-friendly Christmas classics! Taking place in the swanky Oak Bay Beach Hotel in the David Foster Foundation Theatre, you'll get a dinner buffet, gourmet popcorn and house-made sweet treats with the price.
When- On three Tuesdays and Wednesdays this December at 6:15pm
Where- Oak Bay Beach Hotel, Victoria
Cost- $40 + tax per person
I'd say this is one of the favourite events of the season! Every year the Island Equipment Owners Association gets together, decorates their big trucks and parades throughout our city. The IEOA Lighted Truck Parade starts at 5:45 pm at Ogden Point, winds along Dallas Road and through Oak Bay and ends at roughly 8:30 pm at Western Speedway. Note- this year is a slight route change, trucks will turn off Douglas at Yates St, back into town on Blanshard.
You can join the Christmas light up at Ogden Point beforehand. From 3pm to 5:30pm they will have local vendors, a photo booth, and you can watch Santa arrive by tugboat!
When- Saturday December 7th
Where- Downtown Victoria
The Sea of Lights, lighted ships parade off Willows Beach in Oak Bay, Cattle Point and Gyro Park at Cadboro Bay has become a cherished holiday tradition and the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season for the Oak and Cadboro Bay communities.
When- December 6
Where- Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Cattle Point, Willows Beach
The Celebration of Lights includes a parade, light up, entertainment, visit from Santa and refreshments. The best night of the year in Esquimalt! The parade is always popular with kids of all ages, and has proven to be a fun way to kick off this fantastic celebration.
When- Sunday December 8th
Where- Esquimalt Plaza, Victoria
All throughout December the Magic of Christmas features fabulous illuminations, holiday wreaths, carolers, brass bands, ice skating and festive dining, making for an exciting and memorable experience. Enjoy the outdoor ice rink lit up with soft twinkling while listening to live, seasonal music. Warm up by the toasty fireplace after a skating session with a hot drink in hand. Kids are invited to get creative and bring a decorated paper snowflake from home to deck out the Coffee Shop; they will receive a cup of hot chocolate as a thank you! Don't miss the annual Twelve Days of Christmas outdoor display throughout The Gardens.
When- December 1st- January 6th- Every Day 4pm- 10pm
Where- Butchart Gardens, Brentwood Bay
A delicious Pancake Breakfast will be served by the Sidney Lion’s Club at a cost of $7 per adult and $5 for children under 12, at the door. Face painting by Susi Sunshine! There will also be photos with Santa (by donation)!
When- Saturday November 30th, 8:30am - 10am
Where- Mary Winspear, Sidney
Get ready for Sidney to literally sparkle! The Santa Parade runs along Beacon Avenue and Second Street, so grab some tasty hot chocolate, grab a seat, and keep your eyes our for Santa! Hint- he'll be on top of the Sidney Fire Truck. Once the parade is over, make sure you head straight to the waterfront for the Lighted Boats. They'll make their way along the coast from Sidney Harbour to Tulista Park. More info here.
When- Sunday December 1st at 5:30pm
Where- Along Beacon Avenue, Sidney
Take a festive ride through downtown Sidney! In a horse drawn carriage, take a tour of the quaint town of Sidney while all the lights sparkle bright. Each carriage can seat up to 6 people, they highly recommend making reservations to ensure you get to take part More info here.
When- Saturdays & Sundays from December 1-22, 12pm - 4pm
Where- Mary Winspear, Sidney
Cost- $40 per carriage
Join in for the 14th annual First Night New Year’s Eve celebration! Enjoy an activity-filled evening that includes swimming, skating, face painting, our inflatable obstacle course, and much more. This family friendly event will be topped-off with a spectacular fireworks display!
When- New Year's Eve December 31, 2019
Where- Panorama Recreation
Cost- $8-$16 per person
Westshore, Sooke & Up Island
From the last Thursday in November to the first Sunday in January, the town of Ladysmith is ignited with the life of thousands of twinkling Christmas lights! Visit anytime to feel the magic, or be there on Nov 28th when the lights first get lit for some extra special fun. There will be a craft fair, street entertainment, a parade, and even fireworks! Santa will arrive downtown to turn the lights on at 6:30pm sharp.
When- Thursday November 28th, 3pm-8pm
Where- Downtown Ladysmith
While the Christmas tree lighting is the star of the show, this event offers free fun for the family with live entertainment, food trucks, and more!There will be lots of fun activities for the family including; the Goldstream Station Market, Musical Entertainment by the West Shore Community Band, Rotary Club of West Shore (Victoria, BC) will be serving Free Hot Dogs & Hot Chocolate (while supplies last), West Shore Parks & Recreation will have crafts for the kids and there will even be a visit from Santa! Stick around after the Lightup and watch the IEOA Truck Parade!
When- 2019 dates TBD
Where- Memorial Park
Enjoy free food, treats and hot chocolate provided by some of our valued local shops and eateries, while listening to the amazing musical performances by local groups. There will be fun craft activities for kids, led by volunteers from West Shore Parks and Recreation to keep them busy while they eagerly await Santa’s arrival by fire truck! The light up of City Hall will signify the start of the Christmas season!
When- 2019 dates TBD
Where- Colwood City Hall
Take a ride on the Christmas Express, visit with Santa Claus, dance to live Christmas music, make a Christmas tree craft in the schoolhouse, watch the model train display, and warm up with hot chocolate or a snack in Train Station Treats. Something every family should experience this Christmas!
Santa Claus will ride the first train, leaving at 4:30pm, and then will reside in the main museum for pictures and visits! Train leaves every 20 mins until 8:30pm.
When- Weekends Fri-Sun December 6-8, December 13-15
And then Wed-Sat December 18-23
Where- BC Forestry Discovery Centre, Duncan
Cost- $12 adults, $10 children, 2 and under free
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