Christmas Calendar of Events around Victoria

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Published Nov 16, 2016

The best events happening around Victoria, the Peninsula, Westshore and More. Parades, skating, beautiful lights, Christmas performances, the list goes on!

Victoria! You are in luck, there are absolutely HEAPS of Christmas events in the area this year. Find everything from light shows & parades to teddies and visits from Santa! Here’s a few of my top picks but I also encourage you to check out the full listing of family-friendly Christmas events that Victoria has to offer, listed on ChatterBlock over the next couple months!

Top Christmas Events for 2016


Festival of Trees

Every year, Victoria Festival of Trees has transformed The Empress into a lush forest of beautifully decorated trees to raise funds for BC Children’s Hospital. Due to renovations, it has been relocated to The Bay Centre. Sponsors, local businesses, organizations and individuals of this event come together and decorate trees — in sometimes wacky, often irreverent and always beautiful fashion. These enchanting trees are then displayed throughout The Fairmont Empress over the holiday season. Really an absolutely stunning site!  The event is open to the public seven days a week from the end of November to the beginning of January. Suggested donation of $2!

November 17th- January 3rd, everyday, mall hours
The Bay Centre, Victoria

Gingerbread Showcase

A “sweet” pick when it comes to kids christmas events Victoria! This November the Inn at Laurel Point, will host some of the country’s best bakers as they compete in Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase. Inn at Laurel Point 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!

November 19th- January 2nd, everday, 10am-9pm
The Inn at Laurel Point, Victoria

Bear Wear

The cuddliest event in town! Pick up a hot chocolate and walk through the elegantly decorated lobby of the Hotel Grand Pacific, and the festive display of teddy bears dressed up by local sponsors, businesses, and individuals to find your new favourite teddy bear. Past favourites have been anywhere from Dr Suess, Frankenstein, to Katy Perry! The suggested donation is $2, and then you can vote for the bear of your choice- the funds will support kids on the Island with special needs through Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. This years theme is Around the World. Bear Wear has raised over $503,000 to date!

November 28th- January 2nd, daily till 11pm
Hotel Grand Pacific, Victoria

Holiday Drive In Movies

The Archie Browning Sports Centre will be airing Christmas drive-in movies on select Fridays. Really a fun way to celebrate the holiday season! The event is free, but they do suggest a $5 donation or perishable food item for the Rainbow Kitchen. Don’t have a car? That’s OK! An area will be set up for those brave souls at the front who don’t have a vehicle. Just don’t forget to check the weather, as the event will be held weather permitting; heavy rain, snow or strong winds will cause the event to be cancelled.

**waiting for their 2016 schedule & will update when available**

Centennial Square Tree Light Up

It's the 9th 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 7:30pm! Bring the whole family- rain or shine.

Saturday November 26th 6pm-9:30pm
Centennial Square, Victoria

Ferris Wheel

Also in Centennial Square will be the DVBA Ferris Wheel, it's back for action! See the lights of Downtown Victoria, but from 20 meters up! It's always better from above, right? Rides are only $2, there's local vendors in the square, holiday entertainment, an audio-reactive tree, and of course the beautiful view of the lit up ferris wheel.

November 29th- December 21st, open Fridays (5-9pm), Saturdays (1-9pm) and Sundays (1-7pm)
Centennial Square, Victoria

Island Farms Santa’s Light Parade

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!

Saturday November 26th, 5:45- 7pm
Inner Harbour, Victoria (along Government St. up to Chatham)

Christmas Festival Light Up in Oak Bay

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.

Sunday November 27th, 2pm-6pm (light up is at 5pm sharp)
Oak Bay Avenue, Oak Bay

Father Christmas in Old Town

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.

December 2nd- December 18th, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 11am-3pm
Royal BC Museum

Lighted Truck Parade

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. Really a fun event for the kidlets! 

Saturday December 3rd, 5:45pm- 8:30pm
Downtown Victoria

Lighted Ship Parade

After being mesmerized by the trucks, head to the Inner Harbour for the Lighted Ships! Boats of all sizes will sail through, with bright lights, for a magical Christmas show

Saturday December 3rd, 7pm
Inner Harbour, Victoria

Celebration of Lights

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.

Sunday December 4th, 5pm-7pm
Esquimalt Plaza, Victoria

The Peninsula

Butchart Gardens

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.

December 1st- January 6th- Every Day 4pm- 10pm
Butchart Gardens, Brentwood Bay

Breakfast with Santa

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)!

Saturday December 3rd, 8:30am - 10:30am
Mary Winspear, Sidney

Sidney Sparkles Santa Parade

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.

Sunday December 4th, 5pm
Along Beacon Avenue, Sidney

Westshore, Sooke & Up Island

Ladysmith Light Up Parade & Festival of Lights

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 24th 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.

Light up festival Thursday November 24th 3pm- 6:45pm, and lights will remain until January 8th
Downtown Ladysmith

Colwood Christmas Light Up

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!

Wednesday December 7th from 6pm-8pm
Colwood City Hall

Annual Metchosin Christmas Parade & Open House

Fire Trucks and Emergency Service vehicles will be decorated with bright lights and festive decorations as they tour the streets of Metchosin for this spectacular Christmas ParadeThe parade starts at 6pm from the fire hall and takes about 90 minutes to complete. Hope to see everyone there!

Sunday December 11th from 6pm- 8pm
Metchosin Fire Hall

The Christmas Express at the BC Forestry Discovery Centre

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.

December 2-4th,  9-11th, and 16-23rd from 4pm-9pm
BC Forestry Discovery Centre, Duncan

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Joelle Blaikie

Written by Joelle Blaikie

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