Christmas Calendar of Events around Victoria

Published Nov 23, 2017 | Updated Apr 17, 2018

The best Christmas events of 2017 happening around Victoria, the Peninsula, Westshore and beyond. 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.

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 :^)

Victoria

Festival of Trees

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 Bay Centre (previously the 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!

When- November 15th- January 2nd, everyday, mall hours
Where- The Bay Centre, Victoria
Cost- By donation

Gingerbread Showcase

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 18th- January 2nd, everday, 10am-9pm
Where- Parkside Hotel, Victoria
Cost- By donation

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!

When- Saturday November 25th, 5pm- 7pm
Where- Inner Harbour, Victoria (along Government St. up to Chatham)

Centennial Square Tree Light Up

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 7pm! Bring the whole family- rain or shine.

Note- for those of you looking for the big Ferris Wheel this year, it is no longer in operation due to it not being functional in wet weather (as sad as this is... Kind of makes sense for Victoria).

When- Saturday November 25th at 7pm
Where- Centennial Square, Victoria
Cost- Free. Donations accepted for the Mustard Seed.


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.

When- Sunday November 26th, 2017 at 2pm (light up happens at 5pm)
Where- Oak Bay Village
Cost- FREE


A Christmas Carol

Watch this Holiday classic come to life! The Belfry’s acclaimed production returns, along with some of the best-loved Dickensian characters of all time. A story of love, generosity and second chances, it takes us through the darkness and into the light of true joy and celebration!

When- Shows run from November 28th - December 15 at various dates and times. See schedule.
Where- Belfry Theatre, Victoria

Movie Night at the Market - The Holiday

The market will be getting in the Christmas spirit by screening The Holiday! The market is open ahead of time, so come early for some dinner from the market vendors, shop for some Christmas presents, then get your spot.  There will be popcorn selling by Kernels Popcorn for only $2 a bag! Limited seating is available so it's a good idea to bring your own chair.

When- Wednesday November 29th at 7pm
Where- Victoria Public Market
Cost- Free. Bring a donation of any amount to CFAX Santas Anonymous

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.

When- Christmas in old town runs November 16 - December 24
Santa will be there during weekends from 10am - 2pm
Fri-Sun, December 1-3
Fri-Sun, December 8-10
Fri-Sun, December 15-17

Where- Royal BC Museum
Cost- Regular admission rates apply, photos wit 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 gourmet popcorn and house-made ice cream treats with the price.

When- On three Tuesdays this December at 6:15pm

Where- Oak Bay Beach Hotel, Victoria
Cost- $30 per person

Lighted Truck Parade

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 2nd 
Where- Downtown Victoria
Cost- FREE

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

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.

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.

When- December 1st- January 6th- Every Day 4pm- 10pm
Where- 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)!

When- Saturday December 2nd, 8:30am - 10am
Where- 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. More info here.

When- Sunday December 3rd at 5pm
Where- Along Beacon Avenue, Sidney

Horse Carriage Tours


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 3-23, 12pm - 4pm
Where- Mary Winspear, Sidney
Cost- $30 per carriage


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 30th 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 30th, 3pm-8pm
Where- Downtown Ladysmith

Langford Light Up & Truck Parade

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- Saturday December 2nd, 5pm-8pm
Where- Memorial Park
Cost- Free

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!

When- Wednesday December 6th, 6pm- 8pm
Where- Colwood City Hall
Cost- Free

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 until 8:30pm.

When- Weekends Fri-Sun December 1-3, December 8-10, December 15-17
And then Wed-Sat December 20-23
Where- BC Forestry Discovery Centre, Duncan
Cost- $12 adults, $10 children, 2 and under free

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