Vancouver Christmas Lights

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Published Nov 28, 2014

It’s growing darker and darker outside just as the weather is cooling down, giving us much reason to bundle up, seeking warmth through hot beverages, family outings, and naturally, Vancouver Christmas lights! This beautiful city has much to offer this time of year, bringing great holiday spirit to all reaches of the city. We encourage you to read through our list of festive lights, and find an event (or more) to take part in this year! Nothing quite spikes my holiday spirit the same as the lighting of the trees, buildings, decor, and city at night!

When visiting some of the home displays, be mindful that many of these houses attract large numbers over the season, so drive slowly, or park a little ways away and walk. Some houses / streets can get very heavy traffic. Most large displays accept donations to a wonderful charity. If you and your family really enjoyed the lights, remember all of the hard work, time, effort, and money going in to bring the smiles to your faces! Maybe drive down some of the side streets too, there's always more houses waiting to be discovered!

The Top Areas for Self-Touring Vancouver Christmas Lights

2400-2900 blocks of Trinity Street (Vancouver) - a great place to take the family as the whole block is lit up! Check out all of the houses as they try to out-do eachother, and for $2 you can cast your vote. Proceeds go to Harbourview Daycare and Cottage Hospice. Dec 7- Jan 5

St. Paul's Hospital, 1081 Burrard St (Vancouver) - visit the Lights of Hope, a beautiful display of lights on the side of the Hospital

3236 W 1st Ave (Vancouver) - otherwise known as 'the penguin house'. Super cute!

1412 Laurier St (Granville/25th Area) - Mrs. O'Tooles Christmas House is one of the best in the city. 

4967 Chalet Place (North Vancouver) - you have to get out of your car and walk up to this one! A walk-up driveway display with Santa, elves, reindeer, snowmen and more. Lights that move to music, a star 100 feet up! Donations will go to charity.

678 Folsom St (Coquitlam) - this is one to check out, and it's no secret because thousands of people flock to this house each year. Over 50,000 lights dance to music, including Santa herding his reindeer flying through the air! This place really is magical.

1440 Cambridge Dr (Coquitlam) - have a train lover? A snow lover? This house has a electric train with bells and whistles, falling snow, nativity scene, gingerbread houses, Santa's workshop, and more. Donations go to BC Children's Hospital.

4280 Garry St (Richmond) - known as the Ho Ho Ho House, The Woodmans call this a little piece of the North Pole. There is a candy can walkway, a massive Christmas tree, and thousands of lights. Dec 3- Jan 1. Donations go to Wigs For Kids Foundation.

6728 Grant Pl (Burnaby) - kids will love all the characters at this house on the lawn, from deer, snowmen, cartoon characters, to decorated trees. Dec 1-Jan 1, donations collected will go to Alzheimer's Society of BC. Plus, BrightStar Care Vancouver will match all donations.

950 Kinsington Ave (Burnaby) - easily the brightest house on the block, and worth checking out!

7898 Kentwood St (Burnaby) - this house isn't as flashy, but 28,000 lights of pure elegance

16951 Jersey Drive (Cloverdale) - thousands of lights at this home, and some are synchronized to music! It's also complete with a nativity scene.

16956 60A Ave (Cloverdale) - an amazing display! Dec 1- Jan 2, donations go to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

6369 165A St (Surrey) - this impressive light display is topped off with an 8 foot and 12 foot Santa Claus, plus a light show to 20 different songs. 

19368 62A Ave (Surrey) - over 17,000 lights, characters, and a musical snowman.

4086 - 205B St (Langley) - tune in to 99.7 FM so you can watch and hear the lights dance to music.

Light Up Festivals & Attractions

50-Foot Christmas Tree Lighting at Vancouver’s Jack Poole Plaza - Don’t miss out on the beautiful Vancouver Christmas lights that will be in full illumination at Jack Poole Plaza for the 2014 Vancouver tree lighting celebration! With live music and holiday treats, this is one event you won’t want your family to miss.

When: December 5th, 2014, 5:30 – 7 pm
Where: Jack Poole Plaza, 1055 Canada Place

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge - Go to great heights this Christmas season while taking in the lights our beautiful city has to offer. The popular holiday events at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, including the lighting of the bridge, and the Canyon Lights, are sure to impress.

At 152-feet, the park boasts the world’s tallest living Christmas tree, Capilano’s own 250-year-old Douglas-fir. This spectacular tree will be decorated in thousands of impressive lights. In addition to the breathtaking lights, there will be events sucha as a children’s scavenger hunt, glass blowing workshops, sing-along carols with a live holiday band, and gingerbread cookie decorating. Partial proceeds from admission will be donated to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. Admission prices are posted on the website. It is important to note that part of the events are not wheelchair accessible, however all wheelchair visitors will receive admission complimentary. Dogs are permitted on leashes.

When: November 29, 2014 – January 3, 2015, 11 am – 9 pm (holiday festivities begin at 4 pm)
Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge, 3735 Capilano Road

Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Botanical Garden - With over 1.4 million sparkling lights, this Vancouver Christmas lights’ display is one you will want to see. Holiday events include dancing lights on Livingstone Lake, Svend and Jens (a nightly Scandinavian Christmas gnome performance), candy cane express model train, community choirs, Make-a-Wish candle grotto, photos with Santa, shadow puppet performances, and the Make-a-Wish Room of Joy featuring a Lego parade created by the Vancouver Lego club. Themed areas include the gingerbread wood, lantern alley, mistletoe mischief, and candy cane lane.

When: December 10, 2014 – January 4, 2014 (excluding Christmas day) 4:30 – 9 pm (open till 10 Dec 19-23)
Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden, 5251 Oak Street at West 37th Avenue

Vancouver Parade of Carol Ships - Decorated in full holiday lights and décor, the Carol Ships are a sight to see! With an event showcasing 50 decorated boats, shining brightly with thousands of flickering lights, carrying over 30,000 people during the December festival, you must be one of those who participate in taking in the breathtaking sight of this Vancouver Christmas lights display.

You and your family are welcome to enjoy live music, warm drinks, lively entertainment, face painting, and holiday craft demonstrations alongside a roaring bonfire. The Harvest Project will be graciously accepting donations of non-perishable food items.

When: December 5 – December 23, 2014
Where: Coal Harbour and the Westin Bayshore Resort & Marina

Bright Nights at Stanley Park - Do you have a train lover in your family? If so, this event is definitely one Vancouver Christmas lights event to keep high on your list. This holiday season, with over three-million glistening lights, you can enjoy the festivities in the Plaza at Stanley Park and while riding the Bright Nights Train. Partial proceeds from Bright Nights tickets go directly to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, and while entrance to the Bright Night’s Train Plaza is by donation only, there is a suggested price of $4.

When: November 27th, 2014 – January 4th, 2015, varying hours — check link
Where: Stanley Park

Heritage Christmas - The favourite illuminated displays from last year are back - the multi-coloured lights on the huge sequoia tree by the carousel, the tree-wraps in the Farmhouse orchard, the lacy white lights on the maple tree near Hill Street, and warm-white lights across the bridge. Create your own magical holiday show with sound-reactive lights at the bandstand. Make a noise then watch the lights transform. Over 400 lights twinkle and change colours in response to sound. How cool for the little ones!

Stroll through the streets of the Village to enjoy the traditional sights and sounds of Christmases past-wreaths, cedar swags and seasonal displays. There's something for everyone-festive entertainment, a craft for children and a special Scavenger Hunt based on The Twelve Days of Christmas. Also, enjoy the smells and tastes of the baking in the Farmhouse every Sunday. 

When: November 22nd, 2014 – December 12th, 2014, 1pm-5:30pm
Where: Burnaby Village Museum

Hi-Lite Festival - Over 100,000 lights on display sure makes this place bright! Open nightly throughout the Christmas season, and I would definitely check it out on one of the Family Friday Nights for an extra-special time. On December 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th will be free visits with Santa, hot chocolate, cookies, face painting, strolling characters, and more. Entry by donation.

When: November 28th, 2014 – December 31st, 2014, nightly 6-9pm
Where: Park & Tilford Gardens - 333 Brooksbank Ave, North Vancouver

Karaoke Christmas Lights - Want to enjoy more than one of the fun light festivities on this list? Well, hop on a festively decorated Trolley fully equipped with a karaoke machine while enjoying your holidays! With three hours of fun featuring the Van Dusen Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights and Stanley Park’s Bright Nights display, you’re sure to ring in the Christmas season with song and joy!

For those wanting a mix and match option of customizing their perfect Trolley experience, you are given the options of also visiting the Vancouver Christmas Market (complete with a season’s pass, mulled wine, souvenir mug, three carousel rides, gift voucher, and a food item of choice), as well as the Capilano Suspension Bridge, detailed above. In addition, there are hop-on hop-off city tours available as well, with stops in Vancouver’s popular Stanley Park, Granville Island, Chinatown, and Gastown.

This Trolley tour is family friendly, but by reservation only so be sure to book soon (604.801.5515).

When: December 10th – December 30th, 2014
Where: Depart from Canada Place at 6:30 pm every evening

Enjoy lighting up the city, Vancouverites!


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Joelle Blaikie

Written by Joelle Blaikie



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