#GetThrifty,  Stuff + Things,  Tourist in my town

12 Days of Hygge Day 1: Merry and Bright Vancouver Christmas Activities

Um, it’s December 1. What?!

While I’m gob-smacked at how quickly December came, this is one of my favourite times of year. I tend to contain my excitement until about December 5 and then let it loose; but because I’ve been planning some holiday season blog stuff since mid-October, my excitement started early. It’s partly the Brit’s fault. He sent me a link in October for a Christmas light event that was starting November 24 and it all snowballed from there…

As part of my exploration (okay, obsession) of hygge, I wanted to share all the things that make me feel happy and cozy, particularly during the holiday season – the most hygge time of the year! Starting today, I’ll be posting every day as part of my #12DaysofHygge. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed putting it together! 🙂

Seeing everything lit up and bright is one of the best parts of the season for me, and Metro Vancouver does not have a shortage of lit up events and locations! Here are three of my favourites plus a few more that I hope to get to this December!

Glow Christmas Light Garden and Market

Last year, Vancouver had a light maze and market called Enchant Christmas (which is in Texas this year). This year, we have Glow Christmas (and its over 500,000 lights!) in Langley. While Enchant was outside, Glow is inside the enormous Milner Village Garden Centre greenhouse, which took the experience up a notch in my mind. It was nice to enjoy the lights and market while inside, feeling toasty and warm. The music stage and food trucks are outside, but you can bring everything in, and also enjoy some beverages from the Mistletoe Bar.

We purchased early bird tickets for the first Saturday, which included a food voucher and a complimentary drink each, but the food and beverage prices are reasonable. You can also get a fair amount of Christmas decoration and present shopping done in the market as there are many artisan vendors selling their wares. If you don’t live in the Fraser Valley, I promise you it’s worth the trek sand crossing a bridge or two!

  • Dates: November 24 – December 30
  • Tickets: Various Prices
  • Location: 6690 216 St, Langley
  • Hours and more info can be found here.


VanDusen Festival of Lights

This is one of my Christmas traditions (usually with my mum, and now with her and the Brit) and I’ve been almost every year for longer than I care to admit. The dancing lights are my favourite part and I like getting a hot chocolate and a warm pretzel to munch on. There are also many areas set up for photo ops and selfies.

It’s a rain or shine event (so bundle up and bring that umbrella!) with a very decently priced entry cost of less than $20 CAD. Which is amazing considering how much power those lights must use, environmentally friendly LED’s or not!

We are going this weekend, so maybe I’ll see you there!

  • Dates: December 1 – January 7
  • Tickets: $18.50 online or $19.00 at the gate
  • Location: 5251 Oak Street (at West 37th Avenue), Vancouver
  • Hours and more info can be found here.

#GetThrifty – Purchase your tickets online. It’s slightly cheaper and less hassle (read: no standing in line at the gate for tickets).

Lights of Hope at St. Paul’s Hospital

If you’re in Downtown Vancouver at night in December, something beautiful that has an amazing purpose is the Lights of Hope display at St. Paul’s Hospital on Burrard Street. Each star is available to be sponsored as a fundraiser for the St. Paul’s Foundation and it’s really stunning to look at. I hope to be able to donate towards a star one day and I love to see them because they remind me of goodness and hope – we need more of that these days. If you are able to do so, it is the 20th year of stars and a lovely cause. More info can be found here: http://lightsofhope.helpstpauls.com/.

  • Location: 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Other Merry and Bright Options in Metro Vancouver

Free Holiday Lights Walking Tour

Hosted by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA). Reserve a free spot and get more info here. (Dec 5, 13, 20 from 4:30-6:00pm)

Vancouver Christmas Market

Located at at Jack Poole Plaza next to Canada Place, this is as close to a traditional German Christmas market as Vancouver gets. It’s great fun and very festive. The Olympic Cauldron is all dressed up in lights as is Canada Place, so it’s all worth checking out! My Swiss friend, Nina, from Nina Worldwide was just there and had the best time! More info can be found here. (Nov 22 – Dec 24) 


Bright Nights at Stanley Park Christmas Train

A lovely family activity put on by the Vancouver Park Board. This fills up quickly, so make sure to get your tickets ASAP! (Nov 30 – Jan 6) 

The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain

Want to see a winter wonderland? This is the place to go. Makes a nice treat date night, and a lot of companies like to do their Christmas parties up there to give their staff some holiday fun. More info can be found here. (Nov 24 – Jan 7)

Orla, my lovely Irish friend from travelorlabout.com was just up at Grouse for her work Christmas party and it looked magical!

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

This is probably the most magical of the light displays, because you are wandering through the treetops in a bright light fairy tale wonderland. I haven’t been in a couple years, but I hope we have time this year. Ticket and additional info can be found here. (Nov 23 – Jan 28)

#GetThrifty – Admission to Canyon Lights is a bit more on the expensive side but if you buy or have an annual pass, that is your ticket for year-round access to the park!

Get on a Boat

There are some Christmas dinner cruises that I hear are worth checking out!

Happy December 1, everyone!

Let your light shine. ~ Matthew 5:16

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