Family-friendly Christmas Activities in Vancouver

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I’m going through my photo roll and it feels like I’ve blinked and weeks have magically flown by. We’ve spent a lot of time in Vancouver, BC in the past few months and though we didn’t really plan on doing too many festive things this year, we definitely have some fun Christmas activities in Vancouver to try again next year.
My birthday weekend coincided with the opening of the Robson street ice rink and we managed to get a few laps in.  The boys were really excited to see the Zamboni there too.

Zamboni at Robson Street Ice Rink
We also checked out Capilano Suspension bridge for the first time and although they didn’t have all the lights up yet, it was still a lot of fun.

Christmas Display at Capilano Suspension Bridge
The gingerbread lane at the Hyatt

Gingerbread Display at Hyatt Vancouver

and the festival of trees at the Sutton Place Hotel were nice too.

christmas tree at sutton place

I don’t think I would make a trek to Vancouver specifically to see them but the kids liked them as an interlude between activities and meals.  We also liked walking by the gigantic display at St Paul’s Hospital on the way to dinner at Stepho‘s one night too.

lights at St. Paul's Hospital Vancouver

I wish we made it back to Bright Nights Christmas Train and Grouse mountain this year-we’ve been in seasons past and are amazing so I need to make sure these are on our list for next year because they both are definitely worth planning a trip around.

VanDusen Garden Christmas Lights
The Van Dusen Botanical Lights were stunning too. We went with friends and though it was super crowded on the day we went it was a lot of fun too. We had a stroller in our party and this venue was definitely not stroller friendly but we managed to navigate okay. My guys especially loved the train and I enjoyed taking pictures of my family and friends with all the lights.

Lights at VanDusen Gardens

We also loved the way Minoru ice Arenas in Richmond decorates their rink for the holidays. It even ‘snows’ in the middle while you skate and I’m really glad we had our skating party there.

snow day at UBC

And one magical place we didn’t expect to be festive: we stopped UBC, our Alma Mater with the kids and found it delightfully empty, full of pockets of snow and neat places for the kids to explore.  We were only going to stop by for a short visit, but we managed to stick around for a whole morning.  The hubby and I even picked up our Alumni Cards (which has a great deal on the Musuem of Anthropology for the next time we visit!)

Koerner Library Christmas Decorations at UBC
I think many of these activities are finishing up this week so I’m definitely keeping this list for next year so we make sure we see the things we loved again.  Anyone else see any fantastic Christmas displays in Vancouver this year? I’m dying to hear how the Capilano Suspension Bridge looked all lit up at night!

(PS. I need to remember not to go to Granville Island on Christmas Eve.  It was absolutely busy and Oyama Sausage company even had a security guard directing the lineup because the line up was SO long!)

5 thoughts on “Family-friendly Christmas Activities in Vancouver

  1. We went to Van Dusen after Christmas and found it was ok with a stroller for the first hour or so but then after that it got kind of crowded in some of the narrower walkways so I would say to right when it opens if you have a stroller 🙂

    1. Good to know! Thanks Erin:) Did you make it to Bright Nights? Christmas break went by WAY too fast!

  2. We went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge all lit up in mid December. It was our first time but thought it was worth trying out, especially since BC residents get a year membership out of it!

    It was amazing all lit up. With all the lights, it was like you were in a forest from another world. And walking over the suspension bridge all lit up was definitely awesome. Highly recommend it!

    1. Thanks so much Steph! I totally want to see the Capilano Suspension Bridge lit up and I’m so envious of the BC residents membership. Definitely wanting to go next year:) Happy New Year!!!

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