The most magical places to see Christmas lights in Metro Vancouver this year

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Christmas Lights
VanDusen Botanical Garden/Facebook

A number of Metro Vancouver residents famously deck out their houses for the holidays; however, there are some Christmas lights displays throughout the region that are truly enchanting.

For example, VanDusen’s popular Festival of Lights transports guests into a twinkling winter wonderland, while the Peak of Christmas on Grouse Mountain creates a wintry oasis that feels exactly like the North Pole (save the blisteringly cold temperatures, of course).

So, if you plan on seeing all the glittering goodness the area has to offer, you’d better get out soon. There’s no shortage of magic in the Lower Mainland this year.

Langley’s Glow Christmas

Glow Christmas
Photo: inumimimi / Instagram

Glow Christmas returns to Langley for another season of festive enchantment. Over a million lights will twinkle in the event’s four displays, and one of them is an impressive, 63-metre-long illuminated tunnel. What’s more, the market showcases work from over 40 vendors, and there are a plethora of mouthwatering food-trucks on hand for when you get hungry.

When: Nov. 22, 2018 – Jan. 5, 2019 from Monday – Saturday 4 pm – 10 pm;  January 10-12 & 17-19 from Thursday to Saturday 4 pm – 9 pm
Where: Milner Village Garden Centre – 6690 216th St., Langley
Cost: Adults for $22.99, Family (up to two adults & three children) for $69.99, Children (4-13) & Seniors for $16.99, Children three and under are free. Tickets cost approximately $2 more at the door.

VanDusen Festival of Lights

Enter a magical world for the 34th year of sparkling lights and holiday cheer at VanDusen Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights. The expansive attraction features over 1 million lights spread out over 15 acres of the garden.

When: December 1 to December 20 (4:30pm – 9pm); December 21 to 24 (4:30pm – 10pm); December 26 to January 1 (4:30pm – 10pm); January 2 to 6 (4:30pm – 9pm)
Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
Cost: Prices vary on time of year

Lights at Lafarge

The holiday season will sparkle this year at the largest free outdoor lights display in Metro Vancouver during Lights at Lafarge from November to January. The popular attraction offers tens of thousands of lights installed in various configurations, including a beautifully lit 1.2 km walkway around Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam.

When: Nov 24, 2018 until Jan 20, 2019
Where: Lafarge Lake, Town Centre Park, 1299 Pinetree, Coquitlam
Cost: Free

The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain

The Peak of Christmas returns to Grouse Mountain with its annual display of festive enchantment and fun activities. Described as “Vancouver’s north pole,” the area sparkles with breathtaking light installations, including a majestic light tunnel and illuminated reindeer. Guests may watch a family holiday film on a big screen TV in the sky, or even take a magical sleigh ride.

When: November 23, 2018 – January 6, 2019
Where: Grouse Mountain – 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver
Cost: Complimentary with a Mountain Admission Ticket, Annual Membership, Winter Season Pass, or Lift Ticket.

Canyon Lights, A Winter Festival

The annual Canyon Lights event is set to transform the Capilano Suspension Bridge into a winter wonderland for another year of festive cheer. Thousands of twinkling lights will decorate the park, which includes the suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and canyon.

When: November 22, 2018 to January 27, 2019, 11 am – 9 pm, closed Christmas Day
Where: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Cost: $46.95 for adults, $42.95 for seniors, $34.95 for students, $27.95 for youth (ages 13 to 16) $14.95 for children (ages 6 to 12) and free for children under six

CP Holiday Train

train / christmas lights
CP Holiday Train

The CP Holiday Train is set to journey across Canada this year for its 20th year collecting food and raising funds for food banks across North America.In fact, the annual journey has raised over $14.5 million and gathered 4.3 million pounds of food for communities along CP’s routes in Canada and the United States.

  • Maple Ridge — December 17th at 7:45 pm to 8:15 pm
  • Pitt Meadows — December 17th at 9 pm to 9:30 pm
  • Port Moody — December 18th at 4:45 pm to 5:15 pm
  • Port Coquitlam — December 18th at 6:15 pm to 6:45 pm

When: December 17 & 18 at various times
Where: Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam
Cost: By donation

2018 TRAMS Christmas Lights Tours

What better way to tour Burnaby to see the city’s best and brightest Christmas light displays than riding on a vintage bus? How about if that bus is decked out like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? The two-and-a-half hour tour takes riders through Burnaby and Coquitlam neighbourhoods to see the region’s most breathtaking Christmas light displays.

When: December 14, 15,21, 22, & 28 7 pm.
Where: Departs 29th Avenue SkyTrain Station
Cost: $25/Adult, $15/ Seniors & Students (14-18), $7/ kids

Lights of Hope

The Lights of Hope at St.Paul’s Hospital offers an epic display of over 100,000 bulbs strung over 10km of lights. With the help of 150 hard-working volunteers and donated materials, the annual event takes an impressive six weeks to build.

When: Was lit on Nov 16
Where: St.Paul’s Hospital – 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Heritage Christmas

While there are a number of places to celebrate the holidays, Heritage Christmas at the Burnaby Village Museum offers a unique, old-fashioned experience. With thousands of sparkling lights, wreaths, vintage-themed displays and more, the area is transformed into a festive wonderland.

When: November 24 – December 14, 2018: Monday to Friday from 1-5:30pm & Saturday and Sunday from 1-9pm; December 15 – January 4, 2019: Daily from 1-9pm (closed December 24 & 25)
Where: Burnaby Village Museum – 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby
Cost: Free gate admission, Carousel rides $2.65 each

Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park

The Bright Nights Christmas Train returns to Stanley park for another year of festive choo-cho-cheer! The dazzling locomotive and the Stanley Park Train Plaza will sparkle with over 3 million twinkling lights, as well as breathtaking displays and live performers.

When: Thursday, November 29, 2018 – Saturday, January 5, 2019. Closed on Tuesday, December 25 for Christmas Day. Several trains depart during each half-hour time slot.
Where: Pipeline Road in Stanley Park
Cost: Adult (19 – 64 years)$12 + GST; Senior (65 years and over)$9 + GST; Youth (13 – 18 years)$9 + GST; Child (3 – 12 years)$8 + GST

Karaoke Christmas Lights Vancouver Trolley Tour

Christmas lights and singing along to favourite carols are two of the best holiday traditions. You can experience this festive two-fer in December thanks to the Vancouver Trolley Company, who are offering their annual Karaoke Christmas Lights trolley tour.

When: December 1 – 29, 2018; tours start at 6:30 pm and run for 3 hours
Where: Tour departs/returns to Canada Place
Cost: $60 for adults, $30 for children. Each ticket includes express entry to Festival of Lights and a donation to the BC Professional Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund.

Hi Light Festival

christmas lights
vancouversnorthshore

Park & Tilford lights up the season with the 30th annual Holiday Hi-Light Festival at Park & Tilford Gardens. Raising money for the North Vancouver Firefighters and their appointed charities, this annual event features a majestic festival of lights with over 150,000 on display over 3 acres. Entry is by donation.

When: November 30  to December 31, 7 – 10 pm
Where: Park & Tilford Gardens – 333 Brooksbank Avenue, North Vancouver

Surrey Winterfest 2018

Now, the Surrey Park is preparing to open Winterfest on Friday, Dec. 7. The annual festival is one of the city’s largest festive celebrations, and offers guests a number of magical activities. For example, The Christmas Train takes people all around the park, so that they may journey through a whimsical illuminated wonderland. The train is open Wednesday to Sunday from 6 pm to 9 pm.

When: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm: Friday, Dec. 7 – Monday, Dec. 31 *Closed on Dec. 25 & 26
Where: Bear Creek Park Train & Mini-Golf – 13750 88 Avenue, Surrey
Cost: $10 – $35

Vancouver Christmas Tree in Robson Square

christmas lights
Vancouver’s beautiful 76-foot tall Christmas Tree will be lit on Nov. 30, 2018 (@meghanthomas28/Instagram)

The 12th annual Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting took place on Friday, Nov. 30 in Robson Square; however, you may still join in the merriment and soak in the beauty of four magnificent holiday trees, including the stunning 76-foot tall tree, filled with hope and light.

When: Nov. 30 from 6-7 pm (tree lighting at 6:30-6:45 pm)
Where: Robson Square
Cost: Free

Looking for other fun things to do around the holidays in Vancouver? Check out our comprehensive list here.