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Take a Christmas lights-seeing tour on a vintage Vancouver bus decked out like Rudolph

Take in the magic of the holidays from your seat on a throwback Vancouver bus sporting Rudolph’s nose-so-bright as you tour neighbourhoods twinkling with Christmas lights.
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 This year's TRAMS Christmas Lights Tour will be in Surrey, on this New Flyer from 1991 decked out like Rudolph. Photo: This year’s TRAMS Christmas Lights Tour will be in Surrey, on this New Flyer from 1991 decked out like Rudolph. Photo: Transit Museum Society/Facebook

Take in the magic of the holiday season from your seat on a throwback Vancouver bus sporting reindeer antlers and Rudolph’s nose-so-bright as you tour Surrey neighbourhoods twinkling with Christmas lights.

The annual Christmas Lights Tour put on by the Transit Museum Society (TRAMS) is a unique way to see the holiday sights–and it’s a fundraiser for the incredible work the TRAMS volunteers do to restore and promote the region’s transit history, including their fleet of vintage vehicles.

The two and a half-hour tours depart at 7 p.m. from the Scott Road SkyTrain Station; the exact route will be determined closer to the event date to make sure the best and the most brightly decorated homes are on the tour.

The bus will pick up its passengers west of the station exit under the guideway (not in the bus loop).

Bus nerds, take note: the bus for this year's tour is a different one. It's 1991 New Flyer 3106, which was rebuilt before retirement. TRAMS preserved the bus in 2010. One of this bus' claims to fame: it struck a hydro pole on Granville Street in Vancouver in December 1996.

 One of the amazing homes decked out for Christmas as seen on the 2018 TRAMS Christmas Lights Tour in Burnaby and Coquitlam. Photo by Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is AwesomeOne of the amazing homes decked out for Christmas as seen on the 2018 TRAMS Christmas Lights Tour in Burnaby and Coquitlam. Photo by Lindsay William-Ross/Vancouver Is Awesome

You can also see this same bus on Sun. Dec. 1 as part of the Santa Parade of Lights in Surrey, and on Dec. 5 at the New West Santa Parade during WinterFest.

The Christmas Lights Tour is jolly fun, as the bus is decorated inside and out, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and get out and check out the incredible home light displays (even in the pouring rain, as it was for many of the 2018 tour nights!).

TRAMS Christmas Lights Tour

When: Dec. 13, 21, 22, 23, & 28, 2019. Tours depart at 7 p.m.

Where: Tours begin and end at Scott Road SkyTrain Station in Surrey

Cost: $5-25. Reserve online.

Editors' note: We learned following our original publication of this article that TRAMS is using a new bus this year; this article has been updated to reflect the new information.