Vancouver attractions and neighborhoods light up the holidays with incredible displays that are wonderful fun for all ages. There are so many places to see Christmas lights in Vancouver, with the most popular being the Festival of Lights and the Stanley Park Christmas Train. There are also a few drive thru Christmas lights in Vancouver for those who have young children or enjoy seeing the holiday displays from inside their car!
Best Christmas Light Displays Vancouver
Bright Nights at Stanley Park
Welcoming over 200,000 visitors annually, the Stanley Park Railway is one of the popular Christmas activities in Vancouver with locals and tourists alike. Bright Nights and Stanley Park Holiday train is back for the 2023 holiday season in Vancouver
The 20 gauge, 2 km track winds through the forest over ground cleared by Typhoon Freda, the most devastating storm in Vancouver history which blew through in 1962.
Passengers can get a close-up look at a vintage engine and a quick photo before boarding for the 15-minute ride. Even if you cannot get tickets for the train ride, you can walk around the park and enjoy the lights.
The jewel of the Stanley Park Railway’s collection of old locomotives is a locally-built replica of Canadian Pacific Railway Engine #374, famous for pulling Canada’s first transcontinental passenger train into Vancouver in the late 1880s.
This event is a fundraiser for the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund.
Location: Stanley Park, 690 Pipeline Road, Vancouver
Dates: Nov 30th 2023 – Jan 1st 2024
Canada Place Christmas Lights
Enjoy a free outdoor holiday experience at Canada Place. The iconic sails will be lit up in a holiday light display. Stroll down the Avenue of Christmas Trees and enjoy the light displays at North Point including the 15-foot-tall Chrismoose. The historic Woodward’s Windows holiday scenes will also be on display. 8am – 10pm daily. While the experience is open both day and evening, the light displays and Sails of Light can best be viewed after 5:00 p.m.
If you are looking for more indoor displays, check out the best hotels with Christmas displays in Vancouver.
Location: 999 Canada Place, Vancouver
Dates: Dec 1st 2023 – Jan 2nd 2024
More Info: https://www.canadaplace.ca/events/christmas/
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
Named one of the most spectacular holiday lights displays in the world, Canyon Lights is set to dazzle and amaze, high above the forest floor. The suspension bridge, rainforest and Capilano River are ablaze with lights, Treetops Adventure (the eight tallest Christmas trees in the world) is lit from top to bottom, the “Arc de Lumina” light tunnel mesmerizes on Cliffwalk, while the Snowy Owl Prowl scavenger hunt entertains the whole family.
A tradition for many Vancouver families, Canyon Lights looks forward to welcoming back guests with a few operational changes to ensure the health and safety of visitors and staff in a COVID world. Tickets and annual passes will only be available for pre-purchase online for a specific date and time to limit contact upon entry and reduce capacity.
Dates: November 17, 2023 – January 21, 2024
Tickets: ONLINE HERE
Location: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Robson square is decked out full of Christmas lights each holiday season.
Dates: 2022 Tree Lighting dates TBD
VanDusen Botanical Garden Festival of Lights Vancouver
One of the well-known and one of the best Vancouver Christmas lights is the elaborate Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden. Explore 15 acres adorned with over 1 million twinkling lights, featuring a glowing display inspired by the vibrant colours and unique plants and animals from BC’s endangered Garry oak meadows. Enjoy holiday music and themed areas throughout the gardens.
Location: 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
Dates: Nov 24th 2023 to Jan 7th 2024
Tickets: Online in advance
Vancouver Tree Lighting
Back for another sparkling year, the in-person kick-off party for the city’s official Christmas tree––a shimmering, 75-feet-tall cone of 100,000 lights and fake foliage that’s just crying out for selfies––is a family-friendly live event and one of Vancouver’s most popular Christmas events. Sprinkled with festive cheer and toe-tapping live music (as well as gratis hot cocoa) Santa will also be on hand to offer his official seal of approval. And if you miss the big launch, don’t forget to beeline this way sometime over the holidays to enjoy the twinkling spectacle.
Date: Dec 1st 2023
Location: Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza
Vancouver Christmas Market
The famous Vancouver Christmas Market starts in November and features a German-inspired Christmas Market. For those who like a jump on the holiday season, it creates the perfect atmosphere to get into the holiday spirit. Experience a selection of traditional food and beverages, and browse vendors offering authentic wood carvings and toys, knitted goods, nutcrackers, pottery, and other unique gifts. This is a popular place to get Vancouver souvenirs.
Dates: Nov 16th – Dec 24th 2023
Location: Jack Poole Plaza, 1055 Canada Place Vancouver
Prices: Tickets start at $15.99 based on the type of ticket you purchase. Kids 6 and under are free.
Tickets: Pre Sale Tickets are available online. Tickets can also be purchased on arrival subject to availability.
Grouse Mountain Peak of Vancouver
Feel the enchantment and radiance of twinkling lights, the calm echo of the snow, and the joy of witnessing real reindeer. Experience the tranquil beauty of skating on our 8,000 square foot mountaintop Ice Skating Pond, surrounded by snow-topped trees.
Grouse Mountain offers more than just skiing. This Vancouver winter activity has skating, light walks, snowshoeing, and more. It is worth taking the tram up the mountain.
Get your admission passes here.
Lights of Hope at St Pauls Hospital
Since 1998, St. Paul’s Hospital has lit up every holiday season with a gorgeous Christmas light display you can walk or drive past. It uses over 10 kilometres of lights! The event raises money for the St. Paul’s Foundation.
Location: 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver
Dates: Late Nov to Early Jan
PNE Winter Fair
Come and celebrate winter, PNE-style. Visit Discover Santa where you can embark on the ultimate journey to meet Santa Claus by solving puzzles and cracking riddles, ride the PNE Holiday Express, and wander through Winter Lights presented by BC Hydro – a great place to snap a photo! – and go skating – or try the Ice Bumper Cars – at the Tim Hortons Ice Rink, and then warm up with the culinary extravaganza at the Holiday Eats & Treats.
When you’re ready for a break, you can enjoy live programming like Nutcracker on Ice and the Magic of Santa.
Dates: Dec 8, 9 and 14th – 23rd 4pm – 10pm
Tickets: Online or at the gate
Prices (in advance): Adults $25, Senior $19, Youth $19, Child $12
McArthur Glen Outlet
Feel the magic of the holiday season and be part of the festivities at our annual tree-lighting event, where a very special guest straight from the North Pole will be joining us November 16! Enjoy live entertainment, festive treats, and stylish fun for the whole family through November 18.
Dates: Nov 16-18 with displays up through the holidays
Location: 1000-7899 Templeton Station Rd, Richmond
Light Walk at Grouse Mountain
Experience magic in the trees on our enchanting Light Walk, open through the winter season starting at dusk. The entrance is marked by a glowing light tunnel, just off of the mountaintop Skating Pond.
Lights along the path around Blue Grouse Lake allow you to snowshoe or walk in the winter night. Marvel at the beauty with snow crunching underfoot. The glow of light against a majestic mountain backdrop is not to be missed!
Dates: TBD for 2023
Lights to the Lodge at Cypress
A safe and easy one-kilometre snowshoe trek to the historic Hollyburn Lodge along a self-guided trail through the enchanting Old Growth Forest. The trail is lit with LED lights strung sustainably through the forest boughs of ancient Cedar, Fir and Hemlock trees. After enjoying your visit to the Lodge and perhaps one of our popular menu items or refreshments, guests can snowshoe back to the base area along a return trail also with feature lighting. This invigorating trek will be great fun for families and groups of friends or colleagues – what a great way to spend a winter evening!
Location: 600 Cypress Bowl Road, West Vancouver
More Info: Online here
Beyond Vancouver Xmas Lights
Lights at Lafarge Lake
Lights at Lafarge Lake is one of the largest free light displays in Metro Vancouver, featuring more than 100,000 twinkling lights. This year’s Lights at Lafarge Kick-off event will take place on Friday, Nov 24th, 2023 from 5 – 8 p.m. at Town Centre Park, featuring food vendors, arts activities, and live entertainment. If you are wondering what to do in Vancouver in November and are looking for an outdoor activity, this is one you should add to your list.
Dates: Nightly from Nov 24th
Location: Lafarge Lake at Town Centre Park, 1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam.
Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum
Come experience Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum. Enjoy the special atmosphere of festive lights and traditional decorations. Wander the museum’s 10-acre venue and take in all the seasonal entertainment, demonstrations, and activities.
Enjoy a meal or treat at the new Mai’s Cafe, formerly the Ice Cream Parlour, or other offerings from food trucks. On December 2nd from 5-9 PM there will be a special tree lighting event!
Gate admission is free. Carousel rides are $2.52
Dates: Nov 25th 2023 – Jan 5th 2024
Glow Gardens Langley
It is the largest and brightest holiday event of the season, and this year, Glow Langley is returning this November. 2023 features a Christmas Carnival with heated and covered spaces, free carnival-themed games, towering carnival-themed lights, a craft corner in a “tent of makers”, along with the much-loved magical holiday landscapes, all under the thrill of more than a million lights that continue to impress guests.
There will also be a Merry Makers Market, with more than twenty local vendors, a new interactive kids scavenger hunt, live holiday performances, a holiday train ride, pictures with Santa, and interactive play zones.
To decrease crowding, entry to the event is staggered, and time slots are provided to guests so that everyone can enjoy the event more comfortably.
Dates: November 23 – December 30/2023
Prices: Adult $19.99 Child (4-12) $14.99 Senior (65+) $14.99 Family ( 2 Adults + 3 Child/Senior) $69.99
Location: 6690 216th St, Langley
Take part in activities for the whole family, including holiday light displays, a visit with Santa and lots more festive fun, all month long from November 23 until December 31, 2023.
Steveston’s also the perfect place to finish your holiday shopping with unique and eclectic offerings at charming local shops throughout the village.
Dates: 2023 TBD
Christmas in Willams Park
Williams Park is a popular drive thru Christmas Lights attraction.
Location: Williams Park, 238 Street & 68 Avenue, Langley
Bear Creek Park Lights
Bear Creek Park Lights offers a safe, fun family-friendly evening event. Enjoy the trails of the park gardens and be dazzled by a series of illuminated natural landscapes and whimsical light displays.
Dates: November 3 – 17, 2023 from 4:30 – 9:00 pm (except November 11th)
Location: Bear Creek Park, 13750 – 88 Avenue, Surrey
Squamish at Dusk
Squamish at Dusk is a brand new winter light art experience where you can journey through captivating light art installations weaving tales and transporting you to a winter wonderland. Experience a fusion of light, art, and narrative as installations transform Squamish’s Rose Park into a nighttime wonderland.
Dates: November 23 – December 10 2023 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights) 4pm – 10pm
Location: Rose Park, 38550 Loggers Ln, Squamish, BC
Surrey Civic Centre Holiday Lights
Equally as popular as the Vancouver tree lighting, the Surrey tree lighting is one of those holiday events that those living in Metro Vancouver should not miss. Every year, the City invites residents to watch Mayor and Council “flip the switch” to light the City’s 60ft Christmas Tree. Entering its 13th year in 2023 the festival has been extended to two days in 2023. This year, the festival will provide two days of free entertainment, children’s activities, food trucks, rides, and photos with Santa.
Date: November 25th and 26th
Location: Surrey Civic Plaza – 13450 104 Ave, Surrey
Lights on the Lake at Harrison Hot Springs
While this event gained a ton of online press for being mis-marketed as a Whoville, it is a beautiful display of lights in Harrison on Harrison Lake. Whether you visit for the day or make it a weekend getaway from Vancouver, it is a great outdoor event that is very popular each holiday season
Dates: late November until early Jan
Read More: things to do in Harrison Hot Springs
Vallea Lumina Whistler
Legends speak of a long-lost trail that leads to a secret valley. Join a twilight expedition to explore its mysterious beauty. Just 10 minutes drive north of Whistler village, experience a range of activities from TAG Whistler. Vallea Lumina is a sound and light experience that takes you through the forest, telling a story along the way.
The winter experience runs from November to April and is much more kid friendly than the summer experience because the show times are much earlier (since it gets dark much earlier in the winter months).
What to Wear: Full snow gear is recommended for kids. Dress in layers with warm coats, gloves and hats. Snow boots are recommended for walking on snow. Masks are required.
Things to note: Strollers and sleds are not permitted. There are stairs to walk down at the beginning and a bridge to cross. Those with young children should wear them in a carrier. The walk is about 30 minutes but you can go as fast or as slow as you want. Pets are not permitted.
Pricing: Adult $29.99 Child $24.99 (5 and under are free)
Related Winter Activities
If you haven’t been snowshoeing lately, now is the time to change that with these great Vancouver snowshoeing locations!
There are also plenty of places to go ice skating in Vancouver to get some more of that winter magic!
Lindsay Nieminen is the creator of UncoveringBC.com. She grew up and still lives in the suburbs of Vancouver with her family. She aims to inspire inform, and educate others about traveling in her home province of British Columbia. She is also the creator of carpediemourway.com which aims to show parents how to seek out adventure at home or abroad, with their children in tow!