Something to do, something to eat. That’s how we built our 2017 list of 45 Vancouver Christmas events, foods, and activities!
If you’re looking to get in the holiday spirit, you’ll love the variety of Vancouver Christmas events that take over the city. From craft fairs to cozy beverages, holiday markets to festive tours, here’s our round-up of 2017 foods and festivities that can satisfy any holiday craving!
1. DO | Canyon Lights at Canyon Suspension Bridge
Take a classic holiday excursion to explore the glimmering lights over the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Cliffwalk, and Treetops Adventure! Breathtaking!
Nov 23, 2017 -Jan 28, 2018
Tickets: Adult – $42.95
2. EAT | The (vegan) Chocolate Orange Ice Cream at Rain or Shine Ice Cream
If you love those Terry’s Chocolate Oranges, you’ll fall in love with this seasonal flavour from Rain or Shine! The Kitsilano shop has mastered their vegan flavours, and the Chocolate Orange is no exception!
3. SEE | Holiday Balloon Display Extravaganza
The 2017 holiday festivities at UBC’s Westbrook Village are bigger than ever! All ages will enjoy free admission, the large-scale balloon display, horse carriage rides, and craft fair.
Dec 2, 2017
4. DRINK | The Diablo Cookie Porter
Meet the lovechild beer creation from our World’s Best Food Truck Tour partners, Tacofino, and two local craft breweries, Superflux Beer and Four Winds Co. Inspired by Tacofino’s famous Chocolate Diablo cookie, this cozy Winter porter is chocolatey and spicy.
5. SEE | Nutcracker Ballet at Queen Elizabeth Theatre
A classic by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Dec 14-19, 2017
Tickets: Prices vary
6. EAT | Beta 5’s Christmas Cream Puffs
Meet Spiced Eggnog Owl, Douglas Fir, Honey Bear, and Fireside Cheer. Browsing through Beta5’s stunning chocolate catalogue is a Christmas activity in itself!
7. SEE | Yule Duel in Gastown
Vancouver’s historic neighbourhood, Gastown, lights up with song as dozens of choirs go head-to-head in a series of sing-offs. All proceeds benefit May’s Place Hospice in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside
Dec 7, 2017 – 6:00-9:00pm
8. DRINK | The Hearthright at Bauhaus Restaurant
It’s one of Gastown’s loveliest spaces. We can’t wait to escape from the chilly weather and warm up with Bauhaus’s Hearthright cocktail – rye, chestnut syrup, whiskey barrel bitters, and mandarin fruit leather. Yum!
9. DO | The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain
Photo Credit: Grouse Mountain
Take a trip to the the “North Pole” for breakfast with Santa & real reindeer!
Nov 24, 2017 – Jan 7, 2018
Tickets: Families – $89.95
10. EAT | Sunday Afternoon Tea at Mosquito Dessert
Photo Credit: Mosquito Dessert
Sunday Afternoon Tea at Mosquito Dessert is filled with festive flavours like Orange Blossom Madelines and Chocolate Mango Mousse. Make it a day by exploring Gastown’s decorated streets and boutiques.
11. SEE | Lights of Hope at St. Paul’s Hospital
Photo Credit: @deanabberly
100,000 dazzling lights every night on Burrard St! Viewing the lights is free, but this is St. Paul’s largest fundraiser of the year – you can donate here or text LIGHTS to 45678 to donate $20.
Nov 16, 2017 – Jan 8, 2018
12. EAT | The perfection that is “Buche de Noel” at Thierry
Otherwise known as the “Yule Log,” Chef Thierry has taken this traditional French dessert to new heights for 2017. The shop is known for all things chocolate, but we’ve got our eye on the Fromage Blanc with lemon curd, raspberry gelee, and sable base.
Foodie Tip: The macarons featured on our Guilty Pleasures Gourmet Tour will come in holiday flavours!
13. DO | Flyover Canada
Buckle in for a 4D “flight” …Santa has lost his elves in the North Pole!
Nov 23, 2017 – Jan 2, 2018
14. EAT | The Turducken Sandwich at Meat and Bread
Be warned, the line wraps around the block. The exact dates of this sandwich are TBC, but we’ll be checking in with Meat & Bread on our Gastronomic Gastown Tour and we’ll keep you posted!
Dec 21-23 (to be confirmed).
15. DO | Vancouver Christmas Market
Photo credit: cbc.ca
A picturesque German Christmas Market that is a Vancouver holiday tradition! Explore 75 huts stuffed with food, crafts and Christmas fun.
Nov 22 – Dec 24, 2017
Tickets: Adult – $10
16. SEE | Vancouver Symphony Orchestra – A Traditional Christmas
Sit back and enjoy the talents of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra!
Dec 8-10, 13-17, 2017
Tickets: Prices Vary
17. DO | The Christmas Classics Market Tour
Join an indulgent Foodie Tour to experience the holiday magic at the Granville Island Public Market. Filled with lights, scents, smells, and excitement, you’ll skip the lines to taste the coveted holiday foods that chefs + foodies wait all year for! (Hint…see #11-13)
Tickets: Adult – $51.99
18. EAT | Oyama Sausage Company’s Truffled Duck Salami
Granville Island’s legendary charcuterie shop is the most popular stop in the Market, especially during the holidays! Tip: Join a Christmas Classics Market Tour to skip the crowds, taste Oyama’s seasonal creations, and enjoy an exclusive 10% discount!
19. DRINK | Steamy Chai Lattes from Granville Island Tea Company
This spicy, creamy, dreamy cup has all the Christmas feels.
20. EAT | Gingerbread Donuts at Lee’s Donuts
Nothing rings in Christmas on Granville Island quite like Lee’s Gingerbread donuts. To have them hot and fresh, right out of the fryer, join the 10:30am Christmas Classics Market Tour!
21. DO | Eastside Flea Holiday Markets
A gem-of-a-market where you’ll find unique Christmas gifts from local businesses, food trucks, and holiday fun.
Various dates in Dec 2017
22. DO | CandyTown in Yaletown
A free outdoor Christmas festival. Stroll through Yaletown amidst lights, giant candy canes, food stalls, and Christmas gift vendors.
Nov 25 – 12:00-7:00pm
23. EAT | Chocolate Orange Bread at A Bread Affair
It’s organic, so it’s guilt-free! We can’t let you in on what we’ll be featuring from A Bread Affair on Christmas Classics Market Tour, but, in addition to this Chocolate Orange Bread, there’s all kinds of seasonal recipes in the test kitchen right now!
24. DO | Free Skating at Robson Square
Photo Credit: Georgia Straight
BYO skates, or rent on site for $4.00! Cash only.
Dec 1, 2017 – end of Feb 2018
25. DRINK | The Smooth Mocha Porter
A boozy collaboration between two local favourites – JJ Bean Coffee Roasters and Granville Island Brewery! This smooth and chocolatey porter is a small batch, limited edition beer – drink it while you can!
26. DO | Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park
Three million lights twinkling with Christmas magic!
Nov 30, 2017 – Jan 6, 2018
Entry: By donation
Night train tickets: Adult – $12.00
27. EAT | The Tarte Tatin at Au Comptoir
Allow us to explain this festive decadence: the Tarte Tatin is an upside down tart where the fruit is first caramelized in butter and sugar before it’s baked. Au Comptoir’s version of the deliciously sticky creation features apples, spices, and raisins.
28. SEE | Rogers Santa Claus Parade (Free)
Over 300,000 Vancouverites will head downtown for the parade!
Dec 3, 2017 – starts at 12:00pm
29. EAT | All the Nuts at The Nut Merchant
We didn’t know we could love nuts this much. The Nut Merchant on Granville Island has sweet and savoury concoctions that are perfect additions to mezze platters or 100% delicious on their own. A pack of Maple Sriracha Pecans will disappear in no time!
30. DO | Kitsilano Winter Market
A one-day event to stock up on your locally-sourced Christmas gifts! The cozy neighbourhood house will be featuring 33 local food, clothing, and craft vendors!
Dec 2, 2017
31. DRINK | Lions Winter Ale from Granville Island Brewing
Hints of vanilla, cocoa and caramel – it’s a Vancouver staple during the holidays! Keep your eye out for this on restaurant menus or head down to Granville Island to taste it at the brewery!
32. SEE | Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Gardens
What can we say, the holiday season in Vancouver is filled with food and Christmas lights. Don’t miss the lights/music show over The Pond! Don’t forget to buy tickets online to save $3.00!
Dec 1, 2017 – Jan 7, 2018
Tickets: Adult – $18.10
33. EAT AND DRINK | The Spirit of the Season at Edible Canada
Edible Canada’s final Canadian Table Dinner of the year features mocktails, canapes, and a family-style feast! For foodies with an appreciation for local fare, meeting the chefs, and great company, these events can’t be beat.
Dec 5, 2017
34. SEE | The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
A family-friendly classic by the Carousel Theatre for Young People on Granville Island! Recommended for ages 5+.
Nov 25-Dec 31, 2017
Tickets: Adult – $35
35. EAT | Thomas Haas Christmas creations
Thomas Haas and his master chocolate makers go ALL OUT for the holidays. Check out their Instagram feed…they go ALL OUT.
36. SEE | Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver (Free)
Stroll through the lobby of the Hyatt to see 30+ gingerbread creations designed by secondary schools, professionals, and amateur culinary artists.
Dec 1-29, 2017
37. EAT | Egg Nog Frissants at Swiss Bakery
It’s a Fritter-Croissant, otherwise known as the Cronut of Canada. We fell head-over-heels for Frissants when Swiss Bakery started making them, and for December 2017, they’ll be back with their Egg Nog Frissant and another (TBC) seasonal flavour!
38. DO | Get a Grinch Tree
We’ve spotted these adorable pots at V&J Plant Shop in the Granville Island Public Market!
39. EAT | New Year’s Eve Snowshoe Fondue at Grouse Mountain
Photo credit: Grouse Mountain
Ring in 2018 with a one-hour guided snowshoe tour followed by a scenic cheese and chocolate fondue! There are just 3 times slots available, so act quick if you’re keen to do this one.
Dec 31, 2017
40. DO | A Photowalk in Gastown
Capture Gastown’s dramatic reflections and dazzling holiday lights with Vancouver Photowalks. Take your photography to a new level with long exposure light trails and other special effects. It’s a perfect location to master those elusive night shots!
Various dates: $99
41. EAT | All the baked goodness at Beaucoup Bakery
The 2017 holiday cookies include Pecan Praline Shortbread, Malted Coffee Thins and Smokey Russian Tea Cakes!
42. SEE | Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting
Photo credit: NZR Productions
Head down to Robson Square to watch four magnificent Christmas trees come alive with light. The plaza is lively with music, free cookies and hot cocoa, and (our favourite part) food trucks!
Dec 1, 2017 – 5:30-7:00pm
43. EAT | The Epic Tiramisu at Nicli Pizzeria
Everyone talks about the Neopolitan pizza at Nicli; it’s even featured on our Gastronomic Gastown Tour. What people don’t know is that Nicli makes killer desserts, the Tiramisu being our favourite. It’s fluffy, light, and it’s got that lil’ kick of booze that we like!
44. SEE | The Christmas Queen 4 at Vancouver TheatreSports
Buckle in and get ready to laugh – the hilarious Christmas Queen returns to Granville Island for 90-minutes of holiday improv!
Nov 22-Dec 23, select dates
45. DRINK | Cocktails on the Winter Terrace
The Reflections Lounge at Hotel Georgia has been transformed into a Winter Terrace for the Christmas season. Sip on festive cocktails and get cozy under the twinkling lights!
Happy Holidays from all of us at Vancouver Foodie Tours!