It's that time of the year again. One look at the glistening fronts of cafes, shops, and condos near UBC and you can see it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. While the likes of the university area's Wesbrook Village and the strip of West 10th offer much to warm the Holiday spirit residents will flock all over Greater Vancouver to enjoy all that this month of December has to offer. Sure, many of the households in the local community on the hill already have their favorite events and activities that they attend on an annual basis but many of you are new to town. For those of you that have indeed just moved into the area I am using this week's UBC Realtor blog to introduce the Best Holiday Events in Vancouver:
Vancouver Christmas Market
At some point this month you will be joining the downtown crowds to go shopping, catch a movie, grab dinner, or partake in some other festivity - when doing so, be sure to pencil in a visit to the Vancouver Christmas Market. This market located in the lot beside Queen Elizabeth Theatre has only been around for four years but has fast become one of the most popular Holiday affairs in town. Themed after the world famous German markets overseas, attendees can expect a delightful overflowing of warm mulled wine, hot chocolate, German pastries, bratwurst on buns, handmade ornaments, traditional caroling, and more. The highlight for kids is the beautiful carousel on site that draws lines of rosy cheeked faces waiting patiently (ok, not so much) to take a spin. For more information on the Vancouver Christmas Market click here.
Bright Nights at Stanley Park
Bright Nights is likely the most traditional Holiday event in Greater Vancouver for families. This worthwhile annual event (proceeds go towards the BC Firefighters Burn Fund) is a must-visit attraction in December and the lines speak to its popularity (arrive early and dress warm!). The trees and icy ponds surrounding the Stanley Park train are lit all a glow as the train choo-choos along the mini-track to the delight of passengers. Others (averse to long lines) simply opt to stroll the grounds with hands cupping hot chocolate while enjoying the multitude of Christmas lights that accent every nook and cranny of this special section of Stanley Park. For more information on Bright Nights you can visit their website.
Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Gardens
The botanical gardens of Van Dusen become more magical than ever in December as the Festival of Lights makes its annual visit. The scene is amazing as the winding paths present thousands upon thousands of twinkling and sparkling lights. They (the lights) even dance as the hidden sound system near the garden's pond blasts wondrous carols and holiday tunes igniting an interactive light show that moves with the music. The recent addition to the Van Dusen Garden’s building offers attendees the option to duck inside for warmth and refreshments and a chance to grab presents and stocking stuffers for loved ones from the gift shop. For those that want to make a whole evening out of this seasonal affair, dinner at the on-site Shaughnessy Restaurant is the perfect way to begin or end your visit to the Festival of Lights. For more information on this Holiday event visit the website here.
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
Capilano Suspension Bridge is already one of the most popular attractions in Greater Vancouver but when you factor in lights to line the swaying bridge, cliff walk, and dot the hanging branches and tree tops of the rainforest you take things to a whole other level. With retail, eateries, and interactive exhibits to add to the night Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge comes highly recommended to entertain everyone in your household. For more information on Canyon Lights you can visit their website.
Grouse Mountain Peak of Christmas
For the ultimate, yet convenient (for those in the Lower Mainland), North Pole experience the Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain is the best place to visit this December. It will only take you about 30 minutes to get from your UBC home to the base of Grouse Mountain where the gondola will transport you to a winter wonderland. Even if you are not into snowboarding or skiing, the month long affair offers outdoor ice skating, authentic sleigh rides, reindeer petting, snowman making, and of course a visit with ol’ St. Nick himself inside of Santa’s Workshop. Visit their website for information and tickets to Grouse Mountain Peak of Christmas.
I hope this article helps spread the cheer for you and your UBC household this Holiday season. For any information about UBC real estate please feel free to contact my UBC Realtor office anytime.