Getting in the holiday spirit isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing. After yet another year of the pande-you-know-what, we all need a little nudge to get out of the house and into the world. And this year there’s a great big fat Santa bag of events and things-to-do. Here’s what to check out. —Catherine Dunwoody
holidays on the block. Grosvenor Americas is hosting a series of outdoor, all-ages events at its Brentwood Development site in Burnaby throughout December. In partnership with the Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival and BC Shop Local, it all kicks off with a fleet of fantastic food trucks plus local vendors, artisans and entertainers, live music and more—including Santa. Tickets are $5 each (children under six are free) and partial proceeds are donated to charity.
veranda fireside s’mores pop-up. The Fairmont Empress has created a cosy outdoor space where you can gather round a fire, sip a hot festive drink, enjoy s’mores and cuddle up while heaters and blankets keep you toasty. Thursdays through Saturdays, walk-ins only.
north star experience train. All aboard! Now through December 23, Guildford Town Centre (Surrey), Metropolis at Metrotown (Burnaby), and Tsawwassen Mills (Delta) invite you to try out this all-new holiday adventure at three different locations. Imagine a 3D sound and light show that takes place from your seat on the train as you gaze through the window to a magical world. Purchase tickets beforehand, which support the Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre, which strives to strengthen health, belonging and food sovereignty in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Guildford Town Centre: tickets here. Metropolis at Metrotown: here. Tsawwassen Mills: here.
festival of trees vancouver. A giving-back tradition benefitting BC Children’s Hospital Foundation for years, returning to the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Last year $50,000 was raised for sick kids by local BC companies and organizations who have decorated trees that will be voted on by the public as they visit the hotel throughout the holidays. This year, they’re aiming to raise even more. Free to the public and on until January 2nd, this is as pretty and peaceful as Christmas gets. More info here.
vancouver christmas market. Back at Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver’s largest and longest-running Christmas Market is on now until December 24th. This German-style, old-world market, now in its 11th year, allows you to stroll through an outdoor display of booths and mini-shops, sampling mulled wine, authentic European foods, riding the carousel, and taking in the holiday music and magical lighting. Tickets here.