Located at the Harbour Convention Centre from around November until January, Christmas Glow was a new winter holiday festival in Vancouver.
Last year Christmas Glow took place in both Vancouver and Abbotsford. In 2020 it happens in a drive-thru format in Langley.
To learn more about the event from past years, continue reading. To learn about the drive-thru-style event this year though, click Glow Langley 2020.
EVENT RETURNS TO LANGLEY
In 2020 Glow Christmas takes place again in Langley. It started out in Langley a few years ago before setting up site in both Abbotsford and Vancouver last year. Beginning in mid-November, its new location for 2020 was going to be the Vancouver Zoo. That plan changed though, as did the format of the event.
Glow Christmas in 2020 is taking place at Milner Garden and Darvonda Nurseries at 6690 216 Street in Langley. That’s where Glow Christmas first took place several years ago. It’s a drive-thru event this year though, where people get to drive around the venue in their vehicles. The event runs on select dates between December 8th in 2020 and January 30th in 2021.
Note: In late November, as part of its efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, the BC Government announced that major events couldn’t take place for the period between November 19th and December 7th. For this reason, Glow Langley’s starting date got postponed until December 8th (which was a couple of weeks later than originally planned). For the most up-to-date details about the status of the attraction see the Glow Christmas website.
Visit the Langley Christmas Glow page for more information about the event in 2020.
Vancouver’s Christmas Glow Holiday Festival
A couple of years ago there was Christmas Glow in Langley. In 2019 the hugely successful event set up in two locations instead of just one – in both Abbotsford and downtown Vancouver.
Christmas Glow 2020 took place in Langley during the 2020/21 season. It was going to run from November 18th to January 2nd. Its start date got postponed though until December 8th because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Christmas Glow Vancouver
Christmas Glow Vancouver promised to be an exceptional event, and it delivered on that promise. It was beautiful, at a convenient location and guaranteed to put you in a festive spirit.
The same as both Christmas Glow in Langley a couple of years ago and Christmas Glow Abbotsford last year, the festival featured beautiful holiday light illuminations, Christmas sculptures and family-friendly activities. What’s more? The attraction was indoors (which made it perfect for Vancouver’s ordinarily rainy winter weather)!
The one thing that Glow Vancouver didn’t have that the Langley venue had a couple of years ago and the Abbotsford location had in 2019 was an artisan market. You were still able to buy souvenirs at the Vancouver festival, but for a market with multiple vendors you had to visit the festival’s Fraser Valley location.
Where and When
(Note: Times, dates and other details listed below were subject to change.)
The Vancouver festival set up at the Harbour Convention Centre which is located at 760 Pacific Boulevard by False Creek and the Plaza of Nations. The building used to be the Edgewater Casino, and years before that the pavilion for British Columbia during the 1986 World’s Fair (a.k.a. Expo 86).
Christmas Glow ran at its Vancouver location from Thursday, November 21st, 2019, until Saturday, January 4th, 2020.
The festival was open every day of the week except for Mondays and Tuesdays in late November. In December it ran every day except for Monday December 2nd, the Tuesdays of December 3rd, 10th and 17th, and Wednesday December 25th (so Christmas Day). In January Christmas Glow operated daily from January 1st until the 4th.
2019 hours of operation are listed below. Again though, exact details were subject to change. We expect 2020 details to be similar.
November 2019 Glow Opening Hours
Dates and times that the attraction was open in November in 2019 were the following:
- Thursday, November 21st – 4:00 to 10:00 pm
- Friday, November 22nd – 4:00 to 11:00 pm
- Saturday, November 23rd – 1:00 to 11:00 pm
- Sunday, November 24th – 1:00 to 9:00 pm
- Wednesday, November 27th – 4:00 to 10:00 pm
- Thursday, November 28th – 4:00 to 10:00 pm
- Friday, November 29th – 4:00 to 11:00 pm
- Saturday, November 30th – 1:00 to 11:00 pm
December 2019 Glow Opening Hours
During the 26 days that the festival was open in December, scheduled hours of operation were the following:
- Sunday, December 1st – 1:00 to 9:00 pm
- Weekdays of December 4-6, 9, 11-13, 16 & 18-20 – 4:00 to 10:00 pm
- Sundays of December 8, 15, 22 & 29 – 1:00 to 9:00 pm
- December 14, 21, 23, 27-28 & 30 – 1:00 to 10:00 pm
- December 24th (Christmas Eve) – 1:00 to 5:00 pm
- December 26th – 1:00 to 8:00 pm
- December 31st (New Year’s Eve) – 1:00 to 6:00 pm (and then again from 6:30 until 10:00 pm for their New Year’s Eve event)
January 2020 Glow Opening Hours
During the first 4 days of January the festival was open from 1:00 until 8:00 pm. (Note: these were new times as of late December.)
- Wednesday & Thursday (Jan. 1 & 2) – 1:00 to 8:00 pm
- Friday & Saturday (Jan. 3 & 4) – 1:00 to 8:00 pm
Christmas Glow Admission Rates
Admission to the Glow Vancouver venue cost the following during the 2019/20 season when purchased online in advance:
- Adults – $19.99
- Seniors & Children (ages 65+ and 4 to 12) – $14.99
- Families (of up to 2 adults and 3 children) – $65.99
- Little Kids (ages 3 and under) – Free
- Adults – $22.99
- Seniors & Children (ages 65+ and 4 to 12) – $16.99
- Families (of up to 2 adults and 3 children) – $74.99
- Little Kids (ages 3 and under) – Free
- Adults – $49.99
- Seniors & Children (ages 65+ and 4 to 12) – $38.99
- Families (of up to 2 adults and 3 children) – n/a
- Little Kids (ages 3 and under) – Free
Benefits of season’s passes included admission for one “anytime” day (e.g., a Saturday or Sunday), plus unlimited visits on non-holiday weekdays (Mondays to Fridays). You still needed to book your times in advance, but could reschedule with no penalties. With a season’s pass you could also save 10% on Glow-branded merchandise.
- Taxes and online fees are extra.
- Tickets at the door cost a couple of dollars extra.
- Season’s passes were only available for adults, seniors and children, not for families. Families wanting to purchase season’s passes need to purchase an individual pass for each member of the family.
- Based on past experience (from the festival’s previous Langley venue), tickets on many days were expected to sell out (so book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment).
- When purchasing your ticket online you needed to select a specific time of arrival. Times were in one-hour time slots and this is done to ensure there are never too many people inside the venue at any given time.
- You could arrive anytime within your one hour time slot, and once inside you could stay for as long as you wanted. If you arrived outside your one-hour time period, however, the festival did its best to still let you in, but you might have had to wait a bit (and cross your fingers that the place didn’t get overbooked for the entire remainder of the day).
What to Expect at Glow in Vancouver
Similar to Christmas Glow when it took place in Langley the previous couple of years, Christmas Glow Vancouver featured thousands of holiday lights, LED swing seats, a glowing Hopscotch floor, live entertainment and a miniature train. New for 2019, the venue in Vancouver also featured about a dozen giant teddy bears you could take photos with, and a movie theatre where you could watch an animated Christmas film.
The Vancouver venue was close to 50,000 square feet in size, and it was all indoors! There were beautiful illuminated light sculptures, interactive games, live music and food vendors. Up until Christmas Eve there were also photo opportunities with Santa.
After Christmas Day, instead of Santa being on site, the venue added a number of extra child-friendly activities including face painting. Also during the final week or so of the season there were photo opportunities with the Glow Princesses and complimentary popcorn in the movie theatre.
The theme for Christmas Glow in 2019 was “Santa’s Lost Presents.” When they visited, guests got to explore illuminated pathways and help elves find Santa’s missing presents. If you found them all and you earned a prize (e.g., a Christmas candy treat).
If you like attractions, and wanted to experience an indoor one where you didn’t have to worry about the weather, you would have loved Christmas Glow Vancouver. It was beautiful, festive, family friendly and impressive!
Christmas Glow Video
Below is a promotional video about the Christmas Glow event in 2018. As you’ll see, it was an indoor event and had a very distinct international theme. As you’ll also see in the video, many of the light attractions from 2018 return in 2020, but this time outdoors.
Popular features of past indoor events included LED swings, giant kids’ play structures, artisan vendor stalls, a Christmas store and live entertainment. There have also been LED hopscotch lights, princesses and Santa Claus (all of which are also at the drive-thru event in 2020, but viewable only from a distance).
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips and important extra things to know for future Glow Christmas events.
TIP #1: For a limited time, if you booked well in advance and you could have saved up to 40% on tickets during ten of the first twelve days of the 2019 season. You had to use promo code Vancouver40 while the offer was still valid. Closer to the start of the season you had the opportunity to save 20% on select dates with promo code Vancouver20. Assuming the event happens again, similar discounts will likely be offered in 2020 too.
TIP #2: Also for a limited time, if you bought a season’s pass well in advance you could have saved up to 20%. Also, towards the end of the season, on select dates you could get discounted tickets for as much as 50% off!
TIP #3: If you buy a season’s ticket next year, be sure to take picture ID to prove who you are when you go.
TIP #4: Plan to arrive near the beginning of your scheduled arrival hour time slot. That way if you get delayed you’ll still have lots of time (and won’t have to risk waiting in line extra-long to get in). Also, if there’s a chance of arriving late, don’t select the last entrance time of the day.
For more information about the Lower Mainland’s newest winter holiday festival, check out the Christmas Glow Vancouver website.
For a list of other winter holiday things to do, click Best Vancouver Christmas Activities.
- Vancouver’s November, December and January Calendars
- Top Things to do at Christmas
- Lower Mainland Festivals & Events
- Vancouver Rainy Day Activities
- Vancouver for Children