Christmas Glow is a Vancouver winter holiday attraction in Langley with light sculptures and illuminations. This year was a drive-thru event because of COVID-19.
A few years ago the event took place in Langley. In 2019 it happened in both Abbotsford and Vancouver. In 2020 the event returned to Langley. It was originally going to run until January 2nd in 2021 but its season was eventually extended until January 30th.
To learn all about the drive-thru event during the Christmas season of 2020/21, and to see a Glow Drive-Thru Video, see below.
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Glow Langley Christmas Drive-Thru
Glow is one of the Lower Mainland’s most popular Christmas attractions (especially in 2020/21 because of its drive-thru-style format). The place is a massive collection of Christmas lights and festive displays that’s really impressive.
The company behind the attraction did a wonderful job on their 2020/21 Christmas drive-thru event. It was impressive and it made for a wonderful family outing. It’s hard to believe they were able to pivot at the last minute, switch to a drive-thru-style model within just a few days, and still deliver such a high-quality product. We checked out the event and were very impressed!
For tickets and more information see the Glow Gardens website.
Glow Dates, Hours and Location
In 2020/21 the event took place at the Milner Village Garden Centre at 6690 216th Street in Langley from December 8th, 2020, until January 9th, 2021. Originally it was going to run just until January 2nd. In mid-December, however, the organizers added January 4th until the 9th in 2021, and then later they added January 15th and 16th.
The event was so successful they then extended it again until January 30th. Final added dates were the Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays of January 21st to 23rd and January 28th to 30th.
Christmas Glow Langley was open most days in December, with exceptions being some Sundays and Christmas Day.
Hours of operation in the 2020/21 season were from 4:30 to 10:00 pm.
Dates and details regarding the 2021/22 season are to be determined.
Glow Admission Prices
Admission rates for the 2020/21 Christmas Glow event were different from previous years. Since it was a drive-thru event, the price was per carload of people rather than per individual. The cost in 2020/21 for a vehicle with up to 7 people inside was $29.99 (plus around $5 in online fees). So if you had a big family and were able to fit 7 people in your vehicle, that worked out to just $5 per person, which was a pretty good deal.
As an added bonus, each vehicle pass came with a bag of mini donuts, a bag of popcorn and a souvenir gift from Glow. This was at least a $10 value, but probably more.
You had to book your tickets for the event in advance as no tickets were available on site. When you did make your purchase you had to select a 15-minute time slot. When we went our tickets were for between 9:00 and 9:15 pm. You had to arrive within your time slot (plus or minus).
For tickets and more information see the Glow Gardens website.
What to Expect
In years without a pandemic, Glow features numerous Christmas light displays, child-friendly activities and a Christmas store. Most years there is also an artisan market with local vendors, kids’ activity areas, a miniature train and live music.
Due to COVID-19, the 2020/21 event was different from previous years. When guests arrived at Glow in their cars, they were greeted by friendly elves who delivered the snacks included with admission. Folks were encouraged to tune in to the GLOW FM radio station so they could enjoy music that accompanied the displays. Once inside the venue, there were all kinds of magical things to see. See below for more details.
What to Expect at Glow Langley in 2020/21
If you went to Glow Langley in the 2020/21 season, you would have pulled into the Milner Village Garden Centre venue and then seen signs directing you where to go. When we went there was no line up. We were able to drive right in.
After showing your ticket and getting it scanned at the entrance, you would have drove forward a little ways where an attendant safely delivered your gift package via a long pole. Inside the bag would have been half a dozen mini donuts, a good-sized bag of popcorn and a souvenir Christmas ornament. After you picked that up you continued driving and the adventure began.
The attraction really was well done! The place was set up as a one-directional maze. Fencing was tastefully decorated with millions of lights, and as you drove you would have encountered dozens of beautiful scenes. From start to finish it took us about 23 minutes to complete (so it was quite extensive and lasted for a good length of time).
If you’ve been to any of Glow Christmas’s events in the past you also would have recognized many of the scenes (which was actually nice as it likely brought back memories of past holiday seasons). On your journey you probably saw light sculptures of animals, Christmas ornaments and famous places from around the world. You also would have driven through more than one beautiful light tunnel.
Some of the light sculptures you would’ve encountered had you went included London Bridge in England, the Taj Mahal in India and a pyramid from Mexico. There was also a Chinese dragon and Chinese-style gate, as well as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre Museum from Paris. All looked stunning with their lights against the dark night sky.
Christmas Glow 2020 Drive-Thru Video
For an even better idea of what you would’ve seen in 2020/21, check out the following video. It features 1 minute and 44 seconds of the 20-plus-minute journey through the special Christmas Glow drive-thru event.
The video starts near the entrance, where the traffic attendant told us that it was our turn to proceed. Next you’ll see another staff person deliver our bag of popcorn and mini donuts at the end of a COVID-appropriate six-foot pole.
Near the start of your tour in the video, you’ll see the Glow sign all lit up, a Christmas tree and various presents and Christmas ornaments. You’ll also see penguins, the train that in past years people could ride, a family of moose, and what felt like a mile or more of beautiful lights.
Also in this video you’ll see a Dutch windmill, a horse-drawn carriage, a sparkling fountain, a light tunnel and famous landmarks from around the world. At the end you’ll even see Santa Claus! The variety of exhibits is impressive!
Tips and Advice
The following tips and suggestions were tailored for the Glow Christmas drive-thru attraction in 2020/21, though they may be relevant again in the future.
TIP #1: Go only with people from within your immediate household or other permissible “bubble” folk. If going with friends, be sure to keep your distance and go in separate cars. You are allowed up to 7 people in your vehicle. If you don’t have 7 people who qualify as being within your household, then don’t fill all the seats with people you shouldn’t be socializing with! It’s okay to go with a smaller more normal-sized group!
TIP #2: The lights are pretty evenly spread out and balanced between both sides of the road. If anything, there is perhaps slightly more to see on the left side than on the right. Consequently, next to the front two seats of your car, the best view is likely from the left passenger seats. There isn’t much difference between the two sides though. Just a tiny bit.
TIP #3: If heavy rain is in the forecast it wouldn’t hurt to take an umbrella. You will be in your car, but the scenes are best admired with your car windows rolled down. If it’s pouring rain, you might want to hold an umbrella outside your window so you can see clearly without getting the inside of your car all wet. The driver of course shouldn’t do this. For him or her though, your windshield wipers will keep the view nice from the front.
About Christmas Glow
Glow is the creation of the owners of Milner Village which is a large garden centre and greenhouse facility in Langley. They have a large garden centre store and farming operation. Their main crop is poinsettias, but they also grow tomatoes and a few other products.
Milner Village Garden Centre has massive greenhouses. Mid-winter is slow season for the garden industry and so between late November and the beginning of January they don’t need all their indoor space. Consequently, starting in 2017, the family-owned business turned one of its giant greenhouses into Glow – BC’s largest indoor Christmas attraction!
In 2018 Glow Gardens added a new indoor attraction – Harvest Glow – which was an autumn-themed event featuring pumpkins, a corn maze, mini golf and other family-friendly activities. It was a great success, although just a one-time event.
In 2019, due to zoning issues at its location in Langley, Christmas Glow had to move to a new Lower Mainland venue. That’s why the festival took place in both Vancouver and Abbotsford. Christmas Glow isn’t just a Lower Mainland event, however. Due to its tremendous initial success, in recent years they have had locations in Edmonton, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Saskatoon, Pittsburgh, Seattle and even Odense Denmark! In 2020, because of COVID-19, they operated only at their Langley location.
Glow Gardens is a fabulous “made-in-the-Lower-Mainland” success story!
For more information about the winter holiday attraction in Langley, see the Glow Gardens website.
For ideas on other things to do in the area or on other days in the month, check out any of the following: