The Vancouver in December Video showcases the holiday lights, special events and Christmas attractions that take place in the last month of the year.
There are parades, community bonfires, Christmas tree lighting ceremonies and illuminations everywhere!
December in Vancouver
The following video includes photos of Vancouver and surrounding communities taken primarily between 2016 and 2017. Enjoy!
Note: All photos in the above video were taken by Vancouver’s Best Places. The background music is ‘Christmas Morning Snow’ by Kensington Studios used under license from Shutterstock.
Vancouver December Video Scenes
How many of the scenes in the above Vancouver in December Video do you recognize? Wondering what some of the featured places are? Below is a list of what’s included in the video.
The video starts with a scene of the Vancouver skyline taken from North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay. Sunsets from the North Shore in December can be amazing and it’s only around Christmas time that the sun sets behind downtown Vancouver.
The close-up view of the Vancouver skyline at night is from Canada Place. In the scene you can see the SeaBus terminal at Waterfront Station in the foreground and the Harbour Centre building with the Vancouver Lookout lit up like a red Christmas tree in the distance.
The giant illuminated moose is part of a light attraction that’s new for 2017 at the end of Canada Place.
FlyOver Canada is also at Canada Place and features multi-dimensional film experiences year-round. From late November until early January the FlyOver Canada film features a special Christmas theme.
The next scene in the Vancouver in December Video is of Pacific Centre on Georgia Street. Outside the popular downtown shopping mall is a giant Christmas tree and holiday lights. Just around the corner at the (former) Four Seasons Hotel there are also decorated Christmas tree displays.
Down the street from Pacific Centre is Robson Square where there is free ice skating from December until February. In the week or so before Christmas free live music also takes place there on a number of days beside the ice rink.
December is a time for winter markets. A number happen over the course of the winter season including the Nat Baily Winter Farmers Market and Hastings Park Farmers Market which are both featured in the video. These and other markets are exceptional places to buy fresh produce, do Christmas shopping and support local artisans and farmers.
After the photos of the winter markets the video returns briefly to the Christmas at Canada Place attraction. The scene is of young children admiring one of the Woodward’s Christmas window displays that have been popular in Vancouver for generations.
Next to Canada Place is the Vancouver Convention Centre and Jack Poole Plaza. The first scene in this part of the video is of a man walking along the walkway on the roof of the Convention Centre with the snow-capped North Shore Mountains in the distance. The photo after that is of the Vancouver Christmas Market which is a popular Christmas attraction.
Vancouver’s Santa Claus Parade takes place on the first Sunday of December and attracts hundreds of thousands of people. Scenes of the parade include the Vancouver Christmas Market‘s gingerbread mascot, Father Christmas, the Vancouver Trolley and other parade entries.
The next scene in the video features a heritage building in Vancouver’s historic Gastown which is always wonderfully lit up in December.
The photo of the giant Christmas tree is from a concert at Broadway Church. The Singing Christmas Tree event is a series of performances in December that have been taking place in Vancouver since the late 1960s.
The Charlie Brown Peanuts’ display and Christmas illuminations with the giant red reindeer are from Bright Nights at Stanley Park. The popular attraction features a miniature train and over 3 million lights. Admission is by donation benefitting the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund.
The next two scenes are from the Festival of Lights at VanDusen Garden which features a million lights spread out over 14 acres.
Another popular Christmas venue is Lights at Lafarge in Coquitlam. The attraction is free and features holiday illuminations all around Lafarge Lake.
The train cars with lights are from the CP Holiday Train event which includes mini concerts by a fairly famous Canadian band. The train stops each year at communities all across Canada and in 2017 it visited Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Moody and Port Coquitlam.
Video scenes in Surrey include the Christmas light displays outside the Central City shopping centre and the Christmas tree in the plaza outside Surrey City Hall. The photo of the reindeer is from the Big Rigs for Kids Lighted Truck Parade which starts as part of the Cloverdale Santa Claus Parade and then continues on a road tour around Surrey.
The scene of the Santa Claus beside a British telephone booth is from the Christmas Store at Potters in Surrey. It’s in a massive 28,000 square-foot garden centre and promotes itself as the largest Christmas store in Western Canada. If you like Christmas-themed stores and you’re looking for unique decorations between late October and Christmas, it’s an impressive place!
Glow Christmas is another attraction that makes use of surplus agricultural business space over the holiday season. Whereas the Potters Nursery in Surrey becomes a Christmas store, the Milner Village Garden Centre in Langley becomes a giant indoor Christmas light attraction. New for 2017, Glow features a light maze, 210-foot light tunnel, live entertainment and an artisan market.
Fort Langley also gets decorated nicely over the Christmas season. The photo in the video is of the Community Hall in Fort Langley. In December there are also decorations and special events at the town’s historic site.
Another beautiful Christmas scene can be found in Richmond at McArthurGlen near Vancouver International Airport. Yes, it’s a shopping mall, but features tasteful decorations and high-end designer outlet stores in a European theme.
After leaving Richmond, the Vancouver in December Video goes next to Queen Elizabeth Park and the Bloedel Conservatory. There the Holiday Heights Christmas attraction takes place and visitors can admire views of the city.
The Winter Solstice Lantern Festival celebrates the shortest day of the year on December 21st. Lantern-making workshops, live entertainment, candle labyrinths and fire performances take place that evening at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden in Chinatown, at the Roundhouse in Yaletown and at various venues on Granville Island.
A popular activity year-round, but especially in December, is taking a trip on one of Vancouver’s Harbour Cruise boats. Some years there are Carol Ships Parades and other related events. Whether you are on a boat or just somewhere along the water, the decorated vessels with all their lights are a pretty sight to see.
December is also a time for community bonfires in some municipalities. North Vancouver has its Carol Ships Shoreline Celebration around the second weekend of December in Deep Cove. West Vancouver also has its Christmas Wassail & Bonfire Night on the Saturday just before December 25th as part of its month-long Dundarave Festival of Lights.
Also on the North Shore, one of the region’s most famous winter-season attractions is Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge with its holiday activities, festive lights, bridges, walkways and gardens.
Again, December can be an amazing month for sunset views from the North Shore. The sunset photo near the end of the video is of the SeaBus leaving the Lonsdale Quay terminal. The photo after that of the Vancouver skyline at dusk is taken from nearby Shipbuilders’ Pier.
Returning back to downtown Vancouver, Canada Place is lit up at night in December. The area around Canada Place and the Vancouver Convention Centre is also where the region’s largest New Year’s Eve Celebrations take place. December ends with free concerts in the street and New Year’s Fireworks in Burrard Inlet.
We hope you enjoyed our Vancouver in December Video. For information about things to do this time of year, check out any of the following:
- Vancouver’s December Calendar of Events
- Free Events in December
- Top December Things to Do
- Best Christmas Activities
- Festivals & Events Calendar
- Christmas Craft Fairs
- Christmas Concerts
If you want to see other videos about Vancouver at other times of the year, click Vancouver’s Best Places Videos. Some of the videos you’ll find there include the following:
- Vancouver FESTIVALS & EVENTS Video
- Lower Mainland in MARCH Video
- Lower Mainland APRIL Video
- Vancouver in MAY Video
- Vancouver in JUNE Video
- Vancouver WINTER SNOW Video
- The Lower Mainland in SNOW Video
- Vancouver RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES Video