The Holiday Hi-Light Festival at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Garden is the Lower Mainland’s best outdoor shopping mall display of Christmas lights.
North Van Christmas Lights
Not many malls have their own gardens, but Park and Tilford in North Vancouver does and its holiday Christmas light displays are actually quite impressive. If you’re heading to or from the North Shore, or perhaps plan to see a movie at the Cineplex theatre at the strip mall, then definitely check out the garden’s lights.
Holiday Hi-Light Festival Details
In 2019 Park and Tilford‘s Holiday Hi-Light Festival was open nightly from November 29th until December 31st. 2020 dates and details are to be confirmed.
Located at 333 Brooksbank Avenue in North Vancouver, admission to the Holiday Hi-Light Festival is by donation with funds going to the City and District of North Vancouver Fire Fighter Societies, which are excellent charitable causes.
The best times to visit (but also the most crowded) are on Friday evenings during Family Nights which feature live entertainment, hot chocolate and appearances by Santa Claus. Family Nights take place the four Friday evenings leading up to Christmas Day.
In 2019 Family Nights at the Holiday Hi-Light Festival ran from 5:30 to 9:00 pm on November 29, December 6, 13 and 20. Also, on the festival’s opening night, on November 29, there was live entertainment from 7 to 10 pm.
The Holiday Hi-Light Festival at Park & Tilford doesn’t win top prize for lights in the Lower Mainland, but considering they are almost free and the crowds aren’t bad, they are pretty impressive. On non-Family Night evenings plan to stay for about 20 minutes, and then go for hot chocolate, a movie, some Chinese food or grocery shopping at the strip mall afterwards.
Special entertainment took place on the Family Nights of November 29th and December 6th, 13th and 20th in 2019. We expect 2020 details to be comparable.
Friday, November 29, 2019
Opening Night activities ran from 7:00 until 10:00 pm and included hot chocolate and the following entertainers:
- Scruffles the Elf Balloons
- Sea Star Face Painting
- Light Angel
Friday, December 6, 13 & 20, 2019
Family Nights on December 6th, 13th and 20th ran from 5:00 until 9:00 pm with entertainment beginning between 5:00 and 6:00 pm. Folk could expect to see the following:
- SeaStar Face Painting
- Light Angel
- Scruffles the Elf (Balloons)
- The Grinch (December 6 and 13)
- Santa Claus (from 5:30 until 8:30 pm)
Kids Saturday Night Fire Engine Rides
New for 2019 were Fire Engine Rides for Kids on the Saturdays of November 30th, December 7th, 14th and 21st. Kids could ride the fire engine for a donation of $5 or more. In addition, Santa Claus was available on the above nights for photos. Hopefully 2020 will be the same!
About the Park & Tilford Gardens
The Park & Tilford Gardens were built in the late 1960s when the property was owned by a distillery. They are 3-acres in size and include eight different themed gardens. Over the Christmas season the venue is decorated with over 150,000 sparkling lights, which makes it especially pretty at night.
Up until the mid-1980s the distillery set up Christmas light displays in the gardens in December every year. When the distillery closed in 1984, however, that tradition ended. It wasn’t until over a dozen years later that Park & Tilford Mall started the decorations back up again and began what today is known as the Holiday Hi-Light Festival.
The Park and Tilford Gardens are pretty anytime, but become an attraction really worth visiting in the evenings from the end of November until the end of December.
For more details on the Holiday Hi-Light Festival, check out the Park and Tilford website.
For more ideas on places to see Christmas lights in the Lower Mainland, check out Top Things to do at Christmas.