In a typical year there are lots of decorations and activities for folk to enjoy. On November 20th, 2020, however, the organizers of the event announced that the train isn’t running this holiday season because of increasing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Hopefully the Christmas attraction can return in 2021.
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN 2020?
Although the Bear Creek Christmas Train isn’t running, that doesn’t mean that everything else has been cancelled too (at least not as of the writing of this article). Some holiday attractions are still happening, although in modified formats to help keep their guests safe.
The miniature train at Bright Nights at Stanley Park is running this year, and FlyOver Canada is showing its annual Soar with Santa film at Canada Place. New for 2020, there is also the PNE WinterLights drive-thru event on select dates in December. There are also free lights to see at places like Granville Island.
To learn more about what is happening in 2020, click Vancouver’s Best Christmas Activities or see our article about What’s Open in COVID-19 Vancouver. Whatever you do this holiday season though, stay safe, be responsible, wear a mask and keep close to home!
Bear Creek Christmas Train Rides in December
One of the many amenities at Surrey’s Bear Creek Park is a Miniature Train that operates throughout most of the year. The train ride lasts for about 10 minutes, and it has a festive Christmas theme during the month of December.
Riding the train at night is a different experience from riding the train during the day. In fact, in previous years, the Christmas train that ran up until 4:00 pm was called the Santa Express, and then it transformed into the Christmas Night Train from 6:00 pm onward.
Both rides are family-friendly and recommended for folk of all ages. In 2019, the Santa Express Train offered additional activities for children to enjoy, whereas the Christmas Night Train featured a lively light display.
Santa Express Train
The last year it ran, the Santa Express Train was more than just a train ride. It included Christmas crafts and treats, as well as photo opportunities with Santa Claus. Tickets to ride in 2019 cost $10 per individual, or $35 for families made up of two adults and two children (between ages 2 and 12).
Last year the train was open daily between December 7th and December 31st. Hours of operation were from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The only days it was closed was on December 25th and 26th.
Unfortunately, the train is not operating in December of 2020. If the Santa Express Train returns to Bear Creek Park in 2021, the experience will likely be comparable to that of 2019.
Christmas Night Train
Unlike the Santa Express Train, the Christmas Night Train attraction in 2019 was just the train ride. Even though additional activities were not provided, the festive illuminations throughout the ride were beautiful during the dark winter nights.
The Christmas Night Train ran on the same days as the Santa Express Train did last year, so every day from December 7th until the 31st, with the exception of Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Hours of operation were from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm. Admission cost $10 per individual or $35 for families of four.
Again, the train is not operating in 2020 due to COVID-19. Hopefully 2021 dates, times and other details will be similar to what they were the last time the Christmas Train ran.
Where is Bear Creek Park?
To get to the attraction from Vancouver, make your way onto the BC-99 South Highway and then take exit 8 onto Nordel Way. Continue straight and Nordel Way becomes 88th Avenue. The park is on the right side of the road just after King George Boulevard.
For more information about the Christmas trains at Bear Creek Park, visit the Bear Creek Trains website.
To learn more about the attraction in general see our article about the Bear Creek Train. Or, to learn about the place in October, and to see a video of the train, see our article about Bear Creek Park at Halloween.
Other articles that may be of interest include the following: