Looking for special and unique Christmas gift ideas? Treat your friends and family to Vancouver and Lower Mainland experiences they won’t forget.
Gift certificates and tickets to area attractions make exceptional gifts for a variety of reasons. They create memorable experiences and help support the local economy. They are also easy to purchase online (so you don’t have to drive in the snow and fight for parking to get them). And what’s more, if you want, you can go with the gift recipient and enjoy the experience together!
In this article we list a number of Christmas gift ideas we think you and your gift recipients might really enjoy! In our lists we include winter holiday attractions, upcoming events, performing arts shows, attractions with annual passes, outdoor adventure ideas, and other fun and unique activities.
Gift Certificates for Vancouver Events and Attractions
There are lots of amazing attractions and activities in the Lower Mainland. A gift certificate or annual membership to some of them make awesome Christmas gifts. Below are some really good ones to consider.
Treat your friends and family to any of the following Christmas attractions. The first two end before December 25th, so they’ll have to be early Christmas presents!
- Vancouver Christmas Market – this is a great place to treat someone to admission, a hot drink and some tasty food. While there, you’ll likely find extra things to buy for your guest (or yourself or other people on your shopping list). Last day of the season though is December 24th.
- PNE Winter Fair – in 2023 the event runs from December 8th until December 23rd. It includes shows, decorations, ice skating and family-friendly fun! Note: Until around December 4th, you can get a pack of four tickets for just $60 using the promo code WINTER23.
Other Christmas Attractions to Treat Friends to
The following Christmas attractions continue until the end of December, and some even until later in January. With a couple, the venues offer annual passes which also make exceptional Christmas gifts.
- VanDusen Garden’s Festival of Lights – the garden has its Christmas attraction running until January 7th, 2024. The Festival of Lights is an amazing place to take someone. An annual membership at VanDusen Botanical Garden can also make a great gift (and it lets the member in year-round on regular days and gives them a discount at other times, like during the Festival of Lights).
- Canyon Lights at Capilano Bridge – the lights at this amazing attraction are up until January 21st in 2024. An annual pass costs the same amount as regular admission for residents of BC too (and if you get it for someone now they’ll be able to use it for part of this holiday season and part of next year’s too)!
- Glow Christmas Carnival – this Christmas attraction in Langley is beautiful, and it’s only open until December 30th. It’s partly indoors and partly outdoors.
- Soar With Santa at FlyOver Canada – the Christmas film at the multidimensional theatre at Canada Place runs until January 2nd in 2024. You can’t buy annual passes at FlyOver Canada, but you can buy gift certificates for future shows.
- Vallea Lumina – the light attraction in Whistler where you walk through the forest is open year-round and it’s especially beautiful when there is snow on the ground. The same venue also offers Ziplining and Snowmobiling Tours!
- Goh Ballet’s Nutcracker – the famous ballet production by Tchaikovsky is a popular Christmas tradition around the world. Goh Ballet, meanwhile, is a local ballet company. It has shows at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver on December 14th to 17th in 2023. Tickets to the show make fabulous presents!
- Martini Town Merry & Bright – this is a new Christmas attraction at a film studio in Langley. It runs from December 1st to January 1st.
- PNE Winter Fair – this is also one of the Lower Mainland’s most popular holiday attractions. In 2023 it’s open on select dates between December 8th and December 23rd.
- Photos With Santa – the holiday event at Britannia Mine includes a visit with Santa Claus, photos and complimentary cookies. You can pay just for the Photos With Santa experience, or you can enjoy it for free with regular admission to the museum.
New Year’s Eve Events
In addition to the above, there’s also a New Year’s Eve nightclub-style cruise with Vancouver Boat Parties on December 31st. To learn about other events happening on the last day of 2023, see our article about Vancouver New Year’s Eve Events.
Upcoming Events and Attractions
Do any of your friends like dance and theatre productions, art exhibitions, or music? Then why not buy them tickets to one of the following events which take place in the first few months of 2024.
- Shen Yun – the American-based Chinese performing arts company brings its spectacular production to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from March 20th to 25th in 2024.
- Vancouver International Wine Festival – one of North America’s biggest and most prestigious wine shows takes place in Vancouver between February 24th and March 3rd in 2024. Wine enthusiasts will love to be treated to some of its events!
- PuSh Festival – the performing arts shows take place at various venues in Vancouver between January 17th and February 4th in 2024. Your theatre-loving friends will no doubt appreciate a ticket or multi-show pass to this festival!
- Art Vancouver – the international art fair at the Vancouver Convention Centre takes place from April 11th to 14th in 2024. Early-bird tickets are available until January 6th!
Give the Gift of Music & Theatre
Gift certificates or IOUs (I owe you) for concerts and theatrical shows with local performing arts groups make awesome Christmas presents. Support a local arts group and treat your friends and family to something special from one of the following organizations.
Choir & Symphony Organizations
- Vancouver Welshmen’s Choir – the popular men’s choir has concerts coming up on February 25th, March 16th, and April 6th and 7th in 2024. You can’t buy tickets for all of them yet. You can, though promise to buy them for someone when tickets become available. The choir also has Christmas concerts in December 2023.
- Chor Leoni – the choir puts on shows at the beautiful St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church on February 16th and 17th in 2024. Tickets cost between $20 and $75. They also have Christmas concerts in 2023 on December 15th, 16th and 18th.
- VAM Symphony Orchestra – the Vancouver Academy of Music has a How the Grinch Stole Christmas concert at the Orpheum Theatre on December 10th in 2023.
- Vancouver Symphony Orchestra – the symphony’s end-of-year Christmas concerts are always fun and beautiful, and tickets to them make great presents!
Theatre and Opera Gift Ideas
- Vancouver Opera – Don Pasquale takes place in mid-February of 2024 and Carmen takes the stage in the spring. Note: Up until the night of November 24th in 2023, use the promo code BLACKFRIDAY to get 50% off a Duet Subscription. This means you’ll get to watch both shows for the price of one!
- Theatre Under the Stars – tickets to the outdoor theatre at Stanley Park in the summer make a great gift. You can’t buy tickets yet, but you can give an IOU gift to the shows.
- Bard on the Beach – the Shakespearean productions take place in Vanier Park from early June to mid-September every year. The 2024 season includes Twelfth Night, Hamlet, The Comedy of Errors and Measure for Measure.
Attraction Annual Passes
Do any of your friends like gardens, museums or other places of interest? Why not give them an annual pass to somewhere special, like to any of the following attractions.
National Historic Sites
- Gulf of Georgia Cannery – this is a great historical site in Steveston Village. It’s also home to the Steveston Festival of Trees which runs over the Christmas season until Christmas Eve. Annual passes cost just $25 for adults and $45 for families.
- Fort Langley National Historic Site – this venue hosts interesting events at various times of the year. Annual passes here cost just $21 for adults and about $18 for seniors. Admission is also free for youth ages 17 and under.
- Britannia Mine Museum – this is another local national historic site that’s full of interesting things to see and do. Annual memberships cost $98 for adults, $70 for children (ages 5 to 17) and $210 for families.
Other Museums & Places of Interest
- Vancouver Maritime Museum – friends who like history, model ships and boats will appreciate an annual pass to this museum at Vanier Park. A one-time visit costs between $11 and $15 depending on your age (but kids under 6 years old enter for free). Annual memberships, meanwhile, cost $45 for adults and $65 for families.
- MONOVA – the Museum of North Vancouver is where you’ll learn all about the history of Vancouver’s North Shore. Annual passes cost $33.33 for adults, $23.81 for youth (ages 6 to 17) and $71.43 for families.
- Fraser River Discovery Centre – this is a great place for young families to learn about the Fraser River region and the environment. Located at the waterfront in New Westminster, annual memberships cost $30 for adults and $52 for families (of up to two adults and four children between ages 2 and 12).
- Chinese Canadian Museum – a fairly new museum at 51 East Pender Street in the heart of Chinatown. It’s a very interesting place!
Other Experiential Gift Ideas
Other awesome Christmas gifts are tickets for dinner theatre, walking tours, multidimensional theatre shows and other adventures including the following:
Walking Tours and Adventure Activities
- Forbidden Vancouver – people who like history and walking tours will love what this local company has to offer! The tours run throughout the year and gift certificates are available online. Note: Gift certificates purchased between November 15th and 27th in 2023 are 20% off!
- Vancouver Mysteries – outdoor adventure games in downtown Vancouver can be fun experiential gifts too. They have games with detective, superhero, secret agent and other themes. Gift certificates are available for purchase.
- WildPlay Element Park – the outdoor attraction with ropes courses and ziplines in Maple Ridge is a fun attraction open for most of the year. Note: For Black Friday in 2023, if you buy a $100 gift card, you’ll get $25 in bonus credit.
- Ziplining – there aren’t many experiential gifts as exciting as ziplining. A great place to do that is at Superfly Ziplines in Whistler where they happen year-round. The same venue also offers Snowmobiling Tours in winter and Whitewater Rafting in the spring and summer. It’s also where you’ll find Whistler’s famous Vallea Lumina light walk attraction.
Dinner and/or Theatre Activities
- FlyOver Canada – you can promise to take your friends to one of the shows about Canada and enjoy the experience with them, or you can buy a gift ticket that’s good for any show for $32 for adults or $22 for children (ages 15 and under).
- Winterlust – a unique and memorable dining experience is in one of the private, heated, outdoor domes at the Westin Bayshore Hotel‘s H2 Tasting Lounge. You can book your spot for up to six people.
Vancouver Vacation Gifts
Whether it’s as a staycation for friends or family who already live in the Lower Mainland, or for guests from out of town, overnight accommodations at a hotel also make a great gift. A good place to look for deals in downtown Vancouver is at StayVancouverHotels.com. When you book through it you can get bonus perks.
Note: As of mid-November in 2023, you can get up to $250 in Mastercard gift cards. This deal is valid for two-night stays between now and March 2024. The offer expires when the supply of gift cards runs out.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Downtown Vancouver Hotels
- Vancouver Christmas Activities
- BC Buy Local Week
- Staycations in Downtown Vancouver
- Vacations in Downtown Vancouver
- Vancouver’s December Calendar of Events
- Lower Mainland Winter Activities