The first of these venues is a historic Hudson’s Bay Company fort. The second is a former salmon cannery and the third used to be the largest copper mine in the British Empire. All three attractions are within an hour’s drive of downtown Vancouver and great to visit any time of the year. They also have seasonal decorations and other fun things to see in December.
National Historic Sites and Christmas Activities
In 2022 there is Humbug Holidays in Fort Langley from December 5th to 31st. Earlier in the month the fort also has a series of craft workshops where you can build your own star and moon ornaments out of copper.
In Richmond’s Steveston Village, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery has its annual Festival of Trees decorations and activities from December 1st until Christmas Eve. At the Britannia Mine Museum at Britannia Beach, meanwhile, they have Photos with Santa Claus.
Continue reading to learn about each of these attractions and their various winter holiday activities.
Christmas Activities in Fort Langley
The Fort Langley Historic Site is located at 23433 Mavis Avenue in the village of Fort Langley. It’s where you’ll find a reconstructed Hudson’s Bay Company trading fort, historic buildings, and lots of information about British Columbia’s past. The fort hosts events at various times of the year including over the Christmas holidays.
In 2022 there are several things happening at the Fort during the holiday season. There are two types of craft workshops in the first couple of weeks of December, as well as Humbug Holidays at the Fort throughout most of the month.
Copper Craft Workshops at the Fort
Folks can attend virtual workshops on the Fridays of December 2nd and 9th to learn how to build copper star and moon decorations. The workshops run from 7:00 to 9:30 pm on both the Fridays and cost about $46 to attend via Google Meet. Materials are included and must be picked up in-person.
There are also in-person workshops for those interested in building festive copper lanterns. The in-person workshops are held from 12:00 to 4:00 pm on the Saturdays of December 3rd and 10th. Admission costs about $69 per person and includes all necessary tools and materials.
Humbug Holidays at the Fort
Humbug Holidays is a time to admire decorations at the historic site and to make some yourself. In 2022 visitors get to make a couple of Christmas decorations. One of the ornaments they can keep and take home. The other they can use to decorate a building at the fort. To make things fun, there is humbug Chief Trader patrolling the area (and who you don’t want to get caught by).
Humbug for the holidays isn’t a large event. Rather, it’s an opportunity for friends and family to spend time together as they make ornaments and enjoy a festive stroll around the historic grounds.
The Copper Star and Moon Workshops on the first two weekends of the month cost money to participate in and you need to register for them. With Humbug Holidays, you can just show up and regular admission rates apply (which means the attraction and craft activities are free for children and youth under the age of 18).
VIVE LES VOYAGEURS AT FORT LANGLEY
Another upcoming event at Fort Langley is Vive les Voyageurs which is a celebration of French Canadian culture and traditions. It takes place on January 21st and 22 in 2023.
Christmas Activities at Britannia Mine
The Britannia Mine Museum is a National Historic Site that used to be a real copper mine. The attraction is located at 150 Copper Drive in Britannia Beach, so in the Sea to Sky Region between Vancouver and Whistler. At the museum guests can learn all about the history of the mine. There are informational displays, activities, underground tours and seasonal events to check out.
Over the Christmas season the museum hosts Photos With Santa. It’s a festive activity that happens on weekends. There are photo opportunities with Santa Claus, plus complimentary hot chocolate and s’mores. Admission to Photos With Santa also grants access to parts of the museum, including the section where you can pan for gold.
The special event runs on the weekends of December 3rd & 4th, 10th & 11th and 17th & 18th in 2022. Tickets cost $35 for families of up to 5 people.
For folks wanting the full Britannia Mine Museum experience, including a tour and access to all exhibits, Photos With Santa is also included with general admission. As of mid-November in 2022, general admission costs about $37 for adults and $34 for seniors. Unlike the other two historic sites in this article, admission is not free for kids. Tickets cost about $29 for teens and $20 for children over the age of 4.
Christmas Activities at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery
The Gulf of Georgia Cannery is located at 12138 Fourth Avenue in Steveston Village. The National Historic Site showcases the history and importance of the salmon canning industry. There are informational displays and exhibits to check out and the site hosts events throughout the year as well.
During the Christmas season each year, the cannery hosts the Steveston Festival of Trees. The Gulf of Georgia Cannery is where you’ll find dozens of beautifully decorated Christmas trees. Each tree is sponsored by a local business or community organization and guests get to check them all out. Folks are also able to vote for their favourite trees.
In 2022 the Steveston Festival of Trees runs from December 1st to the 24th. General admission for adults costs about $12.50 and seniors can get in for a couple of dollars less. The same as with Fort Langley, admission to the cannery is usually free for children and youth ages 17 and under. This is the case during the Christmas season in 2022.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s December Calendar
- Best Christmas Activities
- Best Places for History and Culture
- Fort Langley National Historic Site
- Gulf of Georgia Cannery
- Britannia Mine Museum