This Christmas you won’t have to lose sleep wondering whether or not you’ve made Santa’s naughty or nice list, ask him yourself over breakfast! Taking time out of his busy schedule up in the North Pole Father Christmas himself is headed to Grouse Mountain to entertain guests from far and wide.
Enjoy the most important meal of the day with Santa while partaking in activities such as face painting and a magic show. However that’s not all! The purchase of admission to breakfast with Santa also includes a round trip Skyride on the gondola and access to all of the Peak of Christmas festivities.
The Peak of Christmas is a popular annual tradition that includes a plethora of different activities and adventures that will keep the family busy from morning till night. After breakfast with Santa go meet his reindeer or visit the Gingerbread village, then go ice skating under the stars, before finally strolling through the Light Walk and taking in the dazzling light tunnel and lanterns. There is no shortage of festive fun up on Grouse Mountain, so bring the family and create wonderful new memories that will surely keep you warm this holiday season!
When: December 3rd, 4th, and 16th – 24th
Hours: Breakfast times will vary, please check the website for more details.
Prices: Adult (19-64) and Senior (65+) $55.95, Youth (13-18) $31.95, Child (5-12) $19.95, Tot (4 and under) $8.95
Join together in the Spirit of Giving for Vancouver 13th Annual Rogers Santa Claus Parade. Beginning at 10:00am, the festivities start off with two hours of family entertainment located at Coast Capital Savings Christmas Square. Christmas Square includes an entertainment stage with live music and dance performances, face painting, letters to Santa station and a gingerbread decorating station.
The Parade itself starts off at 12:00pm at the corner of Broughton and Georgia finishing of Howe Street next to Christmas Square. The Parade is also one of the largest food and fund raising events for the Food Bank. Since starting in 2004, the Parade has collected $151,200 and more than 76,400 lbs. of food for hungry families in the Lower Mainland, allowing us all to spread that Christmas joy a little further in the Spirit of Giving.
Date: Sunday, December 4th
Time: Parade starts at 12:00
Visit their website for more information.
Is the gloomy weather dampening your festive spirit? Are you longingly waiting for the holidays to start? Have no fear, the Vancouver Christmas Market is returning for its 7th year! Back and better than ever, this year the market has moved to a larger venue at the Jack Poole Plaza, site of the Olympic cauldron and conveniently situated near the Waterfront area. With even more space that means that there will be even more vendors and activities to browse through and enjoy! Where else would you find authentic Hungarian Chimney Cakes, Steins (traditional German beer mugs made out of stoneware), artisanal crafts, and even a Christmas carousel?
German Christmas markets have existed for centuries and are also known as Christkindlmarkts, this is your chance to experience tradition and culture. As a time for celebration, food, drinks and gifts, this is the perfect holiday getaway right here in our beautiful city. If you’re looking for some holiday fun, a sweet date night or an opportunity to create new family memories head down to the Vancouver Christmas Market to bathe in Christmas cheer – and maybe even meet Santa!
While planning your excursion to the market, we do recommend purchasing tickets online to save some time. Besides the regular admission rates for adults, seniors, and youths, there are also 3 packages to choose from if you wish. Their packages range from $20-$50 and include carousel rides, treats, and collectors mugs! Click here for more information on the Vancouver Christmas Market.
Open Daily: November 26th to December 31st from 11am – 9pm (Closed at 6:00pm on December 24th. Closed December 25th)
There are studies that suggest the best way to stay warm and cozy during the winter months is to indulge in feelings of nostalgia and to fondly recall memories of a different time. This holiday season you can do just that at Burnaby Village Museum’s Heritage Christmas!
The Burnaby Village Museum is where history comes to life — here you will find a combination of both heritage and replica buildings meant to represent a typical British Columbian tram-stop community of the 1920’s. The museum is also home to a beautifully restored 1912 vintage carousel, available to ride for a fee of $2.60. The delight it gives to both children and adults alike is sure to create warm memories for all!
Heritage Christmas will allow you to experience some old fashioned fun as you stroll down the streets of the Village to see the dazzling lights, freshly cut wreaths, and vintage-themed displays. With special entertainment scheduled throughout November and December be sure to anticipate community choirs singing their carols, street characters wandering in their period costumes, and street musicians playing their tunes. Family activities include a crafts station for the children and of course a visit with Father Christmas.
For an even more interactive experience challenge the Twelve Days of Christmas scavenger hunt which will send you searching for clues all throughout the site. Free scavenger hunt cards can be found at the gates and at the Ice Cream Parlour.
Where: 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby
When: November 19th, 2016 – January 2nd, 2017 – Hours vary, please check the website for more details.
Rates: Free gate admission, Carousel rides are $2.60
Not into the Christmas spirit yet? CandyTown will definitely change that!
On November 26, the 5th annual free outdoor Christmas festival in Vancouver is returning to Yaletown for another big year. CandyTown is one of the most popular holiday events in Vancouver and is definitely worth a visit this holiday season.
By walking down the “All I want for Christmas” market, you will find unique presents for your friends and family, while being entertained by local artisans, street performers, and live music.
There will be loads of holiday-themed activities, like free horse-drawn carriages rides, ice carving demonstrations, and Christmas tree lots. CandyTown also offers plenty of activities for all kids to enjoy. They will be able to get a photo with Santa Claus or the Ice Queen, learn how to twist balloon animals, or make their own candy.
New this year is the Pokémon Holiday Tour, which brings to life everyone’s favourite characters. Adults can enjoy the themed cocktails (try the Candycane martini!) and a meal from many different food trucks.
Date: November 26
Venue: 1152 Mainland Street
That’s right! The world’s biggest Christmas light maze is coming to Vancouver on November 25th. Enchant 2016 is a combination of 55, 000 square feet of amazing illuminated sculptures, a unique Christmas market, live performances, holiday drinks, outdoor fire pit, and much more!
Located on 1st and Crowe Street, guests will not only be able to experience the wonder of Enchant, but can also feel the magic of supporting various charities such as Variety – The Children’s Charity, Canuck Place, Ronald McDonald House BC and Yukon, Music Heals and Backpack Buddies.
The light maze features 23-foot tall-reindeers, snowy caves, complex structures, and a 64-foot-tall tree, all spectacularly lit up with hundreds of thousands of lights thanks to SHINE. Guests get to feel the adventure of helping Santa Claus find his missing reindeer, all lost in the maze, by exploring the seven worlds of light in order to save Christmas. The mission should take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete.
Afterwards, guests can enjoy the Enchant Christmas market that includes a diverse range of local vendors and artisans for a unique holiday shopping experience. The market will also feature 12 food trucks where delicious seasonal treats will be served. Guests-of-age can take delight in the licensed, covered and cozy eating area with their favourite spiked holiday drink.
There’s no doubt that Enchant 2016 will be the #1 holiday event for Vancouver. Tickets can be bought at the door or online. To pre-reserve tickets or for more information about Enchant 2016, you can visit their website.
When: November 25th – New Year’s Eve
Where: 1st and Crowe Street, in between the Cambie Street Bridge and Olympic Village
Maze and Market:
Adults 16+: $20
Children (6-15): $15
5 and under: Free
Family (2 adults, 2 children): $60
Kids and adults (6+): $5
5 and under: Free
Fall is the best time of the year to buy local, artisan and handmade goods in Greater Vancouver. With so many good markets and fairs to choose from, we’ve compiled a list of 3 popular ones taking place this November!
The annual Circle Craft Market is the perfect place to do some early holiday shopping. With goods ranging from handmade ceramics, hand knit scarves, jewelry, toys, candles, and soaps there’s something for everyone at this large artisan market.
Whether you want to just enjoy the festivity and have a look at the items, or do your Christmas shopping, this craft market is fun for the whole family!
When: Nov 9-13
Where: Vancouver Convention Center West, 1055 Canada Place
Admission: $13 (Adults), $12 (Students and Seniors)
To get away from the big crowds around the holiday season, this smaller craft fair is the perfect place to go and relax while enjoying the festivities. The Deer Lake Craft Festival is a tradition that the Burnaby Arts Council has sponsored since 1971.
This year there will be over BC 55 artisans and their work selling everything from glassworks, sculpture, pottery, wood, fashion and jewelry.
As a special treat, there are door prizes and raffle draws as well as live music and entertainment.
When: November 18, 19, 20
Where: Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, 6450 Deer Lake Avenue
Another great and long running craft fair is the 34th Annual Dunbar Holiday Craft Fair. This year there will be over 140 exhibitors and the attendance is expected to be over 2000! This craft fair is a single day event, which means a concentrated and full day of festivities, shopping, and fun!
When: Saturday November 26 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Where: The Dunbar Community Center, 4747 Dunbar Street
Admission: $5 at the door, $4 online
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching us in Vancouver, and Cupid is no doubt getting ready for this holiday by polishing his trusty bow and arrow. With all the cotton-candy pink, bright red, and heart shaped boxes of chocolate, doesn’t it induce a craving inside of you that can only be satisfied by copious amounts of sugary sweets and rich, sweet desserts?
Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top 12 places here in Vancouver to indulge that sweet tooth. Whether you’re spending the day with a loved one, or just finding an excuse to delight in a dessert (after all, you deserve a treat!), then look no further.
A classic high-tea experience is what you’ll find at this quaint establishment, with shiny china tea cups and cloth napkins to charm you out of your fancy socks. For high-tea, you will receive a three tier tray of beautiful goodies, loaded with scones, sweets, tiny sandwiches, and of course, tea. From tangy tarts to beautiful pastries and everything in-between, this delightfully elegant experience is perfect for a leisurely afternoon. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are also available, as well as take-home orders made in advance. Don’t forget to wear your pearls!
Must Try: Dark chocolate pecan cake with milk chocolate chantilly. It looks decadent and almost too pretty to eat, but it’s worth every bite.
With seasonal treats such as candied chestnut lattes and chai apple cider, this cafe has easily built itself a sweet reputation (pun intended). Pick up a small batch of chocolates here, with prices running for individual pieces ($1.95) to a large box ($33.95), and everything in between! They use ingredients such as Tahitian vanilla, Quebec maple syrup, and the finest chocolate to craft these treats for you. If chocolate isn’t your thing, then take a nibble at one of their colorful macarons.
Must Try: The chocolate chip brown sugar macaron is a must, as is the cassis flavored one (a sweet, red liquer flavor with blackcurrants). Both pack a pleasant punch in terms of flavor.
A classic go-to for the city’s best waffles! You can choose between 2 types of waffles to start off with: brussels waffles (light and crispy waffles), or liege waffles (sweet and fluffy). After that, you have a hard decision to make. You can choose between 9 different flavors, with classic ones such as fresh strawberries and fluffy whipped cream, or branch out and try more decadent ones such as their orange mousse flavor (fresh orange pieces and dark belgian chocolate mousse.
Must Try: Their Bresilienne waffle (a Liege waffle with creamy vanilla ice cream, whipped cream peaks, hazelnut crumble, and a dash of caramel sauce) is to die for! It looks as good as it tastes!
In the mood for a mouthwatering Japanese ice cream parfait? Not yet? Don’t worry, once you step foot into this quirky little cafe full of little cakes and parfaits, you’ll be dreaming about the next time you’re able to drop by again. With a colorful assortment of Japanese desserts to choose from, you’ll never be out of options. The towering ice cream parfaits were made for sharing with a loved one!
Must Try: Their popular green tea parfait is refreshingly light and sweet. Make sure to pick up a Japanese baked sweet from their counter before you leave to take home!
A beloved favourite in Vancouver since its launch in 2012, this popular and often talked about ice cream parlour features seasonal flavors that rotate throughout the year, perfected in small batches. An interesting fact about Earnest Ice Cream is that it is the first of its kind to pack pints of their delicious ice cream in glass jars that can be returned and reused. You can enjoy an ice cream cone at the store, and then take home a pint (or two!) of your favourite flavor once you’re finished. They also have delicious vegan options for those who go dairy-free!
Must Try: The London Fog flavor is one of their most well-known flavors, made with light Earl Grey tea and sweet vanilla. Often recommended! Another favourite is their Peanut Butter and Jam flavor, which features house-made berry jam with light peanut butter, which is the perfect sweet and salty combination for those who like to have it all.
Known as one of the top ten chocolatiers in North America, Beta5 has definitely lived up to its status in terms of their treats. Their products are visually pleasing as well as tummy pleasing. They fuse together art with chocolate, and their creations speak for themselves. From their unique cream puffs to their richly decorated chocolates, this is one place you can’t pass by if you’re a chocoholic. Beta5 has collaborated with local artists to create fixed gift boxes in which you can purchase dozens of their chocolates to give to your special Valentine.
Must Try: The Vietnamese Coffee cream puff is as unique as it sounds! A unique blend of coffee, blonde chocolate cremeux, and condensed milk chantilly, this white and purple treat is worth biting into. Of course, their signature chocolates bo12 unique pieces) are worth mentioning as well, with flavors such as The Whole Cherry, Caramelized Banana, and Jasmine Tea.
The name Styo means “frozen yogurt in style”, and with this dessert place, you’d be hard pressed to find a treat that doesn’t suit your style and taste. Their towering swirls of frozen yogurt are decorated with sweet syrups and topped off with a crunchy cookie straw. Their frozen yogurt boasts colorful swirls of the creamy treat and have unique toppings that make the frozen treat one of a kind.
Must Try: The Strawberry Kiss parfait boasts tart frozen yogurt, fresh strawberries, popping candy, and marshmallows, turning it into one luscious treat. If you’re more adventurous with your desserts, try their Green Tea Harmony parfait, which consists of green tea frozen yogurt, sweet red beans, crunchy cereal, jiggly coffee jelly, and a pillowy cream puff.
Creme brulee and lattes, oh my! CrackleCreme specializes in this popular custard and caramel treat, with liquor based ones as well as vegan options! It’s a unique twist on this classic treat, with extraordinary flavors such as bourbon butterscotch, dulce de leche, and even frosted flakes cereal. If you’re looking for a familiar dessert, but with amped up flavors, then Cracklecreme is your perfect after-dinner stop! If you’d prefer to have your dessert at home, Cracklecreme also offers their creme brulee in take-home mason jars, so you can enjoy their treats on your very own couch.
Must Try: Their creamy vanilla latte pairs perfectly with their vegan pina colada creme brulee. A hint of sweetness and tangy tartness from the pineapple makes these two a match made in confection heaven!
The first thing you notice when you step foot inside Soirette Macarons & Tea is their bright display of colorful meringue-based macarons. They promise that their macarons are “wonderful little bites of airiness and flavor”, just as they should be! Their bright, delicate flavors and crunchy shells make them a delight to share with a loved one. Get a box of them in a beautifully decorated white and powder blue box, and attempt to guess each of its wonderful flavors as you devour each one. Don’t forget to sit back and relax with a cup of their herbal tea while you nibble each vibrant treat.
Must Try: Their seasonal flavors are interesting and intriguing at the same time. For a sweet tooth, you must try the Blackberry and Pear macaron (a lovely raspberry colored macaron with splashes of yellow across the top), which is refreshing and tangy at the same time. Another must-try is their Santa’s Milk & Cookies flavor (a white macaron with little chocolate “chips” on top), which is every bit as indulgent and rich as the name suggests.
The doughy confections you get from this charming little shop are simple, but worth every bite. The store opened in June 2012, after years of perfecting their simply-made, delightful dessert rings. Often noted as one of the best doughnut places around Vancouver, Lucky’s Doughnuts at 49th Parallel offers a wide range of flavors that change frequently, so you can experience as many new flavors as possible! Their doughy works of art are nothing to be sneezed at, with each one looking more extraordinary and delicious than the next. A must-try for any doughnut lover!
Must Try: The PB&J Remix is the most unique of the bunch! A square doughnut (yes, a square doughnut) filled with creamy peanut butter in all four corners, topped off with a tantalizing blueberry glaze, and sprinkled with crunchy, crushed peanuts! The doughnut itself is worthy of a picture or two. If you’ve got an Elvis lover in you, you’ll go nuts for the Memphis Flash doughnut, a stick doughnut named after Elvis’ favourite snack (supposedly). A peanut butter pastry cream filled stick doughnut topped with Nutella and pieces of caramelized banana. You “can’t help falling in love” with this one!
Everyone needs to experience the joy of dipping cakes, pretzels, fruit, and cheese into mouthwatering melted chocolate over a burning candle at least once in their lives, and what better time than Valentine’s Day to give it a spin? You can choose your own personal-sized cheese pot or chocolate pot (56% dark chocolate or milk chocolate) to dip your fruit and cakes into. The chocolate fondue set comes with cubed fruits, tea cookies, and an assortment of pastry items. The cheese fondue comes with seasonal fruits as well, veggies and baked potatoes, and artisan French bread and assorted pastries.
Must Try: The fondue experience is not one to be missed! Although by itself, the cheese and chocolate fondue pots are mouthwateringly delicious, you have the option of getting a chocolate fondue add-on, which happens to be mini ice cream truffles! You can order 6 or 12 ice cream truffles with toppings to dip into the chocolate, which will harden over the ice cream into a perfect treat.
With cupcakes this amazing, you’ll want your loved one to take a bite as well! This cupcake store looks good enough to eat! A pastel hued, retro-styled Vancouver cupcake shop that churns out custom cakes, wedding cakes, and of course, cupcakes; this sweet stop is sure to satisfy your cravings for this delightful dessert. Their enormous cupcakes are crafted with real buttercream that melts in your mouth, the softest and fluffiest cake base, and the most picture worthy toppings as far as confections go. Bite into one of the best cupcakes Vancouver has to offer and I guarantee your sweet tooth will thank you!
Must Try: The tiramisu cupcake is made of vanilla coffee marble cake with cocoa powder dusted on top of their cream cheese peaks. It’s like a vanilla latte in a cupcake, full of intense flavor and creamy richness. Just one bite, and you’ll fall in love.
Now that we’ve got the dessert part of Valentine’s Day figured out for you, all you have to do make the hard decision of picking your favourite!
By: Elvira Chan