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Christmas in Vancouver

I love this time of year for all the amazing activities around the city. Vancouver is a beautiful city any time of year, snuggled between the ocean and mountains and during the holidays, there are so many choices to help get you into that Christmas spirit. I love anything that involves lots of lights and decorations and feel like a kid again when I see elaborate displays of Christmas cheer! Every year I plan all the things I’m going to do and take Isabella to experience in the city. Sort of ends up being we do one big thing different each year. I always have intentions to do it all but obviously that isn’t possible!

When I was a kid we went to VanDusen Gardens one year and I was in awe! We walked through the entire place, in the freezing cold looking at all the beautiful twinkly lights on the trees. My mom loved the roasted chestnut vendors and I remember it being such a magical night. For some reason I’ve never managed to get back there. I always intend to but there never seems to be enough time. I have it in my head that all of these things have to be done before Christmas even though they go on into January. Maybe this year…

A few years ago we went to Bright Nights in Stanley Park. That was pretty amazing. The number of lights they have set up is incredible. It’s hard to comprehend but they have something like 3 million lights in total!!! It’s a gorgeous display if you’ve never been but crazy busy! The train is super cute and it’s definitely one of those that you have to purchase ahead of your arrival to get a time frame for the ride. It’s too busy otherwise. A portion of ticket sales goes to the BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund and $1.4 million has been raised to help burn survivors and their families since 1998. So amazing!

Last year I took Isabella to the CP Rail Holiday train that runs across Canada and stops in Agassiz. I thought since we live out that way it would be fun and who doesn’t love trains?! It was good but not what I had hoped. The train was very late, we waited for a long time for it to arrive and in my opinion, the show was probably more entertaining for adults than it was for the kids. It was basically a music concert on a train car that was all decorated with lights and Christmas décor. It was an awesome show and was beautifully decorated but I felt it was definitely more enjoyable for adults than kids. Isabella wasn’t all that interested lol

This year we went up to Grouse Mountain for the Peak of Christmas. It was fun to see her excitement at being on the tram up the mountain. I told her we were going to see Santa in the North Pole. She was so happy to see snow! Apparently she’s very into snowball fights now….that was news to me! Anyway, we saw two of Santa’s reindeer, Dancer and Vixen and she loved to see them. There’s a sliding area with sleds to rent, skating pond with ice skates for rent, snowshoe trails, Santa in his cozy workshop to visit and a warm fire! It’s a fun atmosphere with the snow and really feels festive. The only thing that would have made it better was if it was actually snowing when we were there. They usually have horse drawn sleigh rides going but unfortunately there wasn’t enough snow when we were there. I was looking forward to that so was a bit disappointed! Found this little tidbit of Christmas history:

The Legend of Santa’s Reindeer
On December 23, 1823 an anonymous poem entitled “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” appeared in the New York Sentinel. In this poem Santa’s original eight reindeer are named for the very first time: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen. In 1843 the poem was renamed “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and has become a famous part of modern Christmas lore.


I still have plans to go see the Canyon of Lights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Driving by in the day it looks gorgeous so it’s a definite must on the list for after Christmas this year. I’ll let you know how it is!

Merry Christmas and much love,

Christina xo


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