Best Holiday Activities around Vancouver - Part I

Living near the University of British Columbia campus means you have the opportunity to enjoy some of the best holiday festivities in the region. Vancouver and the surrounding areas tend to pull out all the stops when it comes to holiday celebrations. Here are some of the events you will not want to miss.


Rogers Santa Claus Parade


On Sunday December 7th, a festive pageant of holiday cheer marches through the streets of downtown Vancouver. Santa and his family will be joined by floats, dancers and marching bands. Volunteers will also be collecting donations for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.


Royal Winnipeg Ballet Presents The Nutcracker


The Nutcracker has become a venerable holiday tradition. Between the beautiful imagery, timeless story and Tchaikovsky’s addictively catchy score, understanding the ballet’s enduring popularity is not difficult.


Vancouver’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet puts on a fresh take of the classic performance every year. While the score and the story are largely the same, the production also adds familiar and iconic Canadian visuals. A hockey game on a frozen pond and a battle upon Parliament Hill are just some of the scenic additions that will have you appreciating the ballet in new ways.


For a more traditional take, the Goh Ballet puts on a classically-influenced performance of The Nutcracker accompanied by the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.


Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden


The VanDusen Botanical Garden is already renowned for its beautiful and diverse collection of trees, flowers and exotic plants. The holiday season takes their presentation to the next level. Nearly every bough is hung with delightful twinkly lights.


Visitors are particularly drawn to the “Dancing Lights” display erected upon Livingstone Lake. Every thirty minutes, the lights erupt into a performance set to familiar Christmas and Holiday tunes.


Children also love to visit since they can meet Santa and the energetic Scandinavian Gnomes. The Make-A-Wish Foundation’s “Room of Joy” display is another must-see. An enormous diorama will depict this year’s theme: the planet Hoth from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.


“Luminescence” Exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium


For a radically different take on the Holiday light show, look no further than the Vancouver Aquarium. Every year from November to January the staff assembles an enthralling collection of fluorescent and bioluminescent specimens. Watch as they dance and shimmer thanks to the presence of their specialized proteins and symbiotic bacteria that light up the ocean depths.


In addition to the luminescent displays, you can catch two of Vancouver’s favorite holiday attractions: a Christmas tree powered by electric eels and “Scuba Claus,” who swims in full livery among salmon and rockfish in the Strait of Georgia display.


There are many more memorable events we will cover in part II. These jubilations make moving into one of UBC homes for sale a holiday dream come true. Take a look at our home listings to become a part of our community and enjoy the annual celebration year after year.

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