Book Tickets Now for 2020 Holiday Events in the Vancouver Region

Lights By The Lake

There’s no doubt the holiday season will look a lot different this year than it usually does – but that doesn’t mean that some of the most-loved annual traditions can’t be part of the fun.

While a number of popular events aren’t able to open their doors (or their market stalls, rides, and stage events) at all for 2020, some of the longest-running events in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley have been able to put a new twist on festivities so that guests can still participate. From drive-through options to limiting the number of guests at any given time, organizers have come up with a number of changes for 2020 at some of the perennial favourites in this region.

Keep in mind that plans may change suddenly this year, so book early if you’re interested in an event, and check back regularly to each event’s home page for any last-minute adjustments. Additionally, with public health officials recommending limited travel, consider choosing the event that’s closest to your own home. Carefully read the guidelines for each event in terms of safety protocols and masking, so you’re prepared before you go.

Many of these events require pre-booking a ticket and time slot, and spaces will be limited, so planning early is a good idea.



When: Dec. 11 to 13 and Dec. 17 to 23, 4 to 10 pm

How: Tickets must be purchased in advance, no tickets available on site

What: Put some hot chocolate in a travel mug and head out for a drive-through holiday experience at the PNE fairgrounds. This magical journey includes a two-kilometre route through nine enchanted lands on the way to find Santa, with festive performers and thousands of twinkling lights along the way. Visitors will travel through the Merry and Bright Forest with popular Christmas songs, Polar North with igloos and polar bears, and Dreamland with the Teddy Bear Brigade, and more. The journey ends at a 50-foot purple tree. Admission varies depending on the number of people in the vehicle, and food trucks will be on-site at the end so visitors can take home a tasty treat.

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When: November 27 to January 3 (closed December 25) from 4 to 9:30 pm

How: Tickets must be purchased in advance, no tickets available on site

What: One of the most beautiful events of the holiday season returns this year with more than one million lights decorating the 10-acre property of VanDusen Botanical Garden. This year, visitors will experience the same magical winter wonderland but with a few twists. The outdoor garden setting will feature themed areas, unique light features, and holiday music, with a new one-way path for visitors to help maintain physical distancing. The event runs from late November all the way into the new year but with limited tickets for each time slot, it’s recommended to book early, choosing both a date and an entry time in advance. Organizers recommend visiting with your own household. The maximum number of tickets that can be purchased is six.

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When: November 26 to January 1, 4 pm to 10 pm

How: Tickets must be purchased in advance, no tickets available on site

What: Always a family favourite, Bright Nights in Stanley Park returns this year with its popular train ride through a dark forest covered in thousands of sparkling lights. Sing along to the carol music as you travel through the woods to see all the whimsical and beautiful displays. Organizers say they have been hard at work to create a fun, happy, and safe experience this year. There will be no plaza lights as all decorating efforts will be concentrated on the train ride itself. (And a heads up: Santa won’t be on site this year.) Tickets will be purchased for a set date and time slot. Be sure to stop by the gate and make a cash donation to the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund.

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When: November 19 to January 3

How: Recommended to buy tickets in advance to ensure a spot but tickets are available on-site

What: It’s a Santa’s eye-view when you take this magical flight, travelling over Canada and to the North Pole. This winter and holiday-themed version of the FlyOver multidimensional flying theatre experience is a special holiday twist during November and December of the always popular destination, which runs “flights” all year long at Canada Place.

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When: November 21 to January 1, closed December 24 and 25. Times vary.

How: Admission is free and reservations are recommended to ensure entrance but not required.

What: Take a stroll into Christmas Past with a visit to the 1920s Burnaby Village Museum, which features holiday lights, vintage-themed displays, and historical exhibits of all kinds. Check out the general store, the blacksmith shop, the farmhouse and much more. The carousel and gift shop are closed this year. Advance reservations are recommended as a limited number of people will be allowed into the site at any given time. Visitors without a reservation will be permitted entry only if there is still space available to maintain health regulation rules. There’s a maximum of six people per reservation and all should be from the same household.

Book tickets: Call the museum office at 604-297-4565 (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm, or Saturday and Sunday from 1:30 pm to 830 pm) to reserve.

More information:



Glow Gardens


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A post shared by Glow Langley (@glowlangley)

When: November 26 to January 2, 5 to 10 pm

How: Tickets must be purchased in advance, no tickets available on site

What: This year, enjoy Glow Gardens from the cozy comfort of your car, with a drive-through version of this popular holiday light event. Visitors will be welcomed at the gate at Milner Village Garden Centre by friendly elves, who will share some snacks and a souvenir Glow Christmas ornament. Then visitors will head into the display, including an animated light tunnel and a three-story twinkling tree, to name a few. Tune the radio to GLOWFM for holiday music to enjoy along the ride. Princesses and elves will be along the route, and Santa will be waving hello at the end. Guests must stay in their vehicles the entire time.

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When: Early December to early January, from dusk to 11 pm nightly

How: No tickets required as this is a public outdoor event

What: The community of Harrison hosts a festive holiday display along the lakefront that highlights local wildlife and the mysterious Sasquatch. Stroll along the promenade to enjoy the various displays and the decorated trees and old-fashioned lamp standards. The promenade is paved, so it is both wheelchair and stroller-friendly. An outdoor ice rink is free to enter, with a small charge for skate rentals daily from 2 to 9 p.m.

More information:




When: December 1 to 24, 10 am to 5 pm

How: Advance tickets not required, purchase tickets on-site. Admittance based on capacity.

What: Wander through a forest of festive trees – all decorated by local merchants and organization – inside Steveston’s Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site while exploring the many exhibitions and displays detailing the community’s unique history. The historic cannery has no interior heating so visitors are encouraged to dress warmly.

More information:




When: November 20 to January 3

How: Activities are all free with the purchase of a mountain admission pass. Book online in advance.

What: This is Vancouver’s very own North Pole and you don’t need to be skiing or snowboarding to enjoy it. The Peak of Christmas is an annual event that draws visitors from around the region. Enjoy the beautiful city vistas, the snowy landscape, a walk through a forest trail lit up by twinkling holiday lights, and yes, even real reindeer. There’s also an 8,000 square-foot mountaintop ice skating pond surrounded by snow-topped trees. In light of changes this year, Santa will not be visiting but all other activities will be taking place.

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