Santa Claus is coming to town! Christmas in Victoria is the most wonderful time of the year as the tree-lined streets of downtown and around town become adorned with lights and other festive displays.
Here are nine must things to do this week to get into the Christmas spirit:
- What: A beloved holiday tradition and annual fundraiser for the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. A wonderful festive display of cuddly bears dressed up in costumes by local sponsors, business, organizations, and individuals.
- When: On daily until Monday, January 2, 2017
- Where: Hotel Grand Pacific, 463 Belleville St
- What: For the past 24 years the Festival of Trees has created a lush forest of beautifully decorated trees to raise much-needed funds for BC Children’s Hospital. The festival knits together the incredibly generous community of Victoria in what has become, over the last two decades, a cherished holiday tradition and the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season in the city. Victoria Buzz are proud media sponsors of this event.
- When: Friday, Nov 16, 2016 – January 5, 2016
- Where: The Bay Centre and The Fairmont Empress
- What: More than just a house, these are “sweet” masterpieces! This event brings together professionals and amateur chefs from across Canada, dazzling visitors with their skills. Vote for your favourite and make a donation to Habitat for Humanity Victoria. This year’s theme is “Around the World” and bakers are encouraged to let their creativity lead the way, whether it is finding inspiration in travel, traditions and cultures, or adventures with friends. Victoria Buzz are proud to be one of this year’s official judges.
- When: Nov. 19, 2016 and runs until Jan. 2, 2017, with viewing from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
- Where: Inn at Laurel Point, 680 Montreal St
- What: Christmas lights, holiday wreaths, carollers, festive dining & skating all taking this at the gardens this coming holiday season. The Magic of Christmas Light Up Ceremony is on December 1 at 5 PM. Visit the Magic of Christmas calendar here for all details.
- When: Thursday, Dec 1, 2016 – Tuesday, Jan 6, 2017.
- Where: The Butchart Gardens, 800 Benvenuto Ave
- What: Grab hot chocolates for the family, hop in the car, crank up the Christmas music, as you head out on the Christmas trail! We put together three routes that take you past some of those big and beautiful displays.
- When: Every day until the lights come down
- Where: All around Greater Victoria
- What: Decorated for the holidays and located in the resort’s backyard, the Bear Mountain skating rink is perfect place to build memories with your friends, colleagues, and loved ones. Come skate outdoors and take in the best views in Victoria! (Weather dependent)
- When: Saturday, Nov 26, 2016 – Sunday, Jan 8, 2017. Open until 9:00 pm. This year, a special addition – the Fire Lounge and Adults only skate times! Saturday nights in December from 8PM to 10PM, the music is turned up and the bar is open – it’s a perfect spot for a date!
- Where: Bear Mountain Resort, 1999 Country Club Way
- Admission: $5 per person, which includes skate rental if needed. (limited skates available)
- What: Enjoy a classic downtown tradition with your family this holiday season for FREE! Every weekend, horse-drawn trolleys will circulate throughout downtown making it an enjoyable experience for you as you take in the festive sights and sounds of the holidays. The trolleys are a unique way to tour the downtown or take a scenic break while you rest your weary feet.
- When: Nov 27 – Dec 24, 2016; Saturdays & Sundays 11AM-3PM
- Where: Pre-set trolley routes throughout the downtown with 4 stops at:
A: Store St. at Chatham St. – In front of Capital Iron
B: Johnson St. near Wharf St. – In front of Willie’s Bakery
C: Langley St. at Bastion Sq. – Across from Re-Bar
D: Government St. at Fisgard St. – In front of CRD Plaza
- What: Presented by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and friends, members of the large cast, crew, and live animals transform Topaz Park for a few unforgettable moments that will keep the real meaning of Christmas in your heart forever.
- Where: Topaz Park, Victoria
- When: December 21st, 22nd, and 23rd – 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, or 8:00 nightly.
- What: Craigdarroch Castle’s halls will ring with the sound of festive music this holiday season. Musicians ranging from jazz artists to medieval folk groups to classical cellists to Celtic bands will perform. Enjoy the castle beautifully decorated for the holidays while taking in the sweet sounds.
- When: December 10, 11 and 17-24 at 11AM and 3PM
- Where: Craigdarroch Castle, 1050 Joan Crescent
- Admission: The performances are free with Castle admission.