It’s the weekend and there is plenty to do. From low brass musicians playing Christmas carols to hopping on the holiday express, here are 12 things to do.

40th annual Tuba Christmas

There’s nothing quite like hearing a huge group of low brass musicians playing Christmas carols! Join us for the 40th annual Tuba Christmas — one of Victoria’s favourite holiday traditions.

Donations will be accepted for the Times Colonist Christmas Fund. Fund volunteers work for the Salvation Army and Mustard Seed Street Church to help people in need during the holiday season.

  • When: Saturday 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Where: Market Square, 560 Johnson Street

Skate and Swim with Santa

The most wonderful FREE event of the year! Skate and Swim with Santa is back! Join Santa Claus for a day of fun and games. Start off with a BBQ lunch and then head to the arena to skate with Santa. Afterwards you can jump in the pool and swim with Santa!

Don’t forget about the Christmas Tree contest! Different offices and ships have decorated trees – check them all out and then vote for your favourite!

  • When: Saturday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Where: Naden Athletic Centre, 1200 Woodway Road

Santa’s Pancake Breakfast

Enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast, craft activities, musical entertainment for the entire family and an opportunity to have your photo with Santa. The event fees are $5 per person, $10 per family up to 4 immediate family members, and $5 for each additional extended family member. Tickets can be purchased the day of the event at the door.

  • When: Saturday, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Where: Burnside Gorge Community Association, 471 Cecelia Road

Festival of Trees at the Bay Centre

The 27th Annual Festival of Trees at the Bay Centre has begun! See the Bay Centre transformed into a glowing forest of hand-decorated trees. Share in the spirit by voting for your favourite (like ours 😉), with all proceeds supporting the most urgent health care needs of kids in BC.

Trees will be on display at the Bay Centre starting November 15, 2018, through January 7, 2019.

10th Annual Gingerbread Showcase

This fun charitable event will showcase the gingerbread houses of both professional and amateur bakers.

Vote for your favourite sugary structure, and all donations will go towards Habitat Victoria’s Build Program for families in need. Last year, they had over 25,000 visitors and more than $51,000 was raised!

  • When: On now until Sunday, January 6th, 2019 – 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Where: The Parkside Hotel & Spa – 810 Humboldt Street

Cookies and Crafts at the Greater Victoria Public Library

The annual Cookies and Crafts Open House, proudly presented at all 12 branches of the Greater Victoria Public Library. The would like to thank you for supporting your library, and celebrate the season with free festive refreshments and crafts for kids.

  • When: Saturday, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Where: Greater Victoria Public Library, 735 Broughton Street

Free Cookie Decorating at the Market

Bring your kids down to the Market to decorate their very own Gingerbread Man! Cookies, icing and candies will all be provided for free, and they’ll will be accepting donations to CFAX Santas Anonymous!

Cookie station will be set up in front of the Community Kitchen.

  • When: Saturday December 1st, Saturday December 8th, and Saturday December 15th from 12 p.m. – 3p.m.
  • Where: Victoria Public Market, 1701 Douglas Street #6

The Christmas Express!

All aboard the Christmas Express a 1910 steam locomotive as it travels through thousands of twinkling lights that adorn the 100 acre enchanted woods of the BC Forest Discovery Centre.

Thousands of visitors over the years have made a Christmas tradition of attending this colourful and entertaining event.

The Christmas Express event is a huge undertaking and largely driven by ‘volunteer elves’. The BC Forest Discovery Centre enjoys the support of so many ‘volunteer elves’ from the community who work alongside the staff to ensure the lights are hung, they deck the halls including showcasing our buildings and artefacts to give the museum and our forest that magical festive look.

  • When: Saturday and Sunday –  Opens at 4 p.m. with train departures every 20 minutes beginning at 4:30pm. The last train departs at 8:30pm.
  • Where: BC Forest Discovery Centre, 2892 Drinkwater Road

Father Christmas in Old Town

You can be sure to get your Christmas list to “The Man with the Bag” himself during December. See Father Christmas in Old Town during December (December 7-9 and December 14-16) from 11 am to 3 pm. Included with admission or membership; photos are by donation.

  • When: Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Where: Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street

Skate with the Victoria Royals at Butchart Gardens

The Victoria Royals will be skating around the garden’s 5,000 sq. ft. rink, and fans can meet the WHL players and get autographs from their favourite team members!

To add to the excitement, Marty the Marmot will also be making an appearance on ice in addition to the team.

  • When: Sunday 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Where: Butchart Gardens, 800 Benvenuto Ave.

Carol along with the Carillon

Hear the bells of the Carillon ring and sing along to festive favourites with your family and friends (four-legged variety also welcome) at our Carol Along with the Carillon. Provincial Carillonneur Rosemary Laing will accompany the Newcombe Choir in a one-of-a-kind caroling party. Watch as the Carillon is lit up for the holidays with a hot chocolate and cookie in hand. Event is by donation.

  • When: Sunday, 4:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Where: Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street

The Polar Express Pajama Party at the IMAX

Update: This event is sold out.

 

This list is still being updated with more things to do. Keep checking back!

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