Friday, July 19, 2024

8 Christmas-y things to do this weekend to get into the festive spirit


Christmas day is almost upon us, and the whole town is decked up in its finest lights and decorations!

The holiday spirit in the air is almost as tangible as Jack Frost nipping at your nose, and if it hasn’t infected you yet, here are a few things you can do to get your Christmas vibes on!

1. Check out the houses with the best Christmas decorations in town

Christmas Lights display on Victoria Buzz map – Address: 1212 Loenholm Road (Photocredit ItkasanImages)

Use Victoria Buzz’s interactive 4th annual Christmas Lights Tour Map and check out all the amazing displays around town!

Featuring the best and most extravagantly decorated homes from across the entire Capital Region, our map is also optimized for mobile, so your trusty navigator can guide you along any of the routes as you go.

2. Butchart Gardens: Magic of Christmas Season

Butchart Gardens Magic of Christmas
Photo via Butchart Gardens
  • What: See Victoria’s iconic Butchart Gardens transformed into a magical fairyland. Thousands of twinkling lights will guide your way through the venue as you enjoy the Festive Brass and Traditional Carollers performing every evening. Complete your Christmas experience at the gardens with some hot chocolate, a complimentary carousel ride, and ice skating in Waterwheel Square (regular rates apply)
  • When: December 1st – January 6th, 9 AM – 9 PM
    December 25th, 1 PM – 9 PM
  • Admission: Adult (18+) – $27
    Youth (13-17) – $13.50
    Child (5-12) – $3
    Groups (25 or more people) – $24.30

3. 26th Annual Festival of Trees

Photo by Jay Wallace
  • What: Join the B.C. Children’s Hospital and the Bay Centre as they present the 26th Annual Festival of Trees. Peruse 80 creatively adorned Christmas trees at the Bay Centre before voting for your favourite. The best part? Along with your vote, you’ll also be donating to the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation AND entering yourself for a chance to win a $500 Bay Centre gift card!
  • When: November 16th – January 2nd, regular shopping hours
  • Where: The Bay Centre, Douglas St
  • Admission: Free. Vote by donation.

4. 9th Annual Gingerbread Showcase

(Photocredit ItkasanImages)
  • What: Come check out this extravagant display of your favourite holiday treat turned into houses, beavers, mountains and more! The theme this year is “Celebrating Canada”, so prepare to see (and smell) everything you love about our country. What’s more, when you donate to vote for your favourite creation, all proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity – an organization that builds affordable housing for low income residents in Victoria.
  • When: November 18th, 2017 – January 2nd, 2018
  • Where: The Parkside Hotel & Spa atrium, 810 Humboldt Street
  • Admission: Free. Vote by donation.

5. Go ice skating at the Bear Mountain Ice Skating rink

  • What: One of the few outdoor ice skating locations in town, Bear Mountain’s Ceremony Circle has been transformed into a veritable winter wonderland. This fun-for-all-ages activity will leave you breathless with wonder and excitement! Complimentary skates and helmets will be loaned based on availability, so make sure you get there early.
  • When: December 15th onwards, 10 AM – 8 PM
  • Where: The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa, 1999 Country Club Way
  • Admission: $10 for Adults (19+)
    $5 for Youth (18 and under)
    $25 for Family (3+ people)

6. Christmas in Old Town

  • What: Take a trip down memory lane at the Royal BC Museum this winter and see what a Victorian Christmas looked like years ago. Experience a Yuletide blast from the past as you walk down wood-cobbled streets and take in the festive atmosphere.
  • When: November 27th, 2017 – January 9th, 2018, 10 AM – 5 PM (Closed on December 25th and January 1st)
  • Where: Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street
  • Admission: Included with museum ticket or membership

7. The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party
  • What: It’s time to break out your ugly christmas apparel and deck some halls! Paparazzi Night Club is letting anybody (19+) in for free if they’re wearing their Christmas spirit on their sleeves! DJ RonnyB will be mixing songs so you’ll be able to rock around the Christmas tree all night long!
  • When: December 22nd, 2017, 10pm – 2am
  • Where: Paparazzi Night Club, 642 Johnson Street
  • Admission: $7 cover / free when wearing an ugly christmas sweater

8. Meet Mrs. Claus

  • What: What better way to get your little ones excited for christmas day than to have Mrs. Claus read stories to them while they enjoy some good old cookies and milk.
  • When: December 24th, 2017, readings are at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm
  • Where: Fairmont Empress Hotel, 721 Government Street
  • Admission: Free


Brishti Basu
Former Senior Staff Writer and Content Manager at Victoria Buzz.

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