Happy Holidays, Everyone!

There’s plenty to do this weekend, like the ever-popular Teddy Bear Toss Night, Christmas light bike rides, ice carving, and more!

Victoria Royals vs Vancouver Giants (Teddy Bear Toss Night)

The Royals’ annual Teddy Bear Toss is happening this Saturday, December 15th!

During the game, fans can bring a new or gently-used teddy bear and throw them on the ice after the Royals score their first goal, and the little buddies that land on the ice will be donated to a variety of local charities for kids this holiday season.

  • When: Saturday, December 15th, 2018 at 7:05 p.m.
  • Where: Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, 1925 Blanshard Street

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.

  • When: Runs on weekends from Saturday, December 1st to Sunday, December 16th, with the addition of Wednesday, December 19th through to Sunday, December 23rd, a total of 13 magical evenings. The BC Forest Discovery Centre opens at 4 p.m. on these dates with train departures every 20 minutes beginning at 4:30pm. The last train departs at 8:30 p.m.
  • 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: December 14-16 – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Where: Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street

Santa, Superhero, and Princess Breakfast

It’s the most ambitious breakfast crossover in history. If you like Santa, superheros, princesses, or pancakes this breakfast is for you!

Proceeds from the breakfast go towards the Help Fill a Dream Foundation. Come get some pancakes with your kids to help other children with healthcare challenges!

  • When: December 15th, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Where: Archie Browning Sports Centre, 1151 Esquimalt Road

Holiday Family-Fun-Fest at the YMCA/YWCA

You can join the YMCA/YWCA at Eagle Creek Village for the second annual Holiday Family-Fun-Fest! There’ll be free activities and entertainment like face-painting, balloon twisting, story-time, music, and more!

Plus, the first 150 kids (ages 12 and under) at the event will receive a free goodie bag!

The YMCA/YWCA also asks that visitors bring a non-perishable food item to help support the Goldstream Food Bank.

  • When: December 15th, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Where: Eagle Creek Village YMCA/YWCA, #110-25 Helmcken Road

Great Big Neighbourhood Christmas Carol Sing

Nothing puts you in the holiday spirit like Christmas songs, and it’s doubly true when you’re caroling!

The James Bay United Church is opening its doors to anyone who’d like to join in and sing. The night’s totally free, but the church invites visitors to bring a non-perishable food item that will be donated to a local food bank.

  • When: December 15th, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Where: James Bay United Church, 511 Michigan Street

Skate with Santa

Santa’s everywhere this December weekend! Besides being able to meet the big man himself, skaters will get to enjoy music, games, hot chocolate, and hot dogs!

  • When: December 15th, 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Where: Archie Browning Sports Centre, 1151 Esquimalt Road

Festival of Trees at the Bay Centre

The 27th Annual Festival of Trees at the Bay Centre is here! 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 7th, 2019.

  • When: Daily until Jan 7 from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (during shopping centre hours)
  • Where: The Bay Centre, 1150 Douglas Street

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

Ghostly Walks: Ghosts of Christmas Past

While Ghostly Walks are offered all year round, the ghosts of Christmas pas are sure to fright and delight.

As the tour guides put it, “as we approach the longest night, the team from Ghostly Walks is ready to tell their favourite yuletide hauntings once again…”

“A Songhees legend, a Christmas Eve murder, the “White Lady” of Bastion Square (who first made her appearance at Christmas 1861) and many more…”

  • When: December 15th and 16th, tour begins at 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: 812 Wharf Street at Government (across from the Empress Hotel)

Mindful Gift Wrapping in support of Local Families

This holiday season you can turn your giving of a gift into a present for two. If you get your presents wrapped at the Bay Centre this winter, 100% of the proceeds you don’t will go towards families in need through United Way Greater Victoria.

It’s the perfect opportunity for the lazy, the generous, or both.

  • When: Now until December 24th, during Bay Centre hours
  • Where: The Bay Centre,  1150 Douglas Street

GVCC Christmas Lights Ride

This festive bike ride + Christmas light tour combination is one of the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition’s most popular rides.

Participants can dress up and decorate their bikes, or just join the crew as they bike to popular and spectacular holiday displays in the city. The ride will be 5 km to 10 km depending on the weather.

  • When: December 16th, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where: Riders should meet at the Esquimalt Rec Centre, 527 Fraser Street

Seasonal Traditions: Cultural Ways and Teachings

The winter season is time for a host of different traditions from many cultures. One that strikes particularly close to home is the practices of Indigenous cultures that are closely linked to the changing seasons.

The Royal BC is hosting stories and presentations on the wintertime customs of coastal First Nations.

  • When: December 16th, 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Where: The Royal BC Museum, third floor theatre area – 675 Belleville Street

Chocolate and Churches 

Victoria isn’t short on beautiful historic churches and delicious local chocolate!

Off the Eaten Track is hosting a walking tour that will visit some of city’s most iconic churches and will stop by five local businesses.

“Stops include a gourmet chocolate shop, an unexpected savoury dish, a cooking store to sample bean-to-bar Victoria-made chocolate, and two incredible bakeries,” reads the tour description.

  • When: December 16th, tour begins at 1:00 p.m.
  • Where: Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut, 621 Broughton Street

Crafty Christmas in the Square: Ice Sculpture Demonstrations

During the entire month of December, fun and festive events are happening in Centennial Square every weekend.

This Sunday, the event is ice sculpture carving by Cool as Ice. You can come watch the sculptors transform blocks of ice into creative, holiday sculptures!

  • When: December 16th, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Where: Centennial Square, 1 Centennial Square