Santa's Light Parade
Image: Doug Clement Photography

It’s the weekend to get into the Christmas spirit! From two parades to light up, here are 13 things to do in and around Victoria this weekend, November 30th – December 1st.

Annual Breakfast with Santa

Save the date for the Peninsula Celebrations Society’s annual Breakfast with Santa!

The fun begins at the Mary Winspear Centre with Santa arriving at 9:00 a.m. A delicious Pancake Breakfast will be served by the Sidney Lion’s Club at a cost of $7 per adult and $5 for children under 12, at the door. There will also be photos with Santa (by donation)!

  • When: Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.
  • Where: Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Avenue

4th Annual Christmas Craft Beer Show

For its fourth year in a row, the annual tradition Christmas Craft Beer Show is returning to the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre and it promises to be better than ever.

The much-anticipated kick-off to the holidays attracts all kinds of beer enthusiasts with its celebration of hoppy and barley brews – giving them a chance to sample a wide array of beverages under one roof.

  • When:
    • Friday, November 29th, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    • Saturday, November 30th, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Where: Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, 1925 Blanshard St
  • Admission: Tickets start at $40. Click here to purchase.

38th annual Island Farms Santa’s Light Parade

One of Victoria’s most beloved Christmas traditions returns this weekend with a sparkle.

The 38th annual Island Farms Santa’s Light Parade will light up the streets of downtown Victoria on Saturday, kicking off the holiday season in spectacular style.

  • When: Saturday, November 30th
    • Christmas Square Activities (Centennial Square): 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
    • Santa’s Light Parade: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Along Government Street)
    • Christmas Tree Light-Up at Christmas Square: 7 p.m.

Shine a Light on Youth Homelessness – Winter Carnival

Threshold will be hosting a Winter Carnival on Saturday, November 30th to continue their fundraising efforts – including the lighting of the largest tree in Bastion Square, live music, hot chocolate, and Christmas themed activities – such as crafting ornaments, decorating gingerbread houses, face painting, Santa, and guest speakers!

  • When: Saturday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Where: Bastion Square

Festival of Trees Victoria

The Festival of Trees is back at the Bay Centre!  A community tradition that has become the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season in Victoria. Head down to the Bay Centre, grab your favourite holiday beverage, and tour the trees that have been beautifully decorated.

Support BC Children’s Hospital by making a donation and voting for your favourite tree–you. Funds raised through this event help meet the most critical health needs of kids in BC.

  • When: Trees are on display until January 6 during opening hours
  • Where: The Bay Centre, 1150 Douglas Street

90’s Night

Go back to the ’90s with videogames and an epic dance party!  Free coat check. Get in free if it’s your Bday. 19+ Cover is $8.

    • 8 p.m.: Bar, video games (atari classic, nes, SNES, SNES classic, sega, n64), over 30 board games, foosball, ping pong, 90’s music videos!
    • 10 p.m.: 90’s dance party starts! Live DJ
  • When: 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Where: Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad Street

11th annual Gingerbread Showcase

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Parkside Hotel! The showcase brings people of all skill levels together to compete against each other in a gingerbread house-making competition.

  • When: November 16th – Sunday, January 5th, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m
  • Where: Atrium of the Parkside Hotel, 810 Humboldt Street

Craft Cartel Artisan Market

Join Craft Cartel in their celebration of all things indie craft makers, food and libations, concerts and fundraisers.

With a focus on showcasing local artisans and their wares, Craft Cartel will be bringing the best of the best when it comes to Victoria’s most creative – and they’ll have live music and delicious eats on-site, too!

Hoyne Brewing, Merridale Cider, Red Roaster Coffee and Victoria’s iconic Deadbeetz Food Truck will be there to fuel 3 days full of shopping adventure, and there will even be free kids snacks, a colouring station and activities to keep the littles happy while you browse!

  • When:
    • Friday, November 29th, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    • Saturday, November 30th, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Sunday, December 1st, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Where: Da Vinci Centre, 195 Bay Street
  • Admission: Tickets: $4 – Adults, Kids under 12 admitted free

Grizzlies Help Fill A Dream Hockey Night

Hockey fans are guaranteed a fun-packed evening of entertainment as the Victoria Grizzlies – BCHL takes on the Nanaimo Clippers Jr. A Hockey Club at home. There will be entertainment and prizes including a Teddy Bear Toss. The entire evening is a fundraiser for Help Fill A Dream – make sure that you’re part of this spectacular event.

  • When: Saturday, 6 p.m. to about 9 p.m.
  • Where: The Q Centre

Christmas at Craigdarroch Castle

Holiday lovers, rejoice – Christmas lasts the whole month of December at Craigdarroch Castle! Starting the first day of December, the Castle promises to bring holiday-themed theatre, music, movies and more for the entire family – all at one of Victoria’s most iconic landmarks.

Kicking off at Craigdarroch’s Museum Store on Sunday, December 1st, a special promotion offers shoppers from around the globe the chance to support local to start the busy holiday shopping season.

‘Museum Store Sunday’ will participate with 1,200 retailers worldwide for the first time ever, and The Castle Shop will offer samples as well as special promotions and prizes throughout the day.

  • When: All December long! See the full schedule of events online
  • Where: Craigdarroch Castle, 1050 Joan Crescent

Sidney Sparkles Christmas Parade

The annual Sidney Sparkles Christmas Parade, which is hosted by the Peninsula Celebrations Society, begins at Resthaven Drive, runs through the centre of town along Beacon Avenue and ends at Ocean Avenue.

  • When: Sunday, December 1 at 5 p.m.
  • Where:  Along Beacon Avenue in Sidney

Butchart Gardens’ Annual Christmas Lights Ceremony

Christmas season is officially in full swing, as Butchart Gardens flips the switch to kick off their ‘Magic of Christmas’.

Watch Victoria’s most iconic attraction light up for the holidays, and experience a number of winter activities from December to early January.

  • When: Light happens on Sunday, at 5 p.m.
  • Where: In front of the Rose Carousel at the Butchart Gardens, 800 Benvenuto Avenue

Royal BC Museum Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises exhibition

A rare artifact crucial to determining hitherto unknown facts about the ancient Mayan civilization has just made its way to Victoria.

  • When: On now until December 31, 2019
  • Where: Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street