(Photo by Clickhead)

‘Twas the last weekend before Christmas, and all through the town,

Were events around the city, both uptown and down! 

 

There was skating and singing, gingerbread and brunch,

All sorts of delicacies for Victorians to munch. 

 

There were places to donate, and places to shop, 

Places to go and places to stop. 

 

There are so many events coming up around the bend — 

So here are 17 things to do in and around Victoria this weekend!

 

CFAX Santa’s Anonymous

On Saturday December 21st, CFAX Santas Anonymous will be at Centennial Square giving away glow sticks while supplies last and having a draw by donation for 2 Canucks Tickets for a game in January! 

Help support this beloved charity that has been at the forefront of helping people in Victoria for over 40 years. 

  • When: Saturday, December 21st
  • Where: Centennial Square, 1 Centennial Square

Sixth Annual Victoria Buzz Christmas Lights Map

Grab hot chocolates for the family, hop in the car, tune into 98.5 The Ocean, and crank up the music as you head out on the Christmas trail!

With so many light displays around the capital region, we wanted to narrow down some of the best spots to catch the lights around town.

  • When: Anytime this weekend
  • Where: Three separate routes in Victoria, Saanich Peninsula, and West Shore

Winter Wonderland Family Carnival

Join Panorama Recreation Centre on the ice for some holiday fun for the whole family! Enjoy hot chocolate, kids’ games, painting on the ice, and a special visit from Santa in the beautiful winter wonderland. Plus, the Peninsula Figure Skating Club will put on a grand performance as well! 

  • When: Saturday, December 21st, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Where: Panorama Recreation, 1885 Forest Park Drive

Vox Humana Chamber Choir

The Vox Humana Chamber Choir will be treating shoppers at Russell Books to a free preview of their annual A Child’s Christmas in Wales performance. Head to the bookstore’s new location this Saturday and hear some festive favourites while you shop!

  • When: Saturday, December 21st, 2:30 p.m.
  • Where: Russell Books, 747 Fort Street

Lights of Wonder 

From December 20 through January 4, Centennial Square will become a visual, playful lightscape. Lights of Wonder is a magical urban oasis where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together and celebrate the season. 

Admission is free, though donations are accepted, so residents and tourists alike can enjoy Lights of Wonder as many times as they like.

  • When: December 20th through January 4th. 
  • Where: Centennial Square, 1 Centennial Square

Last Minute Christmas Party

We’ve all been there — you’re days away from Christmas and you still don’t have a present for your mom/significant other/family dog. The Copper Owl has you covered, with their sixth last-minute Christmas party. 

With a live DJ, seasonal alcohol, and local vendors, this is the perfect way to mix socializing with frantic shopping!

  • When: Sunday December 22nd, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Where: The Copper Owl, 1900 Douglas Street

Canadian Brass at UVic

“The world’s most famous brass group” joins the Victoria Symphony for an evening of entertainment, spontaneity, virtuosity and most of all fun with holiday music, classical flare and a few surprises. 

The Grammy and Juno award winning group has sold over 2 million CDs worldwide played Carnegie Hall, the Tonight Show, and been featured with the Boston Pops!

  • When: Saturday December 21st, 8:00 p.m.
  • Where: The Farquhar Auditorium at UVic, 3800 Finnerty Road

Karly Summers at the Bay Centre

This season, the Bay Centre wants to ensure that while you are carefully curating gifts for your loved ones that you slow down, be kind to yourself and take it all in. Involve all your senses during your holiday shopping with a weekend performance by local singer-songwriter Karly Summers!

  • When: Sunday December 22nd, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Where: Centre Court at the Bay Centre, 1150 Douglas Street

An Evening of Buena Vista Social Club

Nothing says Christmas like Latin music — and no, we’re not talking about Michael Buble’s “Feliz Navidad.” 

We’re talking about Pablo Cardenas and a band of extraordinary skill, bringing you a tribute to the legendary Buena Vista Social Club at Northern Quarter. Even novices to the Cuban scene will be familiar with many of these timeless and evocative songs! 

  • When: Saturday December 21st, 9:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
  • Where: Northern Quarter, 1724 Douglas Street

Daniel Lapp’s Home for Christmas

Feel the Christmas spirit come alive as renowned Canadian musician Daniel Lapp leads three performances bringing together nearly 200 current students and VCM alumni to share a variety of Canadian Coast-to-Coast Christmas inspired tunes and welcome family and friends back to Victoria for the beloved holiday season.

There will be dozens of incredible musicians sharing the stage, but make sure you don’t miss Nicholas Fairbank, who will play “Cassie”, Alix Goolden Performance Hall’s beloved 1910 Casavant pipe organ.

  • When: Saturday, December 21st, at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30pm
  • Where: Alix Goolden Hall, 907 Pandora Avenue

Handel’s Messiah at UVic 

With the Hallelujah Chorus as its centerpiece, Handel’s oratorio Messiah is probably the most famous piece of classical music in the world. Giuseppe Pietraroia leads talented soloists, the Victoria Symphony, and the Victoria Choral Society in Handel’s sublime piece. 

  • When: Sunday December 22nd, 2:30 p.m.
  • Where: The Farquhar Auditorium at UVic, 3800 Finnerty Road

Ice Festival at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Pearkes Recreation Centre is hosting their 2nd annual Ice Festival! Enjoy this festive season with family and friends in a Winter Snow Globe on ice. 

The lights will be down and the arena transformed into a winter wonderland with a giant snow globe, trees, lights, and snow. It is truly a magical way to spend time this holiday season. 

  • When: Friday, December 20th, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Where: Pearkes Recreation Centre, 3100 Tillicum Road

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. 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

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: On now until Sunday, January 5th, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m
  • Where: Atrium of the Parkside Hotel, 810 Humboldt Street

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 and start the busy holiday shopping season right.

‘Museum Store Sunday’ involves 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

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

Brunch at the Victoria Public Market

All your favourite Public Market vendors are open and serving a wide range of amazing brunch foods, including breakfast bagels from Shatterbox, vegan chicken and waffles from Very Good Butchers, and brunch carbonara from La Pasta. Honestly, we’re getting hungry just writing about this. 

  • When: Every Saturday and Sunday from now until Sunday, December 29th, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Where: The Victoria Public Market, 1701 Douglas Street

Winter Wonderland at the Bay Centre

Meet up with friends, family and colleagues at the Bay Centre this holiday season and take a walk through the Bay Centre Winter Wonderland in Centre Court.

You’ll experience the biggest indoor living tree display in downtown Victoria, featuring an interactive light tunnel – the place to be for your holiday pics!

  • When: On now until December 30, 2019
  • Where: The Bay Centre, 1150 Douglas Street