It’s December, which means the holidays are now in full swing!
This weekend, markets and parades are ramping up. Every day, there will be something to get you into the holiday spirit.
With a chance of snow in Victoria this weekend, be sure to drive carefully and bundle up.
Here are 22 things to do in and around Victoria this weekend, December 3rd-5th:
Capital City Holiday Market
If you’re looking for some amazing gift ideas, a group of small businesses are getting together to put together a holiday market!
The market will include vendors, a photo booth, ice cream, festive beverages and more!
There will also be an ornament decorating station.
The event is free, but they are asking for a non-perishable food item or hand warmers as a donation for the Victoria Community Fridge.
- Where: 721 Douglas Street
- When: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday December 3rd
A Touch of Salt Spring Christmas Craft Show
A Touch of Salt Spring Christmas Craft Show is back and this year it’s at a familiar location.
The event includes over 100 vendors selling their handmade crafts, artisanal goods and more.
The event features the creations of a wide variety of local vendors, including pottery, jewellery, furniture, food, artwork and more.
- Where: Saanich Fairgrounds
- 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday December 3rd
- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, December 4th
- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday December 5th
- Wristbands: $5 each giving you access to all three days of the event – kids under 12 are free! Wristbands can be purchased at the Saanich Fairground entrance.
Hillside Holiday Artisan Market
This weekend, the Hillside Holiday Artisan Market will feature 75 vendors. Stop by, bring your own bag and pick up unique gifts for your entire family!
- Where: Hillside Shopping Centre
- When: December 4th and 5th
Get your pet a photo with Santa
This December, visit a PetSmart store near you for a photo of your pet with Santa.
Participating PetSmart locations will be offering this free event, all you have to do is book an appointment and show up!
There are three PetSmart locations on Vancouver Island, including two in the Greater Victoria area at Uptown and Millstream Village Shopping Centre.
Photos can be taken on your own personal device or on the store’s event camera. Photos will be delivered via email.
You can also download the PetSmart app to use fun photo filters during the event.
- Where: At your nearest participating PetSmart location
- When: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on December 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th
- Price: Free! Book your appointment here.
The IEOA Truck Light Convoy and Food Drive
The annual IEOA Truck Light Convoy and Food Drive is back, and will be making its way through Victoria this Saturday!
The highly anticipated holiday convoy will begin at Ogden Point at approximately 5:45 before weaving throughout Greater Victoria and out to the West Shore.
The convoy features dozens of commercial trucks from the Island Equipment Owners Association (IEOA), all decked out in thousands of sparkling Christmas lights.
The IEOA also raises thousands of dollars worth of donations in both cash and food. Over the past 20 years, the organization has collected over 160,000 lbs of food for those in need.
- Where: Starts at the Breakwater District at Ogden Point and ends at Westshore Motor Sports
- When: 5:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, December 4th. See the route here.
See a comedy show at Hecklers
After being closed for nearly two years, Hecklers is back to fulfill your comedy needs. Every Saturday night, enjoy a comedian followed by Comedy Here Often?’s The Late show.
- Where: 123 Gorge Road East, Hecklers Bar and Grill
- When: Chris Gordon: 7 p.m., Saturday, Comedy Here Often? The Late Show: 10 p.m., Saturday December 4th
- Tickets: $20. Tickets can be purchased online here.
Sooke Santa Parade
The Sooke Lions will be bringing the Sooke Santa Parade to town this weekend!
The celebration will start at 5 p.m., and Sooke Road will be closed from Charters Road to Otter Point Road starting at 4 p.m. A detour will be in effect.
Watch Sooke Road come alive with community spirit!
- Where: See the route here.
- When: 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Sunday December 5th
Attend “We Are One! 2021” virtually
In celebration of Human Solidarity Day and the International Day of Persons With Disabilities, West Coast Reach Association is holding a virtual concert!
On Sunday, December 5th you can attend the free event that features local and international performers.
The event is free but pre-registration is required.
- Where: Online. Register to attend here.
- When: 2 p.m., Sunday, December 5th
30th Annual Festival of Trees
The BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s 30th annual Festival of Trees is back at the Bay Centre!
This local tradition is the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season.
Stroll through over 70 Christmas trees decorated by local businesses in support of mental health programs at BC Children’s Hospital.
- When: November 18th – January 4th, regular shopping hours
- Where: The Bay Centre, 1150 Douglas Street
- Admission: Free – vote by donation!
Try Tim Hortons new ‘Timbiebs’
Justin Bieber is helping bring three fresh flavours of Timbits in what both him and Tim Hortons are calling Timbiebs.
The pride of London, Ontario, teased the collaboration two days ago in an Instagram post and had fans wondering what was going on.
Now he’s helping bring three Timbiebs flavours – Chocolate White Fudge, Sour Cream Chocolate Chip, and Birthday Cake Waffle – to stores across North America.
See a movie at the drive in!
No, you haven’t been transported back in time, this is real! Legacy Drive-In has announced showtimes for their outdoor theatre at Westshore Motorsports Park this holiday season.
This weekend, enjoy a holiday movie from the comfort of your car as you enjoy food by Westshore Burger Co.
Tickets must be purchased in advance and it is recommended patrons arrive 30 minutes before showtime to ensure they get the best spot.
- Where: Westshore Motorsports Park (formerly Western Speedway) 2207 Millstream Road
- When: Elf: 6;30 p.m., Friday December 3rd, Saving Santa: 5:15 p.m., Sunday December 5th
- Price: $30/car. Tickets can be purchased here.
Purchase a calendar by a local photographer
Across Vancouver Island, local creatives have compiled their best and favourite work from 2021 into wall calendars for this upcoming year. These are available for pre-order and purchase!
These 12 month calendars will help keep you organized in 2022 while supporting local businesses and causes.
You can see our list here.
Try the new Driftwood Brewery Tasting Lounge
Thirteen years after Driftwood Brewery began operation at their original brewery in Rock Bay, the company has moved to a new warehouse space in Esquimalt.
The 59,000 square foot space is located at 836 Viewfield Road and includes a distillery, tasting lounge with a patio, kitchen and an enhanced retail store.
Enjoy your favourite Driftwood beers, spirits from the new Driftwood Spirits, food from Dumpling Drop and select wine, beer and cider from other producers!
- Where: 836 Viewfield Road, Esquimalt
- When: 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Sunday
Enjoy an eggnog latte
It’s no secret everyone was disappointed when Starbucks announced their fan favourite eggnog latte would be excluded from their holiday menu this year.
However, this doesn’t mean you will go without this year!
Coffee shops across Victoria are now announcing their very own eggnog lattes and other holiday drink menus. This means you can still live your eggnog latte dreams while supporting local businesses. You can see our list here.
Try Victoria’s newest German-Swiss inspired restaurant
A brand new German/Swiss-inspired restaurant has opened in Victoria and you’re invited to celebrate!
Eva Schnitzelhaus, the brand new addition to Victoria’s Chinatown district, offers new interpretations of classic German, Swiss and Austrian dishes for the public to enjoy.
The 600 square foot restaurant is bright and spacious, seating 38 diners with an interior designed to feel like the ambiance of an authentic ski chalet.
- Location: 509 Fisgard Street
- Hours: Opens November 17th for dinner service. Regular hours to be announced.
Enjoy a charcuterie night out
Now that we are able to go out and catch up with friends over dinner again, we want it to be special. We want to go all out!
Getting dressed up, ordering a glass of wine and sharing a charcuterie board at a local restaurant can make you feel fancy and sophisticated.
Charcuterie boards give you a little bit of everything, meat, cheeses, pickled sides. It’s the perfect sharing dish to have while you discuss everything you’ve missed with your friends.
You can view our list here!
Check out Victoria’s new British Shop
A brand new shop specializing in British treats has opened in Victoria and we’re buzzing with excitement!
Limey, the British Shop, opened as a single, family-run location in Kelowna. Now, they’re overjoyed as they expand to, in their words “the most British city in all of Canada”.
This fun and funky shop specializes in all things British, from sweets and crisps, to bangers, black pudding and Marmite.
- Location: #101, 515 Chatham Street
- Monday to Saturday – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Sunday – 11 a.m to 4 p.m
- Contact: (778) 432-4620
Try a Starbucks holiday drink
Holidays are back at Starbucks with some old favourites and a brand new addition to their festive menu!
Starting Thursday, November 4th, when you visit a Starbucks location your hot drink will come in a festive red Starbucks cup.
Try some of Victoria local’s favourite meals
On a local subreddit, r/VictoriaBC, user fyrite asked the public to share their favourite local dishes, the go-tos, the ones people can’t live without.
Victoria delivered, and over 300 recommendations were posted to the thread.
Fyrite took the recommendations and created a mass spreadsheet and map to allow the suggestions to be easily accessible and enjoyed by everyone!
Try one of Victoria’s best crispy chicken sandwiches
Victoria is full of restaurants putting their own creative spin on the crispy chicken sandwich!
Reddit user u/beesmadehoney78 has been on the hunt, asking for the public’s help in finding Victoria’s best fried chicken sandwich.
Click here to see the list!
Try some of Victoria’s best cocktails
Reddit user u/westcoastwanderer has been on the hunt, asking for the public’s recommendations of the best cocktails in the city.
From this list, along with recommendations from industry professionals, we have created a quick guide to some local favourites.
You can see the list here!
Get bubble tea!
What is your go to Bubble Tea order?
Milk tea, fresh fruit tea, or slush? Do you get tapioca pearls or coconut jellies?
The possibilities are endless and, in Victoria, so are the options to get your favourite tea drink.
Not sure where to go? You can view our list of best bubble tea places to satisfy your craving here.