Sparkling lights on trees, ringing of jingle bells, rosy cheeks, children’s giggles and the sweet smells of gingerbread and candy canes floating through the air. Christmas is such a joyous time of year, filled with so many wonderful things to do as a family. Since the holiday season is quickly approaching, we thought we would share our favourite outdoor activities that will get your whole family into the Christmas spirit.
Check out our outdoor Christmas round up, all the best family friendly adventures in the Lower Mainland!
Photo Credit: Mt. Seymour
Mt. Seymour Ski Resort is the perfect stop for both tubing and snowshoeing adventures. Start with the thrill of sliding down the hill giggling and laughing as you feel the wind through your hair and snowflakes on your face. Enjoy the easy ride back to the top on their custom tube tow.
Then lace up your snowshoes for a leisurely walk through the snow-covered forest. Half of the trails are marked as ‘green’ giving you lots of variety to explore with your little ones. Then head back to the Adventure Centre to warm up over a mug of steaming hot chocolate!
Tubing – $25 per person for 2 hours (must be at least 48″ tall)
Snowshoe Trail Pass – Adult – $10.50, Youth (13-18 yrs.) – $9.50, Child (6-12 yrs.) – $9.00, Tot (5 and under) – free with paying adult
Snowshoe Rentals – Adult – $28.00, Youth (13-18 yrs.) – $25.00, Child (6-12 yrs.) – $19.00, Tot (5 and under) – free with paying adult
Capilano Suspension Bridge transforms into a Winter Lights Festival and the sights are truly spectacular. From walking across the world famous suspension bridge to scaling through lit treetops, to dancing under beautiful balls of lights next to the lake, the display is overwhelming in all the right ways. This year they will have their 250-year-old Douglas firs lite up, all 110 feet, making these trees the 8 tallest Christmas trees in the world!
Kids will love the additional activities that are on site including the Snowy Owl Prowl, decorated Gingerbread cookies (by donation) decorating wooden ornaments, making your own holiday badge, as well as sing-a-longs with the holiday band.
Dates: November 22, 2018 to January 27th, 2019
Cost: Adult – $46.95, Senior (65+) – $42.95, Student (17+ with ID) – $34.95, Youth (13-16 yrs) – $27.95, Child (6-12 yrs) – $14.95 (please note, as a BC resident, these prices give you an annual membership to the bridge and you can visit as many times as you’d like!)
This year marks the 20th annual winter wonderland at the Cloverdale Arena. The ice rink has been transformed into an old-time pond skating atmosphere, sure to bring back joyous memories of years past. Lace up those skates and enjoy whizzing around the ice with your family at this holiday event.
Dates: December 21, 2018 to January 6, 2019 (including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) Cost: $4.50/person, $3.25/skate rental, $1.75/helmet
For a unique seasonal celebration head out to the water and check out the Vancouver Carol Ships Parade of Lights Festival. Every year boat owners light up their vessels and tour around different parts of the city. Take pictures of the lit up boats or sing along with their carolers. This is a very fun event for the whole family, just be sure to dress warm and have warm drinks if you’re viewing from an outdoor venue! Alternatively ,you can join one of the boat cruises and be a part of the action! To learn more about different operators offering tours simply type “Vancouver Carol Ship Cruises” into Google.
Step into the past at the Burnaby Village Museum and experience a season of old fashioned fun and spectacular light displays. Stroll through the village, enjoy the sounds of carollers, sit in an old streetcar, ride the 1912 restored carousel and challenge yourself with their scavenger hunt. A wonderful experience for the whole family.
Dates: November 24, 2018 to January 7, 2019 Cost: Free Admission (Carousel Rides are $2.65 each)
Every year the botanical garden is transformed into a Christmas wonderland with over one million lights! Wander through the gardens and be mesmerized by the lights dancing to music on Livingstone Lake, story time with Santa in the glasshouse, and enjoy a ride on the Parisian carousel (all tickets include a free ride on the carousel!). Grab a hot beverage and listen to the sounds of choirs, bands, singers and other entertainment inside the Visitor Centre halls. This family friendly Christmas event is sure to become one tradition you will want to add to your list!
Dates: December 1, 2018 to January 6, 2019
Cost: Adult – $18.50, Senior (65+) – $14.95 Youth (13-18 yrs.) – $14.25, Child (4-12 yrs.) – $11.00, Child (3 yrs. & under) – free (these ticket prices are the online price, at the gate are more expensive)
One step off the Grouse Mountain Gondola and you’ll feel like you’ve walked right into the North Pole. The smell of the logs burning on the fire quickly welcomes you and invites you down to the rink side fire pit. You gaze out over the outdoor skating rink and see the little cabin at the end that is home to the one and only Santa. This North Pole is elf approved, even Buddy the elf is one of their biggest fans!
Grouse Mountain’s Peak of Christmas is by far one of the best “all encompassing” Christmas Experiences. The mountain top setting is home to a variety of activities that the whole family will enjoy. From lighted snowshoe trails, to sledding, sleigh rides, to skating, visits with Santa, and even Christmas movies inside, kids of all ages will love this adventure.
We’ve crafted a special article outlining all the adventures at Grouse along with some ways you can save up to 50% off your ticket! Check it out here.
Dates: November 23, 2018 to January 6, 2019
Cost: Adult (17-64 yrs.) – $56.00, Senior (65+) – $49.00, Child (5-16 yrs.) – $29.00, Family – $149.00
There are some folks who go crazy with the Christmas decorating on their houses. Lights timed to music, full size Santa with his reindeer and giant inflatable elves are just a few of the things that adorn houses and yards. Check out your local community newspaper for their lists of the must-see houses in your neighbourhood. Then fill the family car full of gas, throw on your Christmas pajamas, hit up your favourite drive thru for hot chocolate and a treat and get exploring. Don’t forget to bring small change and canned food with you, as many houses collect donations for their local food banks.
FlyOver Canada will offering virtual tours to the North Pole as they transform into a magical winter wonderland this Christmas season. Guests will fly along with Santa from coast to coast across Canada and on to the North Pole.
The complete Christmas at FlyOver Canada experience will last between 20 – 25 minutes and include:
Christmas themed pre-show.
FlyOver Canada, a thrilling 8-minute flight ride experience coast to coast over Canada.
An extended, animated final scene over Santa’s magical North Pole!
In addition, stop by our festive outdoor deck to enjoy holiday performances, Christmas lights, hot drinks and seasonal snacks. Don’t miss this magical Christmas offering at Vancouver’s must-see attraction FlyOver Canada. Reserve your spot and save money by taking advantage of their BC Resident rates!
Dates: November 22, 2018 to January 6, 2019
Cost: Adults – $24.75, Senior (65+) – $20.25, Students (13-21 yrs.) – $20.25, Child (minimum of 40″ tall – 12 yrs) – $17.25
When it comes to Christmas trees, nothing beats the real thing. That smell of fresh evergreen tree when you walk in the front door of your house can’t be beat. There are a variety of Christmas tree farms throughout the Fraser Valley.
Here are our top picks:
Aldor Acres: Chop down your own, or choose a pre-cut tree. Then head over to the barns to visit the animals and play in the hay tunnel.
Dogwood Christmas Tree Farm: Once you’ve chosen your favourite tree, the kids will enjoy munching on a candy cane while listening to Christmas carols.
Oh Christmas Tree Farm: Gather around the bonfire and enjoying a steaming hot cup of hot chocolate once you’ve finished your hunt for the perfect tree.
Sasquatch Mountain Resort
Photo Credit: Sasquatch Mountain Resort
Get ready for a sliding good time! With 8 thrilling tubing lanes and a carpet lift to bring you back to the top, this adventure is sure to bring smiles to the faces of everyone in your family. Once you are finished your sliding adventures, head on over to the cafeteria for some warm drinks and food to get everyone nice and toasty before heading back home.
Dates: Opening December 22, 2018 (snow pending)
Cost: Individuals (6 yrs. & up) – $21.00 , Children (5 yrs. & under) – free, Family of Four – $75.00
Dust off your camping chairs, fill a thermos with hot chocolate, bundle up and find your perfect viewing spot! There are a few local parades that are bound to get you and your family into the Christmas spirit.
A perfect holiday adventure for family members of all ages, this winter wonderland blends the excitement of the wild west with the joy of Christmas. Featuring something for everyone, Loft Country Christmas has an endless array of fun family activities: Santa rides, bumper cars, a live carousel, petting zoo, Christmas-themed shows, food, games and so much more!
Dates: November 22, 2018 to December 30, 2018
Cost: Adults – $23.24, Children (4-12 yrs.) & Seniors – $17.24, Children (3 & under) – Free, Family (2 adults & 2 children) – $70.24
There are so many wonderful adventures throughout the Lower Mainland that are sure to get all the members of your family into a joyous holiday spirit! Just wait for the look of excitement on the kids’ faces when you let them know your outdoor Christmas adventure plans!
Looking for more inspiration this holiday season? Check out these articles!
Is this a sponsored post?: No, we were not paid for this post. We simply want to share amazing experiences and adventures with our followers! We hope this inspires you and your family to get outside and try something new!
I’m a Family Travel Writer based out of beautiful Vancouver, BC. Our family adventures take take us all over BC, Alberta and the Pacific Northwest. You'll regularly see us hiking, biking, snowboarding, wakeboarding, and camping our way around the province. Our passion is recreation and our mission is to explore and protect this beautiful earth of ours.
I am a family adventure writer sharing stories about solo and family adventures. I’m an outdoor enthusiast and you’ll find me regularly hiking, biking or boarding, often with my children by my side. I believe in lifelong learning, following your passion and living life to the fullest every day.