5 Places to See Christmas Lights in Vancouver

Christmas lights are one of the best things about Vancouver in December. We discovered this as we walked across the stunning Capilano Suspension Bridge, snuggled up to the Abominable Snowman at the Aurora Winter Festival and explored the city’s festive light displays. The Christmas Lights in Vancouver have been ranked as some of the best on the planet. Here are five great places to see them.

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Related: Check out our list of Europe’s Best Christmas Markets.

An image of a light display at Canyon Lights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Christmas lights in Vancouver.
The light displays at the Canyon Lights festival blew us away. Photo by Greg Olsen.
An image of a walkway at Canyon Lights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Christmas lights in Vancouver.
Canyon Lights features beautiful lighted walkways through the forest that take your breath away. Photo by Greg Olsen.
An image of a light display over a pond at Canyon Lights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Christmas lights in Vancouver.
The lights suspended over this pond gave wonderful reflections. Photo by Greg Olsen.
An image of the canopy walk at Canyon Lights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Christmas lights in Vancouver.
The canopy walk is a highlight of the Canyon Lights festival at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park – unless you are afraid of heights.
An image of the canopy walk at Canyon Lights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Christmas lights in Vancouver.
Another look at the Canopy walk at Canyon Lights. Photo by Greg Olsen.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge

Canyon Lights is a winter festival that runs from late November to late January and it’s the best place to see Christmas lights in Vancouver. The Capilano Suspension Bridge is fully lit with twinkling lights and there are hundreds of thousands of sparkling lights in the park that surrounds it. The Treetops Adventure features lighted suspended walkways in the canopy of 250-year-old Douglas Fir trees. The lighted trees are said to be the eight tallest Christmas trees on the planet.

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An image of characters at the Aurora Winter Festival in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
The Aurora Winter Festival is one of the newest places to see Christmas lights in Vancouver. Photo by Greg Olsen.
An image of two people standing in front of the entrance gate at the Aurora Winter Festival in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
You have to get a picture in front of the Aurora gates.
An image of people walking through the Christmas lights displays at the Aurora Winter Festival in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Vancouver’s Aurora Festival has some wonderful Christmas light displays that you can wander through. Photo by Greg Olsen.
An image of people walking through the Christmas lights displays at the Aurora Winter Festival in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
It’s fun to take pictures of amazing Christmas lights displays. Photo by Greg Olsen.
An image of a woman standing beside Yeti at the Aurora Winter Festival in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
You have to get a selfie with Yeti at the Aurora Winter Festival. It’s a rule. Photo by Greg Olsen.

Aurora Winter Festival

Canada’s largest winter festival, the Aurora Winter Festival, is also one of the newest Christmas lights festivals in Vancouver. Located at Hastings Park, the venue has a skating rink, a snow tube park, wonderful light displays, food gardens and amusement rides. There are also costumed characters like the abominable snowman and the ice queen.

An image of a light display at Stanley Park in Vancouver during the Bright Nights Festival in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Vancouver is one of the best cities to see Christmas light and the Bright Lights event at Stanley Park is a highlight.

Bright Nights at Stanley Park

There are more than three million sparkling lights on the Bright Nights Christmas Train and at Stanley Park Train Plaza during the holiday season. You can buy tickets to ride the train and enjoy the breathtaking displays. A portion of ticket sales support the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. This experience includes the chance to visit Santa and see the parade of trees.

An image of the pond at the Vandusen Festival of Lights in Vancouver, BS, Canada. Christmas Lights in Vancouver.
The Vandusen Festival of Lights is a highlight of the holidays in Vancouver.

Festival of Lights at Vandusen Botanical Garden

More then one million lights create a dazzling Christmas lights display in the Vandusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver. A large portion of the botanical gardens are lit up. There’s a central pond, a carousel, hot chocolate and food on offer. It’s one of the most famous displays of Vancouver Christmas lights in the city. There’s a dancing light show, candy cane trees, a gingerbread walk, Santa’s workshop and more.

An image of people shopping at a booth at the German Christmas Market in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Buying treats and handmade gifts at the German Christmas Market put us in a festive mood. Photo by Greg Olsen.
An image of a woman standing beside a snowman at the German Christmas Market in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Vancouver’s German Christmas Market is lit up at night and you can see all kinds of Christmas decorations. Photo by Greg Olsen.

Vancouver German Christmas Market

Vancouver’s German Christmas Market is not known as much for its light displays as for its unique shopping a food booths. That said, it is incredibly beautiful after dark. It made our list because the lighted booths and Christmas displays are a great place to get into the festive spirit.

Where to Stay

We stayed at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver. It was walking distance to many of the sites and they also have a free hotel shuttle. The historic hotel has one of the best hotel art collections in North America.

Related: Read our post about the Lincoln Christmas Market.

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