The excitement of Christmas is building, I can almost hear the sleigh bells in the distance. We've been doing our best to research the best things to do at xmas in Vancouver.
The weather in Vancouver is going to be pretty chilly in December. Historically the average temperature is between 1 and 6 degrees.
So you can probably expect it to drop below freezing at some point. Of course the benefit of cold weather and Christmas is that we have a great chance of snow - which everyone from children to Santa Claus loves.
Whether or not you're in Vancouver in the holiday season because you live and work there, or you're here on vacation, it's a wonderful time of year and we just can't wait!
OK - enough rambling, let's get to the good stuff.
Things To Do In Vancouver at Christmas 2013
There are so many great things you can do in Vancouver at Christmas, and our first recommendation is Rogers Santa Claus Parade. Held on Sunday 4th December 2011 at 1pm the parade runs down Georgia and then Howie in Downtown Vancouver. It's going to be cold, so make sure you wrap up warm and please don't take umbrellas because they spoil everyone's view. There are many things you can do to volunteer, such as carrying banners, guiding floats and giving away xmas gifts. Great for kids and all the family.
Next up is the Festival of Lights which runs from December 9th 2011 to January 2nd 2012 at VanDusen Botanical Garden. It's closed on Christmas Day, and when the snow fall is unexpectedly heavy. You can visit Santa in his Living Room, meet the Christmas Elves and experience the wonder of Gingerbread Wood, Candy Cane Lane and the Golden Chain Walk.
If you like shopping then the Vancouver Christmas Market is going to be a great fun experience for you. It runs from November 24th 2011 to December 24th 2011, and can be found on the Plaza at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Based on the classic German Christmas Market style, you will be able to enjoy festive food and drink, great Christmas music and awesome shopping. Not to be missed.
Our final recommendation is the classic Annual Bright Nights in Stanley Park. Running between December 2nd 2011 and January 2nd 2012, you can ride a train though a magical wonderland forest covered with more than 2 million christmas lights, listening to festive music and song, and enjoying the delicious hot chocolate and fresh popcorn.
2013 Christmas Shopping in Vancouver
Interestingly Boxing Day, the 26th December, is a public holiday in some parts of Canada, but not BC (British Columbia).
In terms of holiday gifts, there's been a resurgence in popularity of Christmas gift baskets - a selection of locally produced goods and treats that can be shared between the whole family, or in some cases the whole office.
Meeting Santa in Vancouver
Every kid likes to meet Santa in the run up to Christmas - it's their big chance to tell him that they've been well-behaved all year, and that they have a few gift suggestions to share.
Some of the biggest stores and malls will be hosting Santa, but we recommend meeting him at City Square Mall, Kids Market at Granville Island, Metropolis at Metrotown, Oakridge Mall or the Richmond Centre.