Vancouver Adventures: Our Picks for December 3-9

This week: Enjoy Christmas lights around the city, meet Santa Claus, ride the Sea to Sky Gondola + more

Christmas Tree Lighting – Friday, December 2

Robson Square is the place to be to start your holiday countdown with the lighting of the 50-foot Christmas tree. The 10th annual family-friendly event also features live entertainment and music, free cookies and hot chocolate, local food trucks and fun activities for kids.

Robson Square, 800 Robson Street
5 p.m. to 7 p.m., free (buy a bulb to support the Vancouver International Children’s Festival)

Rogers Santa Claus Parade – Sunday, December 4

Ho ho ho! December’s here and it’s time to get in the festive spirit with the annual Santa Parade, which takes a new route from Broughton and Georgia to Howe and Smithe. Head to the Coast Capital Savings Christmas Square on the south side of the Vancouver Art Gallery from 10 a.m. for festive face painting, gingerbread decorating and tree ornament making. Bring a donation for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

10 a.m. onwards (parade at 12 p.m.) begins at Broughton and Georgia Street

Cause we Care Christmas Hamper Drive – Wednesday, December 7

Put down the holiday shopping bags and help the Cause we Care Foundation stuff the 750 Christmas hampers that will go out to 25 front-line organizations that work with single moms and their children. Vancouver’s largest hamper drive takes place in East Vancouver on the morning of December 7.

Email to sign up

Make It Show: The Handmade Revolution – Thursday, December 8 to Sunday, December 11

Pick your presents from the wares of 265 artists, crafters and makers at the Make It Show. Alongside the shopportunities, you’ll find food trucks and a beer garden. Look out for the silent auction of products by ‘makies’ to benefit Union Gospel Mission.

The PNE Forum, 2901 East Hastings Street
Thursday & Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
$7 at the door, $5 online (free for kids 12 & under)

Holiday Heights at Bloedel Conservatory – Friday, December 9 to Sunday, January 2

Bloedel Conservatory transforms into a winter wonderland with magical lights, festive music and a holiday scavenger hunt this month. Take a ride on Vancouver’s only holiday Ferris wheel and enjoy the twinkling lights of the city below.

4600 Cambie Street
4 p.m. to 9 p.m., admission $6.75

Credit: Potter 

The Christmas Store at Potter – now until Saturday, December 24

Feeling festive? Take a trip to Western Canada’s largest Christmas store for a boost of holiday spirit. From colourful ornaments, wreaths and garlands to quirky gifts for all the family, it’s easy to tick everything off your wishlist. On weekends, live festive music keeps things merry and Santa and Mrs Claus will be making an appearance on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Christmas Store at Potters
19158 48th Avenue, Surrey 

Avenue Q – Now until Saturday, December 31

Pervy puppets and joyfully offensive songs make this comedy musical a must-see. The grown-up version of Sesame Street tells the story of Princeton, a bright-eyed college graduate who arrives in New York City looking for love, a job and his purpose in life.

The Arts Club, Granville Island Stage, 1585 Johnston Street, tickets from $29
Monday to Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 8 p.m. (Saturday matinee at 2 p.m.); Wednesday matinee at 1:30 p.m.

Spirit of Christmas – Now until Sunday, January 1, 2017

December 1st sees the Sea to Sky Gondola reopen as a winter wonderland with Christmas forest walks, snowshoeing and pancakes and pictures with Santa on December 3rd and 4th from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Visit the Summit Lodge for $5 pancakes from the Eatery, followed by photos with Santa. Try festive crafts such as postcards to Santa and magical reindeer treat making. Check online for more festive-themed events.  

36800 Hwy 99, Squamish

Bright Nights in Stanley Park – Now until Sunday, January 1

Three million twinkling lights illuminate the forest at the Stanley Park Train Plaza to raise funds for the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, on the 19th Annual Bright Nights in Stanley Park. 

Pipeline Road, Stanley Park, check online for hours
Plaza entry by donation ($4 minimum suggested)

Credit: The Cultch

East Van Panto: Little Red Riding Hood – Now until Saturday, December 31

Take the whole family to enjoy a festive East Vancouver take on traditional fairy tales. Little Red Riding Hood is bombing down the Adanac bike trail to deliver a basket of goodies to her sweet little grannywill she make it before the Big Bad Wolf gets her?

York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive
Tickets for $20 (2 adults and 2 children family pack for $120); click here for showtimes