Your Christmas Fix

Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver BC. Image source: http://www.insidevancouver.ca

Your house is plastered in fairy lights, your masterpiece of a Christmas tree is proudly standing and you’ve nearly finished your Christmas shopping, but somehow, it just doesn’t feel like the holidays yet?

That’s probably because although we’re  told ‘tis the season to be merry, the reality of work pressures, shopping for gifts, organizing the kids and frantically planning for the imminent arrival of friends/family has most likely left you spinning and devoid of any ‘festive’ feeling at all.

If this describes you then we strongly recommend a few hours off from the hectic schedule – steal a few moments to reconnect with what this holiday is all about. Gather up a few of your friends and/or family and attend a local festive themed event. It’s amazing what a few twinkling lights, the smell of chestnuts roasting on an open fire and a hot chocolate can do for the soul.

We’ve highlighted a few promising looking holiday events taking place across the country below. Let us know how you get your Christmas fix! Tell us about any events going on in your local area and we’ll post them on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

VICTORIA

Craigdarroch Castle
Experience Christmas at Craigdarroch Castle as it would have been decorated at the turn of the century!
http://www.thecastle.ca/craigdarroch-castle-events-programs.php

Butchart Gardens – Magic of Christmas (until Jan 6th)
This 55 acre garden is one of the top attractions in Victoria year round. For Christmas they go all out with the Christmas decorations, transforming the grounds into a festive treat including ornate light displays and a 5000 sq ft ice rink. http://www.butchartgardens.com/planning-your-visit/the-5-seasons/christmas.html

VANCOUVER

Bright Nights at Stanley Park (until Jan 2nd)
Now in its 14th year, the Bright Nights in Stanley Park tops the list of festive Vancouver attractions. Take a magical ride on the Stanley Park miniature train and see the forest lit up with 2 million twinkling lights! Admission is via donation to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. http://vancouver.ca/parks/events/brightnights/

VanDusen Botanical Garden – Festival of Lights 2011 (until Jan 2nd)
More Lights! But they’re so pretty! This magical garden located in the heart of the city is stunning at Christmas with its elaborate light decorations and festive themed displays including a candy cane tree and gingerbread walk. You might even see Santa! http://www.vandusengarden.org/

Grouse Mountain – Peak of Christmas (until Dec 24th)
At the Peak of Grouse Mountain awaits a ready-made white Christmas with all the trimmings – outdoor ice skating, sleigh rides, reindeer and Santa!  http://www.grousemountain.com/events/the-peak-of-christmas–2

CALGARY

Zoo Lights (until Jan 7th)
1.5 million lights illuminate Calgary Zoo! Marvel at the impressive light displays while you sip hot chocolate to keep warm! Kids can speak to Santa, watch ice carving demos or hand out at the new Penguin Plunge Kids zone!

http://www.calgaryzoo.com/zoolights/index.html

Kayben Farms (until Dec 17th)
Kayben Farm transforms into a festive wonderland! With practical workshops including wreath making and planning your Christmas meal, to fun activities for the kids like ice skating and Christmas craft making! Hot chocolate and cider on sale! http://www.kayben.com/christmas_in_the_country.html

EDMONTON

The Singing Christmas Tree (16th-18th Dec)
Edmonton’s ‘Beloved ‘Christmas Event – now in its 42nd year, it’s a Christmas tradition! 150 heart-felt singers, all accompanied by a live orchestra in the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium http://www.edmontonsingingchristmastree.com/index.php

Skate under the sky at Victoria Oval
Outdoor skating at the Victoria Park skating oval opened to the public this week. From 10am-10pm daily enjoy this free attraction suitable for both skating pros and novices! http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/news/skate-under-the-sky-at-victoria-oval.aspx

WINNIPEG

Santa Parade – Dec 12th
‘Enjoy the magic of the season’ and find a good spot to watch Winnipeg’s 102nd Santa Parade! http://www.winnipegsantaparade.com/

The Forks
Winnipeg’s number one tourist destination at the junction of the historic Red and Assiniboine Rivers. The Forks has a packed schedule of festive and winter activity including choir performances, Christmas crafts for kids, an ice rink and photo ops with Santa! http://www.theforks.com/

TORONTO

Lowes Toronto Christmas Market at The Distillery Historic District (until Dec 18th)
Candy Cane Carollers, children’s story telling, ukranian dancing, jazz bands, Danish Folkdancers and a host of other performers await at this eclectic Christmas market – as well, of course, as the traditional festive shopping one would expect to find! http://torontochristmasmarket.com/

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