Special events

What’s On this week for Under 5: Nov 26 – Dec 2

Kid Friendly Events

Christmas Celebration in Grandview Park (with activities for kids!)

Lighting of the tree takes place at 4:45pm

When: Saturday Dec 1, 2:00 – 7:00pm

Where: Grandview Park, Commercial Dr. between William St. and Charles St. (map)

What: Join in the community fun with lots of kids’ activities, choir music, tasty treats and the official lighting of the 60 foot Christmas tree in Grandview Park. St. Francis of Assisi School and 4Cats Arts Studio will both be running activities for kids starting at 2:00pm. Other events include “Pin the Rudolph”, a “nutella pizza eating contest”, pictures with Santa, and Christmas Bingo. Two youth choirs will add to the festive atmosphere. It’s all free… see the full schedule.

Santa Claus Parade

Photo credit: Vancouver Sun

When: Sunday Dec 2, Parade starts at 1pm (Pre-parade activities begin at the Vancouver Art Gallery 10:30am)

Where: Starts at West Georgia and Broughton, travels east along West Georgia, turns south on Howe, and finishes at Howe and Davie. (See the map). Pre-parade activities at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

What: As a child (in Toronto) the Santa Claus Parade was always a highlight for me, despite the fact that I couldn’t see most of it and it was absolutely freezing out. This year, 60 groups will parade past with floats, dancers, bands and more. Pre-parade activities for kids will feature face painting, balloon animals, gingerbread and ornament decorating and a booth for writing letters to Santa.  On the main stage, a variety of acts are scheduled:

10:30 AM Vancouver Tap Dance Society
10:55 AM Perry Ehrlich’s ShowStoppers
11:25 AM CircusWest Performing Arts Society
11:50 AM CollaboCall Productions – Breakdance & HipHop Entertainment
12:20 PM Perry Ehrlich’s ShowStoppers

More information on the parade is available here.

Vancouver German Christmas Market

Photo credit: Vancouver Christmas Market

When: Every day from Nov 24 – Dec 24, 11:00am – 9:00pm

Where: 650 Hamilton St Vancouver, BC V6B 2P1 (Plaza at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre) (map)

What: Get into the Christmas Spirit, German style, with great food, crafts, a carousel, and an entertainment schedule that can’t be beat. Forty-five wooden stalls will feature traditional crafts and Christmas gifts, along with treats like gingerbread, schnitzel, sausages and hot mulled wine (Glühwein). If you’re coming for lunch, print off the 2 for 1 lunch pass and get a friend in for free. Entertainment includes everything from swing and jazz bands, dance troupes, choirs and festive bands like “Santa’s Brass Band” and “Phat Santa Swing”.  Prices are $5/adult and $2/child (7 – 12) after 4pm and on weekends. Children under 7 years old are free. You can visit for only $2 / adult if you go during a weekday afternoon (11 – 4pm). This also allows you re-entry at any time for free for the rest of the season. Carousel rides are $3. Stay tuned for a review of the Christmas Market soon!

More activities are on this week, including Stanley Park’s Bright Nights and Gingerbread Lane (a gingerbread house competition) at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. There is also a fun theatre production for older kids. See the Calendar of events for more details and watch for reviews coming soon!

Free Gift Ideas

Free Family Portraits

When: Saturday Dec 1, 9:30 – 4:00pm

Where: Union Gospel Mission, 601 E Hastings St. (at Princess) (map)

What: Professional Photographers will be available to take a family photo for you. There will be a party atmosphere at the mission as well, with entertainment and food. Maybe this can be an opportunity for a Christmas photo?

It’s free… so you can afford to experiment.

For more family photo ideas, check out awkwardfamilyphotos.com.I laughed so hard I began to “whoop”, which my one-year-old did not understand as laughter. She needed a fair bit of consoling afterwards.

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