Wondering what to do for the holiday season? Victoria has a lot of events going on for the holidays so even if you’re away from home – you’ll feel right at home with all the holiday festivities going on in town.
At the end of November, there will be a parade of lights in downtown Victoria. Going from Government and Belleville to Centennial Square. But the fun doesn’t stop there – head over to Centennial Square for games, food (free cookies and milk!), entertainment and of course turning on the Christmas lights. Not to brag, but this is probably the best way to start off the holiday season.
Who says that you can only go to the Butchart Gardens in spring and summer? There’s plenty to see in the winter too! Not only do they have their main gardens filled with little lights, making for a spectacular light show, they will have also set up an ice rink where you can show of your ice skating talents. But if you don’t want to skate, why not enjoy a hot chocolate and watch from the side. We don’t think there’s anything more romantic than doing that, but who are we to judge. Go find out for yourself!
Strolling along already iconic Inner Harbour is even better in the holiday season. The Empress will be lit up as well as the Parliament Building itself, making it an even more spectacular scene. Furthermore, there will also be a Marina Light Up event at the end of November where you can walk the docks and explore the lighted vessels, and all that with the comfort of some hot chocolate. Yum!
If you thought you’ve seen everything, think again! That’s right – there’s a Gingerbread Showcase in town. A great family event, this showcase shows the best edible creations from bakers around Victoria. Held at the Parkside Spa & Hotel, this yearly event brings out creativity from bakers and generosity from the visitors. As a visitor, you can vote for your favourite creation by making a small donation which supports Habitat’s affordable homeownership program.
Going back to your fam for the holiday season, but no gift ideas? Not to worry – downtown Victoria has great little shops where you can find the perfect gift for your friends and family. Start out by exploring Lower Johnson, on the intersection of Johnson and Government St. Called Lo Jo by the locals, this block has lots of little artisan shops where you’ll be sure to find unique gifts. While you’re there, check out Market Square for even more arts and crafts. But if you want to keep it simple – why not visit the Bay Centre and check out their many shops. You will definitely find something there!
In the end: although the days are getting shorter and colder, spending the holiday season in Victoria will definitely warm you up. With its many festivities and things to do, you’ll be sure to have a great end of the year.
Photo credit: Gord McKenna