It’s that time of year again. As Fall turns into Winter, the skies are grey more often than not, the temperature drops, and it rains a lot. This year we’ve even seen a pretty good amount of snow. I often struggle a bit in Winter, both with mood and motivation, but one thing that I do love about this season is the fantastic lighting displays that are created in and around Vancouver.
One event I enjoy every year is the Burnaby Village Museum’s Heritage Christmas. This free event has something for the whole family. There’s a variety of entertainment, a scavenger hunt for the kids, and fantastic vintage themed lighting displays.
This light display in the Bandstand is sound activated and changes colours which is fun when the Village gets busy.
This year there are musicians scheduled throughout the day and evening – here’s the Irish “choir master” leading the crowd in a sing-along at the bandstand.
There are also heritage carol singers roving through the Village.
The scavenger hunt requires some looking in windows and careful observation of the displays.
Father Christmas is onsite as well.
There is a lot to see and do, no matter what the time of day or the weather. I really enjoy the warming heritage atmosphere, even in the snow!
This year Heritage Christmas runs from November 19, 2016 – January 2, 2017 (closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Check it out. Just remember, it’s cold when the sun goes down so dress warmly and, as always, have fun.
Enchant, the world’s largest Christmas light maze, has opened in Vancouver. We attended the Premier Media event to see the lighting of the 60+ foot Christmas tree and to experience all that Enchant had to offer.
So how was it?
I’ll start by saying the light displays are awesome. The Media Premiere came after a huge storm the night before that saw the venue suffer some opening setbacks, and it poured with rain while we were there, but even so, we loved the light displays.
As perfect as we wanted the evening to be (especially for photos and video), remember that this year, November in Vancouver is proving to be extremely wet so you should definitely dress for the weather. Umbrellas are ok but the organisers are expecting thousands of people so the venue is likely to be crowded. I’d recommend dressing for the weather; rain boots, raincoats, hoods, toques, and gloves. The terrain of the maze is wood-chip which is generally great for soaking up water, but having experienced it after a storm and during a deluge, I would say that while the site is accessible, it’s not easily so. If you are bringing a stroller, go for an all-terrain one or leave the stroller at home and use a carrier. For those with wheelchairs or scooters, the terrain would be quite challenging if wet. Not impossible, but very challenging.
Kids will love it. The printed card that you get when you enter is like a scavenger hunt. Find all 9 of Santa’s reindeer within the maze, get your card stamped at each one and, once completed, exit knowing you have helped save Christmas. There’s a whole story to the saving of Christmas and a storybook you can buy as well.
Santa is onsite too which is fun.
There is food available for purchase with 12 food trucks on site. We love Disco Cheetah so that’s where we beelined, but there were other good eats as well – tacos, hot dogs, pub fare, mini donuts, glow-in-the-dark cotton candy etc. There’s also a covered area with some seating and a bar that serves a variety of winter warming beverages – the mulled wine was great on a cold, wet evening. There are not a lot of sheltered areas though so if it’s wet and crowded this could be a problem. There’s live entertainment in the tent area – on our night Topline Vocal Collective performed and they were outstanding.
The Marketplace is a large covered tent area worth checking out. Over 40 local vendors are featured so it could be a great place to do a little Christmas shopping. Support local!
Enchant Vancouver is located in the Olympic Village at W1st Ave & Crowe St, just East of Cambie. There is a parking area right next to the entrance of Enchant, but that’s for staff. Go about a block further East and there’s a larger lot with free parking. There are parking people at the entrance to direct you, but the lot has no lights and no signage at the entrance so I think many people simply didn’t know it was there.
Enchant Vancouver is on now until December 31st. Ticket prices are as follows:
Adult tickets 16+ $19.95
Child 6-15 years $14.95
Seniors 65+ $14.95
Family Pass $59.95 (2 adults & up to 3 children)
The big question – is it worth it? I’ll leave that up to you to decide. I think that the lights are really good, the concept is great and perhaps next year with a few kinks ironed out, this could become one of Vancouver’s regular go-to events. As I’m all about photography it was definitely on my must-see list and with that in mind, my only real complaint was the weather, but hey, we live in RainCity, right?
If you are going, or if you have been, let us know about your experiences in the comments below.