6 Places to See Christmas Lights in Vancouver

Spectacular Events Light December Nights

Bright Nights at Stanley Park
••• Take a train ride at Stanley Park's Bright Nights. Courtesy of British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund

Christmas in Vancouver is the season for decking the boughs--and everything else--with millions of twinkling lights.  Vancouver attractions and neighborhoods light up the holidays with incredible displays that are wonderful fun for all ages. The best Vancouver Christmas light displays include the immensely popular Festival of Lights at the VanDusen Botanical Garden and Bright Nights in Stanley Park, but there are free light displays, too. Use this guide to find the best places to see holiday lights in Vancouver.

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    ••• Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge. Courtesy of Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

    Want a touch of adventure with your Christmas lights? Capilano Suspension Bridge Park celebrates the winter holidays by decking out its major, adrenaline-pumping attractions, including the Capilano Suspension Bridge and CLIFFWALK, with zillions of sparkling holiday lights. The lights are on from Nov. 23, 2017, through Jan. 28, 2018. It's closed on Christmas Day.


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    Heron and Christmas Tree at Lost Lagoon, Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    ••• Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park. Michael Wheatley/Getty Images

    One of the best Vancouver Christmas lights displays for kids, Bright Nights is also one of the top 5 Vancouver holiday attractions. Every December, Stanley Park's famous miniature train transforms into the Christmas train and takes riders on a journey through a magical forest full of twinkling lights and fantastic Christmas displays. Along with the train ride, Bright Nights includes a chance to visit Santa and see the Parade of Trees. Make a visit from Nov. 30. 2017, through Jan. 6, 2018. Bright Nights is closed on Christmas Day.


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    Holiday lights at Coquitlam's Lafarge Lake
    ••• Holiday lights at Coquitlam's Lafarge Lake. Courtesy of City of Coquitlam

    Coquitlam's Lights at Lafarge Winter Lights is one of the biggest free holiday light displays in the Lower Mainland. At Lafarge Lake, located about 18 miles (30 kilometers) east of downtown Vancouver, visitors can tour 100,000 twinkling lights at this magical outdoor display.

    You can hop on SkyTrain's new Evergreen Extension to reach the lights easily; just get off at the Lafarge Lake-Douglas Sky Train Station, which is the end of the line. You can see this spectacular display from Nov. 25, 2017, through Jan. 21, 2018.


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    Christmas light display of gingerbread house, VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    ••• Christmas light display at VanDusen Botanical Garden. Laara Cerman/Leigh Righton/Getty Images

    Arguably the most famous display of Vancouver Christmas lights, the incredibly dense and elaborate Festival of Lights transforms the gorgeous VanDusen Botanical Garden into a winter wonderland. It's not hyperbolic to say that the Festival of Lights goes all out, with festive decor everywhere you turn, from a dancing lights show to candy cane trees, gingerbread walks, and Santa's workshop, among many more displays.  Be prepared for total Christmas immersion from Dec. 1, 2017, through Jan. 7, 2018. The botanical garden is closed on Christmas Day.


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    Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting

    Vancouver holiday lighting at Convention Centre
    ••• Vancouver holiday lighting at Convention Centre. totororo/Getty Images

    The lights on four trees will be turned on at the Vancouver Art Gallery at Robson Square from 6:30 to 6:45 p.m. on Dec. 1, 2017. The lighting party goes on from 5 to 7 p.m. and includes live entertainment and food trucks.  The trees stay lit throughout the winter holidays. 

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    Carol ships
    ••• Courtesy of Harbour Cruises

    One of the most uniquely Vancouver Christmas lights displays takes place on the water (naturally). Carol Ships, decked out with elaborate Christmas lights, parade through Vancouver's waterways in nightly processions. To go aboard the Carol Ships costs money, but it's free to watch the spectacle at any of the shoreside Carol Ship events, including Carol Ship watching and bonfires in North Burnaby and West Vancouver's Dundarave Park. The ships cruise throughout December. Check the website for dates and times.