One of the best ways to get in the holiday spirit is by grabbing a thermos of hot chocolate, throwing on your warmest coat — don’t forget a toque — and checking out the colorful and festive Christmas lights around town. Here’s where and when to see the best light displays in Greater Victoria.
The Magic of Christmas
Taking place at the Butchart Gardens from Dec. 1 to Jan. 6, attendees can stroll through the 12 days of Christmas light display, sing along with carollers, ice skate under strings of twinkling lights and warm up in the coffee shop with a ginger bread cookie by the fire. Children 12 and under can make their own snowflakes at home on white paper and exchange it for a cup of hot chocolate. The snowflakes will then be used to decorate the windows of the coffee shop.
Just over 2 weeks until the Magic of Christmas season is upon us here at The Gardens. December 1 marks the first day.— The Butchart Gardens (@butchartgardens) November 16, 2019
Learn everything about our Christmas season: https://t.co/Q9AkOck5IX pic.twitter.com/aSB8UEFOwn
Christmas Lights Across Canada
On Dec. 5, you can take in the lighting of the provincial Christmas tree and the Parliament Building, along with festive performances inside and outside. Taking place on the front steps of Legislature from 6 to 7:30 p.m., admission is free.
Light Up the Castle
The Empress Hotel lights up its 16-foot tree, along with the exterior and grounds of the hotel on Nov. 28 from 4 to 6 p.m. Attendees can take see all 7,500 ornaments in the hotel and the gingerbread holiday display, plus the 7,500 ornaments throughout the building. Admission is free and Mrs. Clause will be there serving cookies and hot chocolate.
38th Annual Island Farms Santa’s Light Parade
Starting at 5 p.m. on Nov. 30 at Government and Belleville Street, the parade will make its way to Centennial Square where the lights will be turned on at 7 p.m. sharp. After the parade Santa will be handing out cookies and milk to all the good little boys and girls.
Some places have snow on the ground in November, Victoria has flower beds. Watching The Island Farms Santa’s Light Parade from the steps of @FairmontEmpress ✨in mild weather was a treat.— Destination Greater Victoria (@victoriavisitor) November 25, 2018
Find more holiday events here: https://t.co/2b6EwT8Tjy#ExploreVictoria pic.twitter.com/ab2g50wXBJ
Festival of Trees
Taking place until Jan. 6, Bay Centre shoppers can walk through a lush forest of one-of-a-kind decorated trees to help support the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation
Lights of Wonder
A massive display of lights will take over Centennial Square from Dec. 13 to 30, featuring illuminated forests and features, a 40-foot tree, live entertainment including carolers and performers, as well as vendor stands full of hot chocolate, pretzels, bratwurst and more. The Lights of Wonder, a free event, will also include a small beer garden, where refreshing drinks or mulled cider can also be purchased.
Marina Light Up Kick Off
On Nov. 29 the docks in front of the Empress Hotel will light up with boats decorated for the holiday season starting at 6:30 p.m.
Colwood Christmas Light Up
Colwood city hall will officially light up on Dec. 5 with a festive event taking place from 6 to 8 p.m., where free hot chocolate and hot dogs will be supplied from Red Barn Market will be served will supplies last, along with tasty treats from the Royal Bay Bakery.
Christmas Tree Village
Taking place at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre from Dec. 2 and Jan. 3, attendees will be able to walk through the sixth annual village.
IEOA Truck Light Convoy and Food Drive
The Island Equipment Owners Association will travel from Ogden Point, starting at 5:45 p.m., to Western Speedway at 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 7. Hot dogs and hot chocolates will be available by donation in the concession at Western Speedway.
Sidney Sparkles Christmas Parade
On Dec. 1 starting at 5 p.m. a parade will march along Beacon Avenue in downtown Sidney, beginning on Resthaven Drive. It continue to run the length of Beacon Avenue, turning right onto Second Street and ending at Ocean Avenue. Once the parade completes its route, people are encouraged to move to Beacon and Bevan wharves and the Sidney waterfront around Beacon Park to see the Lighted Boat Parade, starting 15 minutes after the Sidney Sparkles Parade.