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Christmas events happening across Canada this year

A look at some family-friendly holiday and Christmas events across Canada this year.

Editor’s note: Numbers appearing next to event names below correspond with numbers that appear on map above. Not all events listed below are shown on map.

British Columbia

Vancouver

(1) EVENT: Vancouver Christmas Market

Colourful décor. Authentic gifts. Family entertainment. Tasty authentic food. The aroma of mulled wine. A truly enchanting atmosphere.

(2) EVENT: Carol Ships Parade of Light

One of Vancouver’s more unique holiday traditions is the parade of “Carol Ships”–ships decked out with elaborate Christmas lights–that take to Vancouver’s waterways for nightly processions.

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  • WHEN: Dec. 6 to 23, 2014
  • WHERE: In Coal Harbour off the Bayshore Inn (now the Westin Bayshore Resort & Marina)
  • COST: Reserve a spot here

(3) EVENT: Rogers Santa Claus Parade

  • WHEN:  Dec. 7, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: The Parade is in downtown Vancouver, located just blocks from the Burrard, City Centre, Granville and Waterfront SkyTrain stations
  • COST: Free
  • MORE INFORMATION: Rogers Santa Claus Parade
Around 300,000 people will flood downtown Vancouver for the 10th annual Santa Claus Parade Sunday Dec 1, 2013.
Around 300,000 people will flood downtown Vancouver for the 10th annual Santa Claus Parade Sunday Dec 1, 2013. Santa Claus Parade

Burnaby

(4) EVENT: Heritage Christmas

Experience the old-fashioned magic of Christmas. Enjoy the sparkling decorations, the sounds of the season and the smell of pine boughs and wreaths.

  • WHEN:  Nov. 22, 2014 to Jan. 2, 2015
  • WHERE: Burnaby Village Museum
  • COST: Free gate admission
  • MORE INFORMATION: Heritage Christmas
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Alberta

Calgary

Click here for a full list of holiday events in this city

(5) EVENT: Zoolights

Head to the Calgary Zoo for their annual Christmas light display. 1.5 million twinkling lights line pathways and twist around trees, forming animals shapes and flashing to music.

  • WHEN: Nov. 21, 2014 to Jan. 3, 2015
  • WHERE: Calgary Zoo, Botanical Garden & Prehistoric Park, 1300 Zoo Road NE
  • COST:General Admission $14.00, Child (3 – 15) $11.00, Infant (2 & under) Free
  • MORE INFORMATION: Calgary Zoo
FILE: Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo.
FILE: Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo. Global News

(6) EVENT: Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park

Enjoy a romantic wagon ride with a loved-one or sing Christmas carols with the kids. Other activities include gingerbread cookie decorating, a petting zoo and snow painting.

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  • WHEN: Weekends from Nov. 22nd to Dec. 21st, 2014, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • WHERE: Heritage Park Historical Village, 1900 Heritage Dr. S.W.
  • COST: General gate admission (15 – 64) $10.25, Child (3 – 6) $5.00, Youth (7 – 14) $6.35, Senior (65+) $8.15.
  • MORE INFORMATION: Heritage Park

(7) EVENT: Lions’ Festival of Lights

The Festival of Lights is the largest free drive-by Christmas lights display in Calgary. 

  • WHEN: Nov. 29, 2014 to Jan. 8, 2015, 6 p.m. to midnight
  • WHERE: Confederation Park in NW Calgary. The display can be viewed along 14 St NW, South of 24 Avenue.
  • COST: Free
  • MORE INFORMATION: Lions Festival of Lights

Edmonton

Click here for a full list of holiday events in this city

EVENT: Christmas Choir Concerts

(8) EVENT: Festival of Trees

Check out over 100 decorated trees and seasonal displays (and maybe get some ideas for your own holiday decor). There are also free activities for the kids on Christmas Lane, including a family scavenger hunt on Nov. 27.

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  • WHEN: Nov. 27 to Nov. 30
  • WHERE: Shaw Conference Centre
  • COST: Children (2-12) $2; Youth (13-17); $5 Adults $10; Seniors $5. Tickets will be available at the door. Sales support the University Hospital Foundation.
  • MORE INFORMATION: Festival of Trees
Dozens of sparkling, decked out trees once again line the walkways of the Western Development Museum in Saskatoon.
Dozens of sparkling, decked out trees once again line the walkways of Saskatoon’s Western Development Museum for the Festival of Trees. Neil Fisher / Global News

(9) EVENT: Legislature Light-up

The holiday season at the Legislature will kick off with a choral performance and cap off with the ceremonial lighting of the grounds, which will boast over 300 sparkling trees.

Manitoba

Winnipeg

(10) EVENT: Bringing Shadow into Light: A Manitoba Collection

This exhibition of approximately 40 paintings, drawings, and prints pays tribute to Manitoba art collectors who, since 1990, have quietly gifted almost 350 works of mostly Canadian historical painting, sculpture, photography, prints, and drawings to the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

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  • WHEN: Between Nov. 24, 2014 and Dec. 24, 2014
  • WHERE: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 300 Memorial Blvd
  • MORE INFORMATION: Winnipeg Art Gallery

(11) EVENT: Festival of Trees and Lights

  • WHEN: Nov. 24, 2014 to Nov. 28, 2014
  • WHERE: Manitoba Hydro Building, 360 Poratge Avenue
  • MORE INFORMATION: Gardens Manitoba

(12) EVENT: Canad Inns Winter Wonderland

Get out of the winter cold and come inside to our tropical gardens and amazing plant displays based on the theme of ‘Around The Word In 80 Days’!

  • WHEN: Dec. 5, 2014 to Jan. 3, 2015
  • WHERE: 3977 Portage Avenue at the Red River Exhibition Park, just west of the Perimeter
  • COST: $10 available at Red River Co-op Grocery and Gas Bars, Mac’s and Canad Inns front desks. Tickets at gate cost $15.
  • MORE INFORMATION: Canad Inns Winter Wonderland

New Brunswick

Fredericton

(13) EVENT: Christmas in the Village

Have fun while shopping for arts, crafts and antiques, take part in a Treasure Hunt and look out for Santa Claus and carollers.

(14) EVENT: Christmas Tree Lighting

Help the City of Fredericton and the province of New Brunswick kick off the Christmas season! Gathering at the Legislature, see the provincial tree light up before taking part in a parade down Queen Street to City Hall to see the City’s tree lit up for the first time this season.

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  • WHEN: Nov. 28, 2014
  • WHERE: New Brunswick Legislature (7:00 pm) & Fredericton City Hall (7:45 pm)
The annual Christmas tree lighting show in Fredericton in this file photo.
The annual Christmas tree lighting show in Fredericton in this file photo. City of Fredericton

Saint John

EVENT: NBCCD Annual Christmas Craft Show

Come support the Fine Craft students at NBCCD during their Annual Christmas Craft Sale! Featuring stunning work from the second-year students of the Ceramic, Jewelry and Textile departments. Great for gifts or a treat for yourself.

  • WHEN: Nov. 28 to 30, 2014
  • WHERE: New Brunswick College of Craft & Design

(15) EVENT: Market Square’s Five Festive Fridays

  • WHEN: Nov. 28, 2014
  • WHERE: Market Square Atrium, 1 Market Square, Saint John
  • MORE INFORMATION: Market Square

(16) EVENT: Dancin’ Into Christmas

The talented dancers of Dance Zone Dance Studio showcase their Christmas dance and acrobatic routines in various styles including jazz, tap, lyrical, modern, contemporary, hip-hop, acrobatics, ballet, and more.

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Newfoundland and Labrador

St. John’s

EVENT: Festival of Music and Lights

Come together to ring in the holiday season with bright lights and beautiful song. The City of St. John’s celebrates the lighting of Bowring Park at the duck pond. There is holiday singing from local choirs and free hot chocolate. Be sure to bundle up and come out and enjoy this annual holiday event.

  • WHEN: Nov. 6 at 5:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: Bowring Pond Duck Pond
  • COST: Free
  • MORE INFORMATION: Bowring Park

(17) EVENT: Festive Open House

An annual holiday exhibition of finely crafted objects that evoke all the good things celebrated during this special time of the year.

  • WHEN: Nov. 29, 2014
  • WHERE: Devon House Craft Centre, 59 Duckworth St, St John’s
  • COST: Free

Nova Scotia

Halifax

EVENT: Spryfield Santa Claus Parade

A community oriented event designed for one and all. The parade’s main objective is to put a “Christmas Smile” on the young and the young at heart. This traditional Christmas event is organized by local volunteers and is always well attended by many people from near and far.

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  • WHEN:  Nov. 30, 2014 at 2:00 pm.
  • WHERE: Travelling along Herring Cove Rd, from Punch Bowl Drive to the Spryfield Mall on Dentith Rd.
  • COST: Free
  • MORE INFORMATION: Spryfield Santa Claus Parade

(18) EVENT: Christkindlmarket

A traditional German market. Free, family entertainment with carousel rides, Maritime Marionettes, school band concerts and more.

  • WHEN: Nov. 28 to Nov. 30, 2014
  • WHERE: Darmouth, Halifax Metro
  • MORE INFORMATION: Alderney Landing

Other

(19) EVENT: Santa Clause Parade, Pilgrimage and Lighting of the Trees

The Lunenburg Old Fashioned Christmas Festival makes the holiday magical. The parade is followed by the Pilgrimage from St. John’s Anglican Church to the Lunenburg Heritage Bandstand.

The Lunenburg Old Fashioned Christmas Festival makes the holiday magical.
The Lunenburg Old Fashioned Christmas Festival makes the holiday magical. Lunenburg official tourism site/Handout

EVENT: Father Christmas Festival

A handmade yuletide festival.

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  • WHEN:  Nov. 28 to Dec. 7, 2014
  • WHERE: Mahone Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
  • COST: Free
  • MORE INFORMATION: Father Christmas Festival

Ontario

Toronto

(20) EVENT: Toronto Christmas Market

Inspired by the Old World and influenced by the New, this free annual event captures all of the tradition, heritage and charm of a European Christmas Market, while showcasing hundreds of unique and local handcrafted products. Family friendly entertainment includes musicians, carolers and children’s choirs.

(21) EVENT: 12 Trees of Christmas

The annual 12 Trees of Christmas event returns to the Gardiner Museum, where twelve designers create Christmas trees.

  • WHEN: Nov. 12 to Dec. 14, 2014
  • WHERE: Gardiner Museum, 111 Queen’s Park
  • COST: Adult: $15, Senior: $11, Student (valid full-time student ID required upon arrival): $9
  • MORE INFORMATION: Gardiner Museum
A decorated tree is seen during the 12 Trees of Christmas at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum.
A decorated tree is seen during the 12 Trees of Christmas at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum. Gardiner Museum/Handout

(22) EVENT: Winter Magic

A collection of special events to help celebrate the winter season.

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  • WHEN: Nov. 15 to Nov. 30, 2014
  • WHERE: Yonge-Dundas Square
  • COST: Free
  • MORE INFORMATION: Downtown Yonge

EVENT: Children visit Santa for a Christmas-themed adventure

Take your child to a Christmas themed adventure with Santa Claus. Santa will entertain children with stories, crafts, and other Christmas activities. Funds raised from tickets go towards Sleeping Children Around the World and The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.

  • WHEN: Nov. 13 to Dec. 21, 2014
  • WHERE: Sherway Gardens
  • COST: $15
  • MORE INFORMATION: Sherway Santa

(23) EVENT: Cavalcade of Lights

During the 48th annual Cavalcade of Lights at Nathan Phillips Square, visitors will see the lighting of the official Christmas Tree of Toronto. There will also be live musical performances, a fire works display and a dance party to culminate the evening.

Christmas tree at Nathan Phillips Square Pictures is seen in this file photo.
Christmas tree at Nathan Phillips Square Pictures is seen in this file photo. The Canadian Press

(24) EVENT: Union Station Holiday Market

Union Station is getting into the holiday spirit with their first annual pop-up Holiday Market. Located in the historic Grand Hall of Union Station, the event showcases over 30 artisan shops and gourmet food vendors from in and around Toronto.

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Other

EVENT: Santa Train

Families can meet Santa on a train ride starting in November. This hour long train ride features seasonal entertainment.

EVENT: Markham Santa Claus Parade

In addition to the usual parade attractions, kids can also deliver their letters to Santa in person.

EVENT: Mississauga Santa Claus Parade

A parade through Mississauga featuring the man of the season.

Prince Edward Island

Charlottetown

(25) EVENT: Wintertide – Holiday Festival

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Quebec

Quebec City

(26) EVENT: Quebec Winter Carnival

Every year, thousands of visitors flock to the Québec Winter Carnival to enjoy a host of activities for all ages, including snow bath, ice canoe race, night parades, snow slides, giant foosball, snow sculptures, shows, sleigh rides, and skating.

  • WHEN: Jan. 30 to Feb. 15, 2015
  • WHERE: Vieux-Québec, Québec
  • COST: Free
  • MORE INFORMATION:Carnaval
Workers put the finishing touches on the carnival ice castle during -18C temperatures in Quebec City, Wednesday, January 22, 2014.
Workers put the finishing touches on the carnival ice castle during -18C temperatures in Quebec City, Wednesday, January 22, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

(27) EVENT: Christmas Market at the Old Port Market

Discover more than 1000 local products in a magical and unique decor, the Marché du Vieux-Port de Québec.

  • WHEN: Nov. 27 to Dec. 24, 2014 and Dec. 26 to Dec. 31, 2014
  • WHERE: Le Marché du Vieux-Port, 160, Quai Saint-André
  • COST:Free
  • MORE INFORMATION: Le Marche Quebec
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Montreal

EVENT: Salon des métiers d’art

The biggest craft fair in town.

EVENT: Noël sur L’Avenue

A traditional evening torchlit procession, fun workshops, food tastings, live shows and more, all along Mont-Royal Avenue.

  • WHEN:  Dec. 1 to Dec. 31, 2014
  • WHERE: Plateau Mont-Royal and Mile End
  • COST: Some events are free, others not.
  • MORE INFORMATION: Mont Royal

Saskatchewan

Saskatoon

(28) EVENT: Enchanted Forest Holiday Light Tour

  • WHEN: Now to Jan. 11, 2015, 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. nightly
  • WHERE: Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo, 1903 Forestry Farm Park Drive
  • COST:Free
  • MORE INFORMATION: Enchanted Forest
A view of the Enchanted Forest Holiday Light tour.
A view of the Enchanted Forest Holiday Light tour. Tourism Saskatchewan

(29) EVENT: Festival of Trees

  • WHEN: Nov. 23 to Nov. 29, 2014, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
  • WHERE: Western Development Museum, 2610 Lorne Avenue
  • COST: Free
  • MORE INFORMATION: Festival of Trees
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Regina

(30) EVENT: Old-Fashioned Victorian Christmas

Join in for an Old-fashioned Victorian Christmas at Government House. Sleigh rides and Christmas carols, cookies and cider, a visit from a “special guest,” tour the Government House Museum.

  • WHEN: Dec. 13, 2014, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: Government House, 4607 Dewdney Avenue
  • COST: Free
  • MORE INFORMATION: Government House

Northwest Territories

(31) EVENT: Christmas Lights across Canada

Join the City of Yellowknife and the Legislative Assembly for this annual festivity.

EVENT: Santa Claus Parade

  • WHEN: Dec. 18, 2014
  • WHERE: Town of Inuvik
  • COST: Free

Yukon

(32) EVENT: Winterval and the Santa Claus Parade

  • WHEN: Dec. 6, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: Mainstreet, Mainstreet, Whitehorse
  • COST:Free