Whether it’s a walk in an immaculately lit winter wonderland, or a sighting of Scuba Santa Claus, Western Canada has an eclectic mix of holiday events that are guaranteed to spread cheer to both young and old.


11heritage parkOnce Upon a Christmas, November 21 to December 20Once Upon a Christmas is a transportive event in Calgary’s Heritage Park that gives you every opportunity to be festive. From horse-drawn wagon rides to live historical theatre, carolling and more, Once Upon a Christmas should be your go-to for a complete yuletide celebration. Tickets vary between $5.25 for Kids to $10.50 for teens and adults. heritagepark.caeUG3hvmbugd6devRUbnNwAaCw9W3wdste1c4M0B0K7Y,xselNCce3QfM3guLbLZGBMpb0lHeGG4bl9Rh9Nk8wjkLougheed House Christmas, November 18 to December 20We love an event that combines home decor with the holiday season. The Lougheed House Christmas will feature glamorous festive designs from Calgary Design Group, Eisenberg’s Fine Furniture, Bracko Brothers Furniture and Fair Deals Furniture. Christmas trees will fill nearly every room and on weekends you can take in live music, crafts, snacks and festive performances. Prices range from $5 for children ages six to 12, to $25 for the whole family. (All activities and entertainment are included in the cost of admission). lougheedhouse.com


Christmas Reflections, December 11 to 30Ever wondered what it would be like to celebrate winter the way Edmontonians did 100 years ago? If so, Christmas Reflections at the Fort Edmonton Park, is the perfect event to take you back to the days of yore. See a holiday play, sing carols, strap on some snowshoes and go for a hike, or even take a wagon wide throughout the park. Prices range from $15 for children to $19 for adults. Dressing for the Edmonton weather is advised! fortedmontonpark.ca16206425821_805d963268_z


HorseTrolley_3Free Horse-Drawn Trolley Rides, November 20 to December 20What could be more romantic during the holiday season than a free trolley ride through downtown, where the sights and sounds of Christmas come alive before you as you cheerily trot through Victoria’s urban centre. Runs Saturdays (12 to 4 p.m.) and Sundays (12 until 3 p.m.). downtownvictoria.ca


Robson Square Vancouver 2010 Olympic Paralympic Winter Games-2Ice Skating at Robson Square, December 1 to January 1Bring out your blades of glory and skate with other Vancouverites at one of the city’s most enjoyable public spaces. Located in downtown Vancouver, the Robson Square Ice Rink and Plaza opens on the afternoon of December 1 and will be open all through the Christmas Holidays, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. It’s free with your own skates, otherwise rentals are available. The rink also features a concession stand with snacks and warm drinks. robsonsquare.comCapilano Suspension Bridge Park Christmas Tree-2Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge,  November 27 to January 3This holiday season Capilano will transform its Treetops Adventure CliffWalk, rainforest, canyon and suspension bridge into an impressive show of captivating lights. Yuletiders take note, the Capilano Bridge also boasts the world’s tallest living Christmas tree at 153 feet. Admission is $12.00 for children and $38 for adults, with children under six getting in free. And don’t forget Capilano has its own free shuttle service running for the event. capbridge.comChristmas Spirit at FlyOver Canada-2Flyover Canada: The Christmas Edition,  November 27 to January 5Fly over the North Pole with FlyOver Canada’s Christmas edition, and experience the immersive sights and smells of a 4-D search with Santa Claus for his missing elves. Open daily from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Tickets range from $15 for children 12 and under, to $20 for adults. flyovercanada.com2014 GBL Big House 2Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver, December 4 to 27Take a walk down gingerbread lane, and participate in the Hyatt Regency Vancouver’s annual Gingerbread competition, located at 655 Burrard St. Go see the grand centrepiece devised by Executive Chef Jeff Szombaty and his production team, accompanied by more than 30 gingerbread creations designed by secondary schools, professionals, and amateur culinary artists. Proceeds from this celebration go directly to Make a Wish B.C., and they hope to have the biggest year in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Gingerbread Lane. vancouver.hyatt.com_RXL9194Vancouver Christmas Market, November 21 to Dec 24Interested in authentic German food, woodcarvings, toys, nutcrackers, potters and other unique gifts? Or is the sweet, warm tingle of mulled wine more your thing? Satisfy all at the Vancouver Christmas Market, located at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza (650 Hamilton St.). It’s the perfect place to enjoy the company of your family and friends while taking part in a variety of cultural activities and entertainment. vancouverchristmasmarket.comscuba claus vancouver aquariumHolidays at Vancouver Aquarium, November 26 to January 3Did you know Santa Claus could scuba? Experience Scuba Claus at the Vancouver Aquarium this holiday season, as well as an iridescent light show of LED-lit origami jelly fish, a holiday marine debris tree, and The Polar Express, a multi-sensory 4-D experience that takes you on a journey to the North pole. Scuba Claus dives daily until December 24 and all the other holiday displays at the Vancouver Aquarium are open until January 3, 2016. The Vancouver Aquarium is open 365 days a year, including statutory holidays. vanaqua.orgVgBL7MzZ3q6sRaAWQx8CyQExiWiPs0UPf8wGGSUl1FY,dTBbmHAAAc0HXVETxckKfy1xsoJ5CFrWtHCNc1E2XSA,k8hZo5SR3tYzFAeIDQ_yKXdRuaGdwDpzPxaKJLl2SsY,Nzj27cduznpme8txL1C_-9_hYLzJWZyNgFoqtdF71pABright Lights Christmas Train in Stanley Park, November 26 to January 2 If holiday cheer could be measured in twinkling lights, the Stanley Park Christmas Train might have every event beat. 3 million twinkling lights are nothing to sniff at. Cruise past a whopping 3 million Christmas lights, as well as beautiful displays and live performers along this scenic route. Tickets are $8 for children and $11 for adults, with a portion of the ticket proceeds going to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fundticketleader.ca

Want more holiday fun?

Check out “Best Christmas Craft Fairs Across the West.”