With its distinctive historic buildings, cobblestone streets, and dazzling lights displays, there’s no better way to embrace your inner Santa than experiencing Christmas in Victoria. From s'mores and festivals to music concerts and tours, the quaint BC capital offers one of the best holiday vacation destinations around.
Christmas Events, Festivals & Tours in Victoria
November 15, 2017 – January 2, 2018: FESTIVAL OF TREES
This year marks the 26th annual Festival of Trees in Victoria. A cherished tradition, the event has become the unofficial kick-off to Christmas in Victoria BC. Trees are sponsored and decorated by businesses and organizations throughout the region. Held at The Bay Center, visitors will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite tree (with a $2 donation). Funds raised from the event will support the Excellence in Child Health Fund
November 18, 2017: HOLIDAY HOME TOUR
The stockings will be hung. The halls will be decked. And, all will be filled with cheer. Bear Mountain Resort’s annual Holiday Home Tour will feature an exquisite collection homes decorated for the holidays. You can begin your tour in the Westin Bear Mountain penthouse with a champagne reception. Then, take the resort’s complimentary shuttle or grab a map and enjoy this self-guided tour. Six homes will be on display, placed throughout the golf course community.
November 18, 2017 – January 2, 2018: 9TH ANNUAL GINGERBREAD SHOWCASE
These aren’t your everyday gingerbread houses. This is a feast for your eyes! Professional bakers and amateur chefs will once again show off their skill at the 9th annual Gingerbread Showcase. Held at the Parkside Hotel & Spa, you’ll have the opportunity to see elaborate, edible sculptures and superb pieces of gingerbread art.
November 24, 2017: MARINA LIGHT UP
Christmas in Victoria wouldn’t be complete without a festive Inner Harbour. Beginning around dusk on November 24, boats and floating homes will start turning on the lights. Hot drinks will be served on the Causeway Docks in front of the Fairmont Empress. The family-friendly event is one of our favorite things to do in Victoria BC during the holidays. Just make sure to bring a warm coat, as it can get chilly down at the water.
November 25, 2017 – December 23, 2017: S'MORES ON THE VERANDA
Roasted marshmallows. Crisp Graham Crackers. Oodles of chocolate. Whether your four or 40 – s’mores are sure to put a smile on your face. This winter, grab a seat on the Veranda at the Fairmont Empress and delight in a sweet treat while savoring a view of the Inner Harbour. You’ll also have the opportunity to select from a variety of Christmas-inspired beverages.
November 25, 2017: NAUTICAL WREATH WORKSHOP
Are you ready to take your DIY holiday decorating skills to the next level? The Maritime Museum of British Columbia’s Nautical Wreath Workshop has your name written all over it. Plus – you’ll get to learn some vital knot tying skills. Talk about a win-win.
November 26, 2017 – December 4, 2017: ANNUAL SIDNEY NATIVITY EXHIBIT
The annual Nativity Exhibit in Sidney returns for its 11th year. Featuring a collection of classic and non-traditional nativity displays, the exhibit ranges from whimsical and modern to simplistic. Displays are crafted from a wide variety of materials including ceramics, art, and needlework.
December 1, 2017 – January 6, 2018: MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS
Carolers. Ice skating. Christmas lights galore. When it comes to the holidays in Victoria, the Butchart Gardens are all things shiny, celebratory, and bright. The season is fondly dubbed ‘Magic of Christmas.’
During the holidays, The Gardens are decorated with displays depicting the Twelve Days of Christmas. Festive music is played and singing along is encouraged. Plus, if you’re 12-years-old (or younger), you can bring a handmade snowflake to the Coffee Shop and exchange it for a cup of hot chocolate!
December 2, 2017 – December 31, 2017: CHRISTMAS IN OLD VICTORIA
What was Victoria like at Christmas long ago? Find out during a guided tour where you’ll learn about a First Nations legend, a touching Gold Rush tale, and the frequency of Christmas Day brawls at Fort Victoria. The tour features a variety of indoor and outdoor activities.
December 2, 2017: 37TH ANNUAL DICKENS HOLIDAY FAIR
The annual Dickens Holiday Fair returns for the 37th year. You’ll have the chance to meet over 70 local artisans. A large children’s play area will be set up for the youngsters. Holiday music will be playing and a café will be available if you want to grab a bite.
December 9, 2017: TUBA CHRISTMAS
The Tuba Christmas tradition began in New York City in 1974. Since then, this iconic event has spread to more than 200 cities worldwide. The event is simple. Tuba players throughout the region gather to play their favorite holiday songs. It’s a dazzling display of talent and holiday cheer.
December 10, 2017: CHOCOLATE & CHURCHES WALKING FOOD TOUR
When you pair the old-world beauty of Victoria’s historic churches with delicious bites of chocolate, you’re in for a treat. During this 3-hour guided walking tour you’ll visit three places of worship and a variety of local businesses to sip and sample chocolate.
December 16, 2017: MUSIC IN THE MARKET SQUARE
Bundle up for this free, outdoor concert presented by the Greater Victoria Concert Band. Held at Market square, the performance will feature holiday-inspired tunes – many of which you’ll recognize and some which may be new.
Discover More Victoria BC Things To Do
Reduced rates and smaller crowds make fall and winter the perfect time to experience Victoria’s indoor activities. The following are eight of our favorite.
There’s more to Victoria than the Fairmont Empress and Parliament Buildings. While both of these iconic landmarks are certainly deserving of a visit, B.C.’s quaint capitol is loaded with Instagram-worthy destinations.
When you have just a day to soak up the majestic beauty of Victoria, B.C., don’t let a second go to waste. Hit the streets. Immerse yourself in the culture. And, don’t forget your camera. You’ll want it on this photo walk.