It's the most wonderful time of the year—in Victoria, BC!
What are your favourite Christmas or winter holiday activities or traditions in and around Victoria?
Are you visiting Victoria over the holidays and need some fun Christmassy ideas and activities? We asked on our blog, and here's what the locals had to say:
"My holiday favourite is to visit my nieces and nephews. We head down to the beach on Dallas road to find the perfect driftwood Christmas tree. Then we head across the road to Nana's for some hot chocolate and dry socks (yes someone always ends up falling in a rock pool!). Then back to Fernwood to decorate the tree and head out caroling around the neighbourhood." - Lulu
"I always love it when it snows over the holidays - such a novelty in Victoria to have a white Christmas, especially with our young daughter! Our family has a tradition of going to Butchart Gardens to look at the lights and find the 12 Days of Christmas displays. Walking and shopping in the festive downtown core is a favourite too. If it's stormy and windy we like to bundle up and walk along Dallas Rd for a bit of a thrill. We love Victoria!" - Shelly
"The Family Christmas Carol Sing-along Concert with the Victoria Philharmonic Choir at the Church of St John the Divine gets you into the holiday mood. This year it is on Dec 20th. Children are free." - Jill
"My girls love the Royal BC Museum - and at Christmas, Butchart gardens and a carousel ride are magical." - Vanessa
"One of may favorite things in Victoria during the holidays in Victoria is the Legislature lite up at night with a few red and green lights. One of my favorite things to do is grab a coffee and stroll downtown and in the Inner Harbour." - Nichole
"My top three favorite things to do around Christmas are: drives around neighborhoods to view the creative Christmas lights displays (complete with hot chocolate), see the trees at the Empress and the bears at Grand Pacific." - Lillian Sue
"My family loves to take my two-year-old and 14-year-old to Butchart Gardens. We grab hot chocolates and listen to the sounds of the wonderful carols as we stroll through the magical lights and skate on the rink. We like cuddling up and watching Christmas movies, munching on popcorn and talking about our Christmas wishes and dreams. My daughter loves all the wonderful lights of Victoria so we do a tour of the creative houses and visit the Empress and Parliment buildings to see the lights and trees. One thing we have never done is a horse buggy ride (and that's definitely on our list)." - Brenda
"My favourite winter holiday activity is going to see the bald eagles gathering out at Goldstream Provincial Park and then warming by a fire and roasting marshmallows in the picnic shelter." - Sarah
"I love taking my girls to Craigdarroch Castle. Seeing the castle decorated in holiday splendor and having a visit with Father Christmas just makes us feel like we are travelling back in time." - Rob
"For years we have spent our Xmas holiday in Victoria. We love to wake up and have hot chocolate at Murchie's, preferably in the front window so we can watch the passers-by. We take a slow walk on the waterway, eventually landing at Don Mee's for a Xmas dim-sum brunch. Then, we take a drive up the beautiful coastal highway that encircles the wonderful city, stopping to admire the scenery, sometimes catching a glimpse of the seals, or the view of the Olympic Mountains across the water. We meander back to our hotel room late in the day and curl up with a book, reminding each other how very lucky we are to have each other, our family, and a wonderful family tradition!" - Kaweenee
"It's always fun to go to Beacon Hill Park, regardless of the time of year, and feed the ducks and wander around admiring the scenery. A walk along Dallas road is great. In winter the sea is often rough and waves spill over onto the pavement. The crafts fairs offered in Victoria are fantastic, so you don't want to miss these. Also it's always fun to go to Market Square as the stores there are so unique; there is always something to buy for yourself or a friend or family member. In the evening, you need to take in a tour to see the houses and buildings lit up—a perfect way to end the day with your family." - Crafty501
"I always make sure to check out the Festival of Trees and Butchart Gardens. When weather allows, I also make sure to take a stroll down Dallas Road on Christmas Day... Just so I can brag about it to my family in Alberta!" - Candice
"We like to come down-island from the Comox Valley to Victoria to enjoy the lights, shops and waterfront. We drink way too much hot chocolate, and visit my brother and his family. One Christmas we even watched the Christmas truck parade out in Langford, the cement mixers were amazing with their spinning drums covered in lights—how do they do that?" - Curtis