Our picks of places to go and things to do to make the most of your month on Vancouver Island.
SEE SPARKLES HERE – Come December 1, pack up some warm clothes and head to Sidney for the Sidney Sparkles Christmas Parade. Taking place along Beacon Avenue, this annual Christmas parade snakes through the streets and ends on Ocean Avenue. Before you head home, be sure to get down to the waterfront to catch the holiday boat parade.
GET TO THE GARDENS – Starting December 1 and running through January 6, Butchart Gardens in Brentwood Bay will be filled with a jaw-dropping number of colourful lights as well as carollers, ice skating and more. Grab gloves and a cozy hat to walk through the Twelve Days of Christmas display, and make a point to stop at the Coffee Shop for hot chocolate and fresh-baked gingerbread.
FIND A GINGERBREAD VILLAGE HERE – The Habitat for Humanity Victoria Gingerbread Showcase is one of the most beloved family-friendly holiday events in Victoria. The showcase will run daily from 9am to 9pm until Sunday, January 5. Guests can purchase tickets to browse dozens of edible creations—this year bakers were tasked with building a diverse (gingerbread) community. Ticket proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity’s affordable homeownership program.
GLOW UP HERE – Don’t miss this year’s Starlight Skate, it’s a perfect wintertime activity for families, couples and friends. On December 14 from 7 to 9pm, grab some LED glow sticks and twirl around the rink at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.
GET ALL YOUR GIFTS HERE – Bring some extra tote bags to the Vancouver Island Winter Market—you’ll be stocking up on unique gifts for everyone on your list. This four-day event kicks off December 12 at Nanaimo North Town Centre and is the Island’s largest creative market, featuring hundreds of local vendors.
SIP WINE AND PAINT HERE – On December 7 at 7pm, Windward Pub in Nanaimo will host a special paint night, pairing some expert-led artistic expression with fresh-made cocktails and wine. The session is all in good fun—but try to stay focused on your artwork, it could turn out to be a great homemade gift for friends or family.