People will be flocking to Steveston Village this holiday season for a sparkling array of special Christmas events, activities, and attractions. A one-stop-shop for Yuletide fun, the charming heritage village is hosting dozens of dedicated activities for locals and visitors keen to tap into the spirit of the season.

From carolling and artisan markets to richly decorated National Historic Sites—and even appearances from Santa himself—there’s a glittering selection of free or low-cost holiday happenings here from the third week of November onwards. Ready to plan your activities for this most wonderful time of the year? Read on for our exclusive 2019 insider’s guide to Steveston’s Winter in the Village.

Winter in the Village
Steveston's historic sites will be illuminated over the holidays. | Photo: City of Richmond

Illuminating Historic Sites

You can step into Christmases past at several of Steveston’s heritage attractions. Over at Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, the attraction’s many seasonal enticements—all detailed below—are underpinned by evening illuminations lighting up many of the site’s evocative heritage buildings.

The Steveston Museum will also be in a full-on festive mood, decorating its adjoining green space with an interactive Dancing Trees display—just sing or clap your hands to make the lights dance! A short walk away, the Steveston Tram is always worth visiting. But on December 7, you can check out its free, family-friendly Winter Tram event, complete with craft activities and a much-anticipated appearance by Santa himself.

Winter in the Village
A wintry day at Britannia Shipyards. | Photo: City of Richmond

But that’s not all. Running throughout December, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site will be hosting its sparkling Festival of Trees, complete with dozens of inventively decorated displays dotted among the fascinating museum exhibits.

You can also look back to Yuletide’s past at London Heritage Farm, where a charming Victorian Christmas is on the cards. The nostalgically decorated 1890s farmhouse will be open on weekend afternoons from November 16 to December 15; and will also host traditional Christmas ornament workshops on select days. Check ahead and pick a time to create your own old-fashioned decorations, from wreaths to Yule log centerpieces.

Santas Galore

The bearded wonder will be a busy man in Steveston this year. You can join him for Breakfast with Santa at the Steveston Community Centre on December 1, while—on the same-day—crowds will gather to see him sailing up to Fisherman’s Wharf on a whale-watching boat, before holding court at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. This is also a big day for vintage vehicle fans, with the Christmas Classic Car Cruise rolling into the village for its colourful annual parade.

If you and the kids can’t make December 1, visit the Steveston Museum anytime between November 21 December 24 when children are invited to write letters to Santa for free. Consider combining this with a December 5 or 6 visit, when the village hosts its evening Winter Hayrides—complete with festive sing-alongs and a chance to view twinkling window displays as you trundle around the area.

Winter in the Village
Santa will be making appearances in Steveston. | Photo: City of Richmond

More Family Fun

There are lots of additional reasons to bring the kids here this season—especially if they’re feeling creative. The Steveston Tram is hosting free daily holiday craft activities for junior Christmas fans throughout the festive period. And people of all ages are invited to exercise their holiday creativity at Britannia Shipyards, which is hosting free Wooden Ornament Decorating every afternoon from November 21.

Local merchants will also be participating in a Winter Window Contest. Remember to vote for your favourite window display by dropping off a ballot at the Steveston Tram or the Steveston Museum!

Winter in the Village
Participate in holiday craft activities this season. | Photo: City of Richmond

Christmas Shopping

But if your idea of crafting is to let someone else do the work, don’t miss a couple of highly anticipated holiday fairs—perfect for finding new decorations for your tree or unique gifts for those stubborn holdouts on your present list. Give yourself plenty of time to peruse the 160+ stalls at Steveston’s Christmas Craft Fair in the Steveston Community Centre on November 23, then return on December 7 for the Heritage Christmas Craft Fair, taking place in several of Britannia Shipyards’ historic buildings.

Winter in the Village
Don't miss the Heritage Christmas Craft Fair. | Photo: City of Richmond

You’ll also find locally made arts and crafts—plus delicious treats—at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery’s ever-popular Cannery Farmers’ Market. A Christmas shopping hot spot, free entry to this National Historic Site is included for market day visitors—which means you can also snap some cool Festival of Trees selfies at the same time. In the run-up to Christmas, the market operates on December 1, 8, and 15.

But if you still need some gift shopping assistance—and you want to have fun while you’re doing it—gather your girlfriends for the ninth annual Steveston Girls’ Night Out on November 21, a special evening of late-opening stores and festivities for women-only.

Carol Time

Along with gift shopping, music is also a huge part of the holidays. And Steveston’s Winter in the Village calendar includes performances that are guaranteed to immerse you in the Yuletide mood. Running on December 7, 14, and 21, the heartwarming Songs in the Snow is a free-entry afternoon event where local choirs and community groups sing festive songs while visitors enjoy seasonal refreshments and nostalgic activities.

It’s not the only way to catch a tune or two at this time of year. Britannia Shipyards is also the evocative backdrop for classical guitarists Louise Southwood and Stanton Jack’s Winter Concert on December 1: tickets are available at the door for this afternoon performance by two excellent entertainers. You’ll be singing like a happy elf all the way home.

Winter in the Village
Enjoy some holiday music during Winter in the Village. | Photo: City of Richmond

If you go:

Parking is available in and around Steveston Village, but there are also transit bus services: visit the TransLink website for trip-planning resources. And if it’s one of those sunny winter days, consider biking it: the village is well connected to several scenic cycling routes and trails.