Need a break from all that gift wrapping? Gather your friends and family and slide into a full on festive vibe at some of Richmond’s most glittering holiday displays. Read on for our chestnut-warming selection of camera-ready sights, lights and more––then dig out your best seasonal sweater (perhaps the one with the twinkling Christmas pudding) and dive into some shimmering local fun.
BEELINE TO CITY HALL
Located at the corner of Granville Avenue and No. 3 Road, start your festivities inside at City Hall. Open on weekdays, you’ll find a mini-forest of illuminated trees and decorations in a Winter Wonderland tradition that’s now in its 22nd year. Additionally, drop by on Saturday December 2, 9 or 16 (from 1:00pm), for fun music performances by local community groups. Organized by the Richmond Sunset Rotary Club, donations or non-perishable food items are encouraged. City Hall’s sparkling spectacle continues outside, where decorated trees and light installations will be on display throughout the festive season.
BASK IN STEVESTON’S LIGHTS
With its extensive Winter in the Village program, shoreline Steveston is a must-see for holiday fans. Arrive in the afternoon to shop and dine, then watch as the light fades and the illuminations kick-in. Don’t miss the cornucopia of twinkling installations adorning restaurants, boutiques and more throughout the village––this handy map shows you exactly where all the best ones are located. And make sure you track down the three special selfie stations so you can create some delightful photos for your social media feeds.
LEGO AND MORE
While you’re in the village, don’t miss the free-entry Steveston Tram pavilion. Its Santa-red vintage tramcar––which once trundled between Vancouver and Steveston––has been transformed into Winter Tram for the season, complete with holly jolly decorations and a display of very cool Lego models depicting local landmarks. Along with its fascinating historical exhibits, you can climb inside the glowing tram while your kids can dress up as yesteryear tram operators.
STEVESTON FESTIVAL OF TREES
An additional must-see Christmas in the Village spectacle is at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, where the delightful Steveston Festival of Trees is in full swing. Entry includes the chance to view an impressive array of trees fully decorated by local organizations––you can vote for your favourite and help anoint 2023’s overall winner. Before you leave, check out the gift shop for some unique pressie ideas, and save time for a photo or two at the special holiday-themed selfie station located just outside.
A Merry McArthurGlen Visit
Over at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver, you’ll find one of the biggest trees in the region on display. The European-style outdoor shopping complex is always brilliantly decorated for the season, and this year its Sparkle Brighter program includes oversized nutcracker figures plus huge, photo-friendly light installations such as a giant snowflake and a massive bow-wrapped gift. And if you haven’t finished your gift shopping yet, this is the perfect place to polish it all off in one go.
Festive bear hugs
Over at Aberdeen Centre, there’s always a great deal of anticipation about the mall’s central atrium at this time of year. Every December, the huge space comes to life with a spectacular holiday-themed diorama––and their 2023 Bear Hugs & Christmas Wishes creation may be the best yet. Get your camera ready for a teddy-bear-themed wonderland of cuddly critters, a glittering steam train, Santa’s grotto and the biggest teddy bear you’ve ever seen. There will also be musical performances here throughout the season––check out the schedule here.
TRAIN RIDES, CONCERTS AND MORE
A few blocks away, Lansdowne Centre also offers a sugar-plum-sweet array of holiday happenings throughout December. Kids will love hopping aboard the mini train ride for a festive trundle, while adults should also visit on December 9 and 10 for a pop-up artisan market. Santa will be holding court in his gigantic throne here for photos until Christmas Eve, complete with Mrs Claus. And there will be toe-tapping holiday choir concerts here on select afternoons throughout the month. Check here for all the mall’s holiday events.
Head to winTerville
Finish off your indoor shopping at CF Richmond Centre, where you’ll find multiple stores and boutiques with perfect gift ideas. But be sure to also slow down and check out the mall’s impressive Winterville holiday decorations, including a cool walk-through bauble and some towering, twinkling figures of a mother deer and her fawn. You’ll also find Santa in his rustic log cabin––book ahead for photos. Keen to hear some delightful live holiday music? Check out the schedule here and head to the food court for all performances.
Last Updated on January 3, 2024 by Tourism Richmond