Once the shopping is done, the cards are sent and the pressies are wrapped, it’s time to slow down and slide into a full-on Christmas season vibe. And the best way to do that is to gather your friends and family and visit some glittering Richmond holiday displays.
Wondering where to go? Read on for our chestnut-warming selection of camera-ready Yuletide sights, lights and displays around the city. Then dig out your finest Christmas sweater (perhaps the one with the glowing Rudolph nose) and head out for some twinkling festive fun.
BEELINE TO CITY HALL
Located at the corner of Granville Avenue and No. 3 Road, sidestep the chilly winter weather by heading inside at City Hall. Open on weekdays until December 23, you’ll find a mini-forest of illuminated trees here in a Winter Wonderland tradition that’s now in its 21st year. The sparkling display continues outside, where decorated live trees and light installations will also be on display until January 2.
BASK IN STEVESTON’S LIGHTS
With its Winter in the Village program, shoreline Steveston is a must-see for Christmas fans. Arrive in the afternoon to shop and dine, then watch as the light fades and the illuminations kick-in. Don’t miss the twinkling installations in Town Square Park next to Steveston Museum or the decorated boats at Fisherman’s Wharf. And be sure to explore the glowing Christmas windows of the boutiques on and around Moncton Street.
LEGO AND MORE
Also on Moncton, walk to Winter Tram. Housed in its own free-entry pavilion, the antique tramcar––which once trundled between Vancouver and Steveston––has become a fun festive attraction this year. The pavilion’s exterior is adorned with lights and a giant wreath as well as an oversized picture frame that’s perfect for selfies. Inside, climb aboard the shiny, Santa-red tramcar, then peruse the pavilion’s holiday display of local historic landmarks cleverly recreated in Lego.
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 2022’s overall winner. Before you leave, save time for a photo or two at the special ’Steveston’s Greetings’ selfie-station just outside: it features a smiling seal wearing a Santa hat!
A Merry McArthurGlen Visit
Over at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver, you’ll find one of the biggest trees in Metro Vancouver on display. The European-style outdoor shopping complex is always brilliantly decorated for the season, and this year you’ll discover 10-foot-high nutcracker figures, a shimmering walk-in bauble and photo-friendly light installations such as a huge snowflake and a massive bow-wrapped gift. New for 2022, also look for the Walkway of Trees, with each tree decorated by local students.
Unique Holiday Snaps
Richmond’s main city centre shopping malls are also serving-up exciting festive spectacles for locals and visitors this month––and they’re a great way to escape from the weather if it takes a bone-chilling turn. Start with Lansdowne Centre where the holiday sights and activities include Santa visits, a Yuletide train ride, live Christmas music and––our favourite––some special 3-D photo stations where you shoot unique holiday images to send to friends and family.
FESTIVE CHEER NECESSITIES
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 central space comes to life with a spectacular holiday-themed diorama––and their 2022 Magic of the Season 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 much more. And if you’re still looking for stocking stuffers, the mall’s Oomomo Japanese dollar-style-store is also an ideal pit stop.
Commune with a Moose
Finish off your undercover shopping at CF Richmond Centre, where you’ll find countless branded stores and enticing boutiques with perfect pressie ideas. But be sure to also slow down and check out the mall’s impressive holiday decorations, including a cool walk-through bauble and some towering, twinkling figures of moose and reindeer. And if your festive spirit needs a little boost, check out the free live holiday music in the Dining Terrace food court––including shows from 5pm to 7pm on December 21, 22 and 23.
LACE UP YOUR SKATES
From December 9 to January 2, you can pretend you’re at the North Pole by ice skating through a covered Winter Wonderland at Minoru Arenas. A delightful spectacle for children and their families, you’ll be skating under a ceiling of twinkling lights to the soul-warming sounds of everyone’s favorite holiday music. And it’s also a great way to burn off any excess turkey-induced calories you may have gained during the holiday season! Click here for the schedule.
Last Updated on February 14, 2023 by Tourism Richmond