With its popular city centre malls and one-of-a-kind Steveston stores, Richmond is the perfect place for Christmas gift shopping. But one destination has become a magnet for locals and visitors––and it’s already preparing for a bumper holiday season.

McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver combines European-style gabled shops with a full-serving of famous brands. With more than 70 stores to choose from, reductions on regular retail prices range from 30 per cent to 70 per cent––which makes it ideal for finding great gifts without blowing your budget.

Just steps from Canada Line’s Templeton Station (there’s also plenty of parking), festive season hours are now in operation. And with their Christmas decorations already up and special Yuletide events and features now unfolding, it’s a hugely inviting holiday destination to visit over the coming weeks.

McArthurGlen is decked out in festive finery for the season | Photo Credit: McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver

Christmas Delights

If you’re coming here on the Canada Line, you’ll see McArthurGlen’s giant, bauble-packed Christmas tree rising over the rooftops before you even hop off the train. And once you start strolling around, you’ll notice a shimmering array of additional decorations framing the storefronts and warming-up the plazas.

Perfect for selfies, look out for an oversized sparkling snowflake; a glowing gift topped with a bow; and a glittering walk-through bauble that was extremely popular with young families on our recent visit. Need more? We also love the colourful 10-foot-high toy soldiers standing sentinel around the complex.

New this year, don’t miss the delightful Walk of Trees near the main entrance. On display throughout the holiday season, each tree features individually decorated ornament with artwork from the students of McNeely Elementary School, Vancouver College and Little Flower Academy.

And if you’re bringing your kids here, be sure to beeline to the popular children’s play area. For the festive season, it will be illuminated with fairy lights and will also have its own magical, walk-through light tunnel.

Plan ahead and you’ll also be able to enjoy live holiday music on select afternoons. The perfect toe-tapping soundtrack for your Christmas shopping, performances are scheduled from 1pm to 3pm on December 3 and 4 as well as on December 10 and 11.

Special holiday items will also be served at cafes and restaurants throughout the season. Warming hot drinks will be available at Starbucks and Caffe Artigiano. More substantial sustenance includes soups and burritos at Hugo’s Churros and Tacos plus delicious pizzas at Bibo Pizzeria. And don’t miss the comfort food hot dogs at Japadog––try their crunchy, super-filling Menchikatsu Dog.

A giant holiday ornament at McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport | Photo Credit: Tourism Richmond

Gift Buying

Shopping, of course, is the main reason to visit McArthurGlen. And it’s easy to find great presents for everyone on your list here––whether you’re looking for grand gifts or fun stocking stuffers. Top brands range from Armani to Swarovski; from Nike to Jimmy Choo; and from Pandora to Polo Ralph Lauren. And new stores this season include Brown’s Shoes, Steve Madden and Karl Lagerfeld.

We spent plenty of time browsing for gifts on our recent visit. We loved the colourful festive socks and T-shirts at Gap and Roots and the luxury soaps and skincare gift sets at L’Occitane. It was also easy to find fleeces for loved ones at North Face and fashionable bags and accessories at Coach and Kate Spade.

A quick visit to the Lindt store also turned into a long perusal of chocolate elves and Santas, plus the chance to sample delicious peppermint cookie candies. And if you’re keen to support local brands during your visit, we also spotted outlet shops for Vancouver-based Aritzia, Herschel and Oak + Fort here.

The giant tree is a highlight of the season at McArthurGlen | Photo Credit: McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver

Black Friday

The savviest gift shoppers will want to time their visit for Black Friday––McArthurGlen is famous for taking this super-sale very seriously. This year it starts on Friday November 25 (8am to 10pm) and runs throughout the weekend (on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 9pm). Every store participates, with each offering extra special deals and discounts.

Keep in mind that Black Friday is very busy here. Visitors are advised to carpool or take the Canada Line to avoid the crush. Consider dropping by early but remember that some stores will have line-ups. Bring an umbrella and/or toque in case you have to wait outside your must-visit store. It’ll be worth it, though, to find those perfect Christmas pressies while also snagging some bargains!

If You Go

McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver is a five-minute walk from Canada Line’s Templeton Station. If you’re driving, the outlet also has lots of parking. If you happen to be at Vancouver International Airport, with time to spare before a connecting flight, Templeton is just a four-minute Canada Line hop from YVR-Airport Station––and it’s a free trip if you scroll through the ticket machine options and select a “Sea Island Only” ticket.

Last Updated on November 16, 2022 by Tourism Richmond