The holidays have suddenly arrived! But don’t worry if you’re way behind with your preparations. We’ve taken the hard work out of planning your 2023 Christmas activities by rounding-up a sparkling array of options around the city. Take a few minutes to consider our tinsel-covered suggestions––then fill up your calendar with a hearty serving of festive fun.

Skip to Steveston

The jewel in the crown of Richmond’s seasonal activities, Steveston’s Winter in the Village delivers a multi-week program of holiday happenings––and almost everything is free. Click on the event calendar for all the details on options including live music, craft markets, festive afternoon teas and much more. Save time to explore the village on foot and you’ll also discover decorated storefronts, twinkling illuminations and lots of warm and welcoming boutique stores with great last-minute gift ideas.

Carol singers are a highlight at Steveston’s Winter in the Village | Photo Credit: City of Richmond

Ring the bell for Family Fun

The perfect place to take the family, Winter Tram is a restored vintage tramcar housed in its own Steveston Village pavilion––and it has been transformed into a charming, free-entry holiday highlight for the season. You’ll find the pavilion fully decorated with lights, garlands and more while extras include a kid-ready Scavenger Hunt and five amazing Lego models of Richmond and Steveston landmarks (we love the Minoru Chapel one with its ‘stained glass’ windows!)

Winter Tram is a highlight of Steveston’s Winter in the Village program | Photo Credit: John Lee

Vote for a Top Tree

While you’re in the village, beeline to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. Aside from its evocative museum displays, the celebrated heritage attraction is also hosting the Steveston Festival of Trees. It’s an indoor mini-forest of shimmering foliage, with each tree creatively decorated by a local group or business––don’t forget to vote for your favourite. And if you still have pressies to buy, the gift shop is filled with great ideas from books to jewelry to educational toys and more.

Head to the Steveston Festival of Trees at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. | Photo Credit: Tourism Richmond

Sit with Santa

If you’re keen to commune with the Jolly Old Elf himself, take the kids to one of the city centre spots where he usually holds court. Book now for digital snaps with Santa at CF Richmond Centre––and also check out the mall’s roster of live festive music in its Dining Terrace food court. A few blocks away, Santa is also known to frequent Lansdowne Centre. Reserve your spot for photos with the red-suited wonder here––and don’t forget the mall’s choir concerts and holiday-themed mini train rides as well.

Sit with Santa at CF Richmond Centre | Photo Credit: John Lee

Enjoy magical music and more

Over at Aberdeen Centre, the mall’s Bear Hugs & Christmas Wishes program is well underway. Start your visit at the central atrium, where you’ll find a huge tree plus a twinkling diorama that includes a humungous teddy bear, decorated train, a menagerie of furry critters and Santa’s log cabin (look out for him during your visit). The mall is also hosting a busy playbill of free holiday music by local performers, ranging from Windermere Secondary School to the Richmond Delta Youth Orchestra.  

Don’t miss the festive displays at Aberdeen Centre | Photo Credit: John Lee

Join Cinderella and Prince Charming

This year, Richmond is also presenting what may be Metro Vancouver’s best family holiday show. On stage at the city’s beloved Gateway Theatre, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella is a soaring, heartwarming musical bursting with seasonal sparkle and jam-packed with delightful, toe-tapping songs. There are also some side dish extras to consider during the show’s December 14 to December 31 run, including a dress-up matinee and two ballroom dancing workshops (included with your ticket booking)!

Don’t miss Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at the Gateway Theatre. | Photo Credit: David Cooper

Afternoon Treats

Heritage hot spot London Farm is once again hosting Jingle Bell Afternoon Teas in its antique-lined dining room. Seating is limited, so book ahead for their upcoming December 16 and December 17 dates (four sittings per day). Well-priced at $26.99 per person ($24.99 for seniors), you’ll indulge in baked goodies, London Lady Tea and, of course, a house-baked scone served with butter, whipped cream and the farm’s delicious own-made jam. Save time to explore the museum-like farmhouse and pick up a jar of jam to-go from the gift shop.

Festive Feasting

The swish Fairmont Vancouver Airport is hosting several highly tempting holiday dining options this year, including Festive Afternoon Tea, Holiday Lunches, Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet, Christmas Day Brunch and a grand Christmas Day Dinner––complete with duck prosciutto, bourbon caramel cheesecake and main course options ranging from sablefish to short ribs to Fraser Valley turkey. You’ll also find delicious holiday dining options on the menu at Cavu Kitchen Bar, Steveston Seafood House and 75 West Coast Grill.

Treat yourself to Christmas dinner at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport | Photo Credit: Fairmont Vancouver Airport

Wave to Santa

The perfect Christmas Eve activity for all the family, wrap up warmly and head to Steveston on December 24 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm for the utterly magical Steveston Santa Claus Parade. Back on the streets for the first time in several years, this almost five-decade-long tradition will start at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Regent Street and then weave to Garry Point Park. Expect decorated floats, perhaps a marching band or two and, of course, a dramatic appearance from Santa himself––before he rushes off to deliver those all-important presents throughout the night.

Sparkling Santa Clause parade hosted by Richmond Fire Rescue. | Photo Credit: The Steveston Santa Claus Parade. 

Last Updated on March 26, 2024 by Tourism Richmond