Canada, Family Travel

Festive (and Family-Friendly) Things to Do in Victoria, B.C. at Christmas

November 24, 2019

Victoria, British Columbia’s capital city sparkles during the holiday season. These festive (and family-friendly) things do in Victoria, B.C. at Christmas will help you start planning the most memorable celebrations.

Experience the Magic of Christmas at Butchart Gardens

A family-favourite, Butchart Garden’s Magic of Christmas event includes an outdoor ice skating rink, colourful Twelve Days of Christmas displays throughout 22 ha (55 acres) property, and festive carolers. 

Butchart Gardens Things to Do in Victoria, B.C. at Christmas

The Magic of Christmas runs from December 1 – January 6, 2020. Dress for the outdoors and plan to spend a few hours at The Butchart Gardens. There are restaurants for a meal or snack, as well as a cozy cafe serving hot chocolate and gingerbread. Skates are available to rent for $3 at Butchart Gardens, and helmets are complimentary. 

Children 12 and under can trade a home-made snowflake (use an 8×11 sheet of white paper) for a mug of hot chocolate at the Butchart Garden’s Coffee Shop. 

There is a lot to see at The Butchart Gardens during the Magic of Christmas, so bring a stroller if you have a young child. If you are stuck, complimentary strollers are available at the Visitor Centre on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Magic of Christmas Hours and Admission Cost

Between December 1, 2019, and January 6, 2020, The Magic of Christmas is open from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Admission costs are as follows – adult (18+) $27.95, youth (13-17) $14.00 and children (5-12) are $3.00.

See the Festival of Trees at Victoria’s Bay Centre

Get into the spirit (and shop for holiday gifts) at Victoria’s Bay Centre shopping mall. Here you can wander amongst Christmas Trees decorated to raise money for BC Children’s Hospital. After viewing all of the unique Christmas trees, cast a vote for your favourite. 

Festival of Trees things to do in Victoria BC at Christmas
Photo Credit Brandon McGeachie

Festival of Trees Hours and Admission

The Festival of Trees runs from November 21, 2019, to January 6, 2020, and is open during Victoria’s Bay Centre hours of operation. Admission cost is by donation.

Watch the 38th Island Farms Santa’s Light Parade 

A holiday tradition for many, the Island Farms Santa’s Light Parade happens on November 30, 2019, at 5:00 pm. The parade begins on the corner of Bellville Street and Government Street at 5:00 pm and travels along Government Street from Belleville to Fisgard Streets.

Santa's Parade things to do in Victoria B.C. at Christmas
Photo Credit Brandon McGeachie

Santa’s Light Parada Hours and Admission

Santa’s Light Parade begins at 5:00 pm. There is no charge to watch this parade. 

Christmas at the Fairmont Empress

Known as Canada’s Castle on the Coast, the harbour-front Fairmont Empress hotel celebrates Christmas in spectacular style. Stroll the Fairmont Empress Hotel’s grounds and look at the festive lights before stepping inside to see the glittering 16-foot Christmas tree in Reception Lobby. Continue walking through the hotel to see elaborate holiday decorations, including a gingerbread holiday display in the Upper Lobby. 

Fairmont Empress Christmas tree things to do in Victoria, B.C. at Christmas
Photo Credit Fairmont Empress

The Fairmont Empress Christmas lights ceremony is on November 28, 2019, from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Santa and Mrs. Claus will stop by the Fairmont Empress during the light-up, and I’ve heard Mrs. Claus will be serving hot chocolate and gingerbread at the hotel’s Veranda dining area. The Empress Veranda is serving fireside s’mores, hot drinks, and Christmas treats from 4:00 pm until closing (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) until December 23, 2019. 

On November 30, 2019, stop by the Empress Veranda at 2:00 pm for the children’s Christmas kick-off event. Sip hot chocolate and decorate cookies before walking over to Government Street for Santa’s Light Parade. 

There are a lot more events at the Fairmont Empress during the holiday season. Visit the Fairmont Empress website for all of the festive things to do in Victoria, B.C. at Christmas.

Christmas at the Fairmont Empress Hours and Admission

2:00 pm – 4:30 pm PRICE: $10 charity donation per child or one canned good per child. The parade begins at 5 pm. All proceeds go to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Travel Tips – Festive Things do Do in Victoria, B.C. at Christmas

  • Be sure to make a ferry reservation well in advance of your departure date if you are travelling to and from Victoria, B.C. at Christmas.
  • Read this post for more local tips on where to eat, drink, and shop in Victoria, B.C.
  • Beaches are a year-round destination in Victoria, B.C. Here are a few of our favorite places to walk alongside the Pacific Ocean.

Have you spent Christmas in Victoria, B.C.? What are your favourite festive things to do to celebrate the holiday season?

Festive (and Family-Friendly) Things to Do in Victoria, B.C. at Christmas

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  • Reply Chocoviv November 28, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    These are so beautiful! Lovely Christmas lights!!

    • Reply LuxeTravelFamily November 29, 2019 at 8:23 am

      Thank you! There are miles of Christmas lights at Butchart Gardens during the holiday season.

  • Reply Claudia November 29, 2019 at 11:45 am

    I love visiting the Butchart Gardens at any time of year, but the holidays are such a special time to enjoy this beautiful attraction!

    • Reply LuxeTravelFamily November 29, 2019 at 3:34 pm

      I feel the same, Claudia! I love that Butchart Gardens are a year-round attraction.

  • Reply Kim March 19, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    I love Victoria, BC and visiting at Christmastime is really magical!

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