Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden

When I was a kid, Christmas was all about Santa and looking forward to the gifts he'd leave under our tree. But now that I'm older, it's the simpler things in life that matter more. Spending time with friends and family while taking in the festive sights of Vancouver are now a Christmas highlight to me.




The VanDusen Botanical Garden hosts the Festival of Lights every December. Seeing as I've never gone before, I rounded up a few friends and off we went the night before Christmas Eve. What awaited us was a magical paradise beyond my imagination.



Not one tree or flowerbed was left behind as over one million lights twinkled in the night.



Illuminated trails brought guests through enchanted tunnels and ponds. Along the way, light shows were synchronized to Jingle Bells and other famous Christmas carols.




I've seen impressive Christmas decorations before but none even came close to this! 



We took a stroll through Gingerbread Wood, Lantern Alley, Mistletoe Mischief and Candy Cane Lane. All of them transported us into a Christmas fantasy land that I never wanted to leave.










We came specifically for the lights but if you're looking for other activities, you're in luck! There are meet and greets with Santa, shadow puppet shows and Scandinavian Gnome performances. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is also on sight offering gorgeous glow star necklaces by donation.






Christmas may be coming to a close but that doesn't mean VanDusen is stopping the holiday cheer. The Festival of Lights is still on until January 4. Just remember to bundle up and grab a mug of hot chocolate as the nights can get a little brisk.

Melissa Li

I’m a Canadian girl on a quest to step foot in every continent before I’m 30. You’ll most likely find me chowing down on Japanese ramen, partying at a music festival, hiking to the top of a scenic lookout, cuddling with cats, or chilling out at the beach. I’ve visited over 60 countries so far and hope to inspire you to do the same.

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