5 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Victoria

5 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Victoria

With the Christmas holidays comes the chaos of squeezing in time for friends, family, shopping and other holiday traditions. If you’re looking for ways to reclaim your vacation time, Victoria is an excellent destination to help you relax and get into the holiday spirit. Why not kick off your Christmas getaway with a Victoria mini-vacation? This stunning oceanside city offers a rich history, natural beauty and the exciting urban lifestyle of B.C., making it the ideal vacation spot for families and travelers of all ages! Embrace the warmth of the season with five exciting activities and attractions that will keep everyone merry for the holidays.

1. Enjoy the many festive light displays and parades

Christmas lights are one of the most magical parts of the holiday season. The eye-catching twinkling lights under a blanket of cooler air create a warm glow even on the chilliest of faces. The Victoria area has no shortage of holiday spirit with an abundance of festive light displays and parades to keep spirits bright, including:

butchart gardens lit up for christmas

Photo Courtesy of Gord Webster | Flickr

Butchart Gardens: Spend time with family under the colourful lights, sing along with carolers, ice skate, and melt away the winter chill with a cup of hot cocoa and some festive gingerbread while relaxing by the roaring fire.
Truck Light Convoy: A convoy of 80 trucks aglow with holiday lights that has been spreading holiday cheer in Victoria for over a decade.
Island Farms Santa’s Light Parade: This is the largest nighttime parade in Canada and will take place on November 30. Before and after the event there are several other activities and holiday-themed displays to see in Victoria’s “Christmas Square.”
Sea of Lights Parade: This nautical extravaganza lights up the sea with a parade of twinkling ships. They set sail and create a magical sight celebrating the maritime heritage of Victoria.
Sidney Sparkles Christmas Parade: You won’t want to miss this amazing parade filled with holiday spirit, including the Lighted Sail Past at Port Sidney (weather permitting!). This annual event will take place on December 1 at Beacon Avenue in Downtown Sidney.

Looking for a more casual way to enjoy the lights? Simply take a stroll through Old Town and enjoy the streets and buildings lit up with twinkling lights and Christmas spirit!

legislative building lit up for christmas

Photo Courtesy of Tourism Victoria

2. Sample festive libations and seasonal treats

There’s no denying that the holidays offer an excuse to indulge in the flavours of the season. Festive beverages create a celebratory spirit and traditional foods are available to sample throughout the area. Unleash your inner foodie and try out these spots to get your fix of holiday goodies:

couple drinking at christmas

Photo Courtesy of Tourism Victoria

● Christmas Craft Beer Show to sample local brews and foods
Blue Crab’s delectable seasonal menu
● Veneto Kitchen + Bar for cocktails and classic Italian cuisine
● Clive’s Classic Lounge home to magical mixologists and cozy neighbourhood fare
● Snowdon House is a former Christmas tree farm that knows how to celebrate the season

blue crab at victoria harbourside hotel with ocean view

You might need to add a few more notches to your belt after visiting these local hot spots and trying out some of the best treats in the area.

3. Indulge in seasonal shopping

The holidays wouldn’t be the same without spending time searching for the perfect treasures for everyone on your Christmas list. Exploring shops outside of your local mall will fill your Christmas shopping list with unique items from specialty shops and boutiques that you can find all over Victoria, including:

Victoria Public Market is an ideal spot for lovers of all things artisanal. Located in the historic Hudson Building in the heart of Victoria, you’ll find the impressive wares of local artisans, farmers, butchers, bakers, brewers, and more. Bring your own bags to fit in with the locals who frequent the area.
● Government Street in downtown Victoria is one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions for those who love to shop ‘til they drop. Aside from shopping, the centrally located street offers museums, galleries and an array of beautiful historic architecture to see.
Market Square in Old Town Victoria is home to local one-of-a-kind boutiques from fashion-forward clothing stores to on-trend home accessories. You might want to rent a van to carry your many finds from this spot!
● The Victorian Christmas Craft Fair offers all things nostalgic, from hand-made Christmas decorations to more contemporary offerings; not to mention all kinds of treats to indulge your holiday sweet tooth.

couple shopping during the holidays

Photo Courtesy of Tourism Victoria

Fire up your credit card for your Victoria shopping frenzy! This is just one of the many things to do in Victoria in winter.

5. Holiday Shows

The pageantry of the holidays is the perfect inspiration for shows that delight and entertain people of all ages. Victoria offers impressive productions throughout the season, including:

A Christmas Carol at Craigdarroch Castle: This holiday classic presents the Dickensian spirit of Christmas that has long offered a humble reminder about the meaning of the season.
Homo for the Holidays: Get your pride on at this unique holiday extravaganza!
A Christmas Carol at Belfry Theatre: You can also enjoy the Dickens classic at the Belfry Theatre.

Where to Stay

With all these activities to pack in during your Victoria getaway, you deserve a relaxing place to rest your head after a long day of holiday celebrations. The Coast Victoria Hotel and Marina by APA is conveniently located between Fisherman’s Wharf and the beautiful Inner Harbour. This new urban-style hotel features a spectacular oceanfront location with one of the most captivating views in the area. You can get a full appreciation for the natural beauty and historic splendor of Victoria while taking advantage of your upscale hotel accommodations.

Right in the heart of the lively Outer Harbour, Coast Victoria Hotel and Marina by APA offers a full-service 52-slip marina, award-winning restaurant Blue Crab and gorgeous event spaces. The hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle service within the downtown core. You can even dine on the flavours of the season at the Blue Crab.

Coast Victoria Hotel room

Amenities and services include:

● Complimentary on-demand shuttle service – 7:30 AM – 11:00 PM
● Electric charging stations
● Indoor/Outdoor pool
● Whirlpool and Sauna
● Gated Underground Parking – $18/night
● Full Service 52 Slip Marina
● Fitness Facilities
● Pet Friendly

A seaside Island Resident Rate is available. This special deal will get you 15% off Best Available Rate with valid ID and qualifying address at one of the best holiday spots in Victoria. Book your Coast Hotel, Victoria holiday getaway today!