Christmas 2022: Ideas for Family Events around Town

It feels like somehow we’ve gone from Halloween to the end of November in the blink of an eye! And that means that my favourite time of year is quickly approaching. I love the holidays for the time with family and friends, delicious dinners, game nights … and the many family events and activities that are held around town (many of which are free!).

I’ve been scouring the internet and have found many magical events taking place in Victoria and the Saanich Peninsula this year. Read on to find out more, and to discover new events to experience with your family!

I will keep updating this list as I learn about more events!

Victoria Festival of Trees
When: November 17th, 2022 – January 3rd, 2023
Where: The Bay Centre
What: This wonderful event has become a tradition in our family. Explore the beautiful trees and vote for your favourite while donating to BC Children’s Hospital.

Sidney’s Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt
When: November 25th, 2022 – January 6th, 2023
Where: Downtown Sidney
What: Take a stroll around Sidney and see if you can spot the hidden elves!

Sidney Community Christmas Tree
When: November 25th – December 31st
Where: Pick up from Sidney Info Center
What: Help decorate the community Christmas tree located by Sabhai Thai! Pick up an ornament from Sidney’s Info Center, decorate it, and add it to the tree!

Christmas on the Farm
When: November 26th, 2022 – December 18th, 2022, weekends
Where: Ponies & Pipsqueaks
What: Pony rides, Santa, barn tours … all in one! Book your visit online.

Habitat for Humanity Gingerbread Showcase
When: November 26th, 2022 – January 2nd, 2023
Where: Parkside Hotel & Spa (810 Humbolt Street)
What: Professional and amateur bakers create incredible gingerbread houses in this event benefiting Habitat for Humanity Victoria. Check out the entries for this year’s “Magical” theme and vote for your favourite. The event celebrates its 14th anniversary this year!

Breakfast with Santa at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel
When: Multiple dates between November 26th, 2022 and December 18th, 2022
Where: Oak Bay Beach Hotel
What: Bring the family for a breakfast with Santa including individual family seating, cookie decorating, and an on-site photographer.

Driving Tour of Christmas Lights
When: A week or two before Christmas
Where: All around town
What: It’s so much fun to get in your PJs, maybe even take a little hot cocoa with you, and drive around town exploring the best Christmas displays! Victoria Buzz and the Times Colonist both just put out their maps, listing the best displays around town!

Gingerbread House Challenge at Panorama Recreation
When: December 1st – 31st, 2022
Where: Panorama Recreation
What: This event benefits CFAX Santa’s Anonymous, and gives families, friends and colleagues the opportunity to work together to build a Gingerbread House creation! Pick up a gingerbread house kit after November 15th, decorate, and deliver it back to Panorama on December 1st. Once the houses have been returned to Panorama, take the family to have a look, and vote for your favourite!

Christmas at Butchart Gardens
When: December 1st, 2022 – January 6th, 2022
Where: Butchart Gardens
What: Butchart Gardens is magical at Christmas time! Beautiful carolers, Twelve Days of Christmas decorations hidden throughout the gardens, and incredible Christmas lights. Reserve your visit online.

The Christmas Express
When: December 2nd-5th, 9th-12th, 15th-18th & 20th-23rd, 2022
Where: BC Forest Discovery Centre
What: Ok, so this event isn’t a Victoria one … but it looks like so much fun!

IEOA Truck Light Convoy
When: Saturday December 3rd, 2022, leaves Breakwater District at 5:40pm
Where: Parade route runs from the Breakwater District to Westshore Parkway
What: An amazing parade of decorated and lit up trucks!

Holiday Magic at the Malahat Skywalk
When: December 3rd, 2022 – January 1, 2023, 9am-3:30pm
Where: Malahat Skywalk
What: Enjoy holiday magic at the Skywalk, including a warm fire, drinks, huge tree, and more. See the website for details about specific activities each day. Tickets available online.

Victoria Harbour Lights: Winter Dream
When: December 2022, various dates (see website)
Where: Langford
What: Langford has a lot of fun activities planned for the holiday season! Tinsel Gazebo (December 3rd-31st), Wreath Making and Pom Pom Garland Crafternoons (Pre-register online), outdoor ice skating, live ice carving, drop-in holiday crafting workshops and live music at Langford Station. Check out the linked website above for all the festive details!

Langford Winter Festival
When: December 3rd – 31st, 2022
Where: Inner Harbour
What: Enjoy a holiday Harbour ferry experience complete with a narrated story, 3-D projected animations, and lighting displays. The ride is 45 minutes long, and can be booked online.

Sidney Sparkles Christmas Parade
When: Sunday December 4th, 2022, 5pm
Where: Beacon Avenue, Sidney
What: Celebrate the holiday season with Sidney’s Christmas parade! Lighted Boat Parade to follow.

Esquimalt Celebration of Lights
When: Sunday December 4th, 2022, 5pm
Where: The parade runs along Esquimalt Road from Esquimalt Rd and Canteen Rd to the McDonald’s Entrance
What: Kick off the Christmas season with a light parade, singing, food … and of course Santa!

Tea for Tutu with Ballet Victoria
When: Tuesday/Wednesday December 6th & 7th, 2022, 2pm
Where: Ballet Victoria Theater
What: Ballet Victoria presents 45 minutes of dance, followed by cookies and tea, and a chance to interact with the dancers. Reservations required.

Winter Minis @ The Farm
When: Saturday December 10th, 2022
Where: Bear n Bee Farm
What: Book a mini photo session at the farm and enjoy animal visits, a campfire with s’mores and hot chocolate … as well as 5 professional photos. Book your session online.

Sidney Christmas Cruise
When: Saturday December 10th, 2022 at 6pm
Where: Sidney
What: I’ve never heard of this event before, but it sounds like it’s a roaming car show with a festive twist! The cars are planning to start driving at 6pm, all around Sidney.

Lights of Wonder
When: December 15th – 31st, 2022, 4-9pm (and Fri/Sat until 10pm)
Where: Centennial Square
What: A beautiful (free!) outdoor light display complete with interactive light tunnels, a 40 foot tree, live entertainment, and more!

Winter Wonderland Skate at Panorama Recreation
When: December 16th – 23rd 2022 (special event December 17th)
Where: Panorama Recreation
What: Every year, Panorama transforms the arena into a gorgeous winter wonderland complete with lights, trees, polar bears, penguins, and more! Enjoy the beautiful set up at one of the public skates.
Saturday December 17th from 11am-3pm is the Winter Wonderland Carnival: a holiday event for the whole family, including kids’ games, Christmas music, and a visit from Santa.

Photos with Santa in Sidney
When: Sunday December 18th 2022, 12-2pm
Where: Garden Court, 2360 Beacon Avenue
What: Take your camera to capture a free photo with Santa, and enjoy hot chocolate and treats!

Winter Holiday Storytime
When: Saturday December 22nd 2022, 10:30-11:30am
Where: Sidney/North Saanich Library
What: Join Virginia at Storytime for holiday stories, rhymes, songs, and a craft. All ages, no registration required.

If you know of any holiday events that I’ve missed, I would love to hear them!

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