The December Solstice, known as the dance of the sun and earth, has inspires a celebration of the human spirit through art and music. The Solstice is acknowledged in every part of the world although the effects are different.

For those of us living in the northern hemisphere, the winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year, so what better than to celebrate the elongated night with lanterns, fire, singing, drumming, music and dancing!?

These five little festivals are community-based and reflect the unique nature of each neighbourhood. Intimate and accessible, each invites your participation. Wherever you wind up, it is a chance to feel connected to a community, city, as well as the universe.

When: Winter Solstice, December 21st, 2013
Time: 6pm - 10pm
Cost: Lantern processions are free to watch, and donations encouraged.
Lantern making workshops cost between $5-$30 per lantern.

For more information, visit: http://www.secretlantern.org
Back by popular demand, Santa will be visiting Grouse Mountain to spread a little bit of early Christmas Cheer.  If you have attended in previous years you will know that this event sells out fast!

Each Breakfast with Santa is a magical experience. The event includes a special visit with Santa, an amazing buffet-style breakfast, and some pretty cool kid’s entertainment.




When: December 14 and 24, 2013
Time:
Lupins Seatings: Dec. 14-24, 2013, 9:00am-10:30am. Please arrive between 8:30am-8:45am.
Altitudes Seatings: Dec. 20-24, 8:30am-10:00am. Please arrive between 8:00am-8:30am.
Where: Grouse Mountain

For More info: http://grousemountain.com/events/breakfast-with-santa-2013
The Festival of Lights at VanDusen Gardens is back for another year! Loaded with lights and magical suprises, this is one event you don't want to miss.

Whether you are a family, a couple, or group of friends, this is the perfect event to get your Christmas spirit soaring.

This year's event features:
  • Dancing Lights on Livingstone Lake: starting at 4:30 p.m. Two different shows - one show on the half hour and a different one at the top of the hour. Two different shows repeating in sequence throughout the evening.
  • Photos with Santa and the backdrop of a million twinkling lights: Dec. 11 - 24
  • Svend and Jens, our Scandinavian Christmas Gnomes appear nightly in three performance areas 
  • Mischievous Grinch and his secret hut 
  • Shadow puppet performance by the talented duo Mind of a Snail
  • Community Choirs on the Performance Stage (Dec. 11 – 20)
  • VOC Sweet Soul Gospel Choir on the Performance Stage (Dec. 21)
  • The Christmas Revelers on the Performance Stage (Dec. 22 and 23)
  • Make-a-Wish Candle Grotto
  • Candy Cane Express model train
  • Make-A-Wish 'Room of Joy' featuring a Parade of Lego creations by the Vancouver Lego Club
  • Special themed areas; Gingerbread Wood, Golden Chain Walk, Candy Cane Lane
If you get hungry, be sure to stop by Mrs. Claus' Kitchen as she'll be serving hot dogs, chicken fingers, apple turnovers, and everything in between.

When: December 11, 2013 - January 4, 2014 (except December 25)
Time: 4:30-9:00pm
Where: Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, 5251 Oak Street

Tickets: may be purchased in advance, online, which can save you a bit of time when first entering the gardens. Buy advance tickets through Tickets Tonight 604.684.2787 (service charge applies) or in person at the Garden Shop (no service charge) as of November 1

Visit http://www.vandusengarden.org for additional info!
Residents from all over Vancouver will be out to help Santa get some exercise this Christmas by participating in The Santa Shuffle Fun Run and Elf Walk! The Santa 5km run and Elf 1km walk brings families & friends together and supports a great cause, The Salvation Army.

This merry event of bells & antlers helps The Salvation Army to assist families & individuals in need. There will be post-event refreshments, awards, and prizes. Not able to participate? You can still head down to Stanley Park and cheer on all the brave Santas and Elfs.

There is still time to register. Call 604-684-9771 or visit http://www.santashuffle.ca

When: Dec 7th, 2013
Time: 10am (but make sure to be a bit early)
Where: Lumberman's Arch in Stanley Park
You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town!

That's right! Santa Claus is coming to the Vancouver downtown on December 1st for the 9th annual Rogers Santa Claus Parade!

The parade will take place in the heart of Downtown Vancouver, as Santa begins his trek from West Georgia/Broughton and work his way to the end of the parade route on Howe/Davie. Check out the map on the left and find your perfect spot for the event.

The parade will feature over 60 marching bands, choirs, festive floats, and community groups. Given the expected cold weather, we advise that you bundle up in layers and wear your rain gear (umbrellas are not allowed).

Be sure to also check out the pre-parade festivities from 10:30am - 1pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery. There will be live entertainment, gingerbread decorating, and even the opportunity to write a letter to Santa!

For more information on the event such as how to volunteer, parade etiquette, and how to meet Santa, follow this link: http://rogerssantaclausparade.com/home

When: December 1, 2013
Parade Time: 1:00 PM
Where: Downtown Vancouver


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