Advent Activity Calendar - 2015
(Christmas Events in and around Langley)
December is almost upon us. I love this season for all that it has to offer. From fond childhood memories of tasty treats by the fire after a day playing in the snow, to the acts of kindness and service that flow from people as they are filled with the spirit of Christmas. Most importantly, it is a time to connect with loved ones and remember the most significant gifts we’ve been given; life and love.
In order to fully embrace the season, We’ve put together an advent calendar of events, activities and insight that I hope will make this year all that more special. Check back each day for a new task or activity and make the most out of this Christmas Season.
This list has grown with each passing year so there are some dates with multiple event options and some events that can be done on any day you choose. Events that are date specific will have the date highlighted in Green Text. Also, anywhere you see a link, you can click for more information.
Set The Tone
Today's activity is simple, and yet, the most likely to be neglected. Take some time today to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. By this, I'm not referring to the obligation to brave the crowds at the mall in search of the 'perfect' gift that will likely be forgotten in a month. Rather than think of all of the things that you want (or want to buy for others) this year, think of all of the things that you've already got that you're thankful for. Maybe even make a list of these things and dwell on it for a while. Set the tone today to keep the right focus and mindset for the next month and try not to get so wrapped up in the materialism and consumerism that you miss the joy and blessing of Christmas.
Write Christmas Cards
Here is your chance to send a personal note to all of your friends and family. Let them know that you appreciate their friendship and why they’re special to you. If you want to go the extra mile, follow up with a phone call or connect in person to catch up.
The Vancouver Christmas Market
It runs November 21 to December 24th outdoors at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza. Celebrating the rich and unique German culture with all who enter through the gates, the Vancouver Christmas Market is a showcase of traditional German crafts, delicious food, and entertainment for all ages.
Write a Letter to Santa
You may think you’re too old to do this but I beg to differ. This is a great activity to do with children (if you have them) or on your own. I’m not suggesting you write a letter asking Santa for the coveted Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. Rather, ask Santa for something a little more thoughtful, meaningful or even intangible.
Mail Santa here:
If you include a return address, Santa will reply to you!
If you haven’t done so already, dig out your favourite Christmas CDs & MP3s or listen online. If you’re up for it, make your own Christmas compilation CD or playlist and share copies with friends. Top Christmas Tunes
If you’re incredibly talented you can do this with a few song sheets and your voice. The rest of us will need a small boom-box with some mixed CDs (See December 4th). You can tour your own neighbourhood or bring your crew on the road. You would also be warmly received at most seniors care facilities (with prior notice of your visit).
Langley City Christmas Caroling
Hosted by the City of Langley in partnership with Living Waters Church.
Don't miss these free, festive performances in beautiful downtown Langley. Bring out the whole family and get in the holiday spirit.
Friday, December 4 | 6:30pm to 7:30pm | Carolers: Living Waters Church
Location: McBurney Plaza
More info here: Caroling at McBurney Plaza
CLA Church - The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Date: December 4, 5, 6 / Time: Dec 4, 7PM / Dec 5, 3 PM + 7PM / Dec 6, 6PM / Campus: Langley / Cost: FREE
Come join us for our Christmas Production this year! Free Admissions with general seating. There are multiple showings at Dec 4, 7 PM / Dec 5, 3 PM + 7PM / Dec 6, 6PM. Food Donations will accepted for the Langley Food Bank!
21277 56 Ave, Langley
Grab a friend, family member or pet, dig out your best sweater vest or reindeer ears and take a Christmas photo. It’ll be Facebook profile pic worthy I’m sure. That or use it as your holiday Twitter avatar.
Langley City Breakfast With Santa
December 5, 2015
9:00am - 11:00pm
Location: Douglas Recreation Centre, 20550 Douglas Crescent
Cost $8 - Children under 3 are free
All Ages breakfast with the jolly old Nick himself! Join us for some crafts, face painting, magic show and of course breakfast. The menu includes pancakes, sausage and bacon, juice, tea and coffee.
Langley City Magic of Christmas Parade
Saturday December 5th – 4 pm to 8 pm
Fraser Highway between 203 and 207 Streets
The first Saturday in December is the official date for the City of Langley's Annual Magic of Christmas Parade. This special event will take place through the downtown core of Langley City on Saturday, December 5th starting at 6:00pm. This is an exciting event that is geared towards bringing together families and the community at large to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season. The Magic of Christmas Parade has features over 50 entries consisting of festive floats, bands, decorated vehicles, dance troupes, equestrian groups, and community groups.
Set Up Your Christmas Tree
Whether this means digging through your storage room, trekking into the wilderness with a saw, or stopping by our office Christmas Tree Party, today is a great day to get your tree set up and decorated.
Red Door Farm Market
December 6 & 7, 13 & 14, 20 & 21
The recent chilly weather has dusted our Christmas tree meadow with frosty sparkle. The trees are lovely and ready for cutting. We have festive greenery, ornaments, gifts & vintage home decor. Experience the quiet side of Christmas here at Red Door Farm. Cash only, please.
Surrey’s Santa Parade Of Lights
December 6 - Two parades in one. This is Surrey's largest evening Santa Parade and the front part of the parade is an amazing collection of Lighted Trucks and Big Rigs which start at the Cloverdale Town Centre and drive across Surrey via Highway #10 and the head north on King George Blvd. to end up at Holland Park in Surrey City Centre. After the cross city vehicles, there is a traditional parade made up of a collection of lighted fire trucks, ambulances, horse drawn carriages, vintage vehicles, floats, community groups, dance groups, mascots, R/C vehicles and sporting groups who lead the way for Santa Claus to come to Town! The parade has two primary charities which are the Surrey Food Bank and the Surrey Christmas bureau and we would encourage you to bring a donation to the parade. There will be people in the parade collecting items and cash donations. There will also be an entertainment zone at Hawthorne Square with a variety of vendors who all are donating their proceeds to charity!
PARADE ROUTE: The Surrey Santa Parade starts at 5pm precisely at the corner of 176A St and 60th Avenue and heads east to 177B Street by Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino (soon to be called Elements Casino). The parade then heads south to 58 Ave and turns west to the historic downtown Cloverdale & 176 St. On the final leg of the parade, it heads south to Highway #10.
For more information about this fun event visit http://www.cloverdalebia.com | 604-574-9802 576-3155 Sunday, December 6, 2014 from 5:00pm
Cloverdale Town Centre
Arts and Crafts Day
Head to your local craft store or see what you can find around the house. Whip up some festive tree ornaments, garland, or a Christmas Wreath. Decorate your own home or give your artistic creations away as gifts.
Random Act of Service
Today is the day to perform an unbridled act of selfless service. This can be anything from shoveling your neighbours driveway (if there is snow), or putting up lights and decorations for an elderly neighbour, to visiting a nursing home, serving at a food bank or soup kitchen, or handing out warm clothes and food to the homeless. Let someone else know that they are cared for today and you’ll be surprised how much you in turn benefit from the act.
If you can manage to do this without entering a shopping mall, do so. Otherwise, this is where you’ll find the old man dressed in red. If you have a 4 legged friend, take him or her to participating pet stores to have a picture with jolly ol’ Saint Nicholas
Photos with Santa
Get your family photo taken with Santa at Willowbrook Shopping Centre this holiday season! Photos with Santa are offered November 15 to December 24. Visit shopwillowbrook.com for Santa’s hours and information about Santa’s FastPass
Christmas Lights TourCheck your local paper for neighbourhoods with impressive Christmas Light displays. You may even find some that allow you to wander around the grounds. Many parks and Zoos also have Christmas Light Tours.
Christmas in Williams Park
December 7th - 19th
Come celebrate the holidays with your family and friends in the magical setting of Williams Park. View the spectacular show of lights as you drive through the park in the comfort of your vehicle.
North Pole Festival of Christmas
Come see Santa and the Elves in their Magical North Pole Village!
Featuring interactive scenes and activities, Christmas characters, mountains of lights,
with plenty of good ol’ family fun and festivities!
Cozy, warm and dry under one roof at Tradex, Abbotsford, BC.
Info on Dates and Prices at: http://northpolebc.com/ -
Karaoke Christmas Lights - The Ultimate Christmas Tour
From December 1 – 30. Festively decorated Trolleys equipped with karaoke machines for your seasonal singing enjoyment will depart from Canada Place at 6:30pm every evening from December 1-December 30, 2015 (except for Christmas Day). Upon pickup, guests will sing their way past the city lights of downtown before arriving at Bright Nights at Stanley Park. After being given some time to walk through the light display and take in Stanley Park’s holiday magic (sorry no time for the Christmas Train), the tour will continue through local light displays on the way to the second stop of the evening, at Van Dusen Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights. A donation to the Burn Fund is included in each ticket on the Karaoke Christmas Lights Trolley tour.
This family friendly Holiday tour is by reservation only and is also available for private charters. For more information or to reserve tickets now, please call 604.801.5515.
Vancouver Winter Wonderland Festival
December 11th - 20th at the PNE Forum
Vancouver Winter Wonderland is a 10-day holiday extravaganza filled with activities, attractions, and arts and crafts, complete with photo opportunities featuring Santa and his reindeers.
Hold your loved ones close while you create memories captured on film in a magical multi-story high bear hugging snow globe. Enjoy the thrills of the largest polar bear slide in Vancouver.
During Vancouver’s biggest holiday event to date, guests will be treated to interactive attractions offering fun for children and adults of all ages.
More than 100 vendors will be on site to help meet all of your Christmas shopping needs, along with culinary offerings to delight your palate while you shop and take in the Christmas enchantments that Vancouver Winter Wonderland has to offer.
Let us cater to your every need while you enjoy the magic of the Christmas season at Vancouver Winter Wonderland – the season’s most anticipated event of the year.
If you can find a place to do this outdoors you get bonus points. Otherwise, find out when your local ice area has open public skating, grab some hot chocolate and elbow pads and glide to your heart’s content.
Sportsplex - Skate with Santa and Face Painting (December 12, 13, 19, 20)
Skate with Santa
Come and skate with Santa and enjoy a hot chocolate on us. Saturday, December 19th
George Preston Rec Centre
3:15 - 4:30pm
Sunday, December 20th
1:00 - 2:30pm
The Robson Square Ice Rink will once again be opening for the 2015-2016 season. It’s open from December 1st until the end of February.
Dates and Times:
SUNDAY to THURSDAY: 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
FRIDAY and SATURDAY: 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Aldergrove’s Annual Christmas Light Up Parade
Starts at 6:00 pm, Downtown Aldergrove
Aldergrove’s Christmas Light Up Parade is an annual event held at 6:00 pm on the second Saturday of December. The parade route runs along Fraser Highway through downtown Aldergrove and includes carol singing and free hot chocolate. The Walter Levy trophy is presented to the Christmas home decorating contest winners.
Murrayville Holiday Market
December 12 - 9:00 - 3:00
FREE Admission! 50 vendors in attendance
Hall is at 21667 48 Ave Murrayville Hall
Towship 7 Winery - Charity Open House
December 12 - Save the date and join us for our annual Christmas Open House at our south Langley winery December 12 and 13th. This year’s merriment is in collaboration with our charity partner, Ronald McDonald House of BC. We’ll have new releases, festive treats and live holiday music. Stay tuned more details to come…
Time: December 12-13, 2015 from noon to 4 pm
Brunch with Santa at Langley Golf Centre
Reserve your table today! Enjoy a tantalizing Brunch Buffet and a visit with Santa. One seating only at 11:00 a.m on Sunday, December 14th. Every child receives a gift from Santa, be sure to bring your camera. Call for more details...604.534.4555 ext 3
Christmas Wonderland: Port Kells Nursery
Christmas Wonderland at Port Kells Nurseries is filled with all kinds of surprises. The in-house experts have worked their magic and have created bold and beautiful displays filled to the brim with colour to entice and excite you, creating that perfect Christmas adventure. Every year new and exciting displays are created. Christmas at Port Kells Nurseries is totally free of charge and beautiful! We would ask if you could bring a nonperishable food item for donation to the Surrey and Langley food banks.
Santa is there 12:00PM to 4:00pm on December 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th. Santa will be accepting cash donations for the Gateway of Hope. At 18730 88th Ave. Bring a camera. Info: 604-882-1344. - See more at:http://portkellsnurseries.com/attractions/christmas-wonderland/
Act of Generosity
Research a charity that you would like to support or visit your local food bank or toy bureau and make a contribution to those less fortunate. If you know of a friend or family member who has come upon hard times, consider finding a way to slip them some cash or grocery gift cards anonymously.
Have a group of friends over to play board or video games. If you want to take a more festive approach, arrange a token gift exchange game.
Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden
Experience the Festival of Lights, a frozen winter wonderland with over one million lights decorating VanDusen Garden. Stroll with friends and family through themed areas and enjoy the Dancing Lights show on Livingstone Lake, the gnome performance, and the shadow puppet show. Have photos taken with Santa, savour holiday treats, and delight in much more!
Take in the magic from Wednesday, December 1, 2015, to Sunday, December 31, 2015. The Festival of Lights is closed on Thursday, December 25 for Christmas
Bright Nights in Stanley Park
Bright Nights Miniature Train
During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Train and Plaza at Stanley Park sparkles with three million twinkling lights, decorating the darkness that comes early at this time of year.
Partial proceeds from the sale of Bright Nights tickets go to the BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund, which helps burn survivors and their families. $1.4 million has been raised over the past 16 years.
Entrance to the Bright Nights Train Plaza is by donation (you don't need to purchase train tickets to see the holiday lights). Donations will be accepted at the front gate. We suggest a minimum $4.00 donation. Thank you!
Hours and admission
Bright Nights operates from Thursday, November 26, 2015, to Saturday, January 2, 2016, and is closed on Friday, December 25 for Christmas.
Embrace your inner child and brave the cold for some winter fun. Have a snowball fight, build a snowman, make some snow angels - just no face washing. If there is no snow in your area, take a trek up to a local ski hill for some tobogganing or snowshoeing.
Bear Creek Park Christmas Train
Friday, Dec. 4, 2015 till Monday January 4 2016– Closed December 25th
Adults & Children $8.50 each + tax
Open 10am to 4pm daily – Last trains leaves the station at 3:45- door closes at 3:45
Santa is at the station Dec 6 to Dec 24. Bring your camera!
Visit with Santa & receive a candy cane, Christmas Activity kit and Train ride through the Christmas forest
Bear Creek Park, 13750 88 Avenue
Every playhouse, school, and church in town will be hosting a myriad of Christmas plays and performance. Be sure to check out at least one this year.
runs from Thursday, December 17, 2015 to Tuesday, December 22, 2015 2015 in the Centre In Vancouver
777 Homer Street,
Approximate running time: 120 minutes
A Traditional Rendition of a Classical Masterpiece. Experience Clara's dream come to life as she embarks on a magical journey through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets where she is greeted by the enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy. An unforgettable adventure awaits as her gallant Nutcracker battles the evil Mouse King and his army of mischievous mice. This heart-warming production is sure to delight audiences of all ages with more than 200 glittering costumes, dramatic sets and valuable lessons – all danced to Tchaikovsky’s memorable score performed live by members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. http://www.gohnutcracker.com
More ticket and show info here: http://www.ticketmaster.ca/
Christmas Movie Night
This is one of my favourites and will likely be spread over many additional nights. Here’s a list of the Top 20 Christmas Movies
The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain
See how magical elves have transformed Grouse Mountain into the North Pole where you can have breakfast with Santa, visit his workshop, meet real reindeer or vote for your favourite creation in our Gingerbread Village. This Christmas, believe again.
Our annual holiday festivities begin November 27th. Access to the Peak of Christmas is included with your Annual Local's Pass, Y2Play or Winter Season Pass as well as regular Alpine Experience tickets. A special $79.95 Family Ticket Rate is available Nov. 27-Jan. 4, valid for 2 adults and 2 children/youth up to 18 years old. The Peak Of Christmas
Dig out the recipes for your famous Christmas Treats and make a mess of your kitchen. Your goodies will be ready just in time the share with loved ones on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Here are some recipe ideas: Food Network, Best Holiday Baking Recipes
Heritage Holiday at Fort Langley
Heritage Holiday at the Fort
December 19- January 3, 10 am - 5 pm
Escape the holiday bustle and make memories with your family and friends at the fort! Enjoy a traditional holiday atmosphere, crafts, and children’s activities. (Closed Dec. 25, 26, Jan 1) Regular admission fees apply; free for annual pass holders.
For some people this holiday season, the best give you can give will be the gift of life. Find a clinic near you at Canadian Blood Services.
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
Glittering lights, towering heights and festive nights – Canyon Lights returns for its 10th season!
Celebrate Canyon Lights November 27, 2015 to January 3, 2016. Re-capture the feeling of wonder and excitement of the holiday season and be amazed by the hundreds of thousands of lights throughout the park. The suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and canyon are transformed into a world of festive lights and visual enchantment. See the world’s tallest living Christmas tree (153 feet tall!), go on a Snowy Owl Prowl, decorate gingerbread cookies and make your own Christmas card in the Winter Pavilion, and sing-along with the holiday band.
New this year? Canyon Lights illuminating the river and cliff face!
Connect with a friend
Think of that person who you haven’t spoken with in a while but with whom the conversation resumes right where it last left off. Give them a call and take them for a coffee; anything with eggnog is highly recommended.
Holidays at the Vancouver Aquarium
November 26, 2015 to January 3, 2016
This holiday season drop by the Aquarium for some festive underwater fun with Scuba Claus, the electric eel Christmas tree, and more. Throughout the galleries you’ll find plenty of holiday activities, shows and interactive displays to engage the whole family. Read more about our holiday offerings below and plan your visit today to experience the magic of the season at the Vancouver Aquarium.
Christmas Eve Service
If you don’t have a home Church, check your local papers for participating Churches in your neighbourhood.
Christmas Eve Skate
Thursday, December 24th
George Preston Rec Centre
Celebrate, relax and spend time with loved ones.
Merry Christmas to you and yours from The Schacter Team!