Advent Activity Calendar (Christmas Events in and around Langley)
December is 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, 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, I’ve put together an advent calendar full of events, activities and insight that I hope will make this year all that more special. If you’re so inclined, 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 make a list of these things. 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.
Here's a video that I like to watch at the beginning of the season to keep my mind in the right place: Advent Conspiracy
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’re so inclined, follow up with a phone call to catch up.
The Vancouver Christmas Market
It runs November 22 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.
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.
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 Southgate Church, Southridge Church, Brookswood Baptist Church and Christian Life Assembly.
Don't miss these free, festive performances in beautiful downtown Langley. Bring out the whole family and get in the holiday spirit.
Friday, December 5 | 6:00pm to 7:30pm | Carolers: Southridge Church
Friday, December 12 | 6:00pm to 7:30pm | Carolers: Southgate Church
Saturday, December 13 | 6:00pm to 7:30pm | Carolers: Brookswood Baptist Church
Thursday, December 18 | 6:00pm to 7:00pm | Carolers: Christian Life Assembly Church
Friday, December 19 | 6:00pm to 7:30pm | Carolers: Southridge Church
Location: McBurney Plaza
More info here: Caroling at McBurney Plaza
Langley City Magic of Christmas Parade
Saturday December 6th – 6 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 6h 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.
Langley’s Pioneer Christmas
December 6 -Explore Langley Centennial Museum's decorated galleries as a family while enjoying a variety of pioneer and traditional crafts. Along with a visit from jolly old Saint Nicholas there will be activities throughout the museum such as gingerbread cookie decorating, a colouring contest, and shopping in the general store.
Join us for this annual festive event that is sure to keep little hands busy!
Langley Centennial Museum
9135 King Street Saturday
Saturday, December 6, 10:00am - 12:00pm and 1:30 - 3:30pm: Family of 4/$10
Langley Centennial Museum
More Info here: Pioneer Christmas
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.
Surrey’s Santa Parade Of Lights
December 7 - The best place to warm up your Christmas Spirit will be at the 8th Annual Surrey’s Santa Parade of Lights that now starts in the historic downtown of Cloverdale. This colourful parade features special guests from “Central City’s Santa’s Big Rigs for Kids” which is made up of lighted big rigs and trucks from The Island Equipment Owners Association and many local Fraser Valley trucks. Surrey’s Santa parade also includes floats, boats, horses, marching units, antique cars/trucks, buses and of course at the end of the parade will be Santa. This year the parade starts a half hour earlier at 5pm from the Cloverdale Fairgrounds parking lot and will make its way to the historic 176 Street via 60th Ave. to 177B St. Then south on 177B St. and right on 58 Ave. The parade heads west to 176 St. and then turns left and heads south to Highway #10. The Cloverdale portion of the parade is organized by the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce and the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association.
The pre-parade festivities will include a variety of activities including music at Hawthorne Square which is located in the centre of the 5700 block of 176 St. by the Clova Cinema. At the Square a variety of groups will be collecting food items & Christmas presents for the Surrey Food Bank and Surrey Christmas Bureau. There will also be many groups cooking hot dogs by donation. Plus a number of service clubs like the Cloverdale Lions and the Rotary of Club of Cloverdale will also be selling popcorn, hot chili, hot chocolate, cookies and Christmas ornaments for charity.
After the parade there will be the traditional Tree Lighting Ceremony by the Square with a chance for children to meet and greet Santa Claus.
For more information about this fun event visit http://www.cloverdalebia.com | 604-574-9802 576-3155 Sunday, December 7, 2014 from 5:00pm - Cloverdale Town Centre
Wine Country Christmas in Langley
December 7 - Enjoy Christmas Cheer, Stock Up Your Cellar & Stockings! Celebrate the holiday spirit in wine country – without leaving the city – at our south Langley winery. Join us at our annual Holiday Open House celebration on Sunday, December 7.
Celebrate the festive season with a fun afternoon of wine tasting in our cozy barrel cellar tasting room, handcrafted treats by White Rock Chocolates, special holiday gift packages, and live Christmas music.
A fundraiser in support of the Langley Christmas Bureau, bring a new unwrapped gift for donation to the charity and receive a complimentary wine tasting.
Time: Sunday, December 7, 2014, 11 am to 5 pm
Langley Community Chorus – Season Of Dreams
December 7 –
Afternoon Matinee - 3:00 pm - Saturday, November 29 at
Willoughby Christian Reformed Church
20525 72nd Avenue, Langley, BC
Afternoon Matinee - 3:00 pm - Sunday, December 7 at
United Churches of Langley (Sharon United)
21562 Old Yale Road, Langley, BC
TICKETS: Adults $15 - Students $10 - Under 12 Free
Available at the Door 30 minutes before Concert
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 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 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.
The Robson Square Ice Rink will once again be opening for the 2014-2015 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
Christmas Lights Tour
Check 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.
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.
Karaoke Christmas Lights - The Ultimate Christmas Tour
From December 10 – 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 10th through 30th, 2014 (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.
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 payment option, which reduces photo wait-in-line time and offers convenient online ordering. Call 604.530.4492 for more information.
Willoughby Town Centre Christmas Festival
Time: 11am-4pm Location Willoughby Town Centre 100-20780 Willoughby Town Centre Dr, Langley, BC V2Y 0L7 Details: There will be fun interactive activities on site for all ages. Activities include, horse and carriage rides, performances by Cole Armour, local choirs and dance crews, christmas baking and craft market, stable petting zoo, photos with Santa, prize and more!
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 6th, 13th, 20th, & 21st. 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/
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 hit hard times, consider finding a way to slip them some cash anonymously.
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 Donna, Angela or Danielle for more details...604.534.4555 ext 3
Red Door Farm - Country Christmas
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.
Winter Wonderland Public Skate
December 15 - 6:30-8:00pm - Location: Langley Events Centre
Tis’ the season for sugar plums and skating fairies! Do not miss out on Winter Wonderland at the Langley Events Centre.
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.
Surrey Arts Centre – Christmas Plays
SANTA CLAUS: THE PANTO
runs from Wednesday November 26 2014 to Sunday December 7 2014 in the
13750 - 88 - Avenue
Surrey BC V3W 3L1
Approximate running time: 120 minutes
Santa has decided that he needs to change with the times, but how will the world react to a low-fat, smartphone-using, yoga-practicing Santa Claus? And what happens when a clever coal salesman tries to convince Santa that every kid in the world is more naughty than nice? 'Santa Claus the Panto' is presented by the Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society as their annual fun, family panto.
runs from Friday December 12 2014 to Sunday December 14 2014 in the
13750 - 88 - Avenue
Surrey BC V3W 3L1
Approximate running time: 120 minutes
Royal City Youth Ballet Company presents this much loved traditional ballet with beautiful sets and extravagant costumes that illuminate the magic of the toy soldiers, Sugar Plum Fairy and a growing Christmas tree. Under the artistic direction of Dolores Kirkwood, the cast of talented, dedicated and enthusiastic dancers perform to Tchaikovsky's classic score with its favourites such as the Waltz of the Flowers and Dance of the Mirlitons. http://www.royalcityyouthballet.org
More ticket and show info here: https://tickets.surrey.ca
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!
Bright Nights operates from Thursday, November 27, 2014, to Sunday, January 4, 2015, and is closed on Thursday, 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
Saturday, Dec. 6 till Sunday January 4 2015 – Closed December 25th
Adults & Children $8.00 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
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 10, 2014, to Sunday, January 4, 2015. The Festival of Lights is closed on Thursday, December 25 for Christma
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 25 Christmas Movies
The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain
Sleigh bells ring, choirs sing! During the month of December, the spirit of Christmas comes alive with a magical celebration and a multitude of festivities on top of Grouse Mountain.
Bring your family to Santa's Workshop and meet reindeer, or take a sleigh ride* through our mystical alpine forest. You can also experience the tranquil beauty of skating on our 8,000 square foot mountaintop Ice Skating Pond, surrounded by snow-topped trees.
Learn more about Santa's reindeer at our daily ranger interpretive talks or have a digital photo taken with Santa to keep a memento of your Peak of Christmas visit!
Visit the Theatre in the Sky to enjoy classic Christmas movies on our large high-definition screen. Or listen to joyful Christmas carols sung by the enchanting voices of Vancouver choirs.
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
Milner Village Winter Market
Please join the 2014 Milner Winter Market, 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Located in the covered nursery of the old red barn, this year’s market features more space, returning vendors, increased advertising and an emphasis on family fun.
Heritage Holiday at Fort Langley
Heritage Holiday at the Fort
December 20 - January 4, 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.
Daily, join a guided intro tour at 11am and watch blacksmithing at 12:30pm. At 2pm, join a costumed interpreter for chestnut roasting and stories around the cosy fireplace in the Cooperage. Barrel-making demonstrations will take place at 1pm and 3pm, and the flag lowering song at 4:30pm. To hear more about the history of the site, you or your guests will enjoy our new audio tour, which is 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
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park’s popular holiday event, Canyon Lights, has a tall order this year – laying claim once again to be the home of the world’s tallest living Christmas tree?! Standing 46.4m (152 feet) tall, this Douglas-fir will be adorned in thousands of sparkling lights.
Park guests will also be dazzled by hundreds of thousands of lights glittering throughout the rainforest, across the Suspension Bridge and on CLIFFWALK. A children’s scavenger hunt, gingerbread cookie decorating, sing-a-long carols with the holiday band are all back by public demand and new this year create your own Christmas card and enjoy holiday treats in the Winter Pavilion.
Canyon Lights runs Saturday, November 29, 2014 through to Saturday, January 3, 2015 (except Christmas Day when the park is closed). Park hours are 11:00am – 9:00pm. Canyon Lights tickets are valid all day with holiday activities beginning at 4:00pm.http://www.capbridge.com
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
Celebrate the holidays with your aquatic friends and experience a winter wonderland like no other.
Start your visit by entering the giant walk-through Christmas tree in the Ocean Courtyard and see if you can make your way through the outdoor maze of decorated trees.
Then, come in out of the cold and cozy up in our stunning new Teck Connections Gallery, where you’ll be greeted by a kaleidoscope of colourful aquatic-themed decorations. Peer over the spiral staircase and catch a glimpse of the one-of-a-kind 4.5 metre tall marine debris tree by B.C. artist Pete Clarkson.
The festive décor continues through all of our galleries where 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.
Celebrate, relax and spend time with loved ones.
Merry Christmas to you and yours from The Schacter Team!