Victoria BC Christmas

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Butchart Gardens Holiday Lights

Photo: Butchart Gardens

Both my husband and I celebrate our birthdays in December. Growing up I thought holiday lights and trees were just as much as my birthday celebration as the rest of the communities chance to light up the dark days of December.

What is more festive than a shimmering display of lights and ornaments.

Please come and visit us on Vancouver Island this year to take in the great holiday displays.

Downtown Victoria – from the Inner Harbour to downtown the city is dressed up! The Harbour is lined with twinkling trees. The official Christmas Tree for British Columbia is on the lawn of the BC Legislature. This Sequoia tree was planted in the late 1800’s and is over 100 feet tall. The Parliament Building is lit up year round with 3,000 sparkling bulbs, and during the holidays there are additional brightly colored bulbs added to the building. Centennial Square, Victoria City Hall has an impressive light display. This year they are also featuring an interactive lights and animation. Every day from 4 pm until midnight, bring your smart phone with you to interact with a 20 foot by 16 foot claymation story projected on the back wall of the McPherson Playhouse. Two custom created holiday characters are sure to delight and captivate when you communicate with them via text message to the number 250-800-2814. At the top of Centennial Square, another interaction is waiting for you to make some noise! See if you can find the special tree with lights that move and change with sounds. Read the rest of this entry »

Festival of Trees

Festival of Trees at the Fairmont Empress / Photo: Karen Kirr

There are so many fun family events and romantic spots for couples to take in the holiday spirit while in Victoria.

With our late 19th century architecture our city is a natural to be dressed up for the holidays. During the day or night, just walking about town gives you a sense of something magical.

I like to get in the holiday spirit by taking in a few events and have a chance to give back to the community. Here are some of my favorites:

Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase at the Inn at Laurel Point

This friendly competition between professional and amateur chefs all go to a good cause– Habitat for Humanity Victoria. The event is free to view the amazing gingerbread sculptures and you can make a donation to vote for your favorite entry. The sculptures are open for viewing daily from 10am to 6pm until January 1, 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont EmpressWhen my husband and I learned that our friends Cristel and Steve had never been to Afternoon Tea, we knew what we had to do; we booked Afternoon Tea at Victoria’s Fairmont Empress during the Festival of Trees. We, (mostly my husband) also lacked Christmas spirit – Bah Hum Bug! – But I knew we could find some there.

So, last week we boarded the Victoria Clipper at 8:00 am on a frigid Seattle morning. We had coffee and bagels onboard, played cards and laughed all the way to Victoria. Once we arrived we took a walk around the Parliament Building which, in addition to its customary white lights, has festive red and green Christmas lights for the holidays. Though it was cold, it was a beautiful day. No rain and a glimpse or two of blue sky. White horse carriages with Christmas wreaths on the sides clip-clopped along the streets and the Victorian Street lamps were adorned with bells and holly. Read the rest of this entry »

Butchart Gardens Christmas Lights Festival

Photo courtesy of Butchart Gardens

In 1987, at 83 years old she decided to dress up to celebrate Christmas, and 25 years later she is still going strong. She, of course, is The Butchart Gardens in Victoria and The Gardens will kick off the Christmas display with a light-up ceremony in Waterwheel Square on December 1st. Read the rest of this entry »

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