Lights, Lights Baby: Christmas in Vancouver

Vancouver holiday cheer

[trip style = food + wine + urban + active]

This year, Baby Styler's obsession with all things bright has me "kid excited" for Christmas, harkening back to a time when I was so smitten with the season, I'd watch the clock, minute-by-minute, waiting for the 25th. 

Armed with a little more patience in my adulthood, I've realized Christmas isn't just one day, but rather ALL of advent from the parties that happen every year, to the family traditions I still hold dear, to the festive events all over the City of Glass. 

If you're in need an extra dose of Christmas cheer, cozy up to these heart-warming Vancouver holiday traditions.

Haute Christmas Vacation-Style Sipping
To me, the Four Seasons Vancouver is the ultimate Noël hotel. Hosting the 28th annual Festival of Trees benefitting the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, the lower and upper lobbies transform into a festive forest decorated in bobbles and garlands galore. Couple this with its perfect location in the center of holiday shopping-ville, as well as YEW Bar's merry band of sippers, including an organic nog and vanilla-, all spice-, and cinnamon-spiced bourbon bev that comes in a Christmas Vacation moose mug, and visiting the posh address is a holiday must.   

YEW Cogg Nog

Bright Nights Christmas Train 
Before you could pre-buy your train tickets in ultra-efficient half-hour time slots, my family used to lineup every year bundled up in what seemed like 100 layers to ride the Stanley Park Christmas Train. At the time, it was one of the highlights of my holidays, second only to Christmas morning. Thirty some-odd years later the 50-year-old miniature train is still magical, still whimsical and still retro {I swear, I recognized some of the same decorations}! I just took Baby Styler, and based on his jolly reaction, I think he was hoping we'd take him every night. On until January 2nd, 2016. 

stanley park christmas train

Walking in a Winter Wonderland
If you can't shake the song "Walking in a winter wonderland" head to the frosted Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain where you'll find a holiday scene akin to a just-shaken a snow globe. Blanketed in the white stuff, warmed by a crackling fire and adorned in trees lit up with holiday lights, Grouse is Vancouver's version of the North Pole complete with an Elf Headquarters, where kids can create their own Rudolf or write a letter to Santa; an 8,000-square-foot outdoor skating pond; and Light Walk, the mountain's newest addition with holiday light installations strung between the fir and spruce trees.

grouse mountain chritmas

[photos, in order of appearance, via Seattle Mag, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, and Trip Styler]