The SpringTide crew is getting into the holiday spirit and we have put together a list of our favourite holiday events in Victoria, BC over the next few weeks! We officially have had snow so now it’s time for us to get ready for Santa, festive food and drink, and the season of giving! We hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season and we will see you out there celebrating with friends and family!

Island Farms Santa Light Parade
When: November 29, 2014
Where: Government Street (Belleville to Chatham Street)
Time: 5:45 PM to 7:00 PM
Get your toque and bring the family to watch as the Island Farms Santa Light Parade makes its way through downtown Victoria. There will be beautifully decorated floats and a marching band that will be going down the decorated Government Street from Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Follow the parade as it ends at the Capital Iron parking lot where there will be free treats handed out from Island Farms.

Centennial Square Ferris Wheel
When: November 29, 2014 – December 21, 2014
Where: Centennial Square
Time: Fridays: 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Saturdays: 12:00pm – 10:00pm
Sundays: 12:00pm – 7:30pm
Want to see what Christmas in Victoria looks like from 65 feet up in the air? Then head over to Centennial Square in downtown Victoria. The DVBA is back at it again this year with the Centennial Square Ferris Wheel for four weekends over the holidays. A perfect activity for the family, friends, or on a special date to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the view!

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Free Horse-Drawn Trolley Rides
When: November 29 – December 21
Saturdays 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Sundays 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Where: Downtown Victoria
Grab the kids, grab your buddies, or meet a new friend all while enjoying the classic Victoria tradition of horse-drawn trolleys. Take in all the holiday cheer and decorations while your friendly horse pals strolls down the streets of downtown Victoria. Whether you’re local or just visiting, this is the best way to experience the holidays. And even better, the trolley rides are free, compliments of the Downtown Victoria Business Association! You can catch the trolleys at any of following stops:
– Store Street & Chatham Street
– Johnson Street & Wharf Street
– Langley Street & Bastion Square
– Government Street & Fisgard Street

The Magic of Christmas at Merridale
When: November 15, 2014 – January 4, 2015
Where: Merridale Estate Cider
Time: 5:00pm – 9:00pm (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
Admission: Free
Starting from November 15th through to January 4th on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays its Christmas time at Merridale Cider! Try out their newly released mulled cider, festively named “Yule Fuel”. Bundle up and take your friends and family to Merridale for an enchanted Christmas adventure. Enjoy the festive twinkly lights on the trees, hopefully with some snow covering the ground, and make your way to Santa’s workshop. Along the way you will spot winter time favourites such as Rudolph and Frosty the snowman. Bring the kids to meet Santa every Saturday and Sunday from 4:30pm-6:00pm in the courtyard gazebo. The Bistro will open at 5:00pm for family style dinners or if you’re a table of two you can order from the dinner menu. Remember though, call ahead to reserve a table if you’re wanting to grab a bite to eat!

23rd Annual Festival of Trees
When: November 19th, 2014 – January 6th, 2015
Where: The Fairmont Empress
Admission: Free, suggested $2.00 minimum donation
The annual Victoria Festival of Trees has taken over the Fairmont Empress. The hallways have been turned into a forest of festively decorated trees to raise funds and awareness for BC’s Children’s Hospital. Everyone from local businesses, sponsors, organizations, and individuals take part in this event to come together and decorate the best Christmas trees around town. You never know how the trees will turn out, some are traditional while others are wild and wacky! Don’t forget to vote for your favourite!

Skating at the Fairmont Empress
When: November 20th, 2014 – Mid January 2015
Where: The Fairmont Empress
Time: Weekdays 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Weekends 1:00pm – 9:00pm
Admission: Adults: $10.00, Children: $5.00

For the first year the Fairmont Empress has its very own skating rink in addition to the hotel’s memorable holiday lights. The rink is approximately 60’x90’ and is fully covered with removable sides. Special holiday events will also be taking place such as Sunday Skates with Santa and Christmas Eve Skating with the Elves. Whether you’re an avid skater or just learning, the rink is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy this time of year and all while overlooking Victoria’s famous inner harbour. There is also skate rental available for $5.00.


Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase
When: November 22nd, 2014 – January 4th, 2015
Where: The Inn at Laurel Point
Time: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Admission: Free
Be prepared to be amazed by the ginger bread creations that you’ll find at Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase. This year’s theme is “Where Things Live.” You won’t only find traditional gingerbread houses here as in the past there has been the COHO, Star Wars, and the Griswald’s House. Take the family and tour through all of the amazing gingerbread designs at the Inn at Laurel Point. You can vote for your favourite and also make a donation towards Victoria’s Habitat for Humanity.

Island Time Tours – The Magic of Christmas at Butchart Gardens Tour
When: December 1st 2014 – January 6th, 2015
Where: Hotel door to door pickup and drop off
Time: 5:30pm nightly departure
Cost: Adult: $59.00, Youth: $35.00, Child: $20.00
Head on out to the world famous Butchart Gardens to see all of the festive lights, decorations and the Twelve Days of Christmas displays throughout the gardens all while enjoying a warm drink! Dress warm for this truly festive outdoor adventure! Island Time Tours is offering small group tours, of 10 people or less, for nightly excursions to the Butchart Gardens for the Christmas Holidays. You will get to experience the gardens decorated in holiday cheer, and it is quite an amazing sight to see! While on the tour you will have a local guide who will fill your head with fun facts of Victoria and its attractions. This is a great way to see not only the gardens but also Victoria at Christmas time as your shuttle will drive through the downtown Christmas light display. So grab your hat and get on out to Butchart Gardens with Island Time tours. This is a holiday experience not to be missed!

Christmas Starlight Cinema at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa
When: December 2nd, 2014 – December 17th, 2014
Where: Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa
Time: 6:00pm (selected dates)
Admission: Free
Bring your warm blankets, lawn chairs, and hot apple cider and make your way to the Delta Victoria Ocean Point Resort on the inner harbour for Christmas Movies under the Stars! There is an array of different Holiday Movies such as A Christmas Story, Elf, and Polar Express, that will be playing from December 2nd – 17th. The Delta will even have heaters outside to keep you warm! Donations are greatly appreciated to support CFAX Santa’s Anonymous Society to help families throughout Greater Victoria.

Father Christmas in Old Town
When: December 5th – December 2rd, 2014
(Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays)
Where: Old Town, The Royal BC Museum
Time: 11:00am – 3:00pm
Admission: Included in admission price or membership
The closest you can get to Santa’s house in the North Pole, is at “Old Town” at the Royal BC Museum. The streets will be decorated in Christmas spirit and Santa will be there as well! This is the perfect place to take the kids to sit on Santa’s lap as they can tell him their wish lists. The magic of Christmas is all along the streets of Old Town and we love it!

16th Annual IEOA Truck Light Parade
When: December 6th 2014
Where: Blanshard, Belleville, & Government Streets Time: 6:30 pm
Time: 6:30 pm
It’s the event that everyone has been waiting for! Truck and heavy equipment owners come together to decorate their vehicles in festive cheer. This annual display of holiday lights and decorations will start at Ogden Point moving onwards to the Western Communities through Belleville, Government, and Blanshard Streets. If you want to catch the row of lit up trucks in the downtown core they are expecting to be passing through around 6:30-7:00pm. In addition, any food donations for the Mustard Seed Food Bank can be made at designated drop off points along the route. Put on your Santa hat and get to the streets of Victoria to take part in this tradition!

25th Annual Lighted Ship Parade
When: December 6th, 2014
Where: Victoria’s Inner Harbour
Time: 6:30 pm
After you watch the Truck Light Parade, why not head over to the Inner Harbour to watch the Lighted Ship Parade! There will be boats of all shapes and sizes covered in holiday lights and decorations passing through Victoria’s famous inner harbour. This is a must see event!

Ship Point Christmas Night Market
When: December 6th 2014
Where: Ship Point Market (located at the Inner Harbour)
Time: 5:00pm – 9:30pm
To add to the evening of lights with the Truck and Ship light parades you can top it off with a visit to the Ship Point Christmas Night Market. Here you will find artisan vendors, local food trucks, music, and holiday beverages from Lighthouse Brewing and Mark Anthony Wineries. Fun for the kids can also be found here as there will be a visit from Santa and a craft table! To continue the Christmas spirit of giving, visitors are able to donate their used clothing, non-perishable food items, and cash to Victoria Cool Aid.