Christmas Adventures: Festival of Lights at VanDusen Gardens

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Van Dusen Gardens has mastered the art of Christmas lights and then raised it up another 20 levels. Mermaids, umbrellas, the Eiffel tower you name it, there is a display made out of lights here. I didn’t know if I was walking in circles or down different paths but everywhere I went I saw different decorations and light displays. The Festival of Lights runs until the end December.

Over a million lights cover VanDusen Gardens. Although I struggled with my directions throughout the night, I highly suggest keeping track of where you are going and making sure you don’t miss any parts because every section is completely different with new themes and displays to see and each one equally as amazing. As you are walking around, make sure to stop and enjoy the Dancing Light show that is right in the middle, on the lake. Who knew lights could keep someone entertained for so long. It was like watching a live show as the lights on the water, trees and ground light up to the beat of the music. I’m a little ashamed to admit, these lights had better rhythm than I have. They were bright and fast or dim and slow based on the intensity of the music. It had the audience’s energy going along with it.

My favourite themed area was Jardins de Paris. Covered in blue, red and white lights. It had the Parisian romance of two mistletoes, so romance for some, a point of avoidance for others and an Eiffel Tower because no Paris would be complete without it. It was a very tasteful and accurate representation of Paris.

There were food vendors along the routes and we all know food always makes any experience a little bit better. Everything from pizza and hot dogs, to Japanese food… keep your belly full to stay warm! You can also stay warm by heading inside to watch the gnome performance. I wasn’t too into the performance but it would be perfect for kids. There were two gnomes singing and cracking jokes, it was a very silly type of humour, which kids especially enjoy.

The Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Gardens is a classic Vancouver family holiday tradition. For me, the serenity of walking through the Gardens surrounded by the light displays made the visit worth it but if you need more Christmas cheer than that, there are pictures with Santa and the Vancouver Public Library’s Tales for a Winter’s Night. Get outside rain or shine and breathe in the magic of Christmas.

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About the author  ⁄ Jacqueline Bradley

Back in Vancouver after studying journalism at Ryerson University, Jacqueline is a true weekend warrior. Get inspired as she shares Vancouver's latest and greatest adventures!

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