We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Christmas Day 2013 in Vancouver

Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Christmas Day 2013 in Vancouver

Hi,

We'll be in Vancouver from the UK for our Honeymoon from 24-28th December (we'll be in Whistler for the previous 10 nights). I'm just looking ahead for Christmas dinner ideas. I've seen that the major hotels will be doing them, but they look a little stuffy (we're staying in the Fairmont). We'd rather something traditionally Canadian. We'd even be prepared to head out of the city to find somewhere that bit special. Can someone please recommend something that would fit this bill? Also, will there be many bars open on Christmas night? I'm Irish, and this is very important.

Thanks in advance.

Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
24,872 posts
90 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Christmas Day 2013 in Vancouver

Christmas in Vancouver is more of a family event, time spent with family at home. Of course, there are always those travelers, like yourselves, that need a Christmas dinner out somewhere. Lots of restaurants will be open, but some of the smaller family run places may choose to close for the day. And then some may close earlier than usual.

Will you have a car, as you said you would head out of the city? Limited transit on Christmas Day too I think. Bus doesn't run on Christmas Day where I live at all!

Hoping some of the Vancouver experts can help with the bars.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
59,733 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Christmas Day 2013 in Vancouver

On the 25th your best bet will be a hotel restaurant.

On the 24th, retail stores close early so people, including owners, can get home for family Christmas Eve. Even though we are very multi cultural, we are very quiet on Christmas Eve and Day. I guess they could stay open but the customer demand just would not be there, including the percentage of Vancouverites who would be in Hawaii or Mexico.

Not sure about the pubs.

Vancouver
Level Contributor
698 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Christmas Day 2013 in Vancouver

Have you thought about staying in Whistler for the 25th? You will have more choices than just the fancy hotel dinners in Vancouver.

Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Christmas Day 2013 in Vancouver

I think we'd hire a car if necessary. May have to rethink this...

Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Christmas Day 2013 in Vancouver

Staying in Whistler is another option, but very expensive prices surge on 24th. I think as long as there's a few bars open, we'll be alright.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
382 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Christmas Day 2013 in Vancouver

Transit will be operating on Chrismas day. They want to keep people from drinking and driving. I believe it's even free on New years eve but I'm not sure about Christmas eve. Look Into Grouse Mountain if the weather is clear, or Seasons in the park in Queen Elizabeth park. Reservations I'm sure. Some bars and pubs will be open downtown and serving Gobble Gobble. The Fairmont may not be all that stuffy. They seem to want to keep up the entertainment and the bar is normally a lively place.

Edited: 9:57 pm, August 12, 2013
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
382 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Christmas Day 2013 in Vancouver

I'm referring to the Faimont Pacific Rim. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver perhaps is a little stuffier.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
7,374 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Christmas Day 2013 in Vancouver

If you want something traditionally Canadian, you'll need to be invited to somebody's house for Christmas dinner where you'll be served practically the same thing as what you'd get at any hotel. Nobody else really serves Christmas dinner on Christmas Day, other than the hotels. If you don't want anything stuffy, just seek out a more casual hotel. Most Canadians dine on turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, ham, etc. on Christmas Day. Hotels will be offering this, and this is traditionally Canadian.

Christmas Day is often the only day when everything in the city closes, except for, say, Chinese restaurants, hotels, and the occasional bar.

Edited: 10:18 pm, August 12, 2013
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Christmas Day 2013 in Vancouver

Thanks Robyn. This is going to be my first Christmas away from home, and would dread having to have a Christmas Dinner that is bereft of Turkey! As long as there's a few bars open at night we'll be fine. wasn't aware there was two Fairmonts. We're staying in the very tall one by the water. I'll need to have a word with the travel agent....

Looking forward to the Christmas Markets on Christmas Eve, then maybe going on a sea plane trip on boxing day. I've never been to Canada before, let alone Vancouver. If there's anything extra special you could recommend over that period I would be very grateful. Want to make the honeymoon as memorable as possible.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
59,733 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Christmas Day 2013 in Vancouver

There are some special events going on here at Christmas. These events and websites are from last year, so this year's may not be updated just yet so the dates might be slightly different. I always find Van Dusen Gardens beautiful, but arriving at 5 when they open is wise because it does get crowded later on.

• the Bright Nights in Stanley Park Christmas train (tix on sale through ticketmaster.ca and well worth buying in advance to avoid long line ups on the day-of.) Dec 2-Jan 2 (closed Christmas Day), 3-10 pm.

vancouver.ca/parks/events/brightnights/

• the Woodward’s Christmas Windows will be on display. They consist of the original wooden moveable-parts diorama type almost life sized scenes. These were originally displayed in the 1940/50s in one of our now long gone department stores. They are spread out over downtown in six locations. Dec 1-Jan 4.

christmas.canadaplace.ca/Event%20Info/Media

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6Qz4uUOjFU

• Van Dusen Gardens with its Christmas lights display. Dec 9-Jan2, 4:30-9:00.

vancouver.ca/parks/…fol.htm

• Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge. Dec 2-Jan 1, 5-9 pm

www.capbridge.com/explore/canyon-lights/

• Gingerbread Lane and Enchanted Village at the Hyatt throughout the lobby. Each gingerbread confection (40+ of them) is prepared by culinary arts students, high school students, professional chefs and amateurs. 24/7. Nov 23 - Dec 27. Donations to Make-A-Wish Foundation. Lots of photos from a previous year’s competition:

venturevancouver.com/blog/2011-hyatt-gingerb…

* Vancouver Christmas Market. Nov 22 - Dec 24.

http://vancouverchristmasmarket.com/

• You actually may be able to rent ice skates at Robson Square this year.

The Four Seasons Hotel has a Christmas Tree Forest in their front entrance and lobby. Dozens of trees, decorated in a variety of ways.