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2017 Christmas Events in Victoria

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Victoria is a magical and beautiful place to spend Christmas, with plenty of lights and events throughout the city. Here are just some of the winter events taking place for Christmas and New Years on the island, including parades, carols, markets, concerts, movies, lights, tours, and brunches with Santa!

Don't forget to check out local coffee shops and restaurants as well for their Christmas specials.

Fun & Games

A Christmas Carol

Where: Belfry Theatre, 1291 Gladstone Ave.
When: Tuesday Nov. 28 - Sunday Dec. 17, times vary
Cost: $18 - $52
Website: Belfry Theatre

A ghost story for Christmas, the Belfry’s acclaimed production returns, along with some of the best-loved Dickensian characters of all time. A story of love, generosity and second chances, it takes us through the darkness and into the light of true joy and celebration!

A Not So Silent Night

Where: Hotel Grand Pacific, 463 Belleville St.
When: Friday Dec. 1 – Saturday Dec. 23
Cost: Free
Website: Hotel Grand Pacific

Bring your family and friends to the Hotel Grand Pacific during the month of December for a wide range of activities including Christmas Cocoa, Brunch, Stories, Contests, and more. All proceeds will support the Children’s Foundation of Vancouver Island.

Holiday “Pop Up” Market

Where: Bastion Square, 50-60 Bastion Square
When: Friday Dec. 1 – Sunday Dec. 24, times vary
Cost: Free
Website: Event Page

The 2017 Holiday “Pop Up” Market opens Friday, Dec 1st from 2 to 8 pm. Stop by and rediscover this quaint, quality market in Bastion Square! There is always something exciting to see and artisans to meet. Many of the artisans work on site. Weather permitting.

Film Festivus

Where: Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad Street
When: Friday Dec. 1, 6:00 pm
Cost: $7 advance, $10 doors
Website: DVBA

Based on the Seinfeld-inspired holiday, Film Festivus will feature short films by local filmmakers shot specifically for this event. To keep things exciting, all of this year’s entries will have been shot the weekend before the festival. The filmmakers will only have 72 (ish) hours to write, shoot, and edit, their entire films! There will also be a fundraising silent auction, which will include beautiful, delicious, and exciting items from local businesses including Boho Tribe Victoria, Fol Epi, Habit Coffee, and more! 19+ only.

Evergreen Wreath & Christmas Centrepieces Workshops

Where: Poppies Floral Art, 800 Yates St.
When: Saturday Dec. 2 – Saturday Dec. 16, times vary
Cost: $45
Website: Poppies Floral Design

Poppies Floral Art is offering workshops in floral design. We will inspire you to create amazing flower arrangements. Instruction provided by Andrea Posno-Walker.

The Dickens Fair

Where: James Bay Community School Centre, 140 Oswego Street
When: Saturday Dec. 2, 10:00am - 4:30pm
Cost: $2, Children free
Website: James Bay Market

Hosted by the James Bay Market Society, the Dickens Fair has something for everyone. From treasures to toys, you will find everything from great homemade foods to uniquely crafted gifts. This is an amazing opportunity to meet and support your local Vancouver Island Artisans, hear their stories and learn first hand how they make, bake and craft their wares. The Dickens Café will be serving up muffins and freshly squeezed apple and orange juice, lunch items made from locally sourced products and even vegetarian options. There will also be tea and coffee served all day to help take the chill off. The kids will have fun in the children’s area where they can create a one-of-a-kind treasure of their own.

Nerdy Days of Christmas Craft Fair

Where: Market Square, 560 Johnson St.
When: Saturday Dec. 2 – Sunday Dec. 3, 11:00am - 4:00pm
Cost: By donation
Website: Facebook Event Page

Find unique handmade gifts at this Christmas craft fair for the geeks and nerds in your life. There will be door prizes, Santa visits, and all kinds of great fun from unique gifts to popcorn. Proceeds support Victoria’s Hospital Foundation.

Horse-Drawn Trolley Rides

Where: Various stops
When: Saturday Dec. 2 – Sunday Dec. 24, 12:00 – 2:30 pm
Cost: Free
Website: Event Page

Every weekend, horse-drawn trolleys will circulate through downtown making it easy to take in all of the sights and sounds of the holidays. The trolleys are free, compliments of the DVBA, and are a unique way to tour the downtown or take a scenic break while you rest your weary feet. Two trolleys will circulate on a pre-set route through downtown with four stops.

Nautical Wreath Workshop

Where: Maritime Museum of BC, 634 Humboldt Street
When: Saturday Dec. 2, 9, 16, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Cost: $39.99 (10% discount for members)
Website: Events Calendar

Get ready for the holidays, while learning a thing or two about knots, at the Maritime Museum of British Columbia`s Nautical Wreath Workshop! A workshop leader will guide you through the process of transitioning a single piece of rope into a beautiful holiday wreath. All supplies are provided and your ticket includes admission to the Maritime Museum of BC (valid for 24 hours).

Deck the Hall - Winter Lights Festival

Where: Saanich Municipal Hall, 770 Vernon Ave.
When: Saturday Dec. 2, 5:00 - 8:00pm
Cost: Free
Website: Event Page

This event features school christmas concerts, photos with Santa, face painting, and a craft station!

Island Equipment Owners Association Truck Light Convoy & Food Drive

Where: Government St. & Blanshard St.
When: Saturday Dec. 2, 7:00 pm
Cost: Free
Website: IEOA

Owners decorate their trucks and heavy equipment to create this exciting annual spectacle of light. The convoy starts at Ogden Point and heads to the Western Communities via Blanshard and Government Streets. The convoy is expected at Yates and Blanshard at approximately 7:00 pm and moves quickly, so don't miss it! Drop off points along the route will collect food for the Mustard Seed Food Bank (see the website for a list of all drop-off locations).

Road King will be on the road this year providing GPS tracking of the convoy. On the night of the event you can track where they are by going to http://lightsparade-live.com/ on any device.

Christmas In Old Victoria

Where: Burnes House, 26 Bastion Square
When: Sunday Dec. 3 – Sunday Dec. 31, times vary
Cost: Adults $15, Students & Seniors $13, Children $8
Website: Discover The Past

Enjoy the warm-hearted and sometimes humourous stories of how Christmas was celebrated in Victoria during the Victorian era. A First Nations legend, Christmas Day brawls at Fort Victoria, a touching Gold Rush tale, Christmas store decorations and an amusing memory from Emily Carr’s childhood are featured. Many indoor locations are included.

Z-MAS: An Improvised Zombie Movie

Where: Intrepid Theatre Club, 1609 Blanshard St.
When: Dec. 6 - 9, & 14 - 16, 8:00 - 10:00pm
Cost: $15
Website: Event Page

All I want for Christmas is BRAINS! When a zombie outbreak hits, this rag-tag band of improvisers must try to work together to stay alive. A fun and bloody twist to your holiday traditions, this show will eat the heart right out of Christmas.

Holiday Night Market at Heartwood & Co.

Where: Heartwood & Co., 1402 Broad St.
When: Thursday Dec. 7, 14, & 21, 5:00 - 9:00pm
Cost: Free
Website: Facebook Event Page

A Holiday Night Market at Heartwood & Co. Join us for an evening of shopping with some of the best local creatives on Vancouver Island. The markets will take place on December 7th, 14th, and 21st from 5pm – 9pm. It will be a festive event with perfect holiday gifts and stocking stuffers. Sip on some boozy hot chocolate, snack on some treats from the Bake House at Heartwood, and get into the holiday spirit!

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Where: Tourism Victoria Information Centre, 812 Wharf St.
When: Friday Dec. 8 – Sunday Dec. 31, 7:30 pm
Cost: Adults $15, Students & Seniors $13, Children $8
Website: Discover The Past

During December the Ghostly Walks team will present “Ghosts of Christmas Past,” a spooky route through Old Town that highlights some of the best seasonal ghost stories in their repertoire. Stories included will be: the haunted chocolate shop, a Christmas Eve assassination, the “Lady in White” who first appeared at Christmas 1861, a haunted Christmas book, a First Nations legend, and many others.

The Polar Express

Where: Royal BC Museum IMAX, 675 Belleville Street
When: Saturday Dec. 9 – Sunday Dec. 31, times vary
Cost: 2 for $20
Website: IMAX Victoria

Join us for our IMAX® holiday tradition! Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis reunite for The Polar Express, an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

Pyjama Prance

Where: Rainbow Kitchen, 500 Admirals Rd.
When: Sunday Dec. 10, 9:00am
Cost: 5 food items or $10 donation
Website: Event Page

Come be a part of the 3rd Annual Pyjama Prance Fun Run/Walk on Sunday December 10th at 9am through the streets of Esquimalt in your PJ's! There will be a pancake breakfast, live music, silent auction, participant medals (as it's an untimed event) and other surprises! Two distances to choose from, the Pyjama Prance 5km and the Santa's Stroll 2km. Registration for this event is a minimum of 5 items of food and/or a suggested minimum donation of $10. All food/funds raised will go to the Rainbow Kitchen.

Home Alone 1 Screening Party

Where: Paparazzi Nightclub, 642 Johnson St.
When: Sunday Dec. 10, 9:30pm - 11:30pm
Cost: Free
Website: Facebook Event Page

Join us for our fifth installment of Movie Night @ Paparazzi Nightclub! When bratty 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) acts out the night before a family trip to Paris, his mother (Catherine O’Hara) makes him sleep in the attic. After the McCallisters mistakenly leave for the airport without Kevin, he awakens to an empty house and assumes his wish to have no family has come true. But his excitement sours when he realizes that two con men (Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern) plan to rob the McCallister residence and that he alone must protect the family home. Doors 9:00PM, movie time 9:30PM, complimentary popcorn!

Wonderful Wintry Weather

Where: Greater Victoria Public Library, 735 Broughton St.
When: Wednesday Dec. 13, 10:30 - 11:30am
Cost: Free
Website: Event Page

For ages 3-5. Celebrate wintry weather with tales of snow and forest friends. Enjoy songs, rhymes and a paper craft. Register at gvpl.ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information.

Cram the Cruiser

Where: Colquitz Middle School, 505 Dumeresq St.
When: Thursday Dec. 14, 9:00 – 11:00am
Cost: Free
Website: Event Page

On December 14th please join us from 9am-11am at Colquitz Middle School for our annual Cram the Cruiser event. Each year students and staff from Colquitz partner with Saanich Police to collect donations of non-perishable foods and toys for BGCA’s Christmas Hamper program. The event kicks off at 9am and at 11am police cruisers will deliver the proceeds to the Burnside Gorge Community Centre.

Holiday Sit-In Movies

Where: Esquimalt Recreation Centre, 1151 Esquimalt Road
When: Friday Dec. 15, 6:30 – 9:00pm
Cost: By donation
Website: Event Page

Too cold for a drive-in movie? No problem! This year we are holding our holiday movie in the Jubilee Hall on a giant screen. Bring your cushions and blankets and get cozy on the floor with your friends to enjoy the holiday classics Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman. A concession will be available for treats starting at 6 p.m. No registration required. Space is limited so make sure to come early to get your spot.

Holiday Stories at Helmcken House

Where: Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street
When: Saturday Dec. 16, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Cost: Free
Website: Royal BC Museum

This event is part of the Stories at Helmcken House series, where experienced tellers delight audiences of all ages with folktales, myths, legends and personal stories from around the world. Live piano music will accompany the storytelling.

Rad Santa Project

Where: Coastline Surf and Skate, 1417 Broad St.
When: Sunday Dec. 17, 11:00am – 6:00pm
Cost: Free
Website: Facebook Event Page

You don't have to wait until December 17th! Please drop off new or used skateboard gear at Coastline Surf & Skate so the Rad Santa team can throw them together and set up 20 complete skates for Vic West Elementary students this holiday season. Rad Santa Project is a skateboarder-run, refurbishing project that provides quality new and used skateboards for youth in the Victoria BC area.

Helmcken House Old-Fashioned Christmas

Where: Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street
When: Sunday Dec. 17 – Sunday Dec. 31, 12:00 – 4:00 pm
Cost: By donation
Website: Royal BC Museum

Step through the doors of the oldest house in British Columbia, still on its original site, and experience what Christmas would have been like in Victoria over 100 years ago. Decorations, music, and first-hand accounts will take you back to Christmas past.

Holiday Skate

Where: Save On Foods Memorial Centre, 1925 Blanshard St.
When: Sunday Dec. 17, 2:30 - 4:15pm
Cost: Free
Website: Event Page

Lace up your skates for a holiday-themed skate at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena and watch for wintery friends as they join in for some festive fun.

Waste Reduced Holidays Workshop

Where: West Coast Refill, 10-532 1/2 Fisgard St.
When: Sunday Dec. 17, 4:00 - 7:30pm
Cost: $35
Website: Facebook Event Page

From gifts and wrapping, to food and parties, find out all of the ways to reduce the amount of waste and plastics produced during the holidays. Discussion will be around easy handmade gifts, “makers parties” and clever life-hacks for waste-reduced holidays. Participants will make and take home body butter and lip balm. Participants will also receive a 10% discount on purchases made in-store the day of the workshop.

O Christmas Tea: A British Comedy

Where: Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St.
When: Sunday Dec. 17, 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Cost: $34.75
Website: RMTS

Fans of Monty Python, Mr. Bean, and Dr. Seuss… Grab your teacups! When catastrophe strikes at James and Jamesy’s Christmas tea party, flooding the world with tea, the friends leap into action, finding innovative and hilarious solutions to keep them afloat. Redefining immersive theatre, these masters of physical comedy—with over 20 comedy awards to their name—sweep the audience out to sea in a jolly aquatic escapade brimming with whimsy, action, and ingenuity in a celebration of friendship at Christmas.

Holiday Storytime & Elevenses

Where: Bastion Books, 14 Bastion Square
When: Sunday Dec. 24, 11:00am
Cost: By donation
Website: Event Page

We’re celebrating the holidays (and Winnie the Pooh’s favourite hour) with storytime & elevenses. Story readings will draw from holiday classics & contemporary favourites.  Come in for some bookish holiday cheer.  Admission by donation.


Song & Festivities

BC Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees

Where: The Bay Centre, 1150 Douglas St
When: Thursday Nov. 16 – Tuesday Jan. 2
Cost: Free
Website: BC Children's Hospital Foundation

Join us for the 26th Anniversary of the Festival of Trees in support of BC Children’s Hospital. With the help of our sponsors, the festival will transform the halls of The Bay Centre into an enchanted forest celebrating our local community. Bring your family and friends to tour the displays and vote for your favorite to be entered to win great prizes!

Habitat for Humanity Gingerbread Showcase

Where: The Parkside Hotel & Spa, 810 Humboldt St.
When: Saturday Nov. 18 – Tuesday Jan. 2, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Cost: Free
Website: Habitat For Humanity

Feast your eyes and nose on creative inspirations constructed from gingerbread. More than just houses, these are detailed sculptures and unique works of art created by professional and amateur chefs. Vote for your favourite and make a donation to Habitat for Humanity Victoria.

Alberta Ballet's The Nutcracker

Where: Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street
When: Dec. 1 - 3, times vary
Cost: $49 and up
Website: RMTS

Extravagant bejeweled sets and gorgeous costumes created by Emmy-Award winner Zack Brown create a ballet that looks like a wonderfully illustrated children’s book. Be transported back to 19th century Russia with the captivating magic of this beloved holiday classic.

18th Annual Spirit of Giving

Where: The Bay Centre, 1150 Douglas Street
When: Friday Dec. 1 – Sunday Dec. 24
Cost: By donation
Website: The Bay Centre

This season help spread the spirit of giving to families and the working poor supported by the Mustard Seed. Drop-off your financial or non-perishable food donations or have your gifts wrapped at the by-donation gift wrapping station at The Bay Centre. All proceeds support the Mustard Seed.

Winspear Festival of Trees

Where: Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Ave.
When: Friday Dec. 1 – Tuesday Jan. 2, 9am - 5pm
Cost: Free
Website: Mary Winspear Centre

The Winspear Festival of Trees will be open to the public from December 1 – January 2. Visit the Centre to cast a vote for your favourite tree. With more than 20 beautiful and unique Christmas trees decorated by local businesses and community groups it will be hard to choose just one! We are also collecting donations of new unwrapped toys (ages 6 months - 16 years) for the Peninsula Santa's Helpers. Donations accepted until December 15.

Christmas Tree Village

Where: Esquimalt Recreation Centre & Archie Browning Sports Centre, 527 Fraser St. & 1151 Esquimalt Rd.
When: Friday Dec. 1 – Saturday Jan. 4
Cost: Free
Website: Event Page

Experience the magic of the holidays at our Fourth Annual Christmas Tree Village.  Trees, decorated by local businesses and community groups will be on display at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre and Archie Browning Sports Centre December 1st to January 4th. See how the spaces are transformed into Holiday heavens teeming with twinkling lights and decorations for all tastes!

Christmas at the Butchart Gardens

Where: Butchart Gardens, 800 Benvenuto Ave
When: Friday Dec. 1 – Saturday Jan. 6, 9am - 9pm
Cost: Free
Website: Butchart Gardens

Christmas lights, holiday wreaths, carollers, ice skating, festive dining — it’s an exciting time at The Gardens. In fact, there’s so much happening from December 1st through January 6th, we refer to it as the "Magic of Christmas" season. Enjoy the traditions of the season with our 'Twelve Days of Christmas' displays placed throughout The Gardens. Sing the song as you walk along.

Father Christmas in Old Town

Where: Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street
When: Dec. 1 – 3, 8 – 10, and 15 – 17; 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Cost: Free with admission
Website: Event Page

Visit with Father Christmas in Old Town; have your photo taken and share your holiday wishes. Included with admission or museum membership (photos by donation).

Choirs In The Courtyard

Where: Greater Victoria Public Library, 735 Broughton Street
When: Friday Dec. 1 – Tuesday Dec. 12, times vary
Cost: Free
Website: GVPL

Treat yourself to an early afternoon seasonal sampling of Victoria's choirs in the Central Branch courtyard – one of the city's sweetest acoustic spots. Details and timeslots for specific choirs are posted on the Greater Victoria Public Library's website.

Christmas Carollers

Where: Downtown Victoria
When: Saturday Dec. 2 – Sunday Dec. 17, times vary
Cost: Free
Website: Event Page

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks ... dressed in holiday style.... Listen for our Carollers roaming the streets, bringing tidings and good cheer.

Ken Lavigne: A Hometown Christmas

Where: Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St.
When: Tuesday Dec. 5, 7:30 pm
Cost: $39
Website: RMTS

Victoria’s hometown tenor, Ken Lavigne, is back on stage at the Royal Theatre. This time he'll take the audience on a journey through favourite Christmas classics and sparkling holiday songs with conductor Pierre Simard and special guest vocalist Stephanie Greaves. Let the rich timbre of this award winning singer’s voice melt away the icy winter blast and envelope you with the warm promise of a cozy hometown Christmas.

Miracle on Broad Street

Where: Kool FM, 1420 Broad Street
When: Friday Dec. 8, 6:00 am – 6:00 pm
Cost: Free
Website: CFAXSantas.com

During the Miracle on Broad Street radio-thon, the on-air hosts of CFAX 1070 bring you updates on Santas Anonymous, introduce some of our fantastic supporters and past recipients, and invite the Greater Victoria community to lend a helping hand. Staff from CFAX, KOOL FM, and CTV will be on the phones to take your pledges, along with volunteers from our corporate supporters, and every dollar raised goes toward purchasing food for families in need.

Yellowpoint Christmas Spectacular

Where: McPherson Playhouse, 3 Centennial Square
When: Friday Dec. 8 – Sunday Dec. 10, times vary
Cost: $49
Website: RMTS

The Yellowpoint Christmas Spectacular is a celebration of Christmas as well as an extravaganza of music, dance, lights and decorations. Now in its 11th year, it has become a family tradition on central Vancouver Island. Be sure to include a performance of the Yellowpoint Christmas Spectacular as part of your holiday festivities. This year's singing and dancing extravaganza includes musical tributes to The Beatles, Nina Simone and Rod Stewart, Broadway showstoppers from 'Mary Poppins', hit numbers from 'Top Gun', a country medley as well as many more classical hits and Christmas favourites.

Tuba Christmas

Where: Market Square, 560 Johnson Street
When: Saturday Dec. 9, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Cost: Free
Website: Market Square

More than 200 cities around the world celebrate Tuba Christmas. The first one was in New York City in 1974 and it has grown into a global event because people love it. Tuba players from all over BC and the Pacific Northwest come together to play much loved Christmas songs in a big way. It only happens once a year. Do not miss it!

Winter Sounds at the Westin

Where: Bear Mountain, 1999 Country Club Way
When: Saturday Dec. 10, 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Cost: Free
Website: Bear Mountain Resort

Winter Sounds at the Westin is an afternoon of festive art, music, and performance at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa. On Sunday, December 10th from 2-5pm, experience the many Winter Sounds at this family-friendly community event which celebrates local arts and culture. Coffee, tea, cocoa, and spiced cider will be also be on offer.

Naden Band Christmas

Where: Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street
When: Monday Dec. 11 - 13, 7:30 pm
Cost: $10 and a new, unwrapped toy
Website: RMTS

The Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy presents the 39th annual Christmas concert in support of The Salvation Army Toy Drive. The festive musical program will include original works and holiday favourites for the entire family.

Little Gems Holiday Art & Craft Exhibition

Where: Victoria Arts Council, 636 Fort St.
When: Tuesday Dec. 12, 11:00am - 5:00pm
Cost: Free
Website: Event Page

The Victoria Arts Council (VAC) is pleased to host another installment of Little Gems at 636 Fort Street outside The Bay Centre. This festive event kicks off the holiday season with works by a wide variety of local artists and artisans, including painting, drawing, pottery, craft, and photography. Just in time for holiday shopping; there is a little something for everyone with all pieces priced $300 or under.

Tea for Tutu – The Gift

Where: Kirk Hall, 680 Courtney St.
When: Tuesday Dec. 12 & Wednesday Dec. 13, 2:00 - 3:00pm
Cost: Children & Seniors free, Adults $10
Website: Ballet Victoria

“Tea for Tutu” is Ballet Victoria’s favourite seniors program for creating communities. Ballet Victoria delights seniors and children with 45 minutes of free ballet performances in a friendly community atmosphere with tea donated by our sponsors Thrifty Foods,  Serious Coffee, and Daniel Vokey of Patisserie Daniel. It is an opportunity for the audience to enjoy a preview of the upcoming performances and to interact with the dancers.

Public Menorah Lighting

Where: BC Legislature
When: Tuesday Dec. 12, 5:30pm - 6:15pm
Cost: Free
Website: BC Legislature

Public Menorah Lighting on the Legislature front steps and driveway.

Quarter to Nine: The Holiday Season

Where: Hermann’s Jazz Club, 753 View St.
When: Wednesday Dec. 13, 6:00pm
Cost: $8 - $12
Website: Event Page

Newly-formed contemporary choir Quarter to Nine is made up of nine students at the University of Victoria who currently sing in the UVic Vocal Jazz ensemble. They are putting on a night of modern holiday music, including classic wintry jazz favourites and inventive settings of traditional Christmas carols. Although it may be cold outside, this program will keep you warm!

Roaming Santa

Where: Downtown Victoria
When: Friday Dec. 15, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Cost: Free
Website: Event Page

Watch for Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus roaming downtown businesses with a jolly smile. Share your Christmas wish with Santa and stop for a picture. Sponsored by Parc Retirement Living.

Photos with Santa Claus

Where: Esquimalt Recreation Centre, 1151 Esquimalt Road
When: Friday Dec. 15, 5:00 – 7:00pm
Cost: Free
Website: Event Page

Santa is popping into the Recreation Centre for some photo opportunities this year. Photos are taken free of charge and provided electronically via email. Friendly pets are welcome to accompany their humans in their holiday photos. Registration is not required.

Free Pictures with Santa

Where: Victoria Public Market, 1701 Douglas St.
When: Saturday Dec. 16, 12:00 – 3:00 pm
Cost: Free
Website: Event Page

Bring your little one, and your camera, and take some FREE photos with Santa! You, and your kids, will be able to sit on Santa’s knee and tell him your Christmas wish, along with snapping a few pictures with him! Santa will be set up on the Upper Level of the Market, in front of Bumble and Hive Play Centre. Please note that each guest will be responsible for their own photos, the Market will not have a camera set up taking photos.

Music in Market Square

Where: Market Square, 560 Johnson Street
When: Saturday Dec. 16, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Cost: Free
Website: Market Square

The sounds of this big concert band fill the square with holiday excitement! Bundle up, swing by a coffee shop to pick up a hot beverage, and head to the Square for this free admission event. Fun for all ages.

Charlie Brown Christmas

Where: Hermann’s Jazz Club, 753 View St.
When: Saturday Dec. 16, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Cost: $15 - $20
Website: Event Page

Charlie Brown Christmas! First show 6pm: Sean Drabitt Bass, Brent Jarvis Piano, John Lee Drums. Second show at 8:30.

A Jann Arden Christmas

Where: Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street
When: Saturday Dec. 16, 8:00 pm
Cost: $30 and up
Website: RMTS

Join Canadian superstar Jann Arden for an evening of holiday music and favourites with the Victoria Symphony. Her quick wit, warm heart and passion for music will make this an unforgettable evening.

Christmas Carol Sing-Along

Where: St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 680 Courtney St.
When: Sunday Dec. 17, 11:30 am - 1:15 pm
Cost: Free
Website: St. Andrew's Victoria

Join a downtown Christmas tradition: a hearty carol sing-along accompanied by organ, violin, and vocal presentations, and complete with hot apple drinks and cookies.

DeviANTS Christmas Concert

Where: Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad St.
When: Sunday Dec. 17, 2:00 - 3:30pm
Cost: $15
Website: Eventbrite

Lifetime Networks Theatre Troupe presents: The DeviANTS Christmas Concert. Come enjoy a musical comedy performance of original songs and scenes created and performed by participants and professionals.

A Solar Yeti and Friends Christmas Concert

Where: Copper Owl, 1900 Douglas St.
When: Thursday Dec. 21, 7:00 - 11:00pm
Cost: $10
Website: Facebook Event Page

If you enjoy warm energy and friendly vibes please come celebrate the winter solstice with some live local music at a great venue! A variety of different sounds from a full rockin’ band to solo acoustic and Didjeridoo magic; we’re aiming for a more open variety of sounds to be experienced!

Christmas with the Monik Nordine Trio

Where: Hermann’s Jazz Club, 753 View St.
When: Thursday Dec. 21, 8:00pm
Cost: $10 - $15
Website: Event Page

The Monik Nordine Trio returns to Hermann’s Jazz Club after the launch of their new CD “The Old-New Town” to play seasonal favourites and music from their new release. Joined by Brent Jarvis on piano and Bruce Meikle on bass, Monik will play alto saxophone and do a bit of singing. The new release has been reviewed favourably in DownBeat Magazine and has been warmly received on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

Christmas Karaoke

Where: Northern Quarter, 1724 Douglas St.
When: Thursday Dec. 21, 9:00pm - 12:00am
Cost: Unknown
Website: Facebook Event Page

Join us for festive night of Karaoke and general merriment! Karaoke kicks off at 9pm, the bar and kitchen are open 5pm til midnight.

Ballet Victoria: The Gift

Where: Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street
When: Thursday Dec. 28 – Saturday Dec. 30, times vary
Cost: $30 and up
Website: RMTS

A uniquely wonderful Christmas ballat to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker score performed by The Victoria Symphony. Join a flurry of dancing characters and a mischievous young girl who sparks an adventurous world of unexpected wonders when she opens a present early, despite her uncle’s warning.


Food & Drink

Winter Veranda

Where: Fairmont Empress Hotel, 721 Government St.
When: Saturday Nov. 25 - Saturday Dec. 23, 4:00 - 11:00pm
Cost: à la carte
Website: Fairmont.com

Enjoy a selection of hot beverages in Christmas spirit and well known Christmas bites while delighting in s’mores around the fire.

FestiviTEA

Where: Silk Road Tea, 1624 Government St.
When: Friday Dec. 1 – Sunday Dec. 24, times vary
Cost: Free
Website: Silk Road Tea

Stop in anytime during regular store hours & enjoy a changing array of fun, festive in-store demos, pampering, tastings & more. Uplift, unwind & decompress with a mini-flight of wellness teas, a demo on cosy tea hot chocolates, festive mulled teas, winter skin pampering or wellness tips. Activities change daily, but there’s always something brewing when you visit that renews, fortifies & counteracts the stress of the holiday season.

Christmas Craft Beer Show

Where: Save On Foods Memorial Centre, 1925 Blanshard St.
When: Friday Dec. 1, 5:00 – 9:00pm; Saturday Dec. 2, 1:00 – 5:00pm
Cost: $40 - $70
Website: Event Website

The best thing about beer is that it can be enjoyed – or celebrated – any time of the year. This event will allow the multitude of fantastic local micro-breweries to gather together to display their seasonal products as well as their brewery favourites to both beer lovers and beverage professionals ahead of the holiday season. Single day tickets $40, weekend tickets $70.

Free Cookie Decorating At The Market

Where: Victoria Public Market, 1701 Douglas Street
When: Saturday Dec. 2, 9, & 16, 12:00 – 3:00 pm
Cost: By donation
Website: Victoria Public Market

Bring your kids down to the Market to decorate their very own Gingerbread Man! Cookies, icing and candies will all be provided for free, and we will be accepting donations to CFAX Santas Anonymous! Cookie station will be set up in front of the Community Kitchen.

Santa Claus Brunch Series

Where: Aura Restaurant, 680 Montreal Street
When: Sunday Dec. 3, 10, & 17, 11:00am – 2:00pm
Cost: Adults $46, Seniors $37, Children $23
Website: Aura Restaurant

Bring the whole family and immerse yourself in the magic of the season. You’ll enjoy a gourmet brunch in the stunning Terrace Ballroom while the kids will feel like they’ve taken a trip to the North Pole. Not only will they meet Jolly Old Saint Nick himself, they’ll get a complimentary photo of their special moment. Plus, they’ll have a cozy spot to watch their favourite Christmas movies and a chance to get creative at the cookie decorating station. Once they’ve worked up an appetite will all the activities, they’ll have lots of kid-friendly options to choose from at the Children’s Buffet.

Bengals & Baubles

Where: Fairmont Empress, 721 Government Street
When: Friday Dec. 8, 6:00pm
Cost: $95
Website: Fairmont.com

Enjoy a buffet featuring festive classics and well-known Indian flavours. Dinner will be served buffet style. DJ playing from 7-11pm.

Kid’s Christmas at the Castle

Where: Fairmont Empress, 721 Government Street
When: Saturday Dec. 16, 12:00 - 3:00pm
Cost: $50
Website: Fairmont.com

Perfect for parents and their kids. Champagne and canapés for Mom and Dad, Christmas activities and a candy buffet for the kids. There will be crafts and holiday stories will be read to the little ones. Children can write a letter to Santa during the event and we'll ensure Santa writes back!

Chocolate Tea Truffles & Infused Chocolates

Where: Silk Road Tea, 1624 Government St.
When: Sunday Dec. 17, 11:15 am – 12:15 pm
Cost: $20
Website: Silk Road Tea

Calling all chocoholics & their loved ones… In this session, you’ll learn how the basics of how to naturally & easily infuse chocolates with tea, as well how to make chocolate truffles flavoured with tea. You’ll also get to take home a foolproof recipe that is dairy-free, vegan & gluten-free. Better yet, this recipe tastes really decadent & you’d never know it was vegan. Makes a thoughtful gift for anyone with food sensitivities, as well as when you’re entertaining – it’s a great recipe that everyone can enjoy. As well, chocolate truffles & flavoured chocolates often contain artificial flavours & preservatives, which are hidden sources of additives. Instead, we’ll teach you how to use real ingredients only – just fresh, organic tea is used to naturally flavour these divine chocolates. There are so many yummy teas to choose from that make incredible truffles – Earl Grey, London Fog, Chai, Matcha, Angelwater, Spicy Mandarin, Sour Cherry, Westcoast Peppermint, Peach Paradise, Berry Victoria & more! During this session, you’ll also learn about the principles of pairing tea with chocolate.

Bear Mountain Christmas Eve Buffet

Where: Bear Mountain Resort, 1999 Country Club Way
When: Sunday Dec. 24, 5:00 – 9:00 pm
Cost: Adults $75, Children $30
Website: Bear Mountain

It’s that time of year again where we take time off from our busy schedules to visit with our loved ones. To celebrate the holidays, our amazing culinary team has worked hard to create three special menus that will help set the tone for the season. Spend the holidays with your family and leave the cooking to us.

Fairmont Empress Christmas Eve Dinner

Where: Fairmont Empress, 721 Government Street
When: Sunday Dec. 24, 5:00 – 9:00 pm
Cost: Adults $79, Children $39.50
Website: Fairmont.com

A festive five-course set menu with optional wine pairing.

Meet Mrs. Claus

Where: Fairmont Empress, 721 Government Street
When: Sunday Dec. 24, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Cost: Free
Website: Fairmont.com

Enjoy cookies and milk while Mrs. Claus reads Christmas stories.

Bear Mountain Christmas Day Brunch

Where: Bear Mountain Resort, 1999 Country Club Way
When: Monday Dec. 25, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Cost: Adults $70, Children $30
Website: Bear Mountain

It’s that time of year again where we take time off from our busy schedules to visit with our loved ones. To celebrate the holidays, our amazing culinary team has worked hard to create three special menus that will help set the tone for the season. Spend the holidays with your family and leave the cooking to us.

Christmas Day Brunch

Where: Aura Restaurant, 680 Montreal Street
When: Monday Dec. 25, 10:00am – 2:00pm
Cost: Adults $68, Children 6-11 $34
Website: Aura Restaurant

Treat your family and friends to some holiday cheer and true decadence. The Terrace Ballroom and AURA will be sparkling with festive décor as you enjoy a Christmas Day Brunch Buffet like no other. Thoughtfully prepared by Executive Chef, Takashi Ito, this one-of-a-kind gourmet feast is the culinary highlight of the season.

Fairmont Empress Christmas Day Dinner Buffet

Where: Fairmont Empress, 721 Government Street
When: Monday Dec. 25; 3:00pm, 5:00pm, & 7:00pm
Cost: Adults $109, Children $54.50
Website: Fairmont.com

Enjoy the chef attended carving stations, seafood, classic Christmas dishes, and a children’s buffet. Live piano music.

Fairmont Empress Christmas Day Dinner

Where: Fairmont Empress, 721 Government Street
When: Monday Dec. 25, 4:00 – 9:00 pm
Cost: Adults $175, Children $87.50
Website: Fairmont.com

Five-course set menu. Featured offers on select wines.

Community Christmas Social and Potluck Dinner

Where: Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad St.
When: Monday Dec. 25, 5:00 - 11:00pm
Cost: By donation
Website: Facebook Event Page

‘Tis the season for friends, festivities, and tasty food! We invite you to join an eclectic mix of folks that would otherwise be eating a microwaved tofurkey dinner on this special night of the year. Bringing together people without family in town, those that don’t like their family, and those that are just looking for a bar that is open on Christmas. You are encouraged to dress in your choice of holiday attire. From 6pm-8pm, it’ll be a potluck style event. Entertainment TBD. This is a 19+ event.

Empress Room New Year's Eve Dinner & Gala

Where: Fairmont Empress, 721 Government Street
When: Sunday Dec. 31, 7:30pm – 1:00am
Cost: Adults $210, Children $105
Website: Fairmont.com

Celebrate the New Year at Q at The Empress. Five-course set menu with wine pairing option served. Choice of appetizer & choice of main; large grand finale dessert buffet in the Lobby Lounge to follow dinner. After enjoying dinner in Q or the Crystal Ballroom, dance in the new year with live music at the most elegant New Year’s Eve party in Canada’s most romantic city, Victoria! Enjoy a live performance by Amanda Woods - a local jazz and pop singer/songwriter. Includes a complimentary glass of sparkling wine at midnight. Black tie.

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