Ditch the car and enjoy a Vancouver Christmas on two wheels with these suggestions from guest contributor Melissa Bruntlett.
Every holiday season, Vancouver is bustling with activities for the whole family, making the list of possibilities seem endless. The trouble is, with more events also comes working through the crowds on public transit or dealing with the headache that is traffic and finding parking. But all hope is not lost. Since ditching our car almost five years ago, my family has made it a tradition to enjoy all that a Vancouver Christmas has to offer by bicycle.
Yesterday, I shared the first three holiday events that my family makes a point of visiting each year. Today, I’m sharing our final three Vancouver Christmas must-sees that you can get to on two wheels.
A Vancouver Christmas on Two Wheels
4. Santa’s Village at Granville Island Kids Market
Going to Vancouver’s toys central at Christmas time may not be your cup of tea, however every year we bundle up our kids and bike along the seawall to Granville Island for a visit with the big guy. Starting December 6, 2014, Santa can be found on the second floor of the Kids Market, where he sings carols, reads stories, and even lets kids tell him what they would like under their tree this Christmas. I personally love the gentleman who plays Santa, for his authentic beard and joyful spirit. As an added bonus, he’ll also sit for the traditional picture with Santa for the low price of zero dollars. Can’t beat that with a mall Santa!
5. Christmas at Canada Place
Whether it’s the Woodwards display windows, the giant lit up tree in Jack Poole Plaza, free ice skating or even pictures with Santa, there’s something for everyone at Canada Place during the holidays. With the backdrop of the snowy North Shore mountains, it’s the most picturesque place to spread some holiday cheer, and you can easily get there by the separated downtown bike lanes or along the Coal Harbour seawall. If you time it right, you can even stick around after dark to watch the Carol Ships pass by for one of their sailings!
6. St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope
Last but not least, no Vancouver Christmas season is complete without a trip to see the breathtaking lights display at St. Paul’s Hospital. The annual “Lights of Hope” volunteer-driven display celebrates donations from citizens and organizations throughout the city supporting the hospital. Conveniently located along the Comox/Helmken greenway, it is accessible by bike from either the Hornby separated lane or by taking a slow ride through the west end along Comox. It is certainly a highlight each year for our family, and not to be missed!
Melissa Bruntlett is a city-bicycle owner and enthusiast, living in Vancouver BC. She is co-owner of Modacity, a multi-service consultancy, focused on inspiring healthier, happier, simpler forms of urban mobility through words, photography and film. When not writing, blogging or consulting, she spends her time riding around her beautiful city with her husband and two young children. Visit her online at modacitylife.com, and on Instagram and Twitter.
*Photo credit – Chris Bruntlett