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.
Not only is cyclilng a stress free way to get around thanks to the numerous bikeways and separated cycle tracks leading you safely into downtown, but we have found that travelling by bike also allows my husband and I quality time with out kids we wouldn’t otherwise get. We have some of the best conversations with them when we’re riding side-by-side, and with the added excitement of Christmas just around the corner, getting to a from events is a treat, instead of a chore. So in keeping with the message of sharing in the holiday spirit, I’m sharing six of our favourite holiday events in Vancouver that you can easily get to by bicycle. Here are the first three.
A Vancouver Christmas on Two Wheels
1. Vancouver Christmas Market
This German-inspired market is always a fan favourite in our family. From the marketplace with all the beautiful, unique christmas decorations, to the tasty treats, and the brightly coloured carousel, it’s no wonder when we mentioned going this year to our kids, five and eight years old, their faces beamed with excitement. And it’s hard to argue with the price, $7.00 for adults, $3.00 for kids seven to twelve, and FREE for kids six and under. Getting to the market by bike is super easy, too, with it being just one block over from the Dunsmuir separated lane, and if little legs get too tired for the ride home, the Skytrain is just a couple blocks away.
2. Free Skating at Robson Square
Located along the Hornby Bike Lane, Robson Square is always bustling during the winter months. Although a Vancouver Christmas doesn’t quite compare to the winter wonderlands in the rest of Canada, it’s nice to enjoy a little taste of it by lacing up and going for a skate as a family at the Robson Square Ice Rink. Open Daily from December to February, skating is always free, and if you don’t have skates of your own, they rent them out for a nominal fee from the pro-shop. There’s even a concession serving hot chocolate to warm up once your done!
3. Carol Ship Parade of Lights
Ever wonder what fifty boats lit up for the holidays looks like? The Carol Ships offers a truly Vancouver Christmas experience as locals light up their vessels and parade around False Creek, English Bay, Coal Harbour and beyond. What better way to enjoy twinkling lights at Christmas than following the parade along our amazing seawall at your own pace and in the quiet night air! Routes alternate, meaning you could attend the show a few times, all with a different back drop, and all at no cost.
Check back in tomorrow for the next three must-see Vancouver Christmas destinations to visit by bike.
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