First visit to Stanley Park’s Bright Nights Christmas Train? We have you covered
All aboard! Stanley Park’s Bright Nights Christmas Train, supporting the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, will be chugging along its festive tracks November 28 to January 1.
Here’s a few tips to help you prepare a visit to this popular holiday tradition in Vancouver.
Best time to go
For incredible light displays and live performances, hop on the night train, running daily from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. If you have a wee one with an early bedtime, or want to avoid a large crowd, try the matinee train from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Matinee tickets are only $6, no matter the age.
Before heading out, check for other big events going on in the city. Whether you’re driving or taking transit, give yourself plenty of time to get there — tickets are non-refundable.
They’re on sale now and they go fast. If you’re the gambling mama type, skip the online purchase and head to the train on your day of choice. The staff sets aside a stack of “same day” tickets, so you might just luck out.
For some added family fun, show your proof of purchase at the Vancouver Aquarium and receive 10 percent off admission.
Avoid a lineup
Trains depart in half-hour time slots. So if your train runs from 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., jump in the line at 8 p.m. to avoid a long wait. If all else fails, stuff your pockets full of candy canes in case of emergency.
What to bring
- Stroller: Bright Nights is stroller friendly, with plenty of parking available on the train platform.
- Pack a few blankets to keep your little ones extra cosy during their train ride.
- Help those in need by bringing cash and non-perishable food donations. Cash donations go toward helping burn survivors and their families through the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ BC Burn Fund. Food donations help stock the shelves of local food banks.
Make it an unforgettable visit
After the train ride, grab some hot buttered popcorn at the Stanley Park Ecology Society’s Cob House and stroll through the plaza for a few incredible light displays. Santa is also on the scene at the “North Pole” from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. for photos.
Save your change for those in need, parking is free at Bright Nights. Enter through the West Georgia Street entrance in Stanley Park and head to Pipeline Road for an amazing night out with the family.
Angela Robertson is a writer, mother of two and classic rock aficionado. She spends way too much money on sour keys, and when she’s not spinning her records for her kids, she’s blogging about them at Rock ‘n’ Rattle.