Every year, more than one million lights create a spectacular display of color at VanDusen’s Botanical Gardens during the Festival of Lights. Since 1984, the botanical oasis has been transforming itself into a winter wonderland, attracting an average of 110,000 spectators a year to walk through the colorfully lit pathways of Candy Cane Lane and Gingerbread Walk. The dancing light show around Livingston Lake is a must-see that leaves spectators glowing with holiday cheer.
Along with the twinkle of lights, visitors can enjoy a number of fun activities, including a carousel, Santa’s cabin where kids can have their photos taken with Santa and his elves, a fireside lounge wherein adults can purchase special holiday beverages, and plenty of photo-ops for selfies and Instagrammable moments.
The Make-A-Wish foundation sponsors a candle grotto that makes for a picturesque setting to make holiday wishes and set intentions for the new year ahead. Recycled Rhythms and Tinsel Tunes are both interactive spaces where kids can have fun playing music and singing along to holiday classics. Holiday-themed food trucks serve snacks and refreshments, including truffles, donuts, hot chocolate and bowls of soup to warm up with on cold nights.
Strolling through the Festival of Lights takes anywhere from one to two hours. Pathways are large enough for strollers and wheelchairs, but pets are not allowed in the gardens. The temperature can drop below freezing, so bundling up is encouraged to maximize comfort. Free parking is available at the VanDusen Botanical Garden entrance, but early arrival and advanced ticket purchases are recommended to beat the crowds. Tickets go on sale annually on November 1st.