Saturday, November 30, 2019

Insider Tips for the Vancouver Christmas Market

Browsing the realistic looking fruit soaps at the market
This year is the 20th Anniversary of Vancouver's Christmas Market: can you believe it? The market is has returned to Jack Poole Plaza, bigger & better than ever with more than 80 huts of European sweets, treats, & treasures.

We're pretty much veterans of the Market now, & have been going since the very first year, so I thought I'd share some of our "insider" tips to make your visit more fun!

When to go

Open daily from 11:30am to 9:30pm, (11:30am to 6pm an December 24), the Market really shines from dusk onward. Tuesdays adult admission is just $10 for the 10th Anniversary. If you want to save even more, it's only $8 if you head to the market by 2pm weekdays. Despite being outdoors, it's actually not bad to go in the rain because there are awnings at the huts, umbrellas over the tables in the food area, plus the Alpine Lounge & Wunderbar are also covered & heated.

Bronte loves a good carousel ride
Special Events

Kids Day December 1: Youth 12 & under get in by donation to Children’s Wish Foundation all day, Carousel rides are by donation, snap a photo with Holly & Jolly our gingerbread mascots or your favourite princesses from Enchanted Events Vancouver, & meet Santa Claus

What to do

Obviously, shopping! The Vancouver Christmas Market is a great place to browse for high quality & unique gifts, traditional German holiday decor, & a wide variety of handmade items. However, it's not just about the shopping. There are dozens of options for sweet treats, hot & cold drinks, alcoholic & non, plus some great lunch, dinner, & snack choices. Check out some of my favourites in Eating My Way Through The Vancouver Christmas Market.

Kids can get creative in the free Kinder Kraft Igloo, explore the market and win a prize by completing the Treasure Hunt, & of course there's always the classic carousel to ride on!

Family selfie time!

What to bring

A fully charged phone or camera to be ready for All The Selfies. The market is decorated with Christmas trees everywhere, surrounds the iconic 2010 Olympic torch, & features a massive walk-in Christmas tree with over 36,000 lights.

Reusable shopping bags for the gorgeous tree decorations or other gift items you'll end up buying.

A plastic bag: if you want to keep your souvenir market mugs after you have some Glühwein, you'll want a way to get them home without dripping hot drink remnants into your other bag. Some soft packing material isn't a bad idea to get the ceramic mugs home safely if you're travelling by bike or bus, particularly.

Linny enjoyed the hot apple cider
Warm clothes for wandering outside after dark. A hot mug of Glühwein or a snack in the heated Alpine Lounge tent will help, but you'll want to bundle up nonetheless.

How to get there

Biking is a great way to get to the Market! It's located just off the Seaside Greenway & within a block of the Hornby/Burrard protected bike lane. There are some well lit bike racks & a Mobi station at the Shaw Tower right across the street from the Market entrance. The Market is also a short walk from the #19 bus on Pender street or Burrard Skytrain Station. There is cheap parking next door at the convention centre, $10 for the evening after 6pm.

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