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See the Light at These Top Holiday Displays!

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Nothing wards away the winter chills quite like a string of merry, multi-coloured Christmas lights shining in the darkness. From elaborate timed-displays, with musical accompaniments, to traditional presentations of Santa and his sled, Christmas lights make for great viewing. (And, often an added incentive to walk around the block and subtly assess the creativity of your neighbours.)

But, a few places in Metro Vancouver take Christmas lights to a whole other level, and are well worth a trip out to see!  Here are some of the top picks for places to go to see the sparkling, bright lights:

Festival of Lights, VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver

Photo Credit: otrojubilo

This is one Christmas light destination you do not want to miss! From December 7 – January 1, 2012, VanDusen Botanical Garden is skillfully decorated with hundreds of thousands of lights that light up the night. With a sophisticated timed-display, “Dancing Lights on Livingstone Lake”, themed-areas, such as Candy Cane Lane, Gingerbread Wood, as well as jolly Christmas Gnomes and carollers – you’ll be sure to get into the spirit of the season! And, enjoy fresh-made sweet and savoury waffles, soups, apple cider and gourmet hot chocolate. The display will be open from 4:30-9pm, but is closed on Christmas Day>> More info & tickets

 Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge, North Vancouver

Photo Credit: rmarescu

Capilano Suspension Bridge is lit up every December to resemble something you might see in a fairytale world. Event organizers tout that the “zillion sparkling lights adorning the Bridge, Rainforest AND Cliffwalk…(ensure) the holidays are merry and bright. From December 1, 2012 – January 5, 2013, guests will be treated to the ultimate seasonal sensory celebration, including gingerbread cookie decorating, seasonal music from the Holiday Band, glass ornament blowing with Malcolm Macfadyen, and, of course, the splendor of magical twinkling lights throughout the park.” >> More info & tickets

Bright Nights at Stanley Park, Vancouver

If you’re looking to see over 2 million Christmas lights (and, the disco-dancing reindeer from the video above!), then this is the place for you! Take a ride on the train, and watch animated displays, paired with your favourite holiday songs. And, be sure to enjoy some warm cocoa,  fresh popcorn, and roasted nuts. Partial proceeds from the sale of Bright Nights tickets go to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. Open November 29, 2012 – January 1, 2013, closed Christmas Day, see website for hours>> More info & tickets

Bear Creek Park Christmas Train, Surrey

Photo Credit: Bear Creek Park Train

Lastly, take a ride on the Bear Creek Park train through an elaborate Christmas forest display, and a Golden Tunnel Reindeer exhibit from December 8 – January 24, 2012, 10am-4:15pm. Meet and greet with Santa, who will be taking up residences in this Winter Wonderland from December 8-24th, and get a “Christmas kit” for the youngsters, which includes wearable “reindeer antlers”, a puzzle, stickers, and Christmas treats. >> More info (please note that our blog reflects updated changes to dates/times not currently on their website)

Santa Parade of Lights & Lighted Truck Parade, Surrey

Big trucks & parade floats will be moving at “light speed” (well, not exactly), adorned by thousands of twinkling bulbs on Sunday, December 2nd, 2012. An annual favourite, the Santa Parade of Lights starts at 5pm, and makes its way from the Cloverdale Fairgrounds parking lot to Cloverdale Town Centre (click for parade route details).

Then, the fun starts again with the Lighted Truck Parade, which makes its way from Cloverdale at 5:45pm, along Number 10 Highway to King George Boulevard, before heading north on King George to Old Yale Road. The parade is expected to pass the Newton viewing area between 6:10-6:20pm and arrive at Holland Park by 6:40pm. There, you can vote for your favourite lighted truck, listen to live music, get your face-painted, and enjoy hot dogs & hot chocolate! >> More info

Where is your favourite place to look at Christmas lights?