Top 12 things to do for Christmas in Burnaby

Get ready, because the holiday season is kicking off next weekend with the Edmonds Festival of Lights and the launch of Heritage Christmas

If you’re all set to have a holly jolly Christmas, this one’s for you. And come to think of it, if you’re nowhere near ready to start rockin’ around the Christmas tree, it’s still for you.

Because, either way, December is beckoning, and it’s time to round up those must-do holiday happenings in Burnaby. Whether your taste runs to classical music or craft fairs, there’s bound to be something in this list to help put the sparkle in your season.

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1. KICK OFF THE SEASON AT THE EDMONDS FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

Edmonds Festival of Lights
The Edmonds Festival of Lights always kicks off the holiday season in Burnaby, and it's back on Nov. 23. - NOW files

The annual celebration will take place at Edmonds Community Centre (7433 Edmonds St.) on Saturday, Nov. 23 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Enjoy entertainment, kids’ activities, food and visits with Santa, and stay for the lighting of the huge tree. It’s free and open to all ages. See www.burnaby.ca for details.

 

 

2. STEP BACK IN TIME FOR HERITAGE CHRISTMAS

Burnaby Village Museum is once again lighting up and decorating for the season, and everyone’s invited to a stroll through the 1920s-era village to enjoy the free fun from Saturday, Nov. 23 to Friday, Jan. 3 (closed Dec. 24 and 25). The fun includes carollers, live entertainment, theatre performances (including Forte Theatre’s new production, A Home for Jo-Jo, at Brookfield Hall), kids’ crafts and the popular 12 Days of Christmas Scavenger Hunt. Gate admission is free, and carousel rides are $2.65 each.

The celebrations officially launch on Saturday, Nov. 30 with Bright in Burnaby festivities, from 5 to 9 p.m. – including a tree lighting ceremony and refreshments.

See www.burnabyvillagemuseum.ca for all the details.

 

3. TAKE IN SOME CRAFT FAIRS

Avoid the retail rat-race and make your way to some of the city’s holiday craft fairs.

Deer Lake Craft Festival
The Deer Lake Craft Festival has an abundance of offerings for holiday shoppers. It returns Nov. 22 to 24. - NOW files

Shadbolt Centre for the Arts plays host to the annual Deer Lake Craft Festival, presented by the Burnaby Arts Council and the City of Burnaby from Friday, Nov. 22 to Sunday, Nov. 24. It features more than 60 artisans, plus non-stop entertainment, a kids’ workshop, face painting, family activities, tree decorating contest and the Park’s Edge Paint-Off on Friday evening (6 to 8 p.m.). It’s on Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. See www.burnabyartscouncil.org.

St. Thomas More Collegiate is also hosting its popular Knights Christmas Market on Saturday, Nov. 23 and Sunday, Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the school, 7450 12th Ave. You can browse works from more than 100 artisans, and there are also raffles, baked goods, a used book sale, entertainment, kids’ activities and more. Entrance is free.

The Burnaby Gogos are hosting their seventh annual holiday craft market on Sunday, Nov. 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Deer Lake United Church, 5135 Sperling Ave. There will be all kinds of handmade gifts – kitchen items, linens, jewelry, totes and bags, children’s wear and more – plus greenery for decorating and a bake sale.

 

4. COUNT THE BIRDS

Christmas Bird Count for Kids, Burnaby Lake
The Christmas Bird Count for Kids returns to Burnaby Lake on Dec. 1. - NOW files

The Burnaby Lake Park Association is holding its annual Christmas Bird Count for Kids on Sunday, Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to noon, for those aged eight to 14. Metro Vancouver Park interpreters will instruct the youngsters on proper binocular use, how to use a field guide and how to report their findings during the winter bird count. It’s free, but you need to register your young participant in advance by calling 604-432-6359 or online at metrovancouver.org (barcode 7860).

Afterwards, the whole family can drop in to the Nature House for the park association’s annual holiday open house, including guided winter walks, crafts, cookie decorating, hot drinks and more. It’s free and open to all ages. It runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 1 at the Nature House (4519 Piper Ave.). See www.burnabylakepark.ca for all the details.

 

5. ENJOY CHRISTMAS WITH THE HORSES

The Burnaby Horsemen’s Association is holding its popular annual open house on Sunday, Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It’s the 18th year for the free, family-friendly event, which includes crafts, barn tours, drill team demonstrations, pony rides and more. (Note that the pony rides are very popular and book up early, so register in the arena upon arrival.) It’s all at the Burnaby Equestrian Centre, 9080 Avalon Ave. For info, check out the event listing on Facebook (search for 2019 Christmas With the Horses).

 

6. HEAD TO THE HEIGHTS

Light Up the Heights
Santa strolls Hastings Street during a past Light Up the Heights event. This year's new festive event, Deck the Heights, runs Dec. 7 to 20. - NOW files

The Heights Merchants Association is celebrating the season with a new festive event, Deck the Heights, running from Dec. 7 to 20. Participating businesses in Burnaby Heights will be competing for prizes for the favourite window display, and the whole thing will kick off on Saturday, Dec. 7 from noon to 5:30 p.m., when Santa Claus will roam the neighbourhood to get the fun started. Carolling and other community activities will happen during the festivities – check out www.burnabyheights.com for all the latest info.

 

7. ENJOY A TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS WITH THE VSO

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is once again on tour with its Traditional Christmas concert, and it’s coming to Burnaby’s Michael J. Fox Theatre (7373 MacPherson Ave.) on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature host Christopher Gaze and the EnChor choir, directed by Morna Edmundson. For information and tickets, see www.vancouversymphony.ca.

 

8. EXPERIENCE A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS

The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts is hosting Tales of A Charlie Brown Christmas on Wednesday, Dec. 11 and Thursday, Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. in the James Cowan Theatre (6450 Deer Lake Ave.).

The performances features Jerry Granelli, the drummer from the Vince Guaraldi Trio, telling the story of how a three-hour recording session in 1965 created a timeless Christmas classic – and how it almost didn’t happen. Granelli will have his own trio onstage to bring the familiar music to life.
Tickets are $15 for youth (18 and under) and $36 regular. Buy through tickets.shadboltcentre.com or 604-205-3000.

 

9. ENJOY A CHORAL CHRISTMAS

Choral music lovers have some delightful choices in Burnaby this season.

amabilis Singers
The Amabilis Singers return to New West Christian Reformed Church for Night of Wonder, Dec. 13 and 14. - contributed, files

The Vancouver Thunderbirds bring their barbershop stylings to the James Cowan Theatre at Shadbolt Centre for the Arts (6450 Deer Lake Ave.) on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. with ’Tis the Season. Buy tickets through tickets.shadboltcentre.com.

Amabilis Singers present Night of Wonder on Friday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m. at New Westminster Christian Reformed Church, 8255 13th Ave., Burnaby. Tickets are $25 for adults and seniors, $15 for high school students and free for children 12 and under. Tickets are available online through www.eventbrite.ca or by calling 604-897-7258. See www.amabilissingers.org for information.

Also on Friday, Dec. 13 you can catch acclaimed vocal ensemble musica intima presenting their Sing Lullaby concert Brentwood Presbyterian Church, 1600 Delta Ave. It’s at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 adults, $30 seniors and $15 for students. Info and tickets: www.musicaintima.org.

On Saturday, Dec. 14 you can hear the Coastal Sound Youth Choir in Betting Warmth Against the Cold, a 7:30 p.m. concert at New Westminster Christian Reformed Church, 8255 13th Ave. Tickets are $20 regular, $15 students and seniors and $10 for children 12 and under, in advance (or $23/$28/$15 at the door). See www.coastalsoundmusic.com for details and tickets.

 

10. ENJOY CHRISMTAS WITH SINATRA

Fans of Ol’ Blue Eyes will enjoy this night out at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts (6450 Deer Lake Ave.) on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. The show stars Dane Warren, backed by the 20-piece Bruce James Orchestra, in an elegant evening of music featuring classic Frank Sinatra hits and holiday storytelling. Buy tickets through tickets.shadboltcentre.com.

 

11. ENJOY A NIKKEI CHRISTMAS

The Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre is holding its Breakfast With Santa on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Enjoy pancakes, sausages and fruit, visit with Santa and get your own goody bag. It costs $10 for adults, $8 for children three to 12, and $3 for toddlers. Get your tickets ahead at the reception desk or call 604-777-7000.

That same day, Nikkei Centre is holding its annual Christmas Boutique in the lobby, featuring works by high-quality Japanese-inspired craftspeople and Japanese-Canadian artisans. Admission is free.

The centre is at 6688 Southoaks Cres. See www.nikkeiplace.org.

 

12. GET ACTIVE AT CITY REC CENTRES

holiday skating, arena, Burnaby
Families can once again take to the ice for some festive skates during the holiday season. - NOW files

The city’s parks and recreation department is getting into the holiday spirit with a number of special festivities – including Breakfast With Santa at the Charles Rummel Centre on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Winter Fun at Willingdon Centre on Thursday, Dec. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m.; Swim with Santa at Eileen Dailly Leisure Pool on Saturday, Dec. 21 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.; and the Ugly Sweater Christmas Toonie Skate at Bill Copeland Sports Centre on Saturday, Dec. 21 from 12:30 to 3 p.m.

After Christmas, there’s a New Year’s Eve Toonie Skate at Kensington on Monday, Dec. 31 from 1 to 4 p.m., and a Polar Bear Toonie Skate at Bill Copeland on Wednesday, Jan. 1 from 2 to 5 p.m.

See https://www.burnaby.ca/Things-To-Do/Festivals-and-Events/Holiday-Fun.html for all the details.

 

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