Family Fun Things to Do during Christmas- Winter Break in Victoria

WINTER BREAK 2019 – 2020

Here’s a list of fun activities to enjoy as a family during the winter break from December 20, 2019 – January 5, 2020.

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Holiday Getaways in BC

I. Kids Activities

Wonder Sunday

Wonder always and question often. Bring the whole family and join us every Sunday for exploration, excitement and family fun. Geared towards kids ages 5-11. Details

Sundays, December 22, 29, 2019 & January 5, 2020 | 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street, Victoria

Free with admission or membership

Holiday Themed Events

Christmas Events in Victoria

  • Festival of Trees – See the Bay Centre transformed into a lush forest of hand-decorated trees. November 20, 2019 – January 6, 2020 @ The Bay Centre
  • Winspear Festival of Trees from November 26, 2019 to January 5, 2020 @ Mary Winspear Centre
  • Christmas Lights Across Canada light display from December 5, 2019 – January 7, 2020 @ Parliament Buildings
  • Christmas at Merridale – Take an enchanting walk through our courtyard light-up, with thousands of twinkling lights, decorations, and displays. November 23 – December 28, 2019 @ Merridale Cidery & Distillery
  • Christmas Tree Village on December 2, 2019 – January 3, 2020 @ Esquimalt Recreation Centre & Archie Browning Sports Centre
  • Lights of Wonder – Greater Victoria’s largest, FREE outdoor light display. December 13 – 30, 2019 | 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM @ Centennial Square
  • Gingerbread Showcase 2019 – Home chefs, professional bakers, artists, designers and more show off their talent, skill and imagination at this magical family event held at The Parkside Hotel & Spa. November 16, 2019 – January 5, 2019 | 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Christmas in Old Town on November 22, 2019 to January 9, 2020 | 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM @ Royal BC Museum
  • Family Christmas at the Farm on Sunday, December 1. 15, 22 & 29, 2019 | 5:00 PM @ Merridale Cidery & Distillery
  • Christmas at Butchart Gardens on December 1, 2019 – January 6, 2020
  • The Christmas Express on December 18-23, 2019 | 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM @ BC Forest Discovery Centre
  • Father Christmas in Old Town on December 20-22, 2019 | 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM @ Royal BC Museum
  • Christmas at Craigdarroch on Through the Christmas season
  • Skate with Santa on Sunday, December 22, 2019 | 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM @ Oak Bay Recreation Centre
  • Helmcken House Old-Fashioned Christmas on December 22, 24, 26-31, 2019 | 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM @ Royal BC Museum
  • Christmas at Point Ellice House on December 1 – 22, 2019 | 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
  • and more…

A Very Merry Potter Marathon

Just in time for the Holidays, the Victoria Film Festival presents A Very Merry Potter Marathon at The Vic Theatre! Watch your favourite Harry Potter films on the big screen and experience the magic of Hogwarts in the Vic lobby, complete with games, prizes, butter beer, and snacks! Details

Saturday – Sunday, December 21-22, 28-29, 2019 | 4:00 PM & 7:15 PM

The Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas Street, Victoria

Marathon Pass: $70 – $110; Single tickets: $10 – $15

It’s Hoo Ville at the Raptors

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Details

December 19 to January 5, 2020

The Raptors 1877 Herd Road
Duncan

Regular Admission/Donation

Hanukkah Public Menorah Lighting

You are invited to join Congregation Emanu-El Synagogue for a joyous Hanukkah Lighting.

The musical headliner will be the ever popular Victoria High Rhythm and Blues Band. And, of course, sufganiyot (traditional doughnuts) will be served up to enhance the holiday spirit! Details

Sunday, December 22, 2019 | 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM

Centennial Square, Victoria

Free

Holiday Happenings

Play a game! Be a Biologist! Create a craft! Enjoy a presentation! All of this and more on offer during the school holidays. Details

December 21 – 23, 27 – 30, 2019 | Drop-in 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, 9811 Seaport Place, Sidney

Regular Admission

Becoming BC Tour

Join our friendly and informative guides and embark on a special sixty-minute tour in the museum’s Becoming BC galleries. Details

January 2 – 3, 2020 | 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street, Victoria

Tours are free with same-day admission or membership

Holiday Hours

Victoria Butterfly Gardens:

Daily | 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM (Explore until 4 PM)
December 25 | Closed

Victoria Bug Zoo:
Monday – Friday | 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday | 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Point Ellice House Museum & Gardens:

Saturday – Sunday | 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Closed December 23, 2019 to February 14, 2020

The Raptors:

November 1 – January 6 | Thursday – Sunday | 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea:

Daily | 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM (last entry 4 PM)
December 24 – 26 & January 1 | Closed

Royal BC Museum:

Regular hours | 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
December 26 – 30 | 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
December 25 & January 1 | Closed

Butchart Gardens:

December 1 – 24 | 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
December 25 | 1:00 PM – 9:00 PM
December 26 – January 6 | 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Skating Rinks

II. Live Music

Christmas Concerts/Holiday Music

Christmas Events in Victoria

  • Handel’s Messiah on December 20 & 22, 2019 @ The Farquhar at UVic
  • Canadian Brass on Saturday, December 21, 2019 | 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM @ The Farquhar at UVic
  • Daniel Lapp’s Home for Christmas Concert on December 20 – 21, 2019 @ Alix Goolden Performance Hall
  • Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 22, 2019 | 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM @ Christ Church Cathedral
  • Buddy’s Holly Jolly Christmas on Sunday, December 22, 2019 | 7:00 PM @ Platinum Room at Elements Casino Victoria
  • Christmas with Maureen Washington on December 21 – 22, 2019 | 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM @ Hermann’s Jazz Club Inc
  • El Mundo: Christmas in Colonial Latin America on Saturday, December 21, 2019 | 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM @ St. Andrew’s Cathedral
  • Olivier Messiaen’s “La Nativité du Seigneur” on Sunday, December 29, 2019 | 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM @ Christ Church Cathedral

Viva Latin America

Celebrate the end of the year at “Viva Latin America!”, an event created to keep alive the musical legacy of these beautiful countries. Pablo Cardenas and his special guests will be interpreting music from the best Latin American composers. This is a night to enjoy the fusion of this music with Latin Jazz, as well as the most energetic rhythms if you also feel like dancing. Details

Friday, December 27, 2019 | 7:30 – 11:00 PM

Hermann’s Jazz Club, 753 View Street, Victoria

General $25 or $15 Students; Reserve

Attila Fias Trio – The Exhilarating Sounds of Brazil

Come and join platinum-selling Toronto pianist/composer Attila Fias as he returns to Victoria and presents the captivating music of Brazil. Details

Saturday, December 28, 2019 | 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM

Hermann’s Jazz Club, 753 View Street, Victoria, BC

$25 / $15 students

A Potpourri of Song for the New Year

Singers Ingrid Attrot, Sarah Fryer, Benjamin Butterfield, and Gary Relyea will join Toronto-based pianists Stephen Ralls and Bruce Ubukata to perform a mix of art songs of special significance to them, followed by Johannes Brahm’s Liebeslieder Waltzes Op. 52 for vocal quartet and piano duet. Details

Saturday, January 4, 2020 | 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Wentworth Villa, 1156 Fort Street, Victoria

$25 – $40

Bach and Buxtehude

A star is born! Victoria native Chloe Kim, a student at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, is already an emerging star in the firmament of early music. She returns home with a programme of masterpieces by J.S. Bach and his mentor Dietrerich Buxtehude. Details

Saturday, January 4, 2020 | 8:00 PM

Chapel of The New Jersulalem, 911 Quadra Street at Rockland Avenue, Victoria

$30

Heart Strings Refugees for Refugees Benefit Concert

Sari Alesh and his band + Guitar Trio are Syrian refugees recently settled in Victoria BC offering an afternoon of music to support a newly sponsored single mom family of six. The proceeds from the concert will support both the family and the musicians.

The musicians will perform a unique combination of oriental and western music on string instruments. Details

Sunday, January 5, 2020 | 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Phillip T. Young Recital Hall, University of Victoria Campus, 3800 Finnerty Road, Victoria

$20 – $100

Luminescence

Join us on a magical journey through light and beauty, with songs to celebrate the magic and glimmer of winter. Victoria’s premier women’s choir brings light into the darkness this Christmas season with Luminescence. Details

Sunday, January 5, 2020 | 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM

St Mary’s, 1973 Cultra Avenue, Saanichton

Advance $25; Door $30; Students $15; Under 13 Free

III. Live Theatre for the Whole Family

Miracle on 34th Street

This is the Christmas story that we all want to believe in! Kris Kringle, a retired old man, is hired as Macy’s Santa in New York, and begins to spread Christmas cheer by directing parents to other stores, where they can find the exact special gift on their child’s Christmas list. As he threatens their commercialization of Christmas, those in charge try to have Kris committed. The stakes are raised with a court competency hearing, and the risk of one little girl’s belief in Santa. When the court confirms Kris the true Santa, both children and adults alike experience the delight of childhood fantasy. Ages 8+. Details

November 15 – December 29, 2019

Chemainus Theatre, 9737 Chemainus Rd, Chemainus

$26 – $66

Every Brilliant Thing

She writes lists. Lists that she hopes will inspire her mother to see the joy in life. She’s been writing these lists since she was seven. A heartrending and hopeful play about the lengths we go to for those we love. In a transformed Belfry – with the help of you, the audience – she will deliver a list of all the things that make life worth living, starting with ice cream. Details

December 3 – 22, 2019

Belfry Theatre, 1291 Gladstone Avenue, Victoria

$35

A Christmas Carol

Actor Jason Stevens returns with his hit one-man rendition of this classic tale of ghosts, regret, love, and Christmas redemption. Dickens himself toured Europe and North America delivering staged readings of this famous tale. Jason channels the Dickensian spirit within the historic walls of Craigdarroch Castle and brings the world of Victorian England to life. Details

December 17 – 23, 2019 | 6:00 PM & 8:00 PM

Craigdarroch Castle, 1050 Joan Crescent, Victoria
Performances are in the dance hall on the 4th floor. There are 87 stairs and no elevators.

$20

Grinched – The Panto

A Pantomime based off the characters by Dr. Seuss. Traditional fun for all ages, filled with humour, music and audience participation. Details

December 20, 21 & 27 , 2019 | 7:30 PM
December 22, 26 & 28, 2019 | 2:00 PM

Mary Winspear Centre, 2243 Beacon Avenue,
Sidney

Adults $18.90, Senior/Student $16.80

The Gift with the Victoria Symphony

Ballet Victoria’s holiday tradition – the same theme but always very different. Accompanied by the Victoria Symphony and Tchaikovsky’s timeless score, this modern take on The Nutcracker follows Clara on a reimagined Christmas classic journey filled with wonderful new characters. From Harlequin dolls to dragons and fairies, a few mice and a Nutcracker ballerina, it’s an amazing holiday performance for the whole family.Details

December 27 – 29, 2019

Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street, Victoria

Adult $30 – $82, Child $16 – $40.50, Military $18.25 – $63.50, Senior/Student $23.50 – $67.25

Radio, Mistletoe, & My Man Godfrey

Launch Pad Theatre Company is back with their fun-for-the- whole-family adaptation of a comedy classic, wrapped in a Christmas cracker! Details

December 28 – 31, 2019

Intrepid Theatre Club, 2-1609 Blanshard St, Victoria

$18

Charlotte’s Web: The Musical

Down on the Zuckerman Farm, Wilbur, an irresistible young pig is determined to avoid the butcher. With the help of his friends (especially the magnificent spider, Charlotte) Wilbur is not only safe, but learns that true friends live in our hearts forever. A beloved family favourite returns for the Holiday Season. The classic story of friendship, based on the book by E.B. White, will warm hearts young and old as it charms its way on stage with lively music, loveable characters, and a pinch of Kaleidoscope magic. Details

December 28 – 29, 2019

McPherson Playhouse, 3 Centennial Square, Victoria

$25.00 for Adults/$21.00 for Children 16 and under

Classics at the Castle Movie Series

In partnership with local breweries Craigdarroch will be hosting another round of ‘Classics at the Castle’. Grab a pint, eat some holiday treats and watch some of holiday cinema’s best. Details

Gremlins | Friday, December 27, 2019 | 6:00 PM
Little Women | Saturday, December 28, 2019 | 6:00 PM

Craigdarroch Castle, 1050 Joan Crescent, Victoria

Tickets are $11 for the public ($10 for members) and include a gingerbread cookie from a local bakery

IV. Sports

Resolution Run and Walk

Come on out to our annual 5k Walk/Run and say goodbye to 2019 alongside your running buddies!! Details

Tuesday, December 31, 2019 | 5:30 PM

Victoria Running Room, 1234 Government St., Victoria, BC

5K Run/Walk: $65 – $70; 1K Kids Run $15

V. Other Activities

Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises

Join us for the world premiere of Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises—an extraordinary exhibition highlighting Maya civilization past and present.

Discover a powerful culture that rose in the tropical rainforests of Guatemala thousands of years ago, and learn how science and belief shaped the Maya identity from ancient times to present day. Details

May 17 – December 31, 2019

Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street, Victoria

Free with admission or membership

New Year’s Eve Events

NYE in Victoria

  • Old Music for the New Year on Wednesday, January 1, 2020 | 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM @ Christ Church Cathedral
  • New Year’s Day Levée on Wednesday, January 1, 2020 | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM @ Victoria City Hall
  • New Year’s Day Levée on Wednesday, January 1, 2020 | 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM @ BC Government House
  • Battle New Years Eve on Tuesday, December 31, 2019 | 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM @ Nowhere A Restaurant
  • Early Shift: Reign in the New Year on Tuesday, December 31, 2019 | 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM @ Royal BC Museum

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