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Vancouver Christmas Market: Vancouver's Leading Old World Christmas Celebration

The holiday season in Vancouver, British Columbia, is filled with fun seasonal activities and holiday events. In fact there are so many options you’ll have a tough time deciding between them. One event that has been separating itself from the rest of the pack is the Vancouver Christmas Market.  Entering its sixth year of celebrating the holidays, the Vancouver Christmas Market is a one-of-a-kind Christmas extravaganza. The market has the unique theme of a German christkindlmarkt (traditional christmas market that highlights community involvement). The German theme gives the market a old world feel while embracing traditional and current holiday traditions.


Inside the market you’ll find yourself steeped in Christmas gifts, music, food, decoration and activities for all ages. The market itself has items for everyone. Whether you’re looking for clothes made from alpaca wool or hand crafted wood toys, they have you covered. This is a great location to bring the entire family. Kids will get the opportunity to meet Santa, go on a scavenger hunt, build ornaments, go on rides, and even decorate their own gingerbread cookies. All the fun and shopping will likely work up an appetite. The market features everything from traditional German cuisine to more modern festival favorites. This is a fun and friendly environment to meet new people and enjoy the holiday season. No matter your reason for attending, the Vancouver Christmas Market is a can’t miss holiday experience. interviewed Cynthia MacNeil, the Marketing Manager of the Vancouver Christmas Market, about the event.


RAL: Tell me about the Vancouver Christmas Market.

CM: The Vancouver Christmas Market is in its sixth year and is Vancouver’s only European-style Christmas market. It takes place in the heart of downtown Vancouver at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza and features over 50 vendors with food, crafts, and gifts from all over the world. It is the perfect holiday experience for families, couples, or friends looking to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season.


RAL: How many people annually attend and who are they demographically?

CM: The Vancouver Christmas Market welcomes tens of thousands of visitors every year, with family-friendly activities, delicious food and a terrific atmosphere.  It’s really a great experience for everyone, regardless of your age! There are activities for children, families, and couples alike. We have our famous Christmas Carousel and our gingerbread house decoration booth for kids, a romantic atmosphere featuring twinkling lights and a mistletoe arch for couples, and everything in between. With delicious food and gorgeous gifts for purchase there is something for everyone at the Vancouver Christmas Market.


RAL: What makes the Vancouver Christmas Market Unique?

CM: Although there are many exciting Christmas-themed events throughout Vancouver, we feel that several different factors make the Vancouver Christmas Market unique. We are the only traditional European-style Christmas Market in Western Canada.  We transport you across the water without a plane ticket! Our event takes place in the heart of downtown Vancouver, making it easily accessible to anyone in the Lower Mainland. Many of our vendors offer products not available anywhere else in Canada, so the gifts you’re buying are unique and authentic.


RAL: What can attendees expect to find for activities and dining?

CM: Simply walking around the market is amazing, as the traditional wooden huts and hernhut stars (German holiday star decoration that has at least 20 points) make for a unique European feel. There are a plethora of different gifts to browse and peruse ranging from handmade food products and delicately crafted tree ornaments to special soaps and traditional woodcarvings. For children, there are numerous activities such as our Carousel, the only Christmas carousel in Downtown Vancouver. We also have beautiful musical performances and shows that capture the spirit of the holiday season.


There are over 20 different vendors offering food that caters to all sorts of tastes and dietary restrictions. Market-goers can sample an assortment of meats, soups, snacks, and desserts from across the globe, including German spaetzle dumplings, Ukrainian holubsti (cabbage rolls), Scottish shortbread, and much more. The iconic star of the Vancouver Christmas Market that everyone waits all year to try is our Glühwein, a warmed, spiced mulled wine that is the perfect beverage to have outdoors on a crisp winter day.


RAL: What can visitors expect to find for local lodging?

CM: Since the Vancouver Christmas Market is located in the heart of Downtown Vancouver, there are a wide range of different accommodations nearby. Whether it’s a hotel chain or a Mom & Pop accommodation, there will most certainly be something nearby for everyone’s travel needs. A couple locations close to the market include the Hyatt Regency Vancouver and the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown.  


RAL: What does the market mean to the community and does it support any special causes?

CM: It’s quite a meaningful event for Vancouver. It’s a venue for families to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere and to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season. Families come here to make new memories and to celebrate old traditions. In the past, the Vancouver Christmas Market has worked with SOS Children’s Charity and will continue working with them in future.


RAL: Does the market drive additional business to the local economy?

CM: Yes, both local guests and international tourists visit the Vancouver Christmas Market, which drives business to our local Vancouver economy. We have a terrific market with food options and activities for everyone, and the surrounding area is incredibly vibrant with a lot to see.  


RAL: Why should people come to the Vancouver Christmas Market?

CM: No matter what your group is (whether it’s a family, a couple, young or old) the Vancouver Christmas Market provides a complete holiday experience. With unique gifts, European flavours, and one-of-a-kind entertainment, the market is the perfect venue to make holiday memories.

For more information about the Vancouver Christmas Market, please visit their website.