Riding past homes and gawking at beautiful Christmas lights and decorations is one of my favorite holiday traditions. So when Jave and I were in Vancouver last December, we couldn’t pass up the chance to check out the Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park, an event that gives visitors the chance to view Christmas decorations in a small section of the park by foot or from the comfort of a choo-choo train.
Covering 1,001 acres, Stanley Park is a public area that’s bordered by downtown Vancouver and the Pacific Ocean. Being that it’s a quintessential part of any Vancouver visit, a stop at Stanley Park was already on our agenda. We figured that munching on snacks and sipping hot cocoa while viewing vibrant Christmas lights in an already beautiful setting would be an added bonus.
We arrived at Stanley Park about an hour or so ahead of our scheduled train departure time, so we decided to take a leisurely stroll through the park which offers views of Vancouver’s beautiful skyline and Lions Gate Bridge, a suspension bridge that connects the City of Vancouver to the North Shore municipalities.
We also passed by the Vancouver Aquarium and the First Nations totem poles.
By the time we returned to the Bright Nights Stanley Park event area, any semblance of daylight in the overcast Vancouver sky had been replaced with darkness punctuated by colorful, shimmering Christmas lights.
Once onboard our train, it moved slightly faster than a snail’s pace to give us the chance to take photos and more importantly, to take in the scenery. Chipper holiday music blared from the train’s speakers as we passed by scene after scene of different displays depicting Christmas winter wonderlands. All-in-all, our Christmas train ride lasted about twenty minutes, and then we were off for refills of hot cocoa.
Bright Nights is definitely a great annual event for families with kids and kid-free couples or singles like us looking for a lighthearted way to welcome the holiday season in beautiful Vancouver.
Know Before You Go
- A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Bright Nights tickets benefit the British Columbia Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund which assists burn survivors and their families. Over the past 14 years, the organization has successfully raised over $1.4 million.
- Tickets aren’t required to enter the Bright Nights Train Plaza where you can view the holiday lights by foot although a minimum $4 donation is suggested.
- For more event details and to purchase tickets for the Bright Nights Train, click here.