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Your Family’s Ultimate 2019 Fraser Valley Christmas Bucketlist by Kristyl Clark

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which is probably why it always seems to go by so unbelievably fast.
For those wanting to soak up as much holiday cheer into their schedule without venturing far from home, look no further than your own backyard.There is no shortage of wonderful things to see and do here in the Fraser Valley for 2019 that will get your whole family in the holiday spirit.So, bundle up, grab a hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and get ready to play tourist in your own neck of the woods with these 20 Christmassy events and activities happening close to home. Ready, set, fa-la-la-la fun! 

When it comes to Christmas trees, you just can’t beat the real thing.Sure, they’re a lot more work and can become a fire hazard if left to dry out, but for many families here in ‘the Valley,’ the hunt for the perfect tree is an annual tradition.If you’re looking for a jolly good festive time with the family, bundle up, load the car and prepare to channel your inner Paul Bunyan – ‘cause this year you’re going to a tree farm!Psst…Don’t forget to check out our popular guide to popular Christmas Tree Farms in the Fraser Valley.

Things to do in the Fraser Valley for Christmas
Are you looking for something fun and festive to do with your family over winter break that won’t break the bank?If so, head on over to Cloverdale Arena, located at 6090 176 St, for the 22nd Annual Winter Ice Palace.Every December, Cloverdale Arena is transformed into an icy winter wonderland, complete with an old-fashioned pond and holiday displays.With the beautiful lights, displays, hot chocolate and festive music, it’s the perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle of the holiday madness and get into the Christmas spirit.This public event runs Dec. 20 to Jan. 5.Call the Cloverdale Arena at 604-502-6410 or visit www.surrey.ca for more info. 

For many years, Glenn Levy managed to keep his two lives – respected pharmacist and drug addict – in balance. Until June 25, 2010, when he made a wrong move and the one thing that nearly caused his death. Photographed at his home in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia By Scott Munn
Hear stories by the fire, taste a chestnut roasted over the fire, and take a guided tour. Admire the charming holiday ambiance and take family snapshots at various scenic spots on site. 
Start date: December 21, 2019
End date: December 23, 2019
Location: Fort Langley National Historic Site
Cost: Regular admission fees apply
 
4- Magic of Christmas 
On the first Saturday in December Langley City will once again host it’s annual Magic of Christmas Event featuring Breakfast with Santa, live entertainment, crafts for kids, letters to Santa, parade, tree lighting and caroling.
  • Date: Saturday, December 7th, 2019
  • Breakfast with Santa: 9:00 am to 11:00 am
  • Entertainment and Crafts: 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
  • Parade: 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
  • Tree Lighting and Caroling: 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm
5- A Timeless Classic 
There’s no need to head downtown to see the production of The Nutcracker – the holiday tradition will come alive to theatres across the Fraser Valley this holiday season. Presented by the Royal City Youth Ballet, now in its 31st season, this timeless classic delights all ages with its beautiful sets and extravagant costumes that illuminate the magic of the toy soldiers, Sugar Plum Fairy, and a growing Christmas tree. Talented and enthusiastic young dancers perform to Tchaikovsky’s classic score with its favourites such as Waltz of Flowers and Dance of the Reed Pipes.Check out the Royal City Youth Ballet website for upcoming showtimes and locations near you.

6. Take Retail Refuge
Another great spot to shop til’ you drop is Art’s Nursery, over at 8940 192 St. in Port Kells.Every year in mid-November, their gift shop and courtyard is transformed into a beautiful Christmas Market complete with lights, glitter, sparkle, foliage and festive florals. Beautiful Christmas trees are decorated with stylish ornaments, traditional decor and holiday baubles while thousands of unique gift ideas adorn the shelves and displays.Be prepared to spend a good hour or two scoping out all the holiday knick-knacks, décor and eclectic gift ideas.Visit www.artsnursery.com.And of course, we can’t talk about Christmas stores without a mention of the largest Christmas store in Western Canada — Potters! For nine weeks a year, the 28,000 square foot greenhouse, located at 19158 48 Ave., is converted into a massive Christmas wonderland, complete with Santa’s workshop. The store’s line of over 60,000 themed ornaments covers everything from fishing to skiing to baseball to equestrian and then some. Visit www.potters.ca.
Bundle up your clan in toques and woolly sweaters, grab some hot chocolate climb on board the Bear Creek Park Christmas Train for an adventure through the festive forest. Santa is waiting at the station to meet and greet guests — little ones will receive a candy cane and an activity bag to take home. Toot, toot!The Christmas night train runs 6-9 pm Dec. 7–31 (closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day). Day train runs from 10 am to 4 pm. Prices: $10 per person – $35 Family rate. Closed Dec. 25-26.Visit www.bctrains.com for more information.
Leave city sidewalks and blinking stoplights behind and come to the Historic Stewart Farm for the first annual Victorian Christmas Open House on Dec. 7 from 3-7 pm. Drop by for a special evening of music, treats, and crafts. Make a lantern to take on a caroling walk in the park and snap a photo with Father Christmas. Can’t make the event? There’s more Christmas fun to be had at the farm’s Heritage Christmas weekend drop-ins.

Leave the busy city behind, and enjoy the short trip to a 73 -acre horse ranch in Maple Ridge that has been transformed into a Christmas wonderland.  Here you will be enchanted by glorious lights, beautiful trees, interactive scenes, lovely music, and delightful activities that remind us of times when Christmas was a lot simpler . . . and a lot less commercial. This event runs Nov. 30 to Dec. 30. Visit www.timberlineranch.ca for more information and to reserve your time slot.
Want to experience what Christmas is like in the wild west? This family-friendly Christmas event will have something for everyone, the live carousel, Santa rides, bumper cars, carnival games and live shows to tasty eats and more. Event runs Dec. 14 to 22.

Celebrate the official start of the month-long tree festival that runs at the Museum of Surrey Dec. 1-22. There are 25 trees decorated by local busineses in Cloverdale. Come out and vote for your favourite for a chance to win a $100 gift card.On Dec. 1 from 1:30-4:40 pm, enjoy crafts and hot chocolate throughout the whole afternoon. Santa, Mrs. Clause and their elves will also be onsite for photos from 1:30-4:30.  This is a free, family friendly, drop-in event. 
  • Allen Barnett will play holiday tuns on the accordian from 1:30 – 2pm.
  • The incredible Mayday Club Youth Choir will perform at 2:30, 2:45, 3:00 and 3:15pm.
12- Be a Maker Family! 
Create festive stocking stuffers, hand-crafted ornaments or anything else the special people in your life might enjoy at these upcoming free, family friendly drop-in sessions at Museum of Surrey (Dec 7 & 21)  from 1 – 4 pm.13- Surrey Santa Parade of Lights
Visit the Cloverdale Town Centre in Surrey on Sunday, December 1 and celebrate the arrival of Santa with a magical, evening, lighted parade.
Inspired by the most-watched commercial of all time, the 1997 Coca Cola lighted truck commercial, was partially filmed in Downtown Cloverdale.
The 13th Annual Surrey Santa Parade of Lights is organized by the Cloverdale BIA, with the help of local businesses, non-profit organizations, clubs, and many volunteers who believe in the magic of Santa.For parade route and times, visit surreysantaparade.com.

14- Chilliwack Rotary Christmas Parade 
Together with the City of Chilliwack, the Rotary clubs in Chilliwack will once again be welcoming Santa Claus back to town for the Rotary Christmas Parade on Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m. Dress warm and come early to claim a good viewing spot for your fam.
 
15- Aldergrove Christmas Light Up Parade
Aldergrove’s Christmas Light Up Parade is an annual event held at 6 pm on the second Saturday of December (Dec. 14). The parade route runs along Fraser Highway through downtown Aldergrove (see route map PDF) and includes carol singing and free hot chocolate. The Walter Levy trophy is presented to the Christmas home decorating contest winners.

16- Miracle on Church Street {A Fort Langley Christmas}
Miracle on Church Street is premiering this year as a non-profit traditional outdoor Christmas market celebrated over two weekends. All proceeds will benefit LANGLEY HOSPICELAPS, and LIFEAPP. Tickets will be offered by donation. Suggested donations are $10 per person or $25 per family. Onsite activities will include artisans, vendors, food and libations, live entertainment, crafts for the kids, a miniature reindeer petting zoo, and more! Select dates available Dec. 6 to 15.Visit EVENTBRITE.CA to purchase your tickets.
17- Christmas in the Village of Fort Langley 
This year 2019, “Christmas in the Village” will be on 13th, 14th and 15th December, 10 am – 6 pm daily. 
Traditional Christmas foods and gifts, and Christmas Music. A special Christmas Kids Zone also, and Santa and the Elves will be there
Vendors can start applying now in all categories (Limited spaces).
 
18- Christmas Craft Fairs & Holiday Markets Galore
If you’re on the hunt for unique, handmade treasures, you’re in luck. From Surrey to Chilliwack, there is no shortage Christmas Craft Fairs and Holiday Markets happening this November across the Fraser Valley.In addition to picking up one-of-a-kind gifts, you’ll be supporting the local economy — plus, many hard-working and extremely talented ‘mompreneurs’ who also hail here in ‘the Valley.’ Let’s show these talented ladies some love!Check out our recent roundup of 10 Christmas craft fairs.

 Illuminated streets, painted storefront windows, Christmas trees…
Are you ready?!  November 23rd marks Harrison’s second Lights by the Lake winter light festival! Unlike other Christmas festivals, Lights by the Lake is a Sasquatch-themed light display, sharing Harrison’s favourite ways to spend time outdoors. 
NEW this year is the synthetic outdoor skating rink!The festival runs along the Harrison Lakefront Nov. 23 to Jan 12, every day from dusk until 11 pm. 

20- Cultus Lake Christmas
Join the Cultus Lake Park Community Events and Engagement Committee for this year’s Cultus Lake Christmas. Friday (Nov. 29) and Saturday (Nov. 30)  from 5 – 8 pm at Cultus Lake Main Beach. This FREE two-day family event features:– Visit with Santa
– Christmas light display
– Artisan gift market
– Bonfire with marshmallows
– Food available for purchase
– Christmas music
– Parking by donation

And there you have it, 20 fun and festive ways here in the Fraser Valley to get into a holiday state of mind for 2019.

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