VanDusen Botanical Garden Winter Lights

Best Ways to Celebrate the Winter Holidays as a Burnaby Student

Christmas and Winter Holidays are coming and it is time to start planning what you will do over the Christmas Break. From December 25th to January 5th, Burnaby schools close and you will need to fill up your itinerary above and beyond any homework. Luckily there is no shortage of things to do in Metro Vancouver so make some time for fun.

Amaze in the Sights at the VanDusen Garden Festival of Lights

VanDusen Botanical Garden has been a top tourist attraction in Vancouver for many years and attracts thousands of visitors annually. It steps up its game in December with an awe-inspiring display of coloured lights – totalling over one million! Warm up with lunch or hot chocolate at the renowned Shaughnessy Restaurant. A trip to this 55-acre Vancouver outdoor destination is a must.

Carol Ships Make for a Festive Spectacle

Viewing the carol ships is another Vancouver must-do, and international students will not regret taking part in this beloved annual event. Decorated with twinkling colourful lights, yachts with caroling (singing) passengers onboard sail along Burrard Inlet and English Bay and can be viewed at numerous waterfront locations in Vancouver and the North Shore. A popular viewing place is Canada Place, downtown Vancouver.

Burnaby Holiday Activities Craft Fair

Photo Courtesy of Burnaby Arts Council

Take Home a Unique Piece of Vancouver

From mid-November until early December, Metro Vancouver is awash in fantastic craft fairs – the perfect place for Christmas shopping. You may find a treasure to take home at the end of your studies at Burnaby. Popular craft fairs include the Deer Lake Craft Festival and Circle Craft Fair in Downtown Vancouver. The brilliant Christmas at Hycroft event hosted by the University Women’s Club on McRae Avenue offers a double dose of festive cheer. Enjoy perusing the crafts for sale on display, and also take the time to explore the exquisite rooms of this famous Edwardian mansion in one of Vancouver’s most exclusive heritage neighbourhoods: Shaughnessy.

Take a Trip to the Burnaby Village Museum for Seasonal Fun

Heritage Christmas at the Burnaby Village Museum is a convenient way to get into the holiday spirit. View spectacular light displays, take in the restored heritage tram car, the “Interurban 1223”, and enjoy live music, local choirs, and sing-alongs.

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Get in Line…and Save your Money for the Boxing Day Sales!

The winter holidays would not be complete without shopping for bargains. In Canada, we have a holiday called Boxing Day – the day after Christmas – December 26th. On this day stores throughout Metro Vancouver – including Metrotown – slash prices, and shoppers can find some amazing bargains. Save your money and try to resist shopping for any large items until the biggest day in the savvy shopper’s calendar! Be prepared to line up early. You know what they say about the early bird…it’s equally applicable to both shrewd shoppers AND studiers.

Whatever you decide to do over the Christmas break, make sure you don’t just stay home. Get out and enjoy Metro Vancouver’s most festive time of year!

Why study in Burnaby?

With superior academic programs and modern facilities, all located within a city of vibrant green spaces, modern shopping malls, safe residential neighbourhoods, and state of the art public transit, choosing an education in Burnaby is the right choice.


Burnaby School District has one of the largest Advanced Placement (AP) programs in Canada.


Burnaby is located in the centre of Metro Vancouver. Its world-class SkyTrain public transit provides access to downtown Vancouver in just 30 minutes.


Burnaby schools feature modern facilities and state of the art technology.

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