Festival of Lights @ Van Dusen Gardens (Shaugnessy)

  • December 19, 2013 · 6:30 PM
  • Van Dusen Botanical Gardens

It's that time of year again! I stepped up to organize this group six years ago (yes, time flies) for the sole reason that I wanted to go to this event, and not go alone... so the holiday season is not complete for me without a Social Butterflies trip to the Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Gardens.

It's a fabulous opportunity to get into the holiday spirit with millions of sparkling lights (literally), and delicious holiday treats and hot beverages to keep us warm as we wind our way through the winter wonderland. Before you leave, don't forget to check out the unique and fabulous shopping in the Gardens Gift Shop. I will email out my cell phone number to all "yes" RSVP's the day before the event, so you can reach me in case you have trouble finding the group.

All information below is taken from the Festival of Lights web page, and please note that you will purchase your own ticket, in advance is highly recommended. This event is also fun in snow & rain, so I plan to be there regardless of the weather.


Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden

During December, VanDusen Botanical Garden is decorated with hundreds of thousands of lights for the Festival of Lights.

Enjoy the twinkling lights and light show, take a stroll down Candy Cane Lane, hear the sweet sounds of caroling, and get in to the spirit of the season.

Available at Tickets Tonight, Admissions Desk or at the gate:

Adult (19-64)$14.25

Senior (65+)$10.50

Youth (13-18)$10.50

Child (3-12)$7.75

Children under age 3 free

Family (2 adults + children age 18 and under)$32.50

VanDusen Members$11.25

VanDusen Family Members$27.25

Prices include taxes

  • Dancing Lights on Livingstone Lake: starting at 4:30 p.m. Two different shows - one show on the half hour and a different one at the top of the hour. Two different shows repeating in sequence throughout the evening.
  • Photos with Santa and the backdrop of a million twinkling lights: Dec. 11 - 24
  • Svend and Jens, our Scandinavian Christmas Gnomes appear nightly in three performance areas
  • Mischievous Grinch and his secret hut
  • Shadow puppet performance by the talented duo Mind of a Snail
  • Community Choirs on the Performance Stage (Dec. 11 – 20)
  • VOC Sweet Soul Gospel Choir on the Performance Stage (Dec. 21)
  • The Christmas Revelers on the Performance Stage (Dec. 22 and 23)
  • Make-a-Wish Candle Grotto
  • Candy Cane Express model train
  • Make-A-Wish 'Room of Joy' featuring a Parade of Lego creations by the Vancouver Lego Club
  • Special themed areas; Gingerbread Wood, Golden Chain Walk, Candy Cane Lane
Food services
  • Dinner nightly at Shaughnessy Restaurant, reservations recommended[masked]
  • Truffles Café, casual dining in the new Visitor Centre, no reservations
  • More food details coming soon!
Frequently asked questions
  1. Allow yourself at least an hour and a half to tour the lights.  There is a Dancing Light show which takes place every half an hour beginning at 4:30pm.  Be entertained by the Scandinavian Gnomes and the shadow Puppet Show, take photos with Santa, make a wish at the “Make-A-Wish” candle grotto, see the Parade of Lego exhibit in the Make-A-Wish ‘Room of Joy’ and listen to our community choirs at 6:00pm and 7:30pm from Dec 11 to Dec 20 and featured choirs De 21 and 22.
  1. Dogs and pets are not permitted into the garden except certified guide dogs.
  1. Most paths are paved and fully accessible for wheelchairs.  The Heather garden, Black Garden and the Gingko Garden are not fully accessible.  Please note the garden does not rent or loan wheelchairs during the Festival of Lights.
  1. The washrooms are located in the Visitor Centre.  There are also two outdoor portable toilets, one on the entrance plaza before entering the Visitor Centre and the other one by the Glasshouse.
  1. While the majority of the show is outdoors, there are some indoor areas: the Visitor Centre, where you can find the Gift Shop, washrooms, Truffles Café and the Make-A-Wish Room of Joy, the Glasshouse, the Shadow Puppet performance and several heated tents situated around Livingstone Lake.

We hope you enjoy this years’ Festival of Lights!

More information about the Festival of Lights

Call the Garden Shop at VanDusen Botanical Garden for more information.


In the event of heavy snow storms or extraordinary weather, the Festival of Lights may be closed. Call the Garden Shop to confirm that the Festival of Lights is open if you are not sure.

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  • Nikki

    Wow, what a gorgeous spectacle of fantastic lights! My friend & I never did see you again Danielle & we walked all around. Couldn't get into the texting/calling thing as my phone was almost dead. Brought a charger, but the wrong attachment, lol. Brrrr, it was pretty cold, but fun & at least it wasn't raining, hope you other gals had as much fun, thx 4 organizing Danielle!

    December 19, 2013

  • Danielle B.

    To clarify: please come through the ticket lines, and we are meeting by the entrance to the actual gardens - not the entrance to the ticket lines. The actual entrance to the gardens is right next to the gift shop and that is where I am :)

    December 19, 2013

  • Katie M.

    I also am stuck tonight! So sorry i wont be able to make it, i was really looking forward to it!

    December 19, 2013

  • Winnie P.

    So sorry to cancel this evening. But i have business emergency. I really wanted to go:(

    December 19, 2013

  • Kayt

    Hate to miss this, but need to work late tonight. Have fun everyone!

    December 19, 2013

  • Liesl

    Is there anyone from the Coquitlam area that I could get a ride with?

    November 28, 2013

    • Winnie P.

      I am near Coquitlam, where do you live?

      December 18, 2013

  • Jody L.

    I am saying yes to this but I may have to work late (hopefully not!)....i'm being optimistic though because I really want to go to see the gardens!

    December 18, 2013

  • Shila_Bhimji


    It was good to see you yesterday, I enjoyed myself :0 Something has come up at work and I will not be able to make it to the Botanical Gardens.

    There has been a staff emergency (with another coworker) and her position needs coverage. I am the only one in the office who knows her position well enough (and the only one who isn't on winter holiday), therefore, by default and urgency it ended up being me.

    December 17, 2013

  • Maureen

    Sorry to miss this event, same night as Roger's arena Staff party.

    November 26, 2013

  • Julie W.

    I hear this is lovely event. Looking forward to it

    November 18, 2013

19 went

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