Last Updated on October 25, 2023

Boasting the most moderate climate of all Canadian cities, Victoria, B.C. is a great destination to not only escape the snow, but also celebrate the joy of the holidays. Surrounded by water and full of adventure, any time of year is a good time to visit this charming city, but there’s nothing like being there during the magical season.

Here are some not-to-be-missed ways to get into the spirit of the season in this one-of-a-kind land.

Spend a Day at the Stunning Buchart Gardens

The magnificent Buchart Gardens delight year-round and during the holidays, visitors can take a festive stroll along pathways festooned with traditional garlands, view the illumination of thousands of lights, and enjoy the Twelve Days of Christmas displays throughout, complete with hot cocoa and carolers, of course.

Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C. lit up for holidays.
Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C. lit up for holidays. Photo provided by Rebekah Cherniss NJF PR.

Explore the Lights and Markets of Downtown

Enchanting lights and festive displays all add to the magic in downtown Victoria, including the Parliament Building, which is adorned with thousands of lights that beautifully outline the classic architecture of the building every year.

You’ll definitely want to check out the Festival of Trees at the Bay Centre – a collection of 100 one-of-a-kind decorated trees that raise funds for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Your friends and loved ones will enjoy receiving a special gift of art from one of the many holiday markets happening across Victoria from November 15 to December 2. And to boot, you’ll feel good about supporting local artisans.  

Magic at Victoria Hotels – Fairmont Empress

Known as Canada’s Castle on the Coast, the historic and glorious Fairmont Empress offers a curated selection of winter festivities paired with incredible holiday decor.

On the Veranda, guests can enjoy festive hot beverages, treats and make s’mores around the fire overlooking the harbour. Q Bar will be showcasing a specially curated holiday menu along with holiday cocktails throughout the winter season, as well as a four-course Christmas Day dinner at Q Restaurant.

In the Lobby Lounge, guests can sip and savor at a holiday afternoon tea complete with seasonal offerings, classic desserts, and carolers.

Fun on the water with Prince of Whales facing Empress Hotel in Victoria, B.C.
Fun on the water with Prince of Whales facing Empress Hotel in Victoria, B.C. Photo courtesy Rebekah Chernish NJF PR.

Magic at Victoria Hotels – Oak Bay Beach Hotel

When you book a holiday stay at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, you’ll not only experience a gorgeous retreat on the water, but also a full spread of holiday offerings.

Families won’t want to miss breakfast with Santa, complete with cookies and on-site photo printing, or holiday movie nights, filled with pizza, popcorn, and classic family-friendly movies.

In addition, the property will also offer Christmas Day brunch and two options for Christmas Day dinner in the Snug Pub or The Dining Room. Lastly, ring in the new year with a champagne dinner, complete with five courses paired with a special glass of bubbly.

Magic at Victoria Hotels – The Parkside Hotel & Spa

Be immersed in an enchanting world at the Parkside Hotel & Spa for the property’s newest extraordinary holiday tradition. In support of Rainbow Kitchen, the hotel will be hosting a magical holiday experience for guests and community members to join in the season of giving.

Visitors will step into the holiday halls, lavishly decked with festive lighting and décor, and be transported to a journey of nostalgia with a miniature model Christmas train and village while indulging in a candy cane and a cup of hot chocolate.

Guests will also have the opportunity to give from their hearts with convenient tap-to-donate stations throughout the experience, as well as bring a keepsake home with a Christmas ‘Believe’ bell ornament available for purchase, further supporting Rainbow Kitchen’s programs.

Rainbow Kitchen is a hub for food security programming in Victoria, providing free hot meals and facilitating food sharing to anyone in need.