The holiday season is an interesting time of year. While on the one hand we have decadent treats, cheerful tunes, and general holiday cheer; on the other we find endless shopping, mounting bills, and a bewildering urgency to attend as many events as possible. This year I decided to forego the agony of packing my calendar, opting for a few choice activities to satisfy my Christmas needs. First stop, Canyon Lights.

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What to Expect

On entering the park you will find yourself in wonderful land of twinkling lights. Most visitors will veer off to the left straight away, following a historical tour of the park that ends under the embrace of the world’s largest living Christmas tree. Take a moment to skirt behind this 152 foot tree and get your first glimpse of the sparking main attraction.

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While many guests dally on the east side of the park, I tend to beeline it for the 450 foot suspension bridge, making my wobbly way across to some of my favourite spots in the park. Note: for those fearful of heights, it’s actually less scary at night time. While you can hear the rushing waters of the Capilano River (some 230 feet below), there’s nothing much to see if you happen to look down!

Once on the west side, check out the majestic light display on the lake off to left before heading up to Treetops Adventure. Hanging out on a network of suspended bridges is fun enough during the daytime, but at night you have the added bonus of a fantastic view of Canyon Lights – just make sure to watch your footing, and take your time.

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After roaming around the forest, I like to head over to the newest addition to the park – the Cliffwalk. This activity leads you across a series of suspended walkways jutting out from the cliff face. It provides breathtaking views of the Suspension Bridge and gives you an up close and personal look at the park’s natural vegetation and erosion.

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At the end of the Cliffwalk you’ll find yourself on a path leading down to a large white tent. Treat yourself to some hot chocolate and a snack while warming up from the cold outdoors. This area is also great for kids, providing opportunities for craft making and running amok.

I like to end my visit in the Trading Post. Having worked at the park many years ago, I already know where everything is and have no need for the knick knacks – I head straight to the sweets corner for my favourite treat; maple walnut fudge!

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Insider Tips

  1. Resist the urge to take a photo on the bridge. No matter what you do it will be blurry. Save your selfie for the other side (the bridge looks prettier from farther away anyways!).
  2.  Wear sensible shoes (i.e. no high heels), particularly if it’s rainy or icy out. You are in a forest after all.
  3.  Make sure to ask for a fudge sample in the Trading Post. ‘Nuff said.

Price Tag

Adult ………………………………………… $32.95

Senior 65+ ………………………………….. $30.95

Student 17+ with ID ………………………. $27.95

Youth 13 – 16 ………………………………. $21.95

Child 6 – 12 ………………………………… $12.00

Under 6 ……………………………………… Free

Family Pass ………………………………… $69.00

BC Residents Adult Annual Pass ………………. $32.95 (this gets you free entrance for a year, a discount for friends, and 10% off food and gifts)

Note: the main attractions at the park are not wheelchair accessible. Visitors arriving in a wheelchair receive free admittance to the park.

Hours

November 29 – January 3, 11AM – 9PM (lights go on at 4PM)

Getting There

By Car:

From downtown Vancouver through Stanley Park over Lions Gate Bridge and north 1.6 kilometres on Capilano Road.

From the Trans-Canada Highway heading west, take the Capilano Road exit (#14) and travel north 0.8 kilometres

From Lower Lonsdale head west on 3rd street until you reach Fell Avenue. Take a right and head north, turning slightly left as Fell transforms in to Edgemont Blvd. Turn left on to Capilano Road and your destination will be on the right (parking on the left, $5 for your visit).

By Transit:

From Lonsdale Quay take the #236 bus to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

If you’re coming from Vancouver check out the Canyon Lights free shuttle service.

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