Making Magic without Snowmen – Christmas on the Coast

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It’s that time of year again! Trees are up, neighborhoods are lit, and excitement is in the air. What Vancouver Island lacks in snowmen, it makes up for in magic, and little is more magical than BC Forest Discovery Centre’s Christmas Express. Visitors can hop on the Christmas Express steam train and enjoy the ride through a track of festive lights, decorations, and displays that will bring joy to the young and the young at heart.

For those who have fond memories of snuggling up in the back seat and gazing out at all the lit up houses as mom or dad steered up and down neighborhood streets, the Ladysmith Festival of Lights will certainly stir up feelings of nostalgia.  A dazzling display of thousands of twinkling Christmas lights will be on display from November 29th to January 10th, so grab a hot cocoa and take a drive down memory lane.

For a truly unique Christmas experience, head out to Deep Bay Marina for Deck the Docks on December 8th, and take a ride on a man-made island surrounded by twinkling Christmas lights and boats decked out for the holidays. Passengers can stay warm by a large bonfire while a choir fills the night with carols. That’s not all; passengers can also enjoy complimentary hot dogs and cocoa while the gentle rocking of the island and the sweet sound of carolers inspires feelings of holiday bliss.

Because one Holiday Express isn’t quite enough, Christmas enthusiasts can head to Port Alberni on December 8th or 9th to take a ride on the Santa Train, courtesy of McClean Mill Historic Park. Passengers will be accompanied by Santa and his helpers, so don’t miss it!

The month of December is always jam-packed with activities, events, and errands, but it’s important to take some time to enjoy the moment, and what better place to enjoy some down time than the Village Theatre in Qualicum Beach? From December 13th to the 30th, ECHO Players presents Peter Pan – the classic tale of one cheeky boy who escapes to Neverland to evade impeding adulthood. We all know the story, but it’s just as enjoyable the thirtieth time as it is the first time.

The holidays are the perfect time to build fond family memories, and this year Morningstar Farms wants to help. Head to the farm on December 15th for Christmas on the Farm and enjoy a truly “farm-style” holiday with wagon rides, live music, Christmas story-telling, children’s crafts and activities, a poutine food truck, wine and cheese samples and pairings, mulled wine, popcorn, marshmallow roasting, hot cocoa, and quality time with all of Morningstar’s farm animals! Wine and cheese over the holidays – is there anything better?

The holidays are what we make them; preparing for the arrival of guests or trudging through twenty-six stores to cross off every item on every Christmas list is stressful, so it’s easy to forget what the holidays are truly about. Take the time to spend with loved ones; don’t worry about spilled cocoa. Take the time to enjoy the little things – the beautiful lights, decorating the tree with the little ones, making gingerbread houses – not as a chore but as time deliciously spent – and don’t worry if the turkey is a little dry….that’s what gravy is for.

If you want to getaway for the holidays, look no further than our fully-equipped accommodations in Parksville. Reserve your stay today!