How soon is too soon to get excited about the holiday season?
Are you one of those people who can’t stand to hear Christmas music in the mall in early November, or are you the type who’s already immersed in yuletide cheer, with a holiday playlist on repeat, cosying up to Christmas movies, and contemplating the early tree setup?
We’ll confess, we’re unabashed enthusiasts of the holiday season. It’s a fleeting time of year, after all! Plus, Surrey is bustling with festive events in the coming weeks that will have you craving warm apple cider, exploring local crafts, and eagerly awaiting Santa’s judgment on your “nice or naughty” status.
For the past thirteen years, Surrey has kicked off the holiday season with the annual Surrey Tree Lighting Festival. This two-day free, family-friendly event, is filled with amazing light displays, a Holiday Market, amusement rides, and all things bright and merry. The tree will be lit at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 25, and will glow throughout the day until early January 2024.
Where else can you find a free, local, indoor Christmas Tree Festival? Bundle up the family and take a stroll through the Museum of Surrey to enjoy over 30 Christmas trees that have been beautifully decorated by Cloverdale businesses. Drop in any time during museum hours for your holiday fix and to cast your vote, and then tour the museum afterwards. The kickoff event is Saturday, November 25 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Kick off the holiday season with Christmas crafts, visits with Santa and the first look at the trees.
The beloved Surrey Santa Parade is back! Get there early and stake out a spot along the parade route, then get ready for a traditional (with a twist) Santa Parade through Cloverdale. The traditional parade has everything you love about a parade, floats, marching bands, antique vehicles and horses, but the big event is the amazing lighted Truck Parade. Inspired by the 1997 Coca-Cola lighted truck commercial, the Surrey Santa Parade is truly magical! The Surrey Santa Parade starts at 5 pm precisely at the corner of 176A St and 60th Avenue and heads east to 177B Street.
The most delicious display of the year is the Downtown Surrey BIA’s annual Gingerbread Village at Central City Shopping Centre. Breathe in the delicious and warm scent of cinnamon and nutmeg and prepare to be amazed at the talent and skill that participants bring to their festive creations. Each creation is unique, so be sure to take the time to appreciate the details and hard work that goes into creating a true gingerbread masterpiece. This year’s theme is “Tomorrow’s Surrey, Today’s Gingerbread”, and creators have been asked to create a build that represents what they want Surrey to look like 10, 20 or even 50 years from now. Over 20 gingerbread houses usually make up the display and be sure to vote for your favourites!
The Christmas mini-trains at Bear Creek Park are a magical delight. Each year, these charming trains, the Santa Express and the Christmas Night Train, are adorned with twinkling lights and ornaments. As they chug along the tracks, holiday music fills the air and riders enjoy Bear Creek Park’s enchanted forest, illuminated with colourful lights and displays. The Santa Express is a daytime-only train ride and tickets are only available on-site. Enjoy creating at the crafts table and be sure to snap a photo with Santa. Tickets for the Christmas Night Train are available online in advance and on-site. Keep an eye out for The Grinch, he’ll be wandering around select evenings spreading his version of holiday joy!
Victorian Christmas at Historic Stewart Farm
December 2, 3, 10, 16, 17 & 23 | 12:30 – 4:30pm
Escape the hustle and bustle of modern day Christmas! Drop in for a free, local Victorian Christmas experience. Each weekend will include heritage demonstrations, music, crafts and refreshments. Film buffs will want to register for an evening of films and conversations at the farmhouse on December 8. Forgotten favourites from the silent film era will be screened … there will be popcorn! And, enjoy a rare evening in the farmhouse and throughout the park on December 9. Drop in for a special evening of music, treats and crafts – make a lantern and go on a caroling walk in the park.
The Cloverdale Arena transforms into a winter wonderland for three weeks of festive skating. With the rink surrounded by lights, trees and decorations, and all your favourite Christmas songs playing, this fun family skate is sure to get you into the holiday spirit in no time.
Museum of Surrey has once again partnered with the stɑlə̓w̓ Arts & Cultural Society for the stɑlə̓w̓ Christmas Craft Market. The holiday market features hand-crafted goods from unique Indigenous and local artists and artisans. Handmade jewellery, art, natural soaps and lotions, leather, and delicious gourmet treats are just a handful of the goods for sale.
Give the gift of art this holiday season. And it’s even more special if that gift is a beautiful one-of-a-kind creation from a local artist who is part of the Surrey Art Gallery Association. The SAGA Gift Shop is a great source of inspiration for gift-giving, with items ranging from handmade silk scarves and original paintings to intricately designed jewellery, funky sculpture, well-crafted pottery, functional woodworks, homemade jams and jellies, and more.
The Christmas Store at Potters in South Surrey is the largest store of its kind in Western Canada and has the most unique selection of festive gift and decorating ideas anywhere. Open now through December 24, this is the only store in the region where you can find tens of thousands of holiday-related items – from ornaments, designer trees and collectables, to stocking stuffers, food items and much more.
Poor Jack! His father, the miller, has died and left most of his fortune to Jack’s ne’er-do-well brothers. All Jack gets is a pussycat. But what a pussycat! With Puss’s help, Jack meets and woos a beautiful princess. Her parents, the King and Queen, want a worthy husband for their daughter, so Puss helps win them over, too. But when a nasty ogre claims the princess for his own, everyone is shaken to their boots. Will Puss lead them all to victory? Even when Jack’s brothers are forced to do the ogre’s bidding? Find out at Fraser Valley Musical Theatre’s Christmas Pantomime, Puss In Boots!
Experience the magic of The Nutcracker this holiday season with Royal City Youth Ballet’s full-length ballet, featuring a cast of 100+ dedicated and enthusiastic dancers under the direction of Keitha Campeau. Performing to Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music, this traditional ballet has beautiful sets designed by Jean Claude Olivier and extravagant, colourful costumes by Chris Sinosich.
Traditional British Panto at its rambunctious best! Sparkling, magical, family fun awaits when you join our wacky cast! Come and sing along with toe-tapping music, groan at corny old jokes, cheer the good guys and boo the bad in another hilariously funny show with sparkling sets and colourful costumes. A perfect holiday treat for the whole family! Presented by the Royal Canadian Theatre Company.
Tis’ the season for choirs of Welsh Men, fa la la la la! Back for the 2023 holiday season, fans of Christmas choral music can expect these cherished seasonal singers to get the Yuletide fun started once again. A Surrey holiday tradition for more than 30 years, The Vancouver Welsh Men Choir’s shows are always filled with joy, humour, and the magic of the season.
Turn up the dial on your holiday spirit with a celebration of soul music! Join two award-winning powerhouses—vocalist, Dawn Pemberton and bassist/bandleader, Jodi Proznick and an all-star band as they bring a joyful and soulful bounce to your favourite holiday songs. Taking place at Centre Stage this show is also the perfect opportunity to check out the holiday tree in the plaza…a wonderful way to get into the spirit of the season!