Festivities around the region

Markets and museums, light displays and a holiday train. Here's a sampling of the season.

A blaze of tulips fashioned from the tops of plastic water containers lights up the night at the Festival of Lights.

Festival of Lights

If you’re willing to put up with lines and crowds, take in the Festival of Lights at Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Gardens, another seasonal favourite. Open nightly from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 9 to Jan. 2, except Dec. 25.

Vancouver Christmas Market

A 700-year tradition that debuted in 2010 – a German-style Christmas market – is back, and has just welcomed its 100,000th visitor.

The Vancouver Christmas Market aims to capture the same festive village market atmosphere that’s been a tradition for centuries in Germany.

Billed as much more than a craft fair, the Vancouver Christmas Market at the Plaza at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 650 Hamilton Street, is open to Dec. 24, offering a blend of shopping, music, and seasonal food and drink.

Stroll an outdoor Christmas village featuring rows of wooden huts selling handmade gifts and treats. Enjoy carolers, trumpeters and bells, plus thousands of Christmas lights sparkling. This year, there will be performances by dozens of choirs, folks bands and more, including Langley’s world famous Ukulele Ensemble, and legendary swing band leader, Dal Richards Big Band. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Old-style Christmas

Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum runs to Dec. 31, featuring traditional entertainment, demonstrations and hands-on activities and exhibits from the early 1900s. Musicians, entertainers, demonstrators, storytellers, community choirs and heritage crafts provide seasonal diversions throughout.

It’s open to Jan. 1 from noon to 8 p.m. (Closed Dec. 24 and 25).

Located at 6501 Deer Lake Ave., Burnaby.

Seasonal viewing

The Knowledge Network presents A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Friday, Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 24 at 10:30 p.m. It’s Christmas Eve and the anticipation of the next day will not allow young Thomas to sleep. Stirred by his grandson’s enthusiasm, old Geraint relates his touching memories of a Christmas gone by. Based on the classic Dylan Thomas poem.

That’s followed by A Tudor Feast at Christmas, Sunday, Dec. 25 at 6 p.m. A remarkable project is about to take place. Without the use of modern conveniences, a group of historians and archaeologists will prepare a Tudor feast as it would have been more than 400 years ago. Rediscovering a way of life from an age gone by, they wear period costumes, source food from the land and use recipes from the era.

Holiday Train

Christmas at the Bear Creek Park Train runs to Jan. 1, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ride on the train through the Christmas forest display and Santa’s Golden Reindeer tunnel exhibit.

Located in the centre of Bear Creek Park, 13750 88 Avenue, King George Blvd., Surrey. Call 604-501-1232 for details or visit www.bctrains.com/Christmas.htm.

– Cloverdale Reporter

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