2012 Christmas Festivals and Santa Visits in the Tri-Cities

Santa Coquitlam Port Moody

The Tri-Cities is about to be lit up in celebration of the holiday season.  Bundle up and grab a hot chocolate as you enjoy the many lighting festivals and Santa appearances throughout the community.  Christmas carols, treats, laughter, sparkly lights and crafts (yes, even I decorated my own cookie!) got me into the spirit of the season the last time I attended the Suter Brook Christmas event.  If you need a little pick me up, or need to get your last minute wish list into Santa make sure to check out these jolly, fun events!

November 17-December 24 – Santaland at Coquitlam Centre – Ho-ho-ho…Stop by and see Santa Claus and his elves at Coquitlam Centre. Any parent can tell you he’s one of the best mall Santas in the Lower Mainland, and his set is second-to-none. But be prepared for a line, since he’s incredibly popular. If you’re looking for the traditional holiday photo of your little ones (whether picture perfect or with a toddler in mid-howl), this is the place to get it. Beginning on November 26, 2012 Santa will be offering extended hours.
Monday to Friday: 11:00am – 8:00pm, Saturday: 10:00am – 8:00pm, Sunday: 11:00am – 6:00pm
Location: Coquitlam Centre, 2929 Barnet Highway, Coquitlam
More info: 604.464.1414

November 25 – Light the Hall (2:00-5:00pm) – Celebrate the holiday season at this free, family event where City Hall and Spirit Square will be lit up for the festive season ahead.  There is something for everyone to enjoy including crafts, entertainment, free family photos, shopping at the Christmas Market and complimentary hot chocolate and cookies.  Santa is sure to make an appearance.  The event will be held rain or shine.  If the weather permits, the event will be held outdoors at Spirit Square and Buchanan Square or indoors within the festive surroundings of City Hall.  Underground parking will be available.
Location:  3003 Burlington Drive, Coquitlam
More info:  604.927.3000

December 1 – Christmas in Leigh Square (11:00am-6:00pm) – Port Coquitlam kicks off the Christmas Season with this yearly, free event that includes shopping at their Winter Artisans Fair, crafts, entertainment, hot chocolate and treats and lighting ceremony (at the Bandshell at 4:30pm).  This is a rain or snow event and donations will be accepted for Share’s Christmas toy and food drive.
Location:  Leigh Square Community Arts Village, 2253 Leigh Square, Port Coquitlam
More info:  604.927.7935

December 1 – Brighten Up! – A Lantern Affair (4:30-7:30pm) – Place des Arts, Mackin House and Fraser Mills Station Museum are brightening up the dark days of autumn with a seasonal celebration of arts and heritage! Gather up family and friends and enjoy a variety of activities taking place at Carré Heritage Square throughout November and December. A Lantern Affair is a free annual multi-cultural celebration of light (formerly Light up the Square). Hear the Dickens classic like never before with A Christmas Carol Live on Air featuring Place des Arts Next Stage acting students and guest professional actor Simon Webb. Drop in on arts and crafts workshops; make your own lantern for the ceremony; have a visit with Santa; enjoy live music and song; partake in heritage baking and cookie decorating and more. Let’s celebrate the things that make us unique but together form a cultural mosaic! Free admission.
Location:  1120 Brunette Avenue Coquitlam, BC (map)
More info: 604.664.1636

December 2 – 2nd Annual Jingle Bell Jog (starting at 8:30am) – there are sure to be some Santas running about to help support SHARE Family and Community Services’ annual event.  Come walk or run the 5km course around LaFarge Lake and back, or their Reindeer Runners 1km course for the kids. Bring your food and toy donations to help SHARE provide over 1,700 Tri-city families and children with Christmas Hampers and toys. There will be food and entertainment provided for all.  Registration required in advance.
Location:  Coquitlam Centre, 2929 Barnet Highway, Coquitlam
More info:  info@jinglebelljog.ca

December 5 – Family Christmas Special (6:45-7:15pm) – Celebrate the season with a night of festive, family fun.  Enjoy stories, sing carols and help decorate the library Christmas tree.  Seasonal goodies will be served.
Location:  Terry Fox Library, 2470 Mary Hill Road,
 Port Coquitlam  More info:  604.927.7999

December 6:  Suter Brook Christmas Event (6:00-9:00pm) – Join the Suter Brook Merchants as they provide crafts, treats and fun activities at this free, family-friendly event.  There will a Horse & Carriage ride around the village, a photo booth set up to take a souvenir shot with your family, entertainment, lighting of the Christmas Tree and Santa might stop by too!  Most of the village streets will be blocked off for the event with only limited underground parking available so alternative parking or walking to the event if you live nearby is encouraged.
Location:  Suter Brook Village, Capilano Road, Port Moody  More info: www.facebook.com/Suterbrook

December 6 – Christmas Luncheon (11:15am-1:30pm) – Who says that Santa is only for kids?  Join the jolly, red guy along with over 200 business people at this annual Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce event that will include a silent auction, photos with Santa, door prizes, a photo booth, and more!  Unfortunately, this event is sold out but you can call the Chamber office at 604.464.2716 to be added to a waitlist.  For those with tickets, enjoy!
Location:  Westwood Golf & Country Club, 3251 Plateau Boulevard, Coquitlam  More info:  604.464.2716

December 8 – Breakfast with Santa (9:00-11:00am) – Why not join Santa for a little breakfast, entertainment, crafts, face painting and a sing-along at Port Coquitlam’s Recreation Complex.  Cost:  $8 per person (0-3 years free)
Location:  2150 Wilson Avenue, Port Coquitlam  More info:  604.927.7970

December 16 – Christmas: Pajama Morning with Santa (8:30-11:00am) – Join Santa for a pancake breakfast in your pajamas!  This family-friendly event will be held at the Poirier Community Centre and will also include music and crafts.  All family members attending must register in advance.
Location:  640 Poirier Street, Coquitlam  More info:  604.927.4386

December 16 – Skate with Santa (12:45-4:00pm) – Get into the festive spirit and grab some skates for some winter fun at the Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex.  Don’t forget your camera to snap a photo with Santa!
Location:  2150 Wilson Avenue, Port Coquitlam  More info:  604.927.7970

December 18 – 2012 CP Holiday Train (train arrives at 9:05pm) – How lucky we are to be on the CP Holiday Train route!  This annual event is presented by Canadian Pacific to raise money and awareness about hunger issues in Canada and the USA.  The last stop the Holiday Train will make this season is right here in Port Moody.  The Holiday Train has 14 brightly decorated rail cars, including a modified box car that has been turned into a traveling stage for performers.  Entertainers include Doc Walker, Miss Emily, and the Brothers Dube.
Location:  300 Ioco Road, Port Moody (behind the arena and Recreation Centre)
More info:  604.469.4500 or go to CP Rail Holiday Train on Facebook

Do you know of a Christmas lighting event or Santa visit in your community that you would like to share with our readers?  Add the details in a comment below and thanks for sharing!

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  1. Don’t forget the Port Moody Library’s Celebrate the Season event! It’ been moved to Thursday, December 20th, 6:30 – 7:30 pm at the Port Moody Inlet Theatre (same building as the library). Singalong carols, xmas stories on the big screen, and a visit from Santa at the end with hot chocolate and cookies. It’s free, lots of parking in the recreation centre lot, and it’s perfect for even the littlest ones.