VanDusen Botanical Garden ready to bedazzle once again this holiday season

November 30 2018

“The festival is Vancouver’s premier and longest running holiday event and a not-to-be-missed tradition for many across the city and region,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon.

VanDusen FOL

Mark your calendars as VanDusen Festival of Lights (FOL) returns for the 34th year as Vancouver’s premier holiday lighting event.

Fifteen acres of VanDusen Botanical Garden are now decorated with more than a million lights. FOL also includes the Dancing Lights show on Livingstone Lake, licensed fireside lounge, selfies with Santa, and a beautifully lit carousel. All FOL activities are included with admission.

The event runs December 1 to January 6 (closed December 25), 4:30 to 9 pm (extended to 10 pm between December 21 and January 1).

“The festival is Vancouver’s premier and longest running holiday event and a not-to-be-missed tradition for many across the city and region,” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon.

FOL partners with Make-A-Wish Foundaton

FOL is partnering with Make-A-Wish Foundation for the 18th consecutive year. Three-and-a-half-year-old Aubrey Hirsch was selected as the honorary Make-A-Wish child to officially flick the switch and light up VanDusen Garden. The young girl was diagnosed with leukemia at 17 months old. She’s now in remission. Her wish through the Foundation was to have a carnival that she could share with her friends from the hospital. Her wish came true in October at a circus full of food, entertainers, music, balloons and face painting—a great celebration of Aubrey’s recovery.

"We’re so thrilled to be the charitable partner of the Festival of Lights for an 18th year,” said Ross Hetherington, CEO, Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon, "The money we collect here, from the generous attendees at the festival, helps us grant wishes to kids with critical illnesses, and there’s also an invaluable aspect to our partnership as well: our presence in the garden really goes a long way to teach others about the Make-A-Wish mission. It’s a great opportunity for us.”

Foundation raises money for children

Donations in the Garden’s candle grotto and sales of glow star necklaces have raised more than $475,000 for Make-A-Wish since 2001. Last year, $57,000 was raised – enough to grant the wishes of five children living with life-threatening medical conditions.

There will be live musical performances in the Visitor Centre, December 26 to January 6. A wide selection of food trucks will be on site, including Japadog, Mr. Bannock, Vancouver Soup Company, Cincity Donuts, along with Shaughnessy Restaurant and Truffles Café.

To save money and skip the lineup, buy tickets online and learn more at vandusenfestivaloflights.ca.

All FOL visitors will receive a free ticket to Holiday Heights at Bloedel, which runs December 14 to January 6 (closed December 25). Experience a winter wonderland inside Bloedel Conservatory with 150 free flying tropical birds, magical lights, holiday plant displays, festive music, photo ops, and scavenger hunt. Learn more.

VanDusen Botanical Garden, located in the heart of Vancouver, spans across 55 acres with more than 7,500 unique species and varieties of plants arranged in 50 distinct collections. The garden is jointly operated by the Vancouver Park Board and Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association.