Time flies, and I still remembered writing about Vancouver Christmas Market last year, and it was so much fun. I revisited the German-themed Christmas Market this year again, and it is their 10th anniversary. From now until December 24, you can also enjoy with friends and family in this outdoor festive market. As usual, I am going to give some tips and advice, as well as recommendations and what to expect for this year’s Christmas market.
Tip #1: Save on the Admission!
Though regular admission is not expensive, it adds up, especially if you have a big group of friends or family. You can go on the following days to get discounts and benefits on the admission!
Deluxe Date Nights take place on the Wednesdays of November 27, December 4, and December 11. Starting at 5pm, guests can get 2-for-1 admission at the gate, 2-for-1 hot, non-alcoholic beverages, and 2-for-1 carousel rides.
Kids Day happens on Sunday, December 1. Both carousel rides and admission for children ages 12 and under is by donation to Children’s Wish Foundation. All ages are also encouraged to make a donation to take a photo with Holly & Jolly, the Gingerbread Mascots, fairy tale princesses, and of course the Santa Clause.
$10 Tuesdays is a new promotion to celebrate the 10th anniversary. Every Tuesday between November 26 through December 17 will feature admission to the market for just $10, which is a saving up to $5 per person.
If you can’t make it these days, I still recommend purchasing your tickets online to save an extra few bucks and prevent any lineups at the gate. If you are looking to come back for a few more visits, you should upgrade your ticket to a season’s pass for just $1 extra.
Tip #2: Dress Warm (duh!)
It is an outdoor market, with a possibility of snow in the upcoming weeks. Make sure to wear your scarf, a thick jacket, and gloves to keep warm. There is a fireplace at the Alpine Lounge, where you can relax and indulge in a cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine.
Tip #3: Bring Cash!
If you are looking to get a bite or shop at Vancouver Christmas Market, I recommend having some cash on hand, in case if there are any vendors that only accept cash. ATM is also available at door, but I would rather save the transaction fee to get another glass of mulled wine.
My tips might be quite basic for some of you, but these tips probably apply to any outdoor markets in the winter! Saving at the door means more FUNds at the market.
What to Eat?
Vancouver Christmas Market is one of the few markets that offer a wide selection of festive foods and drinks. They are often quick bites or small plates that you can carry around while exploring the market. Here are my recommendations for food this year:
Two Sweet Elves is a new vendor at the market, serving two delicious holiday treats from Netherland. I really enjoy the Poffertjes, which are mini puffed pancakes,. It comes with three toppings of your choice, including Nutella and fruits.
It is my first time trying Chimney Cakes from Transylvanian Chimney Cakes, and it is surprisingly delicious. It is a traditional treat from Hungary. I tried the one covered with walnut, and the texture is soft, almost like a bread texture with a good outer crust. It can get quite filling, so I recommend sharing it with a friend or two.
Candy Meister features candies from Germany. The wide selection of colorful candies is all-natural, gluten, dairy, and corn syrup-free. I happened to try the Peppermint Chocolate Pockets, and they taste as good as they look. Slightly melted chocolate oozes out when the outer shell is melted, and the sweetness always goes well with the mint!
Though the market is filled with mostly sweet treats, you shouldn’t miss Das Gulasch Haus. It is a comfort food from Austria, and they serve homemade beef or veggie stew in a bread bowl. The stew is made with tenderly braised BC beef, while the vegan gulasch is made with carrots and potatoes. I really love the Beef Gulasch, and it is very heartwarming, especially in the cold weather.
Another savory food that I highly recommend is the Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup with Wild Rice from West Coast Wild Foods. It includes varieties of mushrooms, such as chanterelle, morel, porcini, etc. They also sell merchandise, where you can then make your own mushroom soup at home.
It is nice to see Bon Macaron Patisserie in this year’s market, and they are bringing three seasonal flavors and designs to the market. Go check them out to see what they are. Otherwise, they also carry a wide selection of flavors in the market, and my favorite flavors are the Pistachio and Spiced Apple.
What to Buy?
While munching on your food, you can explore around to see some vendors that you may not see normally. Here are some vendors that you should go check out:
Kenziecardo is a local handmade greeting card company that specializes in clever wording and playful designs. There is a wide selection of hand-drawn cards for every occasion.
Alma Knitwear offers luxury knitwear for both adults and kids, using premium quality materials and with sophisticated design. I immediately fell in love with their products. From pom hats, scarfs, to ear warmers, they have varieties of styles. They also offer international shipping from their website.
If you are looking for simple home decors, you should go check out Provence en Couleur. I am interested in their Natural Wood cutlery collection, but also got attracted by the lavender scent in the stall. They also sell lavender sachets and soaps, which are an excellent option for stocking stuffers.
Honeybee Centre features pure honey, infused honey spreads, as well as beeswax candles. The beeswax candles are beautifully carved, with different designs and shapes. Though they are small, they can burn for 4 hours. You can enjoy the honey in different flavors, such as wildflower, blueberry, and buckwheat, etc.
One more Thing that Worth to Mention
Make sure to keep an eye out for an amazing chore, The Gingerbread Men, standing on the Christmas Pyramid. Mark your calendar if you want to listen/watch them sing. They will be at the Vancouver Christmas Market on December 15 & 22 at 12:30 pm and December 23 at 7:30 pm.
Though Vancouver Christmas Market might look the same every year, it is a classic activity during Christmas for all Vancouverites. I thought I won’t miss it after last year, but this year I saw new vendors in the market and had so much fun. I recommend getting the 10th-anniversary cup this year. If you want, you can even buy the ones from previous years. I hope this guide helps you to start off your adventure in the market, but more importantly, HAVE FUN!