Vancouver Christmas market
Photo Credit: Nikao Media
by Agnes Chung
It is Christmas time. Nowhere buzzes with more festivities than the Christmas markets. Experience the season’s sounds, scents, and sights, while browsing for unique gifts and savouring scrumptious treats. Family-friendly markets with unbeatable festive ambience.
Vancouver Christmas Market
Taking its inspiration from Germany’s famed Christmas markets, the city’s beloved yuletide event returns for the 9th year. The event opens daily until December 24 at Jack Poole Plaza by the Olympic cauldron. Christmas market is an advent tradition that has its origin in 14th century Germany.
Nine years ago, no venue they approached was interested to support the market concept, except the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Vancouver, who let them use the building’s small outdoor space, says founder and president Malte Kluetz of Vancouver Christmas market.
Kluetz’s tenacity paid off. The market has grown from 20 wooden huts from its humble beginning to over 80 this year. Vendors ply merchandise from delectable food and drinks, one-of-a-kind holiday gifts and décor to beauty and health products.
Pointing to the colourful spinning carousel behind him, Kluetz says the merry-go-around was specially brought in from Germany. Not-to-miss is the popular Gingerbread Men belting out Christmas tunes in acapella on the Christmas Pyramid’s ‘Flying Stage’ high above the market.
New this year is a cozy heated Alpine Lounge where visitors can relax and sip hot beverages or rest their weary feet in a warm setting. The new Winterdeck makes a perfect photo backdrop with its lovely lighted picture frame set against the North Shore Mountains. Other highlights include:
• Lovers’ Lane: a 30-foot-long tunnel beautifully adorned with 10,000 twinkling lights and mistletoe.
• Love Lock Installation – a small wall space where lovers can attach a ‘Vancouver Christmas Market Love Lock’, symbolizing their love and partnership.
• WunderBAR – an exclusive VIP experience in a gorgeous, heated wintry ambience.
You will find a dazzling display of Santa on his sleigh floating under the Olympic cauldron. More fun awaits visitors at Canada’s first-ever Walk-In Christmas Tree. Kids will enjoy the new Kinder Kraft Igloo, scavenger hunt, free arts and crafts. There’s Santa Photo Hut and Gingerbread Haus that offers cookie decorating.
No visit is complete without sampling the tasty food offerings including gulasch, spätzle, wild mushroom soup, macarons from Bon Macaron Patisserie and Di Olivia Tasting Bar genuine olive oil. Not forgetting also the hot-spiced mulled wine and cider.
A must-visit is The Woodman’s hut crammed with handcrafted toys, gorgeous ornaments and jewelry. It’s like a page out of Hans Christian Andersen’s stories. Originally from Hamburg, Germany, artisan Manfred Schauenburg says his trains are made to last. Bringing out a hammer, he slams hard on his toy train to demonstrate its durability.
The market also has a line-up of events including Childrens’ Wish Weeks in support of the Children’s Wish Foundation, Free Carousel Fridays, Shopping Day, Foodie Tuesdays, Kids Day and more.
Tickets are $12 for adults. Children age six and under are free. Info: vancouverchristmasmarket.com.