• Menu
  • Menu

Victoria In December 2024: Things to Do + Events & Festivals

While it’s a charming and picturesque destination year-round, December in Victoria is an especially magical time to visit.

With festive events, holiday decorations, and winter activities, there is no shortage of things to do in Victoria in December.

Let’s take a look at some December activities in this handy guide.

Visiting Victoria in December

In December, Victoria experiences mild and wet weather – making it a bit more difficult to visit Victoria’s top attractions.

The average temperature ranges from 3°C to 7°C, which makes Victoria winter activities a better bet than anything outdoors.

It’s recommended to bring an umbrella and dress in layers to stay comfortable in the changing conditions.

Despite the rain, the city’s festive atmosphere and holiday events make it an enchanting time for a Victoria weekend itinerary.

Consider visiting indoor attractions such as museums and galleries to balance outdoor activities amidst the weather in Victoria in December.

Top Things to Do in Victoria in December


Visit the Butchart Gardens

In winter in Victoria, Butchart Gardens transforms into a serene, frost-touched wonderland.

The vibrant floral displays of spring and summer give way to evergreens and delicate winter blooms. The gardens are quieter, offering a peaceful atmosphere.

If you’re visiting Victoria at Christmas you’ll notice festive decorations and lighting adding to the seasonal charm.

Did you know that Butchart Gardens welcomes over a million visitors annually?


Coming from Vancity with no car? Check out my Vancouver to Butchart Gardens tour packages page.

the festive lighting at the bc legislature showing off the the victoria bc christmas spirit.
Instagram: @bclegislature

Experience the Magic of Christmas at the Parliament Buildings

  • Experience the magic of Christmas at the Parliament Buildings by attending the annual Christmas light-up event.
  • Marvel at the stunning light displays and decorations adorning the historic architecture.
  • Partake in festive activities such as caroling, sipping hot cocoa, and listening to storytelling.
  • Embrace the enchanting ambiance accompanied by live music and performances.
  • Don’t miss the ceremonial lighting of the Christmas tree, a captivating tradition.

⛴️ Coming from Vancouver with no car? Check out the best Vancouver to Victoria Tours

sunset horse carriage tour of victoria bc with the salish sea in background

Take a Festive Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

Taking festive horse-drawn carriage rides in Victoria is a timeless way to experience the holiday charm of the city.

  • Find a reputable company offering festive horse-drawn carriage rides in Victoria.
  • Check the availability and book your ride in advance, especially during peak holiday seasons.
  • Dress warmly and embrace the festive ambiance during the carriage ride.
  • Enjoy the scenic views of Victoria while listening to the rhythmic sound of horse hooves.

Explore the Festive Markets

Experience the true essence of the festive markets in Victoria by embracing the local culture and supporting small businesses while enjoying the holiday spirit.

Here, you’ll:

  • Discover local artisan crafts and unique gifts at the festive markets.
  • Savor seasonal treats and delicacies while strolling through the market stalls.
  • Immerse yourself in the holiday cheer by enjoying live performances and entertainment at the markets.

The best Victoria December market? For me it’s the Bastion Square Holiday Market (every weekend in December).

Enjoy a Festive Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea at the Empress in Victoria, Canada, is a quintessential experience featuring elegant tea service with a selection of fine teas, gourmet pastries, and sandwiches, served in the hotel’s opulent, historic setting.

During a December visit to Victoria, I took my friends to this delightful festive afternoon tea overlooking the picturesque Inner Harbour – it was a winner!

The charming ambiance, delectable treats, and cheerful holiday decorations made it a truly enjoyable and heartwarming experience.

Take a Holiday Lights Tour

Taking city tours of Victoria is a great way to discover the city – especially when it’s decorated for the season.

  • Research holiday lights tours in Victoria to find the best options.
  • Book tickets or make reservations in advance for popular holiday lights tours.
  • Dress warmly and comfortably for the holiday lights tour.
  • Bring a camera to capture the beautiful holiday light displays.
  • Follow all safety guidelines and instructions during the holiday lights tour.

Attend a Christmas Concert or Show

  • Check local event listings for Christmas concerts and shows happening in Victoria.
  • Book tickets in advance for popular Christmas performances to secure your spot.
  • Dress warmly for the event, considering the weather in Victoria in December.
  • Arrive early to find parking and to get the best seats for the Christmas concert or show.
  • Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere and enjoy the delightful Christmas music and performances at a Christmas concert or show.

Go Ice Skating at the Outdoor Rink

I love heading out to Langford and taking a winter Victoria skate at City Centre Park – this is one of the best things to do with kids in Victoria.

  • Make sure to dress warmly in layers to stay comfortable while enjoying your ice skating experience.
  • Before heading to the rink, be sure to check the operating hours and any admission requirements.
  • You can either bring your own skates or inquire about rentals at the rink.
  • Be sure to follow any posted safety guidelines and rules while skating.

Unfortunately, the skating rink at Butchart Gardens is no longer operative.

Visit the Festive Displays at the Royal BC Museum

  • Check the website of the Royal BC Museum for information on display details and operating hours.
  • Purchase tickets in advance to avoid long lines during the festive season.
  • Explore the diverse festive exhibits, including historical displays and themed decorations.
  • Engage with the knowledgeable museum staff for insights into the significance of the festive displays.
  • Capture memorable moments with your loved ones amidst the festive ambiance.

Where to Stay in Victoria in December

As the holiday season approaches, Victoria, BC becomes a charming winter wonderland with plenty of festive activities to enjoy.

But where should you stay to make the most of your December visit?

In this section, we will explore the top three areas to stay in Victoria during this time of year: downtown Victoria for a bustling city vibe, the Inner Harbour for picturesque waterfront views, and James Bay for a cozy and historic neighborhood feel.

Each area offers its own unique experience, so let’s dive in and discover the best place for you to call home during your December trip to Victoria.

a couple walks through fan tan alley in victoria, BC

Downtown Victoria

  • Explore the historic attractions of Downtown Victoria, including the Royal BC Museum and Legislative Buildings.
  • Visit popular landmarks such as Inner Harbour and Chinatown.
  • Experience the vibrant local culture at Market Square and Trounce Alley.
  • Enjoy shopping and dining at renowned establishments like The Bay Centre and Bastion Square.

Downtown Victoria, historically known as Fort Victoria, was established in 1843 as a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post.

Over time, it has evolved into a bustling district featuring a diverse array of cultural, commercial, and entertainment offerings.

A photo of Victoria's Fisherman's Wharf

Inner Harbour

  • Stroll along the scenic harbor walkway of the Inner Harbour.
  • Visit the array of shops and restaurants in the Inner Harbour area.
  • Take a harbour ferry tour to admire the city from the water in the Inner Harbour.
  • Participate in outdoor activities like kayaking or paddleboarding in the Inner Harbour.

When visiting the Inner Harbour, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, savor local seafood, and capture stunning sunset views for a memorable experience.

James Bay

James Bay, a charming neighborhood in Victoria, offers a quaint maritime feel.

Enjoy strolls along the Dallas Road waterfront, visit Fisherman’s Wharf for unique houseboats, and explore the historic landmarks like the Parliament Buildings. Experience the holiday cheer with festive markets and concerts.

Additionally, indulge in cozy accommodations and seaside dining options.

Fact: James Bay is known for its historical significance as the oldest residential neighborhood on the West Coast of North America!

Tips for Visiting Victoria in December

December in Victoria is a magical time of year, with festive decorations, holiday events, and cozy winter activities to enjoy.

However, visiting during this busy season requires some preparation and planning.

In this section, we will share some helpful tips for making the most of your December trip to Victoria.

Dress Warmly

  • LAYER UP: Make sure to dress warmly by wearing thermal innerwear, a sweater or fleece, and a waterproof, insulated coat.
  • COVER UP: Don’t forget to protect yourself from the cold by wearing a warm hat, gloves, scarf, and waterproof, sturdy boots.
  • ACCESSORIZE: Stay extra warm and cozy by bringing hand warmers, a thermos with a hot beverage, and a blanket for outdoor activities.

Plan Ahead for Popular Activities

By planning ahead for popular activities in Victoria, such as Butchart Gardens, Christmas markets, and festive afternoon tea, you can ensure a delightful and memorable experience during your December visit.

Some things to keep in mind while planning your trip include:

  • Research popular activities and attractions in Victoria during December, such as Butchart Gardens, Christmas markets, and festive afternoon tea.
  • Check for any reservation requirements or ticket availability for events, concerts, or shows.
  • Consider the weather conditions and plan outdoor activities accordingly, like ice skating or holiday lights tour.

Embrace the Festive Spirit

  • Embrace the festive spirit by engaging in activities like visiting holiday markets and attending Christmas concerts.
  • Participate in seasonal traditions such as enjoying a festive afternoon tea or taking a holiday lights tour.
  • Immerse yourself in the joyous atmosphere by exploring the festive displays at the Royal BC Museum and experiencing the magic of Christmas at the Parliament Buildings.

Once, while embracing the festive spirit in Victoria, I stumbled upon a charming Christmas market where locals and tourists mingled, sharing stories and laughter amidst the twinkling lights and holiday music.

????‍????‍????‍????Visiting the Garden City as a family? Check out our article on the top things to do in Victoria with kids.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some popular activities and events in Victoria during December?

Some popular activities and events in Victoria during December include the Festival of Trees, the Light Up Ceremony, and the Twelve Days of Christmas Display. Other festive events include the Holiday Tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel and the Night Parade.

Are there any special activities in Victoria during December?

Yes, there are often holiday characters such as Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus roaming the streets during the festive season. There are also horse-drawn carriage rides, arts and crafts shows, and holiday markets where you can find unique gifts and souvenirs.

What are some must-try restaurants in Victoria for a holiday meal?

Murchie’s Tea & Coffee and Rogers Chocolates are iconic shops that offer warm beverages and seasonal treats. For a more decadent meal, try the Fairmont Empress Hotel or Rook and Rose. There are also plenty of other restaurants and cafes to choose from for a cozy winter meal.

Are there any events or activities specifically for New Year’s Eve in Victoria?

Yes, there are often New Year’s Eve celebrations in Victoria, although they may not be as grand as those in New York or London. Some popular options include the New Year’s Eve Fireworks at the Inner Harbour and the NYE Gala at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Be sure to book now as these events tend to sell out quickly.

What is the weather like in Victoria during December?

The weather in Victoria during December is usually mild with occasional snowfall. The average high is 7 C and the low is 1 C. However, heavy snowfalls can cause issues in the city due to the lack of equipment to deal with it. It is recommended to pack accordingly with warm clothing and appropriate footwear.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights