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a picture of the parliament buildings in victoria in february.

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

Victoria in February is a time when the city reveals its quieter, more introspective side, making it ideal for travellers seeking a different kind of winter escape.

From the majestic Parliament Buildings to the tranquil Butchart Gardens, this charming harbour city becomes yours to explore away from the summer crowds.

As you reach the end of our guide, you’ll understand why February in Victoria, BC, offers a serene ambiance that is a must-experience for any avid traveller.

Victoria in February

Think Victoria is just a summer destination? Think again! February in Victoria offers a unique blend of serene beauty and lively cultural experiences that are often overlooked. The mild weather and low tourist season make it the perfect time to explore this beautiful harbour city.

While most travellers flock to ski slopes and tropical beaches, Victoria offers a refreshing alternative with its colonial charm, vibrant arts scene, and stunning natural beauty.

With these top things to do and helpful tips, you can have a memorable and enjoyable trip to Victoria in February.

⛴️ Coming in from Vancouver? Check out our guide on getting to Victoria from Vancouver before you jump on the boat.


What Can You Do in Victoria, BC, in February?

In February, Victoria offers a variety of activities and events. Here are some ideas on what to do in Victoria in February:

  • Enjoy the Victoria Film Festival, showcasing a selection of international and domestic films.
  • Explore the Inner Harbour and visit the Royal BC Museum.
  • Take a trip out to the vaunted Butchart Gardens
  • Attend the Victoria Lunar New Year Parade.
  • Experience the city’s diverse culinary scene during Dine Around & Stay in Town.

Victoria February Events & Festivals

February in Victoria offers a variety of exciting events and festivals to attend. From film screenings to cultural celebrations, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

This section will highlight three must-see events in February: the Victoria Film Festival, the Lunar New Year celebrations, and Victoria Dine Out. Each of these events offers a unique experience and a chance to immerse oneself in the vibrant culture of Victoria.

a screening at the victoria film festival in victoria in february.
Instagram: @victoriafilmfest

Victoria Film Festival

The Victoria Film Festival returns for its 30th itineration in 2024 from February 2-11. You can attend screenings at theatres and venues throughout the city that feature a diverse array of films from across the globe.

  1. Check the official VFF website for a schedule of the films on offer.
  2. Purchase tickets for your event of choice. Most individual screenings cost $13.33, with multi-film packages also available.
  3. Consider purchasing a membership (just $2) for increased access and admission to exclusive events.

a traditional dragon dance during a lunar new year celebration in victoria's chinatown

Victoria Lunar New Year Parade

The Lunar New Year Parade in historic Chinatown Victoria is a vibrant and colourful celebration that marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year, an event of great significance in many Asian cultures.

This annual event takes place on February 18th, 2024, and is a highlight in Victoria’s cultural calendar. The parade attracts locals and tourists alike to the oldest Chinatown in Canada.

  • Enjoy traditional lion and dragon dances, which symbolize driving away evil spirits and bringing good fortune during Lunar New Year celebrations.
  • Participate in the exchange of red envelopes containing money, a common practice during this time as it signifies good luck and wards off evil.
  • Indulge in a variety of festive foods, such as dumplings, fish, and rice balls, which are believed to bring prosperity and abundance during the Lunar New Year.

a dish at little jumbo in victoria, bc.
Instagram: @littlejumbobc

Victoria Dine Around & Stay in Town

The Victoria Dine Around and Stay in Town festival was designed to promote Victoria’s best restaurants and the leading Victoria hotels during the winter low season.

The event returns for its 20th season in 2024 from January 26th – February 11th, featuring prix-fixe menus between $25-$65 at the city’s top eateries.

  • Check the official Dine Around website for the dates and a complete list of participating restaurants.
  • Click through to the restaurant sites for a peek at their special Dine Around menus.
  • Pick your desired location and make a reservation to book your table.

Related: The Best Breakfast Restaurants in Victoria


Indoor Activities in Victoria in February

I’ve waxed lyrical about Victoria’s (relatively) mild February weather. But the winter chill still lingers in Victoria in February. This makes it the perfect time to explore the city’s indoor attractions.

In this section, we’ll highlight some of the must-visit spots that offer a warm and cozy respite from the cold.

From the fascinating exhibits at the Royal BC Museum to the grandeur of Craigdarroch Castle to a tropical reprieve at Butterfly Gardens, there’s plenty to discover and enjoy in Victoria during February. So, let’s dive in and discover the top indoor activities to add to your itinerary.

the royal bc museum in victoria, bc.

Visit the Royal BC Museum

Visiting the Royal BC Museum in Victoria during February offers a unique and enriching experience for any traveller or local enthusiast. This period is an ideal time to explore one of BC’s foremost cultural treasures without the summer crowds, allowing for a more intimate and leisurely exploration of its exhibits.

  • Plan your visit to the Royal BC Museum to explore interactive exhibits and gain insights into the natural and human history of British Columbia.
  • Check the museum’s website for current exhibits and events, such as special showcases or workshops.
  • Consider purchasing tickets in advance to avoid long lines, especially during peak visiting hours.

Related: The Best Museums in Victoria

Check out Craigdarroch Castle

Craigdarroch Castle is a must-visit Victorian-era heritage site that offers guided tours to showcase its opulent architecture and original furnishings. Visitors can delve into the rich history of the Dunsmuir family, headed by the wealthy coal baron Robert Dunsmuir, who constructed the facility in 1890.

  • Explore the stunning gardens and admire panoramic views of Victoria from the castle’s tower.
  • Take in the exquisite stained glass windows, intricate woodwork and fabulous Victorian-era furnishings of the facility’s interior.
  • Partake in a guided tour Monday through Wednesday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

In for the weekend? Check out our Victoria 2-day weekend itinerary to maximize your time.


Enjoy a Tropical Escape to Victoria Butterfly Gardens

Visiting the Victoria Butterfly Gardens during the February low season offers a delightful escape from the winter chill, transporting visitors into a vibrant, tropical paradise that’s both educational and enchanting for all ages. You’ll immediately be enveloped in the warm, humid environment of a lush, indoor tropical rainforest that starkly contrasts with the cool February weather outside.

  • Learn about the butterfly’s lifecycle by marvelling at thousands of animals from 70 distinct species in their natural tropical environment.
  • Wander through the temperature-controlled tropical rainforest to encounter iguanas, tortoises, flamingoes, and assorted tropical birds, parrots, and macaws.
  • Soak in the tranquil setting filled with exotic plants and ponds filled with tropical fish.

Did you know? Victoria Butterfly Gardens is situated in Brentwood Bay, a short drive from Butchart Gardens. This makes a quick visit a great option for families already visiting Victoria’s most popular attraction.


Outdoor Activities in Victoria During February

February may be known as a cold and dreary month, but in Victoria, there are still plenty of exciting outdoor activities to enjoy. From spotting majestic whales to exploring local parks and gardens, there is something for everyone.

In this section, we will highlight the top outdoor activities to do in February, including whale watching tours, hiking in scenic parks, and visiting picturesque Butchart Gardens. So, bundle up and get ready to embrace the winter wonderland of Victoria in February.

A Prince of Whales Zodiac Whale Watching Tour departs from Victoria

Embark on a Victoria Whale Watching Tour

Admittedly, heading out on the high seas might not be at the top of your February Victoria itinerary. However, if your visit coincides with a warm spell, a host of providers offer Victoria whale-watching tours from the Inner Harbour or Fisherman’s Wharf.

  • Choose a reputable tour company offering whale watching tours that adhere to wildlife protection regulations. I’d recommend Prince of Whales due to their strong safety record and plentiful tour options.
  • Check the schedule for February, as many tours are only offered on a seasonal basis.
  • Make sure to wear appropriate clothing and gear for the boat trip to enhance comfort and enjoyment during the excursion. Wetsuits and gloves will likely be provided, but I’d still recommend beanies, sweaters, hoodies, or sweatshirts for layering.

a couple hike the trails at mount douglas park, one of the best free things to do in Victoria.

Go Hiking in Local Parks & Trails

Hiking the area’s parks and trails in Victoria in February presents an exceptional opportunity for both avid hikers and casual walkers to explore the natural beauty of the area in a uniquely serene setting. Unless you’re experienced, I’d recommend sticking to urban trails and pathways during the winter months.

Nevertheless, with fewer crowds and a peaceful atmosphere, February is an ideal time to discover the diverse range of hiking options that Victoria offers on a crisp, cool winter day.

  1. Research local parks with suitable hiking trails, such as Beacon Hill Park or Mount Douglas Park.
  2. Check out local options such as the Galloping Goose Trail or Dallas Road Waterfront Pathway.
  3. Check the weather forecast for February, and choose a clear day for your hike.
  4. Wear appropriate attire and footwear for the terrain and weather.

Related: Victoria’s Top Parks & Gardens

a snap of a dragon statue at butchart gardens in victoria in february.

Hit up Enchanting Butchart Gardens

A visit to Butchart Gardens during February is a testament to the garden’s year-round allure, showcasing the remarkable ability of this world-renowned attraction to flourish even in the heart of winter. The gardens are a splendid example of how the city’s mild February weather nurtures a unique winter bloom.

Visitors will be greeted by a serene landscape, subtly different from the riotous colours of spring and summer yet equally captivating. The cooler month brings with it a quieter, more reflective atmosphere, allowing visitors to appreciate the gardens’ structure and design in a new light.

  • Check the official website for opening hours. There is often a brief winter closure for maintenance (Jan 22nd-Feb 4th in 2024).
  • Enjoy this world-class 55-acre botanical garden without the presence of summer tour groups.
  • Marvel at winter blooms, including witch hazel, primrose, daphne, crocus, and heather. Or head inside to check out the spring display with paths lined by flowering shrubs, trees and thousands of bulbs.
  • Purchase your Butchart Gardens Express Shuttle tickets for round-trip transportation from the heart of the Inner Harbour.

Tips for Visiting Victoria in February

Planning a trip to Victoria in February? As the winter season is in full swing, there are some important tips to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit. From dressing appropriately for the weather to being aware of any seasonal closures, we’ve got you covered.

Plus, with the city’s popularity as a tourist destination, it’s best to book your accommodations in advance for a stress-free stay. Let’s dive into our top tips for visiting Victoria in February.

  • Dress warmly: Leverage layering and dress warmly by wearing thermal innerwear, topped with a fleece jacket and a waterproof, insulated outer layer, such as a parka. Don’t forget gloves, a scarf, and a beanie or a hat to shield your ears.
  • Choose appropriate footwear: Opt for insulated, waterproof boots with good traction to prevent slips on icy surfaces.
  • Check for seasonal closures: Look online for the seasonal closure schedules of attractions, parks, and outdoor sites. February is low season, after all.
  • Book accommodations in advance: By booking accommodations in advance, you can secure the best options at the most favourable rates, ensuring a stress-free trip.

Victoria February FAQs

What are the top things to do in Victoria in February?

Some top recommendations for February include attending the Victoria Film Festival, visiting the Butchart Gardens, or checking out one of the city’s museums or art galleries.

Are there any upcoming events in Victoria in February?

Yes, there are plenty of events and activities to enjoy in Victoria in February, including the Victoria Film Festival, the Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade and the Dine Around & Stay in Town food festival.

What is the average temperature in Victoria during February?

The average temperature in Victoria in February ranges from 3-7°C (37-44°F), making it the city’s coldest month. Thus, dressing in warm layers and having a waterproof jacket and footwear for your visit is recommended.

Can you give some recommendations for foodies in Victoria during February?

Victoria food tours are a popular activity in February, showcasing local seafood, meats, cheeses, breads, beers, wines, and produce. There are also several food festivals and events, such as Dine Around & Stay in Town, that highlight the best of Victoria’s culinary scene.

This popular event includes prix-fixe menu options at Victoria’s best restaurants, making it the most affordable time of the year to sample their offerings.

Ready to book your trip to Victoria in February?

Victoria, BC, in February, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With its mild winter climate, the city offers a serene escape from the harsher winters elsewhere.

From the vibrant Lunar New Year celebrations in Chinatown to the peaceful walks in the Butchart Gardens, there’s a unique blend of cultural richness and natural beauty to be experienced.

So, don’t let the mild winter weather deter you. One trip will be enough to convince you that Victoria in February can be just as enchanting as during any other season.

Safe travels 🙂

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