Dec 12, 2021

Your 2021 Hometown Holiday Activities Guide

Ready to kick off the holiday season? From dazzling train rides and tasty festive treats to extravagant lights displays, here are some of the best Mid-Vancouver Island holiday activities and events to add to your holiday calendar.

Milner Christmas Magic
The Milner Christmas Magic event at Milner Gardens and Woodland in Qualicum Beach is back with its beautiful, festive display. Take a magical outdoor stroll through pathways of more than 100,000 lights and festive window displays across 70-acres. When you’re done, stop by the Gingerbread Cottage Gift Shop for holiday gifts and 3D Holiday Specs and then deliver your letter to Santa in the North Post Mailbox. Before you leave, don’t forget to wave goodbye to Santa & Mrs. Claus! .

  • When: Dec 17 – 19 evenings 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm (with viewing until 8:30 pm).
  • Cost: Entry is by donation.

Christmas Express
All aboard the Green Hornet locomotive! Take an enchanting journey of music, beautiful lights, and whimsical displays across 100 acres at the BC Forest Discovery Centre. A cherished Vancouver Island tradition, this event is perfect for kids of all ages.

  • When: Dec 16 -19, 2021 & Dec 21 – 23, 2021. From 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm. The train leaves every 30 mins from 4:30 to 9:30, with the last train at 9:00 pm.
  • Cost: Tier 1 – December 18, 19, 21, 22, 23: Adults: $12.00 | Children: $10.00 | Children 2 and under: FREE. Tier 2 – December 16, 17: Adults: $10.00 | Children: $8.00 | Children 2 and under: FREE.

Star Light Skate
Head over to the Nanaimo Ice Centre for a night out on the ice. The perfect way to escape the hustle and bustle, enjoy lap skating under soft light starts and glowing LED lighting while getting in light exercise with friends & family.

  • When: Dec 19, 2021, from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm.
  • Cost: Regular admission rates apply; glow necklaces available for purchase.

North Pole-apalooza
The Parksville Downtown Business Association presents North Pole-apalooza! Head to downtown Parksville for a unique, festive shopping experience while you wander through holiday displays, with each participating business adding its own personal twist. And the best part, enter your name at any of the 26 downtown businesses until Dec 20th for a chance to WIN a fantastic Gotta Love Downtown gift basket!

  • When: Now until Dec. 20, 2021

Narnia the Musical
Echo Players presents Narnia the Musical! A perfect family show for the holiday season, Narnia the Musical is a heartwarming story filled with humour, singing, dancing and mythical characters made famous in the C.S.Lewis book “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”

  • When: Dec 15 – 31, 2021
  • Cost: Visit the Echo Players website to purchase tickets.

Christmas on the Farm
Head to Morningstar Farm in Parksville for an old-fashioned holiday celebration! Enjoy carol wagon rides, live music, onsite poutine truck, storytelling, kids games and farm animals, as well as a bonfire with free hot cocoa & popcorn.

  • When: Dec. 18, 2021, from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.
  • Cost: $5.00 per person. Children 2 and under are FREE.

Santa’s Wonderland
Experience the magic of the holidays inside every Cabela’s Canada store from now until Dec. 24. Visit Santa himself at Santa’s Wonderland and receive a free photo. This year, advanced registration is required and can be made up to 7 days in advance.

  • When: Now until Dec 24, 2021.
  • Cost: FREE.

Skate with Santa
Drop by the Nanaimo Ice Centre for a chance to skate with Santa and enjoy prizes, draws, as well as delicious hot chocolate & treats.

  • When: Dec 16, 2021, from 6:15 pm – 7:45 pm.
  • Cost: Regular admission rates apply.

Winter Wonderland
Brought to the community through a variety of local sponsors, including Herold Engineering, the Frank Crane Area will be transformed into a gorgeous “Snow Globe!” Skate sessions only cost $1.00, with all skate and helmet rentals for free!

  • When: Dec 24, 2021, from 11:45 am – 3:00 pm, Dec 26 –30, 2021 from 11:45 am – 4:45 pm & 7:45 pm – 9:30 pm.
  • Cost: $1.00 and enjoy complimentary helmet and skate rentals.

AirVenture Holiday Camp
AirVenture Camp is about being active, learning skills and having fun. An epic holiday sporting adventure, this 5-day camp has a ton of fun activities for kids to engage in, including a variety of coaching, activities, games and holiday crafts. The ratio for Coach to kids is 1:10, as well as options to book for K – Gr 3 and Gr 4 -6.

  • When: Dec 27, 2021, at 9:00 a.m, until Dec 31, 2021, at 3:00 p.m
  • Cost: Sign up now and reserve your child’s space.