Victoria's Top 5 Winter Activities

Now, before you head out to these awesome events, make sure you’ve got a copy of Taste Mag with you! You never know when you’ll need to take a martini minute or a beer break before heading back out to this busy, festive season. Oh you shopped late? Don’t want to go home and make dinner? Taste Mag. Seriously. It’ll end arguments and stop you from making hangry decisions. Ok, now go have fun!

Festival of Trees 

Need a quick Christmas fix? Take a stroll through The Bay Center for the Festival of Trees! From sponsors and organizations to local businesses and individuals, the Victoria community comes together to decorate Christmas trees any way they can! The result is a ‘forest’ of wacky, beautiful, crazy, imaginative trees all to help raise money for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. This indoor coniferous forest is sure to have you humming ‘Oh Tannenbaum’ in no time.   

November 18, 2015 to January 05, 2016, daily. Free admission.

Gingerbread Showcase 

Move over Granny, these gingerbread sculptures are not your traditional confectionary casas. Created by both professional and amateur local chefs, these detailed, imaginative structures are a treat for your eyes (and nose!). While you’re soaking up inspiration for your own spicy, decorated domicile make sure you vote for your favourite and crack open that wallet to support Habitat for Humanity Victoria.

November 21, 2015 to January 03, 2016, daily 9:00am - 9:00pm at the Inn at Laurel Point. Free admission.

Ferris Wheel in Centennial Square:

What is more romantic than a ride on a Ferris wheel at Christmastime? Grab that sweetheart, some hot cocoa and take in the view from the top but make sure to sneak a kiss before you reach the bottom! Or if you’re stuck with the nieces and nephews for the evening, shuttle the crew down for a ride. They’ll be raving about it for a long time – hello favourite Aunt / Uncle award!

*riders must be over 2 years of age 

November 28, 2015 - December 20, 2015 runs Friday from 5:00pm - 9:00pm; Saturdays from Noon - 9:00pm; Sundays from Noon - 7:00pm. $2 per person.

Free Horse-Drawn Trolley Rides:

Ever wanted to take a ride in a horse drawn cart but thought it was just too touristy? Well here’s your chance! Every weekend until December 20th, there are free horse-drawn trolley rides that tootle around downtown letting riders take in the festive scenery of old Victoria. It’s a great addition to a staycation weekend or a chance to rest after a day of Christmas shopping.

* Pre-set route: Store St. at Chatham St., Johnson St. near Warf St., Langley St. at Bastion Square and Government St. at Fisgard St.

November 28, 2015 to December 20, 2015, runs Saturday from Noon - 4:00pm; Sunday Noon - 3:00pm. Free admission.

Shop Local!

This season, make sure to check out our incredible local shops before you hit up the chain stores! Silk Road has an incredible line of health and beauty products, cute home ware, delicious tea (obviously) and a spa! The geniuses at Violette Veldor have curated an incredible selection of jewelry for every taste. Trounce Alley is home to the always fashionable, She She Shoes and She She Bags. Search Fan Tan Alley’s Heart’s Content for the most awesome collection of Mod, punk and alternative fashion and accessories. Let your third eye lead you to Triple Spiral, they’re sure to have something for that cool, crunchy, yogi in your life. And audiophiles will love a gift from The Turntable...well maybe a gift certificate. Mosey outside downtown for the littles in your life and check out Red Rover for quality consignment kids clothes and accessories – you’ll find seriously cute stuff for seriously cute prices. For the gourmands on your list, create your own gift basket chock full of local goodies! Maybe some hand crafted charcuterie from Whole Beast Meats, a great Sea Cider, local beer – think Phillips, Driftwood, Hoyne, C12 and a chuck of cheese or two from The Little Cheese Shop – et voilà!

Patricia Jones

Kiss Media Group Ltd., 203-2323 Mamquam Rd., Squamish