The show will go on: 36th annual VanDusen Festival of Lights begins run November 27

VANDUSEN Festival of Lights is set to sparkle for another holiday season.

The 36th annual event is a winter wonderland with more than one million lights decorating 10 acres of VanDusen Botanical Garden. Visitors will have the opportunity to take in the festival, which runs November 27 – January 3, 2021, and experience the wonder of the winter season in a magical outdoor garden setting with themed areas, unique light features, and holiday music.  

VanDusen Botanical Garden staff have worked closely with Vancouver Coastal Health and the Provincial Health Officer to ensure the event can be experienced safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will operate at approximately 20 per cent of its typical capacity. A new one-way path will take visitors through a memorable holiday experience with ample outdoor space for attendees to physically distance from others.  

Photos: Vancouver Park Board

Tickets will go on sale in early November at newly reduced rates and must be purchased online at for a designated entry time. It is highly recommended that tickets are purchased in advance as space will be limited. Tickets will not be available for purchase on site. Entry times will be available every half hour starting at 4 p.m. The garden will close at 9:30 p.m. daily (last entry time 8:30 – 9 p.m.). Visitors must arrive during their half hour entry time and will have 45 minutes to enjoy the festival.

A number of new safety protocols will be in place including:

– the event entrance will be at Gate 2 (at the west end of the parking lot) and visitors will exit through the Visitor Centre 

– pre-purchased tickets will be scanned through plexiglass, no ticket sales on site

– visitors can spend a maximum of 45 minutes enjoying the lights and will follow a one-way outdoor path

– access to the Visitor Centre washrooms will only be available as guests exit the event; portable washrooms and hand washing stations will be available in the parking lot and inside the garden

– in order to reduce touch point features and limit gathering within the garden, features and activities from previous years, such as the carousel, photos with Santa, live entertainment, Make-A-Wish candle grotto, and the dancing lights show will not be offered this year

– masks are optional and encouraged at this time

The Festival of Lights event is wheelchair accessible. Entry is free for children ages three and under and for personal attendants helping people who require assistance.

VanDusen Botanical Garden, located in the heart of Vancouver, spans 22 hectares (55 acres) with more than 7,500 unique species and varieties of plants arranged in 50 distinct collections. The Garden is jointly operated by the Vancouver Park Board and Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association.