Discover the Magic of December in Nanaimo and the Area

As the crisp winter air settles over Nanaimo and the area, the feeling of a magical winter wonderland is upon us. Adorned with twinkling lights and a festive spirit that warms the heart, this is a time of joy, community, and celebration.

Here are a few of the enchanting experiences and events that make the holiday season very special.

Winterfest Downtown Nanaimo 2023


Winterfest starts in downtown Nanaimo from December 2nd to 21st with activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Santa visits Nanaimo on Saturdays and Sundays (2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17) from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at 234 Commercial Street (Across from RBC in the old Perkins’ location)

  • Thursday, December 7 – Pet Photos with Santa
  • Saturday, December 9 – see Santa fly in on Harbour Air at 10:30 am
  • Thursday, December 14 – Quiet time / Story time with Santa

Late night shopping every Thursday (7, 14, 21) until 8 pm. Entertainment, carolers, food trucks and a mobile bar will be on-site at Diana Krall Plaza.

Winterfest Artisan Market, Dec 13/14 in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. Local artisans will be selling goods onsite from 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

The Holiday Market – Nanaimo North Town Centre


Experience the festive cheer at Nanaimo North Town Centre on December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 & 17, 2023.

With Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm and Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm.

Discover a holiday wonderland filled with activities, a central appearance by Santa, and delightful surprises each weekend.

Immerse yourself in the holiday atmosphere as you explore an array of unique gifts and seasonal treasures from diverse vendors.

The hallways will be adorned with beautiful decorations, setting the stage for a joyful and memorable holiday shopping excursion.

Don’t let this chance pass by—join the spirit of the season!


The Festival of LightsLight Up Parade in Ladysmith, BC


The Light Up parade is on Thursday, November 30th, 2023!

Here is the lineup:

  • 3 pm: Christmas Craft and Artisan Fair @ Aggie Hall
  • 4 pm: Street entertainment and concessions
  • 4:30 to 6:15 pm: Stage Entertainment
  • 6:30 pm: Santa arrives – lights are turned on!
  • 6:45 pm: Light Up parade starts from 1st Avenue to Aggie Hall.

December is a time to come together, embrace the festive spirit, and create lasting memories with loved ones. Whether you’re captivated by the twinkling lights, exploring outdoor winter activities, or savouring seasonal treats, the Nanaimo area offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere that makes the holiday season truly special.

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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