Winter in Victoria is nothing to be afraid of! While many people choose to hide inside during the winter months, this is actually a great time to experience some of the activities Victoria has to offer. Due to the milder winters of the west coast, you don’t have to be afraid of turning into an ice cube while trying to see the city. Since peak tourist times are in the summer, take advantage of the quieter times and lower costs this winter. Whether you are a local or a visitor, consider spending your winter at some great Victoria winter attractions. Below are some of our top picks for winter activities in Victoria:
Arts and Culture
If you are looking to get into the holiday spirit, Victoria is the place to be. The winter months offer light shows, markets, performances, parades, and fun for people of all ages. Take a stroll by the Inner Harbour to experience thousands of magical Christmas lights, or attend a parade to see Santa Claus. Notable holiday events are the Festival of Trees taking place at the Bay Center, Christmas at Butchart Gardens, or Christmas at Craigdarroch Castle. For more information on these fantastic events, see our blog on the best Christmas activities in Victoria BC. In addition to the many holiday themed events around the city, many local performance venues offer traditional winter performances such as the Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol.
Music and Film
Every February movie lovers flock to the Victoria Film Festival, a ten day display of top quality films and directors from all over. People of all ages will enjoy the vast array of different genres and themes. For music lovers, many restaurants and pubs offer live music throughout the winter, so cozy up with a beverage and enjoy some local talent!
Food and Drink
The winter months and holiday season is the perfect time to indulge in some of Victoria’s finest cuisine. Many local restaurants and bars feature seasonal menus that have the perfect winter treat. A favourite food event is the Dine Around and Stay in Town event, which features deals on three course meals at over 60 restaurants in Victoria in February and March! Pair your meal with a classic drink from one of the many local microbreweries popping up around Vancouver Island.
There is also the Be A Toruist In Your Own Hometown event as well which takes place during two weekends in late February and early March. Enjoy discounts on many restaurants and attractions throughout the city and feel like a local!
History and Heritage
Victoria is a city filled with heritage and interesting history, and summer is not the only time to enjoy this! From Craigdarroch Castle to the Royal BC Museum, attractions are open year round and are often much more enjoyable without lineups. The city is also home to Canada’s oldest Chinatown which celebrates Chinese New Year every winter. This special event features the dragon parade, live music, cultural attire and cuisine, and traditional dancing. Victoria’s Chinatown brings the feel of being in China without the long trip to get there.
As winter 2017 approaches, you may want to skip the beach vacation and consider taking a trip to Victoria instead. The city offers two vastly different experiences in the winter and summer months, and this is just an excuse to visit twice! While in Victoria, be sure to enjoy one of our sightseeing tours this winter.