VanDusen Garden Festival of Lights


What better way to get into that Christmas spirit than by surrounding yourself with a ton of Christmas lights? The Festival of Lights at VanDusen Garden is a yearly treat that runs from December 7th, 2007 through January 1st, 2008 (except December 25th when the Garden is closed for Christmas). The Festival of Lights creates an enchanted wonderland illuminated by a multitude of Christmas lights spread over the 15 acres of the VanDusen Botanical Garden.

In addition to the lights, visitors are serenaded by choirs singing your Christmas favorites. You can also meet merry old Saint Nick and indulge in some tempting Christmas treats. It’s a great place to take the whole family. Dating couples will like it too. However, I can’t say the same the for the single guy.

Sally’s First Visit with Santa Didn’t Go Very Well


Hopefully, we’ll have better luck next year.

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words, but Video is Worth a Million

I had a hell of time trying to get good pictures of the garden. The lighting was giving me nightmares. However, the video came out pretty well. In my intro, I made a mistake by saying there are 150,000 lights in the garden. There’s really 1.4 million.

66 thoughts on “VanDusen Garden Festival of Lights”

  1. Vikram says:

    This place looks beautiful. And sally sure doesnt seem happy to be around Santa, looking cute there,reminds me of my lil neice.

    I guess she didnt like Santa’s Big White Beard…!! HoHoHo!

    1. Fat Man says:

      don’t ever put your kids on a weird, old mans lap. pedophiles are running rampant nowadays and that kind of stuff scares the crap out of me. so be careful.

      1. Yes, because all hired Santa are kiddy fiddlers…FFS.

        1. Fat Man says:

          its not that. my point is that you never know, so its better to be safe then story.

          1. No offence but if that was how the world worked then our kids would never experience or learn anything. You’re right in that some things aren’t worth the risk, but visiting Santa isn’t one of them. If our daughter wants to sit on Santas knee then I’m not going to stop her, if for one second I think he’s getting too touchy feely (or anything else suspicous) then make a complaint or knock seven bells of sh!t out of them, whatever your preference.

            In the last 12 years we’ve been to see Santa dozens of times and never had any problems.

    2. Steve! says:

      In SA, there was a Santa that went to jail for child molesting, I don’t blame that child.

    3. Most kids, dont like santa until they hit an age where they are a little bit older, when they understand who he is 😛

    4. Faisal says:

      She thought you gonna hide her inside santa’s beard!

  2. CAR says:

    wow looked really nice, where that at?

    1. John Chow says:

      VanDusen Botanical Garden
      5251 Oak Street (37th & Oak St.)
      Vancouver, British Columbia
      V6M 4H1

      1. David Chew says:

        Thanks for the info.

  3. Xacur says:

    I don’t feel the Christmas yet. I hope I’ll do soon, maybe a walk around the city helps.
    My entrecard is here, finally!

  4. David Chew says:

    The place is so beautiful, what a nice place for couples to hang out and have some entertainment.

  5. The end of the video (last 1 min) is really worth a watch!

    Thanks John for sharing this with us

  6. marjie says:

    wow…what a beautiful shot! the lights are definitely the best part of christmas. it makes the occation all the more beautiful and festive. 🙂

  7. Ho Ho Ho. Merry Christmas John. May you and your family be healthy and happy always. Ho Ho Ho. Happy New Year! :mrgreen:

    1. Etienne Teo says:

      Merry xmas john! Wish you all the best!

  8. Jacob says:

    That’s just about the best baby-meets-Santa photo I’ve ever seen. Father, daughter, and Santa’s facial expressions are perfect!!

  9. tracy Ho says:

    Hi John, greeting from Malaysia ,Tracy Ho beautiful & fasinating lighting over there,
    Merry Chrismas & Happy New Year 2008,

    Tracy Ho

  10. CatherineL says:

    Those pics are amazing.

    Poor Sally though. A lot of young kids are afraid of Santa Clause. Ditto for Disney characters.

    Have a great Christmas.

  11. That’s a pretty nice photo of the lights there John, Strobist had a great article earlier this month on the best way to shoot Xmas lights.

    My mate Tim Christie‘s just written a great tutorial on How To Photograph Fireworks, pretty sure it’ll be helpful for all the upcoming New Year’s Eve..

  12. kanak says:

    1.4 million lights .. woooaahhhh … thats really a lot . Excellent place.

    1. It should be excellent for the amount of lights used 😉

      1. kanak says:

        agree with you 100% .. after all 1.4 million lights will cost also that much … 😀

  13. Now that’s Christmas, looks excellent. By the way our daughter was 3 before she really started to appreciate who father Christmas was and could get excited. She mainly just cried up until then!

  14. seo audit says:

    Wow, Super cool.The lights are fantastic.

  15. I never realized it was that nice in there during Xmas.

  16. Chris M says:

    That first picture is absolutely beautiful! 😛

  17. Now thats awesome. I think John’s starting to do a bit of ‘vlogging’ himself. Good job and a really nice video 🙂

  18. Wow! That’s awesome :). I enjoyed the video.

  19. The place looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

  20. That picture is one of the funniest I’ve seen in a long time 🙂

  21. Simple Mindz says:

    Beautiful lights! And I love TSO. They are a great musical group.

    1. So is the music in the video from Trans-Siberian Orchestra? What’s the name of the piece?

      1. Simple Mindz says:

        RE: Clickusername –
        It is TSO, and the piece is “Wizards in Winter” from “The Lost Christmas eve” album…Their music is amazing!
        Here is a link – :mrgreen:

  22. sir jorge says:

    Those lights are incredible.

  23. shy guy says:

    WHoa.. Beautiful lights…
    I like it.. May I borrow some, chow???

  24. Contest Beat says:

    Haha, nice pic 🙂

  25. I think that the first picture you showed looks amazing! What a beautiful place… thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays, John!

  26. David Savage says:

    LOL, poor Sally. And the look on your face is priceless 😆

  27. awww that’s so sad. But the face you’re making is just perfect!

  28. Lincoln says:

    That’s the funniest Santa Claus picture I’ve seen this year, and with John wincing there like his ears were hurting from the screams, just priceless. :mrgreen:

  29. LOL @ Sally! 😆

    Those lights look amazing.

  30. Dustin says:

    Here’s something you forgot to mention that might be useful… where is this garden of lights at? I’d like to go there one day if possible cause the coordination of the music and flashing lights, that was too cool.

    1. David Chew says:

      I think John had mention it on someone comment which is somewhere around the top.

  31. David Beroff says:

    Here’s my favorite pair of unhappy kids with Santa: mother and daughter, 30 years later:

    And here’s the original Carson Williams Christmas lights display which presumably inspired the show you saw:

    1. The Carson Williams video is an amazing piece of work for a single person to orchestrate. It’s one of the coolest YouTube videos I’ve ever seen.

  32. David Beroff says:

    Here’s my favorite pair of unhappy kids with Santa: mother and daughter, 30 years later: d4b dot livejournal dot com slash 2004658 dot html

    And here’s the original Carson Williams Christmas lights display which presumably inspired the show you saw: youtube dot com slash watch question-mark v equal-sign rmgf60CI_ks

  33. Those lights look amazing, must have taken ages to set up like that. I think i would be scared on santa if I had never seen him before to 😯 . Happy christmas to you and your family and best of luck in the new year

  34. I can’t tell who is more scared of Santa, Sally or John :mrgreen:

  35. Mike Huang says:

    I forgot which city here in the Los Angeles county provide these type of lightings in the neighborhood 🙂


  36. skfc2o says:

    it is such a nice place.. i wish i can get there..

  37. Anyone seen the Santa Tracker that Google Earth and NORAD are combining on?
    It’s cool for those who have kids, or those who are just kids on the inside..hah..

    Merry Christmas Everyone!

  38. Edwin says:

    aw.. so cute!!

  39. abi says:

    You kids got intuation man!! Weird dude with a beard with his arms waiting for her and she knows that could only spell trouble!! Well done dad! 😈

  40. It may not be as spectacular, but Rochester, Michigan has something similar. There are millions of lights lighting up the down town area. Here is a link to a photo from 2006:

    Lights are kool.

  41. George Burke says:

    John what are you doing handing your baby over to Santa like that. That kid is obviously smart enough to realize he doesn’t want to pose with Santa. Maybe the baby realizes it will cost a bit of money and wants you to save.

  42. they are wonderfull. it looks very nice

  43. The part @ the end of the video is the coolest! That was really neat.

  44. Roberta says:

    Your daughter is so cute, John… kids were like that too, when they saw Santa for the first time….they scream 😀

  45. says:

    Video its very nice i like that lights with music cool thanks for sharing John

  46. Awh little Sally didn’t like Santa. That reminds of my first meeting with Santa…I kicked poor guy’s shinbone. I was like 2 years old. :mrgreen:

  47. That looks really cool! We have 3 kids ages 4 and under, so we feel your pain, as well as Sally’s. What baby wants to sit on some fat stranger’s lap who’s wearing a fake beard? Well, besides my kids, who?

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