North Pole BC – Festival of Christmas

Over the last few years, we have developed a number of Family traditions around Christmas from the customary family home activities like putting up the Christmas Tree, decorations, and lights to the sightseeing activities like the Stanley Park Train, Van Dusen Gardens, Vancouver Christmas Market, and the Trinity Street Christmas Lights to the more off-the-beaten path, unique and creative family activities like North Pole BC. We first visited North Pole BC in 2012 when it was held at Maplewood Farm and immediately fell in love with how the North Pole BC team has brought a glimpse into the North Pole to our beautiful province. We also love how they focus on the traditional, non-commercialized version of Christmas. We knew we would be back and indeed we have each year since! In 2013, we visited again at their brand new indoor location inside Lynn Valley Mall which was a nice change as we were nice and warm indoors.

This year, North Pole BC has hit the Fraser Valley making its’ home at the Abbotsford Tradex with a much bigger space and some creative new activities and attractions for families to enjoy! The team spent almost a month just in preparation, decoration, set-up, and transforming the Convention Centre into a Christmas wonderland. We have been to the Tradex for several different events over the years, but we have never seen it transformed to this degree of detail before. If you have been before you will see some of your favourite characters back again from Santa Wayne, to Mrs Claus, to the Snow Princess, the Toy Inventor, and more! This year, the characters even walked around the North Pole to greet and interact with kids during their adventure. There are 10-15 different stations from the Post Office, the Elves School, and more.

Here are our Top 10 Favourite Activities from North Pole BC:

1) The Post Office – where you can pin where you are from on a giant world map and write Santa a letter and mail it to him in the giant mail box

2) The Toy Inventor – Professor Hazel Nutt was super friendly and was great at teaching the kids about the wonder and magic of science, creativity, and invention!

3) Elvern School of Secret Skills – The witty elves had both the kids and adults with big smiles on their faces in seconds! Each kid even got their personal Elf Name!

4) Gingerbread Bakery – what kid doesn’t like eating ginger bread cookies? It’s even more fun to make them first!!

5) Toy Workshop –
it was our daughter’s first time ever making her own toy out of stuffing!


6) Christmas Sing-a-long – all the elves gather together for a fun round of Christmas carols!! This was a new addition this year!

7) Puppet Show – Christmas-themed puppet shows keep the kids entertained a couple of times each hour!

8) The Snow Princess – our daughter Rianne loves princesses so she had an awesome time connecting with the Snow Princess (look at her huge smile)!


9) Mrs Claus Story Time – since it was quieter right before closing, Rianne and Ryan got a personal story time with the jolly Mrs Claus


10) Visit with Santa Wayne – Jolly Old Saint Nick has been with North Pole for the last 5 years and remembers our family since he was one of the 100 dads I interviewed from my fatherhood book!

In case you missed it, here is the original interview with Santa Wayne:

We visited on a Sunday afternoon and stayed for over 2 hours as our kids wanted to do each and every activity at least once and return for a second dose to some of their favourite characters. This is one of the best family activities in Vancouver (trust us, we have seen almost everything as bloggers)!. The North Pole BC team has done it again with their creativity, their focus on individual kids, and bringing back that little bit of Christmas magic that is so needed in this day and age!

Since a lot of our readers have never been to North Pole BC and keep asking us what it’s like, this year, we made a short Highlights Video which gives a glimpse into all the main activities:

Here’s more info about North Pole BC:

North Pole BC