Christmas music embodies the spirit of the season, much like the National Anthem evokes Canada Day and the ambient compositions of Philip Glass reflect the existential angst of Valentine’s Day. Treat ears to yuletide tunes with today’s Groupon to the Vancouver Christmas Market, held at the Plaza at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre November 24–December 24 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Choose between the following options:
- For $5, you get a visit for two Monday–Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. or on Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (up to a $10 value).
- For $5, you get a visit for two valid any time (up to a $10 value).<p>
Weekday tickets are regularly $2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., youth tickets and tickets for ages 7–12 are regularly $2, and children ages six and younger are admitted for free.
The Vancouver Christmas Market, named one of the 10 most spectacular holiday markets in the world by Frommer’s travel guides, fills Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza with Christmas-themed entertainment, shopping, and culinary delights for 31 festive days. Traditional Bavarian and German treats such as sizzling bratwurst, suckling pig, and fragrant roasted chestnuts bring holiday cheer to previously dreary digestive tracts, and festive drinks such as mulled wine warm bodies from the belly outward. Visitors can peruse the handmade crafts of more than 30 vendors set up in quaint rows of wooden huts, or visit the special children’s market, where young celebrants can decorate gingerbread, ride a carousel, or take pictures with Santa to prove his existence to parents. The Market’s central stage also houses performances by the likes of European choirs, dance troupes, and the Dal Richards Big Band.
Vancouver Christmas Market
When does it officially become Christmastime? For Vancouverites, it's actually in late November, when the scents of mulled wine and gingerbread and the sounds of bells and trumpets fill the crisp air. It's a time when the eyes widen at the sight of little wooden huts decked out in twinkling white lights and pine branches, of a sparkling carousel pirouetting in the night. This is the Vancouver Christmas Market.
In founding this beloved wintertime utopia, Malte Kluetz brings a 700-year-old tradition from the streets of his native Hamelin, Germany, to the plaza of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. German Christmas markets are a staple of European holiday seasons, and over the past few years, the Vancouver market has become a similarly un-missable destination for locals.
Here, a forests' worth of light-spangled pine trees and wreaths crowd the plaza, joining 55 wooden huts in which craftspeople and chefs—many from Germany themselves—share their handiwork. Shoppers peruse hand-carved nutcrackers and ornaments, and at any given moment of the day or night, the music of carolers, a string trio, or a jazz band might warm chilly ears.
After a hug from the market's gingerbread mascots, children might go on a scavenger hunt or head to the old-fashioned Christmas carousel, encrusted with hundreds of amber lights, to show parents just how good they would be at riding a pony if they had their own. When they're done, kids and their parents head off in search of herbed German bratwursts, pastries, bubbly German wheat beers, and inky, sweetly spiced gluhwein.
Like any good Christmas market, the Vancouver market's festivities are anchored by a massive tree. At its pinnacle sits a glowing star—a beacon signaling the arrival of the holiday season.
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