Here in Cowichan, the weather outside really isn’t that frightful, which gives you ample opportunity to get your holiday shopping done and maybe even treat yourself to a mini pre-Christmas getaway. From sensational experiences to fabulous shopping, Christmas truly is made in Cowichan.
Follow the Light!
The Ladysmith Festival of Lights is a magical holiday tradition on Vancouver Island. Thousands of lights are strung up along the historic First Avenue creating an enchanting holiday display. The Light Up parade is on for Thursday, November 30th, 2023! Make this part of your family’s holiday tradition.
In Duncan, stop in at the Christmas Kickoff . Live music, horse and carriage rides, fireworks and a visit from Santa transform downtown Duncan into a winter wonderland.
SHOP TIL YOU DROP
Each community in Cowichan has a unique shopping area that is perfect for picking up one of a kind gifts for everyone on your list. Swing into Lake Cowichan and stop at Dot’s Shoe Store for the shoe lover on your list (a great spot for Blundstones), or in Chemainus, stop in at Beyond the Usual for the outdoor adventurer in your family.
Sometimes when you’re shopping for that perfect gift, what you really need is a locally-sourced gift shop. At the Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre, you’ll find a wide variety of local items, but also you can chat with them for more shopping tips. With seasonally rotating stock, the Neck of the Woods General Store in Ladysmith and Little Bird Greets, Sweets & Treats in Duncan are both excellent stops to find local goods.
For even more holiday shopping ideas check out this season’s holiday gift guides!
The holidays aren’t complete in Cowichan without a stop on the BC Forest Discovery Centre’s Christmas Express. Bring the entire family to the Centre for holiday carols, hot chocolate, a visit with Santa, and of course a ride on the Christmas Express. Tour the 100-acre property and kick-start your Christmas spirit!The festivities start on December 1st. Check out the full list of train times right here.
Picking the perfect tree is an essential part of the Christmas season. Douglas fir, Grand fir, Noble fir, Rocky Mt. fir — whatever kind of tree you’re looking for we have it in Cowichan.
Bring the family out to Cowichan and choose your own from the rows at the Lakes Road Tree Farm, the Cowichan Valley Christmas Tree Farmor the Sahtlam Tree Farm. You’ll find the perfect tree for your family and make a memorable experience while you’re at it!
Enjoy a Christmas Play
What’s better than dinner and a show? From November 17th – December 23rd catch this year’s holiday performance at the Chemainus Theatre Festival is It’s a Wonderful Life. Based on the beloved holiday movie with a clever twist: the story is staged as a live radio broadcast. Actors portray numerous characters and take on sound effects.
Before your evening show, enjoy a three-course meal at the Playbill Dining Room. View the current menu here.
Come Home to the Farm
Merridale is the proud owner of one of the brightest privately owned light displays on Vancouver Island. Visit the farmhouse in Cobble Hill and be transported to a winter wonderland. With thousands of twinkling lights, decorations, festive food, holiday shopping and entertainment — it’s a Christmas evening that won’t be forgotten. Christmas at the Farm starts on November 18th and continues through to December 31st.
Looking for the perfect place to host your holiday party? The Farm Table Inn has capacity for groups up to 50 people. Enjoy a beautiful plated menu, a turkey buffet, or a customized holiday cocktail menu for your gathering. For smaller groups, The Farm Table Inn is open year round. Reserve your winter dinner Thursday – Saturday in their cozy dining room. Find their seasonal menu here.
Make Some Holiday Magic
Join Miller + Co Wood Studio and Pottery for their holiday studio days in November and December. Enjoy tea while you shop for handmade holiday gifts for your loved ones!
CRAFT A COWICHAN COCKTAIL
With three world-class distilleries to choose from there are endless opportunities for seasonal spirits! This year, we had our distilleries create three cocktails that pair perfectly with the holiday season. Get the full recipes here.
From all of us at Tourism Cowichan we wish everyone safe travels this winter and a very happy holiday!