Celebrate the Holidays in Squamish, BC

Celebrate the Holidays in Squamish, BC

Halfway between Vancouver and Whistler, on the scenic Sea to Sky Highway, you’ll discover the town of Squamish. With a warm and welcoming community, visitors and residents come each year to enjoy an array of events and activities. Christmas in Squamish is organized each year, as an opportunity to spice up the holidays and to give back to the community. As with past years, this year has many exciting offerings to look forward to. From November through January, Squamish comes alive with the holiday spirit. These are some of the many activities to partake in this holiday season.

Winter Farmer’s Market

The Winter Farmer’s Market is open to the public every Saturday between 10am – 2pm as of November 4 and continues through to December 16th. Active since 2005, the Winter Farmer’s Market continues to grow each year. It offers patrons delicious and creative fresh, local produce, handmade baked goods, crafts and other tasty treats; all while supporting community driven businesses. This year the Winter Farmer’s Market has a new home at the Squamish Adventure Centre, located at 38551 Loggers Lane. For details on vending and dates visit www.squamishfarmersmarket.com.

Polar Express Train Ride

The Polar Express rolls out on Saturday, November 25th and continues until Sunday, December 17th, departing from West Coast Railway Heritage Park. Hop on this magical hour long train ride to the North Pole while enjoying hot chocolate, cookies, Christmas carols and stories. Visit the North Pole Workshop and Gingerbread Village for a chance to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Traveling to the Squamish Terminal and back, this family-friendly experience ensures a time full of laughter, music and magic. Tickets for the ride range from $35 -$1500 and includes snacks, musical entertainment, souvenirs and so much more. Departure times vary throughout the day. For information and tickets visit www.wcra.org or call (604) 229-1103.

Pancakes and Photos with Santa

Families love Pancakes and Photos with Santa. The event takes place Friday, December 1, 2017 between 10 am – 2 pm. Santa Claus is coming to the Sea to Sky Gondola. Children of all ages are invited to a pancake breakfast, followed by an opportunity to have photos taken with Santa. Enjoy other festivities, like writing postcards and creating magical reindeer treats, while discovering the magic of Christmas, 2,800 feet above sea level.

Tara O’Grady Photography will be taking photos with Santa on a first-come, first-served basis. These photos cost $15 for one picture, or $20 for two. Pancakes are available for $5, and no reservations are required. The Summit Lodge is hosting the event, and day passes to access the Summit Lodge can be had for $39.95 (adults) and $13.95 (children); or take advantage of the local’s annual pass. For ticket information, visit https://www.seatoskygondola.com/visit/tickets-and-passes.

Santa Parade 2017

This year’s Santa Claus Parade takes place at 7 pm on Friday, December 1 and everyone is invited. The parade is organized by the Downtown Squamish Business Improvement Association and Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue, and they encourage businesses with floats to get creative and enter the best decorated and holiday spirited float contests, to help ensure the best parade ever.

This year’s parade route will be Cleveland Avenue, from Pemberton Avenue to Main Street. Registration and assembly will take place on Third Avenue, starting at Bailey Street. The rates are $30 for businesses, with more than 3 employees, $15 with 3 or less and $5 for non-profit. For further information, contact Cindy Cardiff, Santa Parade organizer at 604-849-035, or at squamishchristmas@double-shutter.com.

Christmas Fair

Of the many fairs taking place in Squamish, the Squamish Waldorf School Christmas Fair, is a seasonal favourite. The two day event starts on Friday, December 1st, from 7 – 9pm, and continues on Saturday, December 2nd from 11am – 3pm. The Fair features entertainment and activities, like candle dipping, puppet shows, ornament making, handmade crafts, home decor items and jewelry, for the whole family.

New this year is the Sip & Shop Night Market on Friday, December 1, where adults get enjoy a social nigh,t and pre-purchase activity tickets for Saturday’s fair. Admission is free, but tickets are required for selected activities. The Squamish Waldorf School, located at 38265 Westway Avenue, will host the event. For further information, contact the school at info@squamishwaldorfschool.com or call 604-898-3287.

Storytime at the Gondola

Storytime at the Gondola is another family favourite, and takes place December 5th to December 21st, every Tuesday and Thursday, from 10:30 – 11:00am. Storytelling will be hosted by the Squamish Public Library, with a special guest storyteller sharing some of the season’s favorites. Storytime will be followed by a festive craft and hot chocolate and cookies will be served.

Take the family to the fabulous 9,000 square foot Summit Lodge to listen to the stories. Tickets are $39.95 (adults) and $13.95 (children), or get the annual pass for even more benefits. Visit for https://www.seatoskygondola.com/visit/tickets-and-passes for ticket details or email them at http://www.exploresquamish.com/explore/sea-to-sky-gondola for information on Storytime at the Gondola.

Musical performances at the Sea to Sky Gondola

Musical performances at the Sea to Sky Gondola, for the holiday season, will be on December 9th and 10th, 2017. Performances are from 12 – 4pm on the 9th, and 2pm on the 10th. On the 9th, holiday-themed choral music will be performed by Squamish choirs, singing specially selected Christmas songs from their repertoire. Choirs includes Waldorf, Quest University, Squamish Elementary and Howe Sound Jazz Ensemble. On the 10th, get into the spirit of Christmas with a Christmas carol sing-along by the tree, as well as contemporary holiday favorites and classic carols performed by the Squamish Academy of Music, and the SAM Singers choir. The performance will be held at the Summit Lodge. Tickets are $39.95 (adults) and $13.95 (children), or try the annual pass for even more benefits. Visit https://www.seatoskygondola.com/visit/tickets-and-passes for ticket details, or email them at http://www.exploresquamish.com/explore/sea-to-sky-gondola for more information.

Holidays at Britannia

On December 16th, between 9:30am – 4:30pm, join the Britannia Mine Museum, located in beautiful Britannia Beach, for their Holiday at Britannia celebrations, which are also a part of this year’s Santa Fly In contest. The event will include photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, craft activities for the kids, holiday displays in their historic Machine Shop, including collectible ceramic Dickens village vignettes, a North Pole village, with free hot chocolate and roast chestnuts. Winners of the contest will be flown in by helicopter, with Santa and Mrs. Claus, to the Museum to join the festivities. Special event pricing is $15, including photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Children 4 years and under enter free, and the first fifty children over 4 years also get in free! Visit https://www.britanniaminemuseum.ca/ for more details.

Bald Eagle Watching

Eagle watching has been a favorite winter activity in Squamish, and is enjoyed by both visitors and locals. This year the season starts mid-November, through to January 2018, and provides fun for the whole family. Eagle watching can be observed from various points in Squamish. A prime spot is Eagle Run Park on Saturdays and Sundays, from around  10am – 3pm, until January 2018, and throughout Christmas Week.

Home to one of North America’s largest congregations of wintering Bald Eagles, they come to Squamish to take shelter for the cold winter months, and to hunt salmon. Truly a sight to behold, observe them on a gentle float down the Cheakamus and Squamish Rivers, for a unique vantage point, or on a ramp at the south end of Eagle Run Park. Visit http://www.squamishenvironment.ca/ or https://www.facebook.com/squamisheaglewatch/ for more information on Bald Eagles and how to participate.

Holiday Wine Pairing Dinner

On December 15, between 6:00pm – 9:00pm, experience the joy of the season at the Holiday Wine Pairing Dinner. Treat your taste buds to a wonderful combination of local food and wine, while dining with great company at the fantastic Sea to Sky Gondola Summit Lodge. The menu will be a full dining and culinary experience prepared by Chef Jessy Ash, served with live music, to complete the experience. The cost is $89.99 before taxes and gratuities. To reserve your place, call 604-892-2551 or visit http://www.exploresquamish.com/events/taste-of-europe-wine-pairing-series to see the menu description.

The takeaway

There truly is something for everyone during the holiday season in Squamish, BC. The entire family is included, and residents and visitors alike will enjoy the holiday magic, memories and the fun that Squamish has to offer. The variety of options, combined with the snow-capped mountains overlooking the valley, frozen waterfalls, the evergreen trees, and Christmas lights, provide a beautiful backdrop for a magical Christmas.

Happy Holidays from August Jack Motor Inn. Click here if we can help you with budget Squamish accommodations.

Squamish: BC’s Outstanding Motorcycle Destination

Squamish: BC’s Outstanding Motorcycle Destination

Sea to Sky is the name of a very special stretch of the Highway #99, and it absolutely deserves the grand title… This route, just a 45 minute ride from both Vancouver, and Whistler includes the town of Squamish, the ultimate biking destination. Squamish is surrounded by mountains on three sides, and Howe Sound (the Pacific Ocean) on the fourth. If you’re looking for a picturesque ride through winding views of waterfalls, mountains, snatches of vast ocean, and BC rain forest, you absolutely can’t beat this route! In fact, if you’ve done Chucanut Drive in Washington, you need to chalk this one off your list as well! Since it includes the glaciers of the Tantalus Range, and Whistler Village.

Tantalus view, SquamishAugust Jack Motor Inn is an ideal place to stay, should you choose to organize a ride that passes through Squamish. August Jack is bordered by three parks, with motorcycle parking fully visible at all times. Quite a few of the ground floor units allow guests to sleep within a few meters of their babies (read: motorcycles,) making it very convenient to watch over them. Large sliding doors permit visibility and direct walk-out access to motorcycles and luggage. August Jack is located right on Cleveland Avenue, the main street in Squamish, and within walking distance of restaurants, bars, and shopping centers. The motel is also a few minutes’ walk from 2 lovely forested trails and Nexen Beach which includes the yacht harbour. August Jack is at the end of a quiet street, yet 2 – 3 minutes from the Highway. Rooms facing Cleveland Avenue provide outstanding views of the yacht harbour, The Chief (a towering granite mountain) and Shannon Falls.

The Sea to Sky Gondola is a breathtaking attraction that allows visitors to experience a birds-eye-view of the harbor, ocean, and magnificent mountainous surroundings. For the more dexterous visitors, there are hiking trails that lead up to the summit, where the Sea to Sky Gondola restaurant can be found. Season tickets can be bought online in advance, or arranged in person, and there are a number of Christmas, and winter programs, including sports and entertainment activities.

A short ride from August Jack Motor Inn, you will find Westcoast Railway Heritage Park. It is home to the largest collection of railway rolling stock in Western Canada, and the famous Royal Hudson steam locomotive. The park hosts regular seasonal events, and sports a 3 Km Miniature Railway.

There is also the award-winning Britannia Beach Mining Museum Heritage site. Less than a century ago, it served as the largest copper mining operation in the British empire. And today, the museum offers underground tours (including and underground train), mineral and geological tours, and gold panning activities.

Squamish is particularly active in the winter, when local businesses collaborate on seasonal events, fairs and festivals. The beauty of the region, and the genuine friendly, old-world-charm of the town cannot be matched. August Jack Motor Inn provides information and maps for visitors who want to experience all the sites. For bikers who want to plan their itinerary around a few breakfast runs, the local restaurants offer everything from buffet’s, to Full-English breakfast fair.

The Sea to Sky route was a main artery between Vancouver and Whistler during the 2010 Olympics, and for this reason, cell-phone, data, and Wi-Fi reception in the area are excellent… a rare treat in mountain and coast destinations.

Squamish Accommodations are the Perfect Complement to Whistler Skiing

Squamish Accommodations are the Perfect Complement to Whistler Skiing

Every year, thrill-seekers from around the world can’t wait to visit Whistler Mountain for some of the best skiing available. The area sees millions of visitors each year, looking for the best slopes and seeking out the best accommodations available. With all of the excitement, it’s often overlooked just how full the area is in peak skiing months. Imagine arriving only to learn that everything is booked for miles around. This is certainly not a great start to the vacation most people dream about. Squamish accommodations are the perfect complement to Whistler skiing for a number of reasons.

It’s Less than an Hour Away

Squamish is only 40 minutes from Whistler by car or bus, which is something visitors don’t realize. In the time it takes to enjoy a couple of cups of coffee or have a big breakfast, they can reach Whistler and get ready for an exciting day on the slopes.

It Expands Recreation Opportunities

Those who love to ski are often the individuals who love horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking and exploring in general. Squamish has some of the most legendary trails in British Columbia, and they are accessible from virtually anywhere in the community. Those who need a break from the serious sports can enjoy phenomenal eagle watching, catching sights and pictures of these majestic, nesting birds. Gorgeous lakes are dotted all over the city, with tons of water sports, and Squamish offers up some of the best kayaking around. Those who stay in Squamish don’t limit their potential activities to just skiing!

Squamish is More Affordable and More Peaceful

While the excitement of Whistler Village can be exilerating, for many people it quickly starts to overwhelm the senses. Crowded areas, noise, congestion and traffic soon start to grate on the nerves and make what was supposed to be a fantastic vacation into an annoyance. Squamish offers beautiful accommodations without all of the hustle and bustle that makes some individuals dread the stay in Whistler Village. Plus, prices are much more affordable. Those who stay in Squamish aren’t dealing with “ski-season prices” the way they are in Whistler Village. For these reasons, savvy visitors who have been skiing in Whistler for years consider Squamish a quiet retreat from their retreat!

Close to Vancouver Shopping and the Vancouver International Airport

For those who will be arriving via the Vancouver International Airport, Squamish is much closer than Whistler, making it convenient and easy for weary travelers to rest and energize. It’s also close to downtown Vancouver shopping, so those who want to bring back fun souvenirs can easily access the most popular stores and retail services, as well as some of the more historic and quaint shops and boutiques the area is known for. With Squamish being closer to Vancouver, all-day shopping trips are more enjoyable, but quick trips to find forgotten gear or special items are possible as well.

Those who are new to skiing in Whistler and those who have been enjoying those majestic slopes for years can benefit from Squamish accommodations. From more affordable prices and a more relaxing atmosphere to a wider variety of recreational activities and a convenient location, Squamish offers many of benefits for those planning a Whistler skiing trip.