Celebrating Christmas in Kelowna

Decorated Christmas tree and fireplace in the living room at Okanagan Lakeview Inn


Celebrations in this city are a heartening mix of entrenched traditions and enthusiastic events. The aroma of fresh pine Christmas trees, twinkling city lights, and festive food and drink together make Kelowna's Christmas celebrations an idyllic spectacle for residents and visitors alike.

The Magic of Lights

Considered one of the most visually stunning traditions in Kelowna during the festive season is the display of spectacular lights. When dusk falls, the city gets adorned with millions of glowing Christmas lights, giving it a truly magical appearance. Streets, markets, and homes are lit up with elaborate installations, creating a mesmerizing environment. For instance, Mission Hill Family Estate transforms into an enchanted forest of brilliantly decorated trees highlighting the wonderful fragrances and magnificent colours of the season.

Kelowna Christmas Markets

What is Christmas without a visit to the bustling marketplace? Kelowna's Christmas Markets are the hub for everything Christmassy. With many vendors offering a panoply of items, the markets transform into lively Christmas bazaars.

From gifting items such as handcrafted earrings and scented candles, Christmas decor like eccentric baubles and handmade wreaths, to gourmet preparations straight out of the Christmas cookbook, you find it all at the markets. Moreover, the markets also have performance artists and musicians, filling the air with melodious Christmas carols and holiday cheer.

Kelowna's Santa Claus Parade

Kelowna's Santa Claus Parade is a much-awaited event packed with enchanting floats, heartwarming music, and lively community participation. Local businesses, schools, and various organizations design and display their float entries, culminating with the main attraction - the Santa Claus float. Skating elves, plump snowmen, and red-nosed reindeer are popular figures dotting the parade.

Winter Wonderland at Big White Ski Resort

For those seeking to merge Christmas cheer with winter sports, Big White Ski Resort hosts numerous events throughout the season. Amidst the snow-covered pine forests, the resort lends an idyllic touch to the festivities.

Activities such as night skiing, snowboard competitions, and the building and decorating of snowmen are popular here. Don’t miss the bonfires, games and craft, live music and the fireworks display.

Local Christmas Traditions

Kelowna embraces several time-honoured traditions during Christmas, which largely contributes to its unique festive appeal. One of these is 'Caroling in the Park', where families gather to sing favourite Christmas tunes, bundled up in warm winter jackets, gloves, and scarves, accompanied by hot cocoa.

Another local tradition is the 'Candlelight Christmas' at Benvoulin Heritage Church. This traditional service lets you step back in time and celebrate Christmas in a historical setting. As the harmonious voices fill up the old church, people light candles, creating a beautiful ambiance.


There is a myriad of ways to celebrate Christmas in Kelowna. Every corner of the city is brimming with holiday energy and goodwill. So, lace-up your boots, put on a warm coat, and step out to immerse in the enigmatic charm of Kelowna at Christmas!