Cool activities for de-stressing during winter break

Lifestyle Sports | Lifestyle
Graphic by Darian Lee

During the final frosty month of the year, it can be hard to get away from the stress of finals and have some fun. But whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia, or Hanukkah, winter in Victoria offers plenty of different activities to bring about a festive spirit. From night markets and Frightmares to light displays and jazz clubs, the city has a slew of holiday themed activities — both naughty and nice — to warm up your December.

Christmas Night Market — Victoria Public Market 

On Dec. 12 and 19, the Victoria Public Market, located downtown on Douglas Street, will host a night market from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event promises food, live music, and Christmas-themed workshops to enjoy throughout the evening. The bar will be open from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., so stop by for some holiday cheer to warm yourself up from the inside out during your trip downtown.

Frightmare Before Christmas: A Tim Burton Ball — Lucky Bar

Dress up in your best Tim Burton costume and venture over to Lucky Bar at 517 Yates St., on Friday, Dec. 13. This event features drag performances by more than 10 amazing drag queens. There will also be live art displays, theatre, and even burlesque, all to the theme of the fabulous Tim Burton. Additionally, there will be a costume contest for those who dare to dress in their best Burton-esque attire. Pre-sale tickets are available at Eventbrite for $15 dollars, and it’s $20 at the door. There’s no better way to spend Friday the 13th this winter than dancing to great music in a spooky costume.

Downtown Victoria Presents: Lights of Wonder — Centennial Square

Starting Dec. 13 through 30, Centennial Square will be lit to the brim with an enormous display of lights. Unlike similar events in places like Vancouver or Seattle, this light display will be free for the public all month long. Lights of Wonder will have vendors on site, and there are rumors it may also feature a wine and beer garden. Check it out at night with your honey, or even bring the whole family to this all-ages event. According to Victoria Buzz, the Downtown Victoria Business Association spent $500 000 on this installation, so we might as well make the most of it. It should be quite a sight to see this holiday season.

Victoria Etsy Artisans Holiday Market — Tillicum Centre

On the weekend of Dec. 14 (10 a.m.–6:00 p.m.) and 15 (11 a.m.–5 p.m.), the Victoria Etsy Artisans will be selling their wares at Tillicum Centre, located behind Tillicum Mall. Handmade items, bath products, foods, and more will be available. This event is always inviting, colourful, and festive — a perfect addition to any Christmas shopping schedule. Consider gifting support to local artisans this season.

Skate with Santa — Archie Browning Sports Centre

Dec. 14, 2:30 p.m.–4 p.m., head down to Archie Browning in Esquimalt and skate with Santa. Bring your kids or younger siblings and do a few rounds on the rink with ol’ St. Nick. If skating with adults is more your speed, consider the three dollar adult-only skate on Dec. 16 from 11:30 am to 12:50 pm. Go alone, with friends, or find winter romance on the ice this holiday.

Charlie Brown’s Christmas: Sean Drabitt — Hermann’s Jazz Club

On Thursday, Dec. 19  and Friday, Dec. 20, Hermann’s Jazz Club at 753 View Street will be hosting Sean Drabitt during his tribute to the music of the animated classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Drabitt is a Vancouver-born, Victoria-raised classical jazz musician. During the 90s, he played throughout New York and New Orleans — a city which is hailed as a jazz capital of the world. This event is always great, so don’t wait to register for your tickets at hermannsjazz.com. Shows at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The winter holiday season only comes once a year, so why not make some memories that will last all year round? There’s no better way to get through the cold winter nights than with some good music, great food, some friends, and a little shopping. No matter your interests, there’s something out there to add some holiday spice to the month.