As November rolls around, Victoria begins to see its first frosty mornings. Crisp, fresh air greets the lungs as you stroll around town, seeking out the city’s array of twinkling light displays and festive decorations. Window shop along Johnson Street until the smell of java lures you into one of downtown’s quaint coffee shops. Or ring in the holiday season with carols and sweet eats. Ready to get your cozy autumnal trip planning underway? We’ve got 11 things to do in Victoria, BC this November to get you started!

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1. The Butchart Gardens

Watch as The Gardens transform throughout Autumn. Credit: The Butchart Gardens
Watch as The Gardens transform throughout Autumn. Credit: The Butchart Gardens

Experience the magic of The Butchart Gardens! Boasting hues of ambers and gold, the gardens this time of year don’t disappoint as they make their way into the winter season. (Tight on time? Check out our Butchart Gardens Day Trip option).

Round out your day at Butchart with their seasonal spread of Afternoon Tea, presented in The Gardens’ homey Dining Room Restaurant. Nibble on an outstanding array of house-made treats, crafted with care from top quality, locally-sourced ingredients paired with their signature blends of loose-leaf teas. Between the warm, welcoming service and the intimate atmosphere, you’ll walk out feeling like a close personal friend of Jennie Butchart herself.

2. Victoria International Jewish Film Festival – November 1 – 6

Join this years Victoria International Jewish Film Festival! Credit: VIJFF
Join this years Victoria International Jewish Film Festival! Credit: VIJFF

 

Immerse yourself in some Jewish culture at the Victoria International Jewish Film Festival, back for its 8th year at The Vic Theatre. Enjoy live music, discussions with filmmakers, and delicious multicultural cuisine with offerings varying from virtual cinema to in-person events!

3. Beyond Van Gogh

Experience the one-of-a-kind digital exhibit of Van Goh. Credit: Beyond Van Gogh Victoria
Experience the one-of-a-kind digital exhibit of Van Goh. Credit: Beyond Van Gogh Victoria

Whether you’re out with friends, spending quality time with family, or looking for the perfect date night, you’ll surely not want to miss this. Find a new appreciation for Van Gough’s work through 300 jaw-dropping masterpieces at a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. Step into a real-life painting and watch as the artwork comes to life, flows, and appears throughout your journey.

4. Nomad Holiday Market – November 11 – 13

Pick up a variety of local pieces. Credit: @joannalovettsterling
Pick up a variety of local pieces. Credit: @joannalovettsterling

A creative’s wonderland home to BC’s finest artists and Makers, browse this year’s Nomad Holiday Market. A space where limitations don’t apply and unique visions come to life, you’re sure to be in awe while equally inspired. Bring home a variety of food, alcohol, fine art, hand-made clothing, and crafts as the perfect stocking stuffers or new addition to your home.

With offerings from craft distilleries and wineries to interactive activities, sip and stroll while you ponder your purchases!

5. Vigil at The Belfry Theatre – November 15 – December 11

Enjoy a show at Belfry Theatre. Credit: Jo-Ann Richards
Enjoy a show at Belfry Theatre. Credit: Jo-Ann Richards

Get your tickets and step into the iconic Belfry Theatre for the irresistible play Vigil, returning to the theatre for the first time after 25 years. Described as “deliciously absurd, incredibly funny, and poignantly tender,” this classic black comedy has been played over half the world and translated to over 24 languages.

6. Victorian Christmas Craft Fair – November 19

Celebrate new traditions for years to come at this years Victorian Christmas Craft Fair!
Celebrate new traditions for years to come at this years Victorian Christmas Craft Fair!

Celebrate local artisans at this year’s highly anticipated and beloved Victorian Christmas Craft Fair! Explore handcrafted décor and gifts from over 70 artists and local businesses just in time for the holiday season! Treat yourself to gourmet treats and snag an extra for your furry friend.

7. Get Your Holiday Shopping Underway

Start your seasonal shopping with unique boutiques. Credit: @adammasson
Start your seasonal shopping with unique boutiques. Credit: @adammasson

Discover Victoria’s growing boutique shopping scene with a stroll around downtown! Cruise along the candy-colored storefronts of Lower Johnson Street to check out stores like Rook & Rose, Little Gold and Still Life.

Then, hang a right and head up Government Street for some incredible vintage finds at Duchess & Duke and handmade clothing inspired by nature at Smoking Lily. With far fewer downtown crowds and an exchange rate in favor of American visitors, this is the perfect shopportunity to start crossing some things off your holiday to-do list!

8. Festival of Trees – November 17 – January 3

Find your favorite tree while strolling around a true winter wonderland. Credit: @thebaycentre
Find your favorite tree while strolling around a true winter wonderland. Credit: @thebaycentre

True holiday magic isn’t complete without this year’s Victoria Festival of Trees – the unofficial kick-off to the holiday season in BC’s capital! Held at the Bay Centre, each tree is unique in its own way–from eccentric to exquisite. Going beyond touching the hearts of those who visit, the event also benefits the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

9. 2022 Gingerbread Showcase – November 26 – January 2

Admire the work of gingerbread house masters. Credit: @innatlaurelpoint
Admire the work of gingerbread house masters. Credit: @innatlaurelpoint

Delicate, frosted creations take the spotlight at this year’s Gingerbread Showcase held at the Parkside Hotel & Spa. Stroll through the festive lobby and admire the efforts from amateur and professional bakers alike.

Vote for your favorite by donation, with all proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity Victoria. Whatever the confectionary creators come up with, it’s sure to light up your kids’ faces (and yours!) with glee. 

10. Magic of Christmas Dinner and Dance – November 26

Celebrate the season with friends and family at The Garden. Credit: @thebutchartgardens
Celebrate the season with friends and family at The Garden. Credit: @thebutchartgardens

Ring in the Christmas season with an evening of holiday festivities at The Butchart Gardens’ Magic of Christmas Dinner and Dance! Dine on a tempting buffet from their culinary experts while live music drifts through the air.

After dinner, bundle up for a caroler-led stroll through The Gardens and prepare to be dazzled by an exclusive preview of their annual Christmas Lights display. Wrap up the evening at The Blue Poppy Restaurant with a swank spread of desserts and groove to the big band stylings of The Chris Millington Band.

11. Breakfast with Santa at The Oak Bay Beach Hotel – November 26 – December 18

Grab brunch with Santa at the Oak Bay Hotel. Credit: memoriesdoor_photography
Grab brunch with Santa at the Oak Bay Hotel. Credit: memoriesdoor_photography

Kick-off the holiday season with the whole family in the most delicious fashion – Breakfast with Santa! Fuel up on Mr. Claus’s favorite snack while decorating cookies, and snap a photo to be cherished for years to come!  End the evening on Government Street to join the throngs of locals taking in the city’s annual Santa’s Light Parade.

There are two options when brisk fall begins – hibernation or a whole-hearted seasonal embrace. Whether you choose the former and experience the fiery colors this season is known for, or the latter via artisan markets and holiday cheer, there’s a fall activity for everyone in BC’s capital this month!

While you’re out and about, slow down and stop to take in the sights, sounds and smells of Victoria mid-fall: leaves crunching underfoot, local coffee wafting out of your cup and array of glowing lights brightening the evening sky. Pure autumnal goodness!

 

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Featured image courtesy of Destination BC