Mark Your Calendar: North Van Will Have a (Free!) Christmas Market 2024

New holiday market set to open in The Shipyards November 2024

Group of friends in winter eating churros and drinking hot chocolate.
Photo: Parfait Productions Inc

Sure, the sun is shining and we’re stocking up on our annual two-month supply of sunscreen—but winter’s never that far away (this is Canada, after all). And when the days start to get shorter, wetter and overall less summery and more Rain-couver-y, there’s one thing you have to look forward to: mulled wine. Okay, okay, two things, mulled wine and a lot of comfort food. Luckily for you we’ve already got a hot new location for the most delicious parts of the season penned and ready: North Van’s newly announced Shipyards Christmas Market.

I know what you’re thinking: “So early! It’s not even Canada Day yet!” Ah, but now you can call up your pals and brag about how you’re the best planner of all the planners in the friend-group (finally! take that type-As!). And isn’t that the true spirit of the season? Best of all, it’s free, baby.

Mother and daughter buying souvenirs on Christmas
Photo: Parfait Productions Inc

Yes, you read that correctly: North Van’s newly announced 2024 Christmas Market will be totally free to enter. If we know one thing about the holidays, it’s that they’re expensive. Between gifts, decorations, dinners and the (very necessary) hoards of chocolate, the wallet can feel a little light come the new year. So, the decision to make the market free was made with inclusivity in mind. “Our initiative is rooted in the belief that individuals should not be required to pay for participation,” says John van Rij, president and founder of Parfait Productions, producers of the Shipyards market.

Plus, in our minds, removing the overhead for entering a winter wonderland makes us that much more willing to jump on a Seabus or cross the dreaded Lions Gate.

Parfait Productions claim the new market will have “75 chalet-style stalls and eye-catching décor in its inaugural year”—there’s set to be everything from food (think bratwurst and other seasonal market-fare), mulled wine and cocoa for your inner child (or your actual child: this is a family friendly market, after all). Overall, the folks putting on the market intend to highlight local businesses and entertainment, so you can expect dancing troupes, Santa sightings and more.

We’ll keep you updated on any future developments. In the meantime, while you’re trudging down to the pitch and putt or setting up your first Spikeball game of the season, remember: Christmas comes early this year in North Van.

Shipyards Christmas Market
November 29 – December 24