Adventure

This Rainforest In Canada Has The Most Incredible Light Display You’ve Ever Seen

If your holiday experience was anything like mine growing up, you probably spent a good amount of time in December trekking around the ‘burbs to check out the local Christmas lights.

There were always one or two that stood out from the rest. These real head-turners had been carefully workshopped, right down to the last tiny bulb.

Well, friends, I’m here to tell you that there is a Christmas lights display in Vancouver, Canada that’ll put every other set-up you’ve ever seen to shame.

I discovered Capilano Suspension Bridge Park (no, it has nothing to do with honey; yes, I wondered the same thing at first) during a recent visit to Vancouver. A friend who lives in the city recommended I check it out for some beautiful scenery, so I made a last minute trip to see it.

To get to the park, I hopped on a free shuttle (honestly, how is Canada so bloody lovely?) in the middle of Vancouver city that drove me directly to the front entrance. Easy. The entire trip was about half an hour long, which I really wasn’t expecting, considering I was making my way to a massive rainforest.

I bought my ticket at the park, but for those of you who are more organised than I am (most of you), you can purchase them online too. Entrance for an adult is CA$46.95 (AU$50).

The Capilano Bridge in Canada is a sight that demands to be seen

Image: Tim Trad / Unsplash

Being a lover of nature, I was more than ready to be blown away by the scenery I was about to witness.

What I didn’t expect to find, however, were the fairy lights laced throughout the treetops.

As it turns out, I had entered into the park as they were preparing for Capilano’s Winter Festival of Canyon Lights. The annual event sees the entire area lit up with hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights, and it is honestly the most magical thing I’ve ever set my eyes on.

The festive display runs until January 27 and, unsurprisingly, has become a hugely popular tradition.

 

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Although I only saw the early stages of the set-up, the park had already been transformed from a peaceful forest into something otherworldly. It reminded me of a scene out of FernGully — the part where the entire forest lights up for Zak and Crysta, not the bit where the brown sludge tries to destroy everything. And it’ll continue to look like this right the way to the end of January.

If you want a clearer idea of the kind of work that goes into the Winter Festival, picture this: the lights cover the Capilano park’s 137-metre suspension bridge, and they adorn the 34-metre tall Douglas firs, the largest Christmas trees in the world.

 

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However, my favourite part of the entire Capilano attraction was the Treetop Adventure. The park has built seven walkable suspension bridges that connect eight monster trees, and the whole installation has been completely decked out with golden lights.

Strolling between the treetops and taking in the view of the of the glowing firs was dreamlike, as cheesy as that may sound.

During the festive season, the team at Capilano also offer DIY gingerbread cookie decorating and carol sing-alongs with a holiday band. How insanely cute is that?

And when it comes to grabbing a feed, there’s the Cliff House Restaurant – small plates are between CA$16 and $18 (AU$16.80 to $18.90), larger plates are between CA$20 and $28 (AU$21.40 to AU$29.50) – as well as a selection of smaller cafes and an ice-cream store.

Image: Cayetano Gil / Unsplash

For this disorganised traveller, a last minute decision to see a rainforest I’d never heard of turned out to be one of the most memorable travel experiences I’d had in years.

It certainly wasn’t the neighbourhood light displays I grew up visiting, that’s for sure.

(Lead Image:Jacalyn Beales / Unsplash  )