IHello friends! Can you believe that it’s December already? It feels like summer was just last week yet here we are 3 weeks until Christmas! To celebrate the holiday season, I went to the Vancouver Christmas Market with my family for the media event a few days ago.
Unfortunately it was rainy that day but that wasn’t going to dampen our holiday spirit!
The market is held at the Jack Poole Plaza right beside the Olympic cauldron by the Vancouver Convention Center from Nov 22 – Dec 24. Along the sidewalk, the lit up trees add to the feeling of wonderment that comes with the holiday season.
When we got there, the line was was already snaked outside the designated fenced area despite the fact that it was a weekday and rainy outside. There are 6 ticket booth counters for you to buy your tickets which cost $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $5 for youth and children under 7 are free of charge. If you are a frequenter of the market, you can also add $1 to make it a season pass so you can go back whenever you like. They also offer group tickets if you’re a party of 12 or more.
Being that we’ve never been to the Christmas market, I wasn’t sure what to expect but once you walk through the “gates,” it’s as if you’ve been transported into a Christmas market in Germany. There are twinkling lights at every turn, little huts with goods and treats to purchase, and of course, Christmas music playing in the background.
One thing we noticed is that a majority of the stands sold things that were handmade. These ranged from Christmas decorations to fruit shaped soaps! This is definitely a place for you to go and get some of your Christmas shopping done.
They even had shops with artisan baked goods like stollen bread and cookies. They were so pretty and tasty looking that we had to get a box of them. There’s nothing better than a good buttery cookie on a cold day right? But don’t go too crazy at the pastry shops because there’s lots of food stalls available for you to get your munch on.
One of the stalls that seemed to be highly popular was the one that sold roasted pork hocks. Mother deer and old bean couldn’t turn them down because they looked so good so we decided to get a full hock ($22). If that sounds like too much, you can also get a half order for $11.
The pork hock came chopped up over two slices of bread and topped with a mountain of saurkraut.
You then have the option of adding on mustard, ketchup or hot sauce to your plate of food from what brother deer called “condiment udders.” He went a little crazy with them and as such, the plate was amply adorned by spicy mustard.
The pork hock was tender and juicy. Everything came off the bone and there was the perfect amount of crispy bits to create a balance of textures throughout. We were going to attempt eating it like an open-faced sandwich with everything piled on top but it seemed too risky because the slices of bread were soggy from absorbing all the juices from the pork.
After our shared meal, we decided to walk next door to see what was in store for us in the tent next door. We weren’t sure what to expect but when we walked in we were greeted with a wonderful feeling of warmth from the heated space.
Then along the tables inside were rows and rows of delicately made Christmas decorations. There were snowglobes, lights, table toppers, tree ornaments and so much more. We spent a good 15 minutes in there just looking at all the intricate pieces of art in awe.
Afterwards, we decided to pick up our pretzels at the pretzel stand. Afterall, you can’t expect to leave a Germany Christmas market without a pretzel can you? These pretzels came in original, cheese and chocolate. We’ve never had a chocolate pretzel before but we wanted a warm one so we opted to go with the cheese one instead.
The cheese pretzel was huge! And by that I mean it was bigger than my hand! Unfortunately, the pretzel didn’t come to us hot despite the fact that it was taken out from the warming station. As expected, the pretzel was dense but not as cheesy as we would of liked.
As we ate our pretzels, we wandered around some more and came across this stand with half a wheel of cheese! They heat it under the lamp and then scrape all the cheese goo onto your order. We were salivating from just staring at it especially since our cheese pretzels were not as cheesy as we hoped. Unfortunately we were all too full by the time we made such a discovery to try it but we will definitely be making a stop here first thing the next time we come by!
When we finished our pretzels, we decided that it was about time for our carousel ride. The ride is $3 each and they gave you a token to use as your ticket inside.
The carousel was very whimsical looking under the night sky. It’s lights and bright colours were enticing and we all relished in our childhood as we fought over which horse we wanted to ride.
After our rides we decided to get a hot drink to warm up again since it was starting to get chilly. The drink booth is located under a glorious windmill display. Inside the second level of the display, there was a live violinist playing Christmas carols. It was quite the sight to see!
The drink offerings were red or white mulled wines and if you wanted an extra kick you can get one with rum added into it. If you’re there with kids, no worries because they also offer hot cider and kinderpunch which was a non-alcoholic version of them mulled wine which tasted like spiced blackberry juice.
All in all, our visit was fun and memorable despite the weather. It was definitely worth the visit and I can’t believe I’ve never been before prior to this year!