The annual Holiday Celebration Lunch is Dec. 5, surrounded by the festive Christmas Tree Village.

7 festive things to do in Esquimalt this holiday season

O Come, O Come see the Christmas tree village, holiday lunch, lights and lots more!

Some things are hard to predict.

White Christmas? It’s too early to tell.

Is Esquimalt celebrating the holidays?

You better believe it.

“It’s a busy month with a lot of fun activities going on,” says Community Development Programmer Shelann Kowalewsky, “And other than the holiday lunch, everything is free!”

1. Christmas Tree Village

Grab your your loved ones and experience the magic of the holidays with Esquimalt Parks & Recreation’s sixth annual Christmas Tree Village. From Dec. 2 – Jan 3 they will have more than 35 trees in both the Archie Browning Sport Centre and the Esquimalt Recreation Centre. Don’t forget to take notes so you can vote for your favourite community tree in the People’s Choice Awards online.

2. Holiday Celebration Lunch

Mark your calendars for Dec. 5, because this is one tradition you don’t want to miss.

For just $20 you can enjoy a holiday meal with turkey and all the fixings, and you don’t even have to do the dishes. Lunchtime entertainment from the Ukulele Club and the Macaulay School Choir is sure to sing you into the spirit of the season.

“It’s such a great tradition,” says Kowalewsky.

Space is limited, so be sure to register before Dec. 3 at 2 p.m.

3. Holiday Light-Up Map

Want to plan the perfect route to check out the lights in your neighbourhood? Have an awesome set-up you want people to see?

Check out the Holiday Light-Up Map to see the best of Esquimalt.

They’re inviting the community to submit their own address online before Nov. 29 at noon.

4. Holiday Indoor Movie

“In the summer we do outdoor movies on the field, but this holiday season we’re moving inside to the Esquimalt Recreation Centre gymnasium!” says Kowalewsky.

After an intense online poll the public has spoken and Esquimalt is watching The Polar Express. Bring your blanket and some pocket change for a snack provided by the Esquimalt Lions Club.

5. Celebration of Lights

Gather ‘round Esquimalt Road to catch Kris Kringle and other familiar festive faces in the annual event between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Dec. 8. After you’ve caught all the action cozy up to the performance stage for a holiday sing-along, free hot dogs, hot chocolate, coffee and snacks. It’s not too late to enter a float in the parade, or volunteer to be a road marshall to keep Santa safe. Esquimalt Road will be closed from 4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. from Canteen Road to Lampson Street to launch the holiday season.

6. Jolly Jingle Story Mingle

Throw on your PJs and come on down to sit around the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate for an hour of storytelling with Ali. Sure to get your whole family in the holiday spirit.

7. Photos with Santa

Santa is popping into the Esquimalt Recreation Centre again this year on Sunday Dec. 15 between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Santa’s helpers will be there to take a photo for you, using your own camera. Donations for the Rainbow Kitchen are encouraged.

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Ali tells stories at the Jolly Jingle Story Mingle on Friday, Dec. 13 at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre.

Celebration of Lights, the annual Esquimalt Santa Claus parade, happens Dec. 8 starting at 5 p.m.

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