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All aboard! Christmas Express set ride again in Cowichan

Crafts, fire pits, indoor entertainment, miniature Christmas Village at the Forest Discovery Centre
The Christmas Express is back at the BC Forest Discovery Centre for 16 evenings in 2022. (Citizen file)

Get ready to get on board the Christmas Express this holiday season at the BC Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan.

“We love hosting the Christmas Express and seeing the magic of the holiday on the faces of everyone that attends,” said Chris Gale, general manager of the centre. “Enjoy activities like Christmas crafts, the fire pits, indoor entertainment, the miniature Christmas Village, concession goodies and you can cozy up in our festive photo area and take your own family photos with our seven foot lifelike Santa Claus. Join in with good cheer for all as we share our excitement as we host this iconic Island family tradition.”

Thousands have made a Christmas tradition of taking the train through the thousands of twinkling lights set up throughout the 100 acre Forest Discovery Centre property. Because of this, the centre has added some extra dates this year so there are now 16 days included in the festivities.

“We invite islanders to come and enjoy the festivities, the light displays and of course a magical train-ride on the Christmas Express,” said Gale.

“The Christmas Express is the museum’s largest fundraiser of the year,” said organizers. “It is paramount to the ongoing operation and maintenance of our antique vehicle collection, our trains, the maintenance of the historical buildings and the preservation of an important ecosystem within the Cowichan region.”

Tickets are only available online at If you do not have access to purchase online, contact the centre at 250-715-1113 ext. 23 for alternate arrangements. While on the website, you can also purchase an annual membership for 2023. You can also visit the gift shop online or in person to find the perfect gift for any member of your family.

The Christmas Express runs from Friday, Dec. 2 to Monday, Dec. 5, Friday, Dec. 9 to Monday, Dec. 12, Thursday, Dec. 15 to Sunday, Dec. 18, and Tuesday, Dec. 20 to Friday, Dec. 23 for a total of 16 evenings. The BC Forest Discovery Centre opens at 3:30 p.m. on these dates with train departures every 30 minutes beginning at 4 p.m.

The last train departs at 8:30 p.m. Guests are welcome to arrive early for later boarding passes or stay later after their scheduled train departure to be able to enjoy all the activities of Christmas at the Centre.

About the Author: Cowichan Valley Citizen Staff

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