The Vancouver park board has unveiled its newest and most affordable event for families this holiday season.
In kick-off ceremonies held Thursday (December 8) on the eve of the opening of Holiday Heights at Bloedel, park board chair Sarah Kirby-Yung described the offering as the “best family-friendly deal in town”.
Holiday Heights transforms the Bloedel Conservatory and its grounds into a winter destination, starting Friday (December 9).
A key feature of the event is a Ferris wheel on the plaza of the conservatory at Queen Elizabeth Park, the highest spot in the city.
A Ferris wheel rider will give visitors amazing views of the city and the North Shore.
Holiday Heights at Bloedel also includes a holiday scavenger hunt, music, and festive lights in and outside the conservatory by MK Illumination.
Ticket prices cover entry to the conservatory, which hosts 200 flying birds and 500 exotic plants, Ferris wheel ride, parking, and holiday activities.
For a family of two adults and two children, the ticket is $15.25. Tickets for children four to 12 years old are $3.25 apiece. Other details are here.
Lee Richmond, president of the Cambie Village Business Association, said at the kick-off ceremonies that Holiday Heights at Bloedel enjoys great support from the community.
“Our local families are invested and active in all aspects of the neighbourhood, and that plays out in their support of the local schools, businesses, parks, and events like this,” Richmond said.
Park commissioners Casey Crawford, Erin Shum, and John Coupar were present at the ceremonies, which included turning on the Ferris wheel and its lights.
Holiday Heights at Bloedel is an addition to two popular holiday attractions by the park board.
One of these is the VanDusen Festival of Lights nearby. In this event, VanDusen Botanical Garden sparkles with over one million lights from December 1 to January 2.
The other is the Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park with its three million glittering lights until January 1.
Kirby-Yung later told the Straight in an interview that the park board challenged staff to come up with ideas about attractions to the parks.
“They did a great job,” she said.
According to Kirby-Yung, Vancouver residents should expect more from the current park board.
“This park board has really been looking at opportunities to bring more fun into Vancouver parks,” Kirby-Yung said.
Jennifer Hershman, a local resident, was taking a walk at Queen Elizabeth Park, and was pleasantly surprised to see the Ferris wheel.
“It seemed like an optical illusion,” Hershman told the Straight.
Hershman, a singer and song writer, related that she hasn’t been in the park since the snow arrived on December 5, and wasn’t expecting that the park will have a holiday event.
“It’s a wonderful idea,” Hershman said. “It’s brilliant.”