We have visited Burnaby Village many times. When we were dating, and once married because we lived very close to it. My favourite time of year to visit there is always at Christmas when they have it all decorated for their Heritage Christmas. We always know the time is coming when the big snowflake lights are on display at the main gate entrance. Memories of field trips to there when I was in school, and ones of my family visiting with my Grandparents so all us grandchildren could ride the carousel, always come flooding back. It is a glimpse at a special moment in time. I really wanted to take Everly so we made it a part of our adventure before going to the train in Stanley Park. I highly recommend popping in here if you have the chance, the best part… its free to wander around right now, the Heritage Christmas runs until January 3, 2014. Starting December 14th the hours are being extended so the museum is open later into the evening.
We purposely planned our visit there while there was still light out, but also when it was about to get dark so that we could see all of the beautiful lights they have. There is even a new display that has been set up just inside the main gate, it makes the little path area there all the more enchanting. You will find several Eco-sculptures throughout the Village, my favourite are the two carousel horses that have been decorated for Christmas.
There are several things you can do besides just walk around and learn a bit about the history of the area. If you have children who like to do scavenger hunts, or you like to do them yourself, be sure to pick up the booklet to do a scavenger hunt based on the 12 days of Christmas. There is even a little ice cream parlour you can stop in to have ice cream, but if you need something to warm you up there is normally a very tasty soup, or other treats and snacks for sale. You can also visit Father Christmas and get a photo taken with him, be sure to write your name down on the naughty or nice list. There are treats being made in the farm house, that you may have the chance to try, or you can make a “musicopia” craft in the real estate office. While she needed some help, Everly felt very special getting to make her own little craft and bringing it home. It is now hanging on our Christmas tree at home, and has made me want to make even more homemade Christmas decorations. There are also bookmarks being made in the printshop, be sure to pop in and get one for a keepsake.
What was there before we had the Skytrain? The Interurban tram. I always picture what it would have been like to see this tram going around the city, this tram was used between 1913 and 1958. I wish trams like this were still used, much more beautiful than the Skytrains we have today. You can check out tram #1223, in the tram barn. You might even get the chance to ring the bell like we had.The highlight for us is always the carousel. The carousel ride costs $2.21 (per ride) and that is for all ages, or you can get a bakers dozen (13 rides for the price of 12) at $26.46. We actually got tokens so that Jason and I could both go on once with Everly, this way we each got photos with her on the carousel… one rode with her, while the other took photos. If you have a youngster that needs help, you only need to pay for whomever is actually riding the horse. So it is pretty budget friendly to visit right now.
Be sure to pay attention to the number at the base of your carousel horse, you will find it on the floor of the ride. There are computer screens over to the side where you can look up the name of the horse you were riding on, and a learn a bit of the history about it. The wooden carousel here is 101 years old. Our daughter rode on two of my favourite horses, ones that I would always rush to when I was a little girl. All of the horses are incredibly beautiful.
There is just something incredible special about Burnaby Village Museum, and the Deer Lake area surrounding it. We will definitely be visiting again, it will become a bit of a family tradition to go and visit and to ride the carousel.