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Now's the time to Soar with Santa!

Soar with Santa at FlyOver Canada in Vancouver

A 2023 story sponsored by FlyOver Canada

For many of us, heartwarming nostalgia is the icing on the cake at Christmastime. From hanging the same slightly battered ornaments on the tree to tucking into those sweet marzipan chocolates you only want to eat in December


And then there are the essential festive experiences we do with friends and family every holiday season. From laughing like a giddy elf at a traditional panto to wrapping up for walks around light displays we’ve been visiting for decades.


But the secret to keeping Christmas from turning into nothing more than a tickbox list is to freshen things up a bit. This year, why not check out a local holiday activity you haven’t tried before? You might find it becomes an unexpected new tradition you and your family look forward to every December.


Take off this Christmas


A few years ago, we discovered a downtown holiday attraction many in-the-know locals already embrace every winter––especially those who love Canada, enjoy gentle thrill-rides and can’t wait to see Santa and his ever-friendly band of pointy-eared helpers.


Located near the scenic tip of shoreline Canada Place, FlyOver Canada is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2023. Over the years, this breathtaking simulator flight experience has become a staple for tourists looking for fun things to do in the city. But during the festive season, it transforms into the magical Soar with Santa experience––and it’s perfect for local holiday-huggers and their families.


What’s it like?


Soar with Santa starts in a darkened room decorated with a diorama of icy scenery, shimmering lights and a dusting of magical snowfall. Onscreen, you’ll also meet a couple of cheeky, twinkle-eyed elves keen to tell you more about the unusual journey you’re about to embark on.


A few minutes later, you’ll be ushered into your seat and strapped in for your “flight”. If you haven’t been to FlyOver before, there is nothing more stirring for us Canadians than that feeling of rising and gliding over our amazing country while looking down (and waggling your legs) over landmark sites and majestic landscapes.


Keep your eyes peeled for everything from the craggy East Coast shoreline to Toronto’s big city lights and from the vast prairie plains to the signature sawtooth peaks and rushing rivers of the Rockies. And then there’s British Columbia, a dramatic, gem-like coastal beauty that unfolds like a grand finale, bringing a little lump to the throat of many locals.


Holiday encore


Except it isn't actually the finale. The Soar with Santa experience has a full serving of elfish extras dotted throughout like dancing sugarplums. And while we certainly don’t want to spoil the activity’s surprise ending, let’s just say you should keep your eyes fully open for a visual feast that triggers lots of hearty holiday cheers from your fellow riders.


Holly jolly add-ons


After your flight, check out FlyOver’s onsite store, which contains a surprisingly well-curated array of Christmas gift ideas––we bought some cool, critter-themed tree ornaments here last year. There’s even a little café where you can fuel-up on hot chocolate after your lofty zip through the clouds.


And while you’re in the area, why not plan a full festive day out? Canada Place’s own holiday adornments include a mini-forest of selfie-ready trees decorated by local organizations. You’ll also find those vintage Woodward’s Department Store Christmas Windows here, complete with yesteryear scenes and moving animatronic figures––a beloved display that’s the very definition of holiday season nostalgia.


FlyOver Canada’s Soar with Santa runs from November 16 to January 7. Tickets are available on the attraction’s website (2023 link disabled)––book ahead for your preferred date and time. Regular tickets are $28 for adults and $18 for children aged 15 and under, with tickets for B.C. locals priced at $25 and $15, respectively. And if you really enjoy yourself, you can even purchase a half-price ticket for another flight within three days of your first!

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