Our picks of places to go and things to do to make the most of your month on Vancouver Island. 

RUN WITH THE FISHES HERE -  November is prime salmon spawning season and there is no better place to watch the salmon run than in Goldstream Provincial Park. Thousands of Chum Salmon return to Goldstream each year, and you may even spot some Coho and Chinook Salmon on your visit. If you watch quietly and do not disturb the fish, you’ll likely see some working their way upstream. Don’t forget to wear boots. 

SEE THE LIGHT HERE - What better way to mark the start of the holiday season than with Victoria’s Annual Marina Light Up in front of the Empress Hotel. On Friday, November 29, sip complimentary hot chocolate while you and your family walk the docks to see the lighted vessels on display for the holidays. There’s even talk of a special surprise during the evening’s festivities. 

KICK OFF CHRISTMAS HERE - The next night, Victoria hosts the largest night-time parade in Canada—the Island Farms Santa’s Light Parade beginning at 5pm. The 38th annual event is followed by a visit from the Jolly Man himself in Centennial Square, where there will be games, food, fun and entertainment for the whole family. 

ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY HERE - The Christmas in Cedar Yellow Point self-guided tour returns November 21 to November 24. Take a drive in the country to discover farms, artisan studios, farmers’ markets, pubs and cafes serving fantastic cuisine. Not only is it a great way to stock up on local Christmas gifts, but you’ll likely discover a new favourite shop or restaurant. 

SHOP FOR CRAFTS HERE - Christmas season in Nanaimo begins at the Kris Kringle Craft Market at Beban Park from November 21 - 24. More than 150 professional artisans are featured at the event, now in its 25th year, as well as live entertainment, photos with Santa, face painting   and more. 

BE THE HOST WITH THE MOST HERE - Looking to amp up your holiday entertaining game? Learn from the pros at Merridale Cidery and Distillery’s interactive holiday workshop on Saturday, November 23 at 7pm. Their orchard will be adorned in twinkling lights and holiday displays, while inside the farmhouse, the distillery and cocktail tasting bar will offer intimate sessions for smaller groups. The evening will feature tastings, holiday cocktail theory, and the secret to preparing the ultimate charcuterie and dessert boards. Get your tickets here.