Vancouver Christmas events: 5 highlights from around the region

Looking for ways to connect with your family, or maybe just unwind during the Christmas season? The Early Edition's Margaret Gallagher has some picks in her Advent Calendar.

It's the most wonderful time of the year — but here's how to take a break from the hustle and bustle

A miniature Victorian city display at the Britannia Mine Museum. The museum is celebrating Christmas with a Dickens theme, with events running until Jan. 3. (britanniaminemuseum.ca)

We get it — it's Christmas time. You're busy. You might be stressed. And even though it's the most wonderful time of the year, you might need a little break from the runaround.

Margaret Gallagher of The Early Edition has been giving listeners an Advent Calendar of great holiday events every morning on the program and until Christmas Eve she will be giving ideas for things you can see or do during the holidays and beyond.

Here are some of her highlights, some of which may, or may not, be 100 per cent Christmas-related...

Heritage Holidays at Fort Langley

If you want to experience Christmas in an old-fashioned way — a very old-fashioned way — check out the Fort Langley National Historic Site, where pioneer-style festivities are underway. Experience heritage crafts and activities, storytelling, historic photo booths and DIY decorations made from burlap and wood. The menu even includes chestnuts roasting on an open fire!

Runs Until: Jan. 3

Where: Fort Langley National Historic Site (23433 Mavis Avenue, Langley)

Costs: Admission varies; a family of up to seven pays $19.60

Hansel and Gretel: An East Van Panto

The East Van Panto is back at the Cultch, this time telling the story of Hansel and Gretel. The panto pokes fun at all the things we love and hate about our fair city with live music, wacky sets, and audience participation. The whole family can get in on the fun.

Runs Until: Jan. 3

Where: The Cultch Theatre (1895 Venables Street, Vancouver)

Costs: Tickets start at $20 each

A publicity photo of the company from the Carousel Theatre's production of James and the Giant Peach. The family musical runs until Jan. 3. (Tim Matheson/carouseltheatre.ca)

James and the Giant Peach

The Carousel Theatre for Young People is putting on a musical adaptation of the beloved Roald Dahl classic. The story follows James, stuck living with his awful aunts, and his search for a family after he takes off with a gang of fantastic friendly insects on a giant flying peach.

Runs Until: Jan. 3

Where: The Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright Street, Vancouver)

Costs: Tickets start at $26.67 each

Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen

This musical, which has been selling out across Canada on its latest tour, features six performers and 17 instruments bringing the haunting songs of Leonard Cohen to life. The cabaret-style show revolves around a fictional writer who shuts himself away in hotel room and confronts the ghosts from his past.

Runs Until: Jan. 9

Where: The Firehall Arts Centre (280 East Cordova Street, Vancouver)

Costs: Tickets start at $23 each

A Dickens Christmas at the Britannia Mine Museum

The museum's machine shop will be filled with Dickens-inspired displays, including a miniature village based on A Christmas Carol. There will be crafting and snacks, and on the weekends, Christmas Carollers with the Sea to Sky Singers will perform, and you can expect a visit from a jolly man in a red suit.

Runs Until: Jan. 3

Where: Britannia Mine Museum (1 Forbes Way, Britannia Beach)

Costs: Admission starts at $10.

With files from Margaret Gallagher