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AllianceFrançaise de Victoria The Alliance Française is a worldwide organization based in Paris, offering language instruction by certified teachers, adapted to the needs of learners. Classes at various skill levels are offered though community centres. Private instruction is tailored to individuals, business and government agencies. For more information, please see our website: EXPLORING OUR WORLD LICENSED PRESCHOOL


at the Gordon Head Rec Centre

Come explore with us! Themes that are inspired by your child's interests, with a focus on outdoor play, stories, science, arts and crafts, music, drama and dance. We offer a developmentally appropriate, play-based program with an emphasis on the whole child's development. This fosters growth in each child's emotional, social and physical well-being. Register for M/W or Tu/Th. Contact Jen Poitras at 250-475-7113 for more information

16  Island Parent Magazine

Holiday Happenings Butchart Gardens presents the 29th annual Magic of Christmas from Dec 1-Jan 6, 2017. The Gardens sparkle with tens of thousands of coloured lights and seasonal decorations. Miles of fresh evergreen swags and wreaths, holly, ivy and winter berries adorn the walkways and lamp posts. See the Twelve Days of Christmas displays tucked into the landscape. Get into the Christmas mood with traditional carollers and festive brass music from 5-9pm. Whirl around the outdoor ice skating rink. Skate times run on the hour during admission hours and are 40 minutes. Skate rentals available; children’s helmets on loan. Garden hours from Dec 1-Jan 6, 9am-9pm, except Christmas Day when the hours are 1-9pm. Kids 12 years old and younger are invited to bring a paper snowflake they’ve made and exchange it for a cup of hot chocolate in the Coffee Shop. (Limit of one per day). Visit butchartgardens .com or phone 250-652-4422.

tree, meet Santa, and snap a picture with the Polar Bear and the Ferris Wheel photo backdrop. Rides are $3 each or $2 for 5 rides. New this year, spend $10 or more at a participating downtown business and receive a voucher to ride the Ferris Wheel for $1 (while supplies last). Height restrictions may apply. Ferris Wheel will not operate in inclement weather. For information, visit

Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase at the Inn at Laurel Point. Feast your eyes and nose on creative inspirations constructed out of gingerbread. More than houses, they are sculptures and unique works of art created by professional and amateur chefs. This year’s theme is “Around the World” and bakers are encouraged to let their creativity lead the way, whether it is finding inspiration in travel, traditions and cultures, or adventures with friends. Vote for your favourite—if you can choose Father Christmas in Old Town at Royal just one! All funds raised support Habitat BC Museum from Dec 2-4, 9-11, 16-18 for Humanity Victoria, helping make (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from affordable homeownership possible for 11am-3pm). Visit with Father Christmas low-income families living in the Victoria in Old Town, have your photo taken, region. Until Jan 2, 2017 from 9am-9pm. and share your holiday wishes. Photos Visit by donation. Then take in the sights and Celebrate the 25th annual Victoria Fessounds of Christmas long ago in Old Town. Marvel at the huge Christmas tree, visit tival of Trees in support of BC Children’s the wood-cobbled streets lined with festive Hospital Foundation. This year, the Festival garlands, and see the shops decorated with has ‘branched’ out across downtown, deckChristmas finery (until January 9, 2017). ing the halls of The Bay Centre and returning to their ‘roots’ at The Fairmont Empress. Visit As sponsors of this event, local businesses, The Ferris Wheel will be back in Centen- organizations and individuals decorate the nial Square Fridays (4-9pm), Saturdays trees—in a sometimes wacky, often irrev(noon-9pm) and Sundays (from noon-5pm) erent and always beautiful fashion. This this month. From December 19-23, the season, trees are on display throughout the Ferris Wheel will also run Monday, Tues- Empress until Jan 3, 2017. Come browse day and Wednesday (noon-8pm) and on through a holiday wonderland and cast a Thursday (noon-9pm). Come and see the ballot for your favourite tree. Admission is lights of Centennial Square and downtown free, though a $2 donation is suggested for from 20 metres up! Grab a snack from every vote. Sooke hosts its seventh annual local food vendors, enjoy holiday enter- Festival of Trees at the Prestige Oceanfront tainment courtesy of the City of Victoria Resort and SEAPARC Leisure Complex and the DVBA, try out the audio-reactive from Dec 4-Jan 4, 2017. Visit

Island Parent December 2016  

Gift & Book Recommendations