20 things to do over the holidays in Metro Vancouver
Concerts, winter markets and Christmas light shows around the city
From concerts to craft markets to light displays, there’s a lot happening around Vancouver Lower Mainland during the last few weeks of 2019.
All times are in Pacific Time.
Holidays at Vancouver Aquarium
Soak up the holiday season at the Vancouver Aquarium: visit to see Scuba Claus and a jelly snow globe display.
When: Nov. 21 – Jan. 5, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: 845 Avison Way, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2
Aurora Winter Festival
Canada’s largest winter festival. Hastings Park transformed into a winter wonderland with a skating rink, a tube park, massive light displays, a Christmas market and food gardens.
When: Nov. 22 – Jan. 5, 4 – 10 p.m.
Where: 2901 E Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V5K 5J1
Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village
Enjoy the special atmosphere of festive lights and the traditional decorations. Wander the village and take in all the seasonal entertainment, demonstrations and activities.
When: Nov. 23 – Jan. 3
Where: Burnaby Village Museum, 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby BC V5G 3T6
The Peak of Christmas
Annual holiday festivities with Santa, skating, a light walk and more.
When: Nov. 22 – Jan. 5, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Where: Grouse Mountain, 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, British Columbia V7R 4K9
Bright Nights Christmas Train
During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park Train Plaza sparkle with three million twinkling lights.
When: Nov. 28 – Jan. 1
Where: Pipeline Road, Stanley Park, Vancouver
Christmas Glow Vancouver
Family-friendly indoor wonderland with “interactive light gardens, illuminated structures, delicious food, festive drinks and daily live entertainment all under the twinkle of a million lights.”
When: Nov. 21 – Jan. 5
Where: 760 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver, BC V6B 5E7
Timberline Country Christmas
A 29-hectare horse ranch in Maple Ridge is transformed into a Christmas wonderland; lights, trees, interactive scenes, music, activities that remind us of times when Christmas was a lot simpler.
When: Nov. 30 – Dec. 22
Where: 22351 144 Avenue, Maple Ridge, BC V4R 2P8
Magic of Christmas
An annual event featuring breakfast with Santa, live entertainment, crafts for kids, letters to Santa, a parade, tree lighting and caroling.
When: Dec. 7, 9 a.m. – 7.30 p.m.
Where: Parade, Fraser Hwy from 204 to 207 Street, Langley City, BC V3A 4G4 and McBurney Plaza, 20518 Fraser Hwy, Langley City, BC V3A 4G2
Vancouver Christmas Market
The market is celebrating its 10th anniversary this season.
When: Nov. 20 to Dec. 24, 11.30 a.m. – 9.30 p.m. (On Christmas Eve only till 6 p.m.)
Where: 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver V6B 1B8
Steveston Festival of Trees
Festive trees decorating Steveston’s historic cannery. Each tree is decorated by local merchants and community groups in a friendly competition. A token to vote is included with admission or by donation to Richmond Food Bank Society.
When: Dec. 3 – 31, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: 12138 Fourth Avenue, Richmond, BC V7E 3J1
Ice Skating at Robson Square
Don your skates and head downtown.
When: Nov. 30 – Feb. 29, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays)
Where: 800 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1A7
Vancouver Holiday Bazaar
Shop from more than 150 local vendors during the Vancouver Holiday Bazaar.
When: 4 – 9 p.m. (on Dec. 13), 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (on Dec. 14), 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (on Dec. 15)
Where: 81 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver V6Z 2W3
Part of the New West WinterFest.
When: Dec. 15, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Where: Columbia Street, New Westminster, B.C.
26th Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival
“Honouring many cultural traditions, the annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival illuminates the darkest night of the year with lanterns, fire, singing, drumming, music, storytelling and dancing.”
When: Dec. 21, 6 – 10.30 p.m.
Where: Granville Island:1661 Duranleau Street, Vancouver V6H 3S3 and Yaletown: 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver V6Z 2W3
Park & Tilford Holiday Hi-Light Festival
Annual event features a festival of lights with over 150,000 lights on display over 1.2 hectares. Entry is by donation with proceeds going to support the North Vancouver firefighters.
When: Nov. 29 – Dec. 31, 5 – 9 p.m.
Where: 333 Brooksbank Avenue, North Vancouver, BC V7J 3S8
VanDusen Festival of Lights
Stroll through the winter botanical gardens that showcase more than one million sparkling lights.
When: Nov. 30 – Jan. 5, 4:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Where: 5251 Oak St, Vancouver, BC V6M 4H1
Karaoke Christmas Lights Trolley Tour
The trolleys will jingle through the city offering views of Stanley Park, English Bay, VanDusen Botanical Garden, St. Paul’s Hospital and Canuck Place holiday light displays.
When: Dec. 3 – 29, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Where: 200 – 110 Cambie Street, Vancouver V6B 1B8
Family First Night
North Shore’s original and longest running family friendly New Year’s Eve event. Enjoy laser tobogganing, take in live entertainment on the main stage.
When: Dec. 31, 5.30 – 8.30 p.m.
Where: Mount Seymour, North Vancouver, British Columbia V7G 1L3
Family New Year’s Celebration
Grouse Mountain celebrates New Year’s Eve with its annual Family New Year’s Celebration. Ice skating, live entertainment and a 9 p.m. countdown for kids.
When: Dec. 31, 7 p.m.
Where: Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver
The Polar Bear Plunge
If you are feeling brave, say hello to 2020 by taking a wintry dip.
When: Jan. 1
Where: Locations across the city, including Kitsilano Beach and the Aldergrove community centre