Vancouver is a picturesque place.
Take a stroll along the Seawall or hike up one of your favourite mountains that surround the city, and it’s easy to see why so many people choose to live here. With a sprinkle of snow and some twinkling bright lights, the 604 turns into a winter wonderland worth marveling over.
Here are 10 attractions that come alive during the coldest season of the year.
With an endless amount of shops and boutiques to find the perfect gift for that special someone on your list, Robson Street is the ideal hangout during the winter. Take in the street lights, holiday window displays and the giant decorated Christmas tree situated at 800 Block Robson.
Robson Square, of course, also transforms into a fabulously free ice skating rink decked out with holiday decorations to admire. Skate rentals are just $4. Open until February 28th, 2017.
Located in beautiful North Vancouver, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is a must-see during the winter. With thousands of lights illuminating the bridge and surrounding areas, Canyon Lights takes over the park and will make your eyes shine. Literally! Tickets range between $32.95-$39.95. The Canyon Lights display runs until January 8th, 2017.
An evening walk through Stanley Park is always a good idea. However, the winter season helps bring the iconic Vancouver park to life with holiday-themed festivities and gorgeous light displays. Bright Nights at Stanley Park is a winter classic and is accessible by donation ($4 suggested per person). Or hop on board the best Christmas Train in the 604 for a marvelous spectacle and holiday-themed show (tickets range from free to $12).
Bright Nights at Stanley Park is on now until January 1st, 2017.
If you want to save some money, simply wander the park on your own and take in the crisp, winter air.
The hospital boasts a gorgeous display during the winter as part of their Lights of Hope campaign. Over 150 volunteers come together to put together the lovely sight, which takes nearly six weeks to put together.With over 100,000 light bulbs and 10km of lights, the Lights of Hope display is free to view, but St. Paul’s Hospital truly appreciates your donations (which support the hospital’s patients).
Gear up and get ready for some fresh pow! Grouse is a hot spot for boarding and skiing, which of course is only available during the colder months of winter. However, Grouse Mountain also comes alive in many other ways during the winter. Check out the annual Peak of Christmas event (included in your Snow Pass or with your membership) which includes a Light Walk with a 23 ft. decorated tree, ice skating at the outdoor pond, and a visit with Santa at his workshop. Happening until January 2nd, 2017.
Grouse even has some reindeer kickin’ around, too!
For all of you Tricity folks, Lafarge Lake will stun you with a free display of over 100,000 lights! The 1.2-kilometer route boasts ten themed zones and dazzling festive lights for you and your loved ones to enjoy. Bring your pup to revel the beauty too, since furry friends are definitely welcome at the Coquitlam park. Happening until January 22nd, 2017.
One of Vancouver’s most art-influenced areas comes to life with festive events and more during the winter. Grab a cup of hot chocolate from the Blue Parrot Espresso Bar located in the Public Market (and some delicious fudge, mmm) and wander through the intricate streets. Gaze upon the window displays of each unique boutique!
Head over to Ainsworth Custom Design for the 5th Annual Ornament Show & Sale to stock up on some handmade Christmas ornaments for everyone on your ‘Nice’ list. Happening until January 2nd, 2017.
West Vancouver is home to stunning ocean views and cute, family-owned shops with holiday treasures for each of your loved ones. Shop around the village, decorated with Christmas lights galore. If you wander down towards the beach, you’ll be in for a treat! The Forest of Miracles (part of the Festival of Lights) is coastal B.C.’s largest outdoor display of Christmas trees, each illuminated and ready for your curious eyes throughout the winter season.
Dundarave Village also hosts free concerts every Saturday in December leading up to Christmas. World Christmas happens on December 10th from noon to dusk, and Christmas Wassail & Bonfire Night happens on December 17th from 3-9:30pm.
Aside from hitting the slopes, Whistler is by far one of the most beautiful places to visit in the winter. The village comes to life with twinkling lights, decorated trees, warm cider and drinks from local vendors and people from all over the world enjoying the simplicity of strolling along the cobblestone streets.
Bring a camera and snap some photos with the festive displays set up throughout the village. We suggest staying a night (or two) at one of the amazing hotels or lodges in the surrounding area. Make a weekend of your trip if you have the time. It’s a bit pricey, but definitely worth every penny to spend some of your holidays surrounded by timeless beauty, both in and around the village.
Take in the mountain views from many different vantage points, or even take a ride on the Peak-to-Peak Gondola. There’s so much to do and see during the winter up in Whistler, so don’t miss out!
To some, it’s merely just a cold beach. However, English Bay is the place to be in the winter time, specifically on January 1st, 2017. Each year, people come together in crazy costumes (or sometimes nearly nothing at all) and take part in the Polar Bear Swim. The event consists of running into the freezing ocean and cleansing yourself for the new year ahead.
Sounds fun, right? It’s undeniably the best New Year’s Day event in the 604. And it’s completely free to take part in!
Winter is a time to cozy up with your sweetheart, sip on some rum and eggnog, and enjoy the little things in life that make the holiday season special. Whatever you find yourself doing this winter, be sure to share each moment surrounded by the ones you love most.
And if we missed one of your favourite winter attractions, leave us a comment below and we will gladly check it out.