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25 Fun Things To Do In Metro Vancouver This Weekend (Dec 29-31)

Photo: Polar Bear Swim & Ted McGrath / Flickr

It’s the last weekend of the year! Can you believe that 2023 is already coming to an end? With milder than usual weather, this may be a great opportunity to go out and celebrate with tons of fun things to do around Metro Vancouver this weekend.

From New Year Eve celebrations and icy swims, to holiday festivities coming to an end, go out and enjoy 2023 coming to an end.

RELATED: 41 Fun + Free Things To Do In Metro Vancouver this December

Things to do in Vancouver this weekend

New Year’s Eve Celebrations

Photo: Candid Characters / Flickr

There are many fun things to do in and around Metro Vancouver this New Year’s Eve, with tons of bars and restaurants having special performances and celebrations, as well as a number of parties taking place.

However, it’s important to note that there won’t be any firework celebrations at Canada Place this year. In previous years, many were left disappointed as they anticipated a fireworks display that never occurred. Thus, it’s advisable to celebrate elsewhere this year.

Vancouver Polar Bear Swim on New Year’s Day

vancouver polar bear swim video

There are multiple places you can take the icy new year plunge at this January 1st. Here are a few popular spots:

  • Vancouver: Polar Bear Swim at English Bay – event is from 2pm to 4pm, official swim at 2:30pm
  • White Rock: Polar Bear Plunge at White Rock Pier – Registration Party at 10:30am and then plunge is at 12:00pm
  • Surrey: Polar Bare Plunge at Crescent Beach at 1 pm
  • North Vancouver: Penguin Plunge at Rocky Point Park – Event starts at 11:30 am and the swim is at 1:00 pm
  • Delta: Centennial Beach in Boundary Bay Regional Park – event kicks off at 11:45 am, with registration at noon and the swim at 1 pm
  • Port Moody: Penguin Plunge at Rocky Point Park – Registration opens at 11:30 am and the plunge is at 1 pm ($5 fee)

Gateway Theatre presents the Magic of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA

The Gateway Theatre creative team is bringing this magical production to life with extravagant ball-worthy costumes, an incredible pumpkin carriage and a live band to play this captivating score.

With its fresh new take on the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, this hilarious and romantic Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella combines the story’s classic elements – glass slippers, magic pumpkin carriage, and a beautiful ball – along with some surprising twists.

When & Where: December 14-31 at the Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Road,, Richmond
Cost: $40

Introductory Meditation and Yoga Classes

Free introductory Meditation and Yoga classes for newcomers. Please bring a yoga mat. No prior experience is necessary. The yoga sessions are not western style Hatha Yoga. They are more restorative type of exercises that include deep relaxation and self massage.

When & Where: December 31 from 6 – 7:30 pm at the Amenity Room at 6742 Station Hill Court, Burnaby
Cost: Free

Events Ending this Week

(Last weekend) Glow Gardens in Langley

The popular event returns to Langley, transforming a massive indoor venue into a dazzling wonderland of lights and interactive displays.

Families and visitors can explore illuminated gardens, admire intricate light sculptures, and even enjoy a visit from Santa Claus. With its enchanting atmosphere, Glow Langley has become a beloved holiday tradition, offering a magical experience for all ages during the festive season.

When & Where: November 23 – December 30 at Glow Gardens Langley, 6690 216 St, Langley
Cost: $23.99

(Last weekend) Cirque du Soleil: KOOZA

 

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Cirque du Soleil is set to return to Vancouver this October with their mesmerizing show, “KOOZA.”

This highly anticipated event promises to once again transport audiences into a world of wonder and awe as only Cirque du Soleil can.

When & Where: October 21-December  31 at Concord Pacific Place, 88 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
Cost: $60-$70

(Last weekend) Martini Town Film Studio Tour

Have you’ve always wanted to feel like you live in a Hallmark movie? Well here’s your chance to experience the magic of the films in real life. For the first time, Martini Town, Langley’s very own exterior Film Backlot, is open to the public after being transformed into a Christmas wonderland. Visit a New York City Street, courthouse, diner, town square and small town – all at Merry & Bright.

When & Where: December 1 – January 1 at Martini Town, 1123 272 St, Aldergrove, BC
Cost: $22

(Last weekend) Granville Island Festive Lights

Granville Island invite you to stroll our warm and elegant holiday light display. With complimentary parking after 6pm, and of course no entrance fee, family and friends can walk the expansive grounds of Granville Island’s almost 40 acres, under the stars, or under an umbrella (after all, it is winter in Vancouver), and take in a relaxed evening among the lights, restaurants, bars and taprooms.

When & Where: December 15 – January 2 at Granville Island
Cost: Free

(Last weekend) Christmas at Canada Place (FREE)

The annual family-friendly Christmas at Canada Place marks its return on December 1. Guests of all ages are invited to soak in the season and experience this popular holiday tradition. Many of the favourites from past installments are here as well, including Woodward’s Windows, North Point Lights, Sails of Light and the Avenue of Trees.

When & Where: December 1 – January 2 from 8am – 10pm daily at Canada Place, Vancouver
Cost: Free

(Last weekend) Liven UP – Coal Harbour

Liven UP – Coal Harbour is a free, and family-friendly event that infuses enchantment and significance into the seawall. Throughout the month, this event will feature lighting exhibits, artists, musicians, and storytellers along the breathtaking path spanning from Canada Place to Cardero Park. Be sure to explore the Harbour Green Stage & Bar for fantastic live performances and delightful refreshments. As an added bonus, there are live activities every Friday and Saturday night.

When & Where: Dec 1-30 at Coal Harbour seawall from Canada Place – 999 Canada Place to Cardero Park – 1601 Bayshore Drive
Cost: Free

(Last weekend) Bear Creek Santa Express + Christmas Night Train

Riding on a mini-holiday train through a winter wonderland of lights and festive displays is undoubtedly one of the most magical holiday experiences.

If you’re having no luck getting tickets for the recently returned Stanley Park train, have no fear, because Surrey has its own magical train ride for all to enjoy. The Bear Creek Christmas Train is back to provide a lot of joy, glee, and loads of family fun.

When & Where: Dec 2 – 31 from 4:30-10pm at Bear Creek Park, 13750 88 Ave, Surrey
Cost: $13

(Last weekend) Tinseltown: the Christmas Speakeasy

Get ready for Tinseltown, the Christmas-themed pop-up returns to Vancouver this Winter. It’s all about spreading holiday cheer with Santa, elves, presents, festive decorations, and a delightful Christmas cocktail menu. With decorations galore, this event will leave you in the holiday spirit.

When & Where: November 22 – December 31 at a Secret Location
Cost: $17

Ongoing Holiday Festivities

Check out our full guide of events taking place this December. Below are a few highlights

Steveston’s Winter In The Village

The holiday season brings about many cheerful celebrations, but Steveston’s Winter In The Village is special. Special because it transforms Richmond into a month-long winter wonderland spreading Christmas joy and light. And the best part of this multi-venue, citywide festival – everything is FREE or low-cost. To beautiful lights and visits from Santa, to holiday trams and craft fairs, there are tons of things to do all month long.

When & Where: December 1 – January 8 at Steveston Village, Richmond
Cost: Free or low cost

Stanley Park Bright Nights

 

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Every holiday season has cherished traditions that bring joy to our hearts. And one of Vancouver’s favourite tradition is taking in the breathtaking light display at Stanley Park’s Bright Nights event.

This FREE family-friendly event returns for another year of beautiful twinkling light displays, live entertainment, and delicious food. And the best part… the Stanley Park Holiday train will be returning!

When & Where: November 30 – January 6 from 4-10pm at Stanley Park
Cost: by donation

Burnaby Village Museum – Heritage Village (Free)

Experience Burnaby in all its festive beauty. The popular Heritage Christmas event will be coming back for another year.

The event takes place November 25 to January 5, 2024, and the best part yet—it’s free. The official launch of the Heritage Christmas with a tree lighting ceremony will be on December 2nd at 6 p.m.

When & Where: November 25 to January 5, 2024 at the Burnaby Village Museum, Burnaby
Cost: Free

Check out a Beautiful Light Display

 

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There are over 15 light displays taking place around metro Vancouver, free and paid events that are sure to make your weekend magical. Here is the full guide here with all the details. A few of our favourites includes:

Ongoing Things To Do

Ice Skating at North Vancouver’s Shipyards Rink

North Vancouver’s impressive 12,000 square foot skating rink in The Shipyards is set to open again this December and it’s free for all. You can see the skyline of the city in the background and all of these commercial amenities immediately accessible – it’s just absolutely spectacular.

When & Where: December 1 – March 3 from various times at The Shipyards, 125 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver
Cost: Free (Skate rentals are $5)

Robson Square Ice Rink

 

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This winter, strap on some skates and frolic in one of Vancouver’s most beloved ice rinks. Downtown’s Robson Square Ice Rink will return to the public this holiday season. Conveniently located in the centre of downtown, it is an outdoor rink with a glass ceiling that beautifully lights up for the festive season.

When & Where: December 1 – February 29 from various times at Robson Square Ice Rink, 800 Robson Street, Vancouver
Cost: Free (Skate rentals are $5)

Fall Exhibits at The Museum of Surrey (Free)

The arrival of fall marks the introduction of two exciting new exhibits at the Museum of Surrey: Everything is Still Awesome and #HOPEANDHEALINGCANADA. Both exhibits just opened in October, and invite visitors to build and connect, whether it be with the ageless love of classic toys, or the journey towards hope and reconciliation.

There is also an amazing indoor playground, TD Explore Zone, to discover with your little ones. Where they can learn about sustainability while interacting with a variety of fun displays.

When & Where: October – March 2024 at the Museum of Surrey, 17710 56a Ave, Surrey
Cost: Free

Catch a Movie

Saturday Morning Movie for only $2.99

Cineplex is offering children’s movie at 11 o’clock on Saturday mornings for only $2.99 +tax. This month’s lineup includes:

  • Saturday, December 30 – Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch

Note however that it is only at participating theatres, and available films details may vary on locations. You can check out their website for the most up-to-date details.

When & Where: Every Saturday at participating Cineplex Theatres

For more upcoming events, check out our new events calendar.

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