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31 Fun Things To Do In Metro Vancouver This Weekend (Dec 15-17)

things to do vancouver

Photo: @cptrain_kristinduffphotography / IG & Coca Cola Caravan

This week in Vancouver, the city is abuzz with festive holiday markets, cultural events, and the anticipation of the upcoming celebrations.

This week has been another foggy one, but it has been surprisingly warm and dry, to to delight. With only 1 more weekend left before Christmas, there is just so much to see and do.

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

Things to do in Vancouver this weekend

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train Concert (FREE)

 

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All aboard the express train to the festive season! As the winter chill marks the return of the beloved Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, decorated with dazzling lights and featuring delightful musical performances.

When & Where: December 17-18 at various times and locations
Cost: Free

The Coca-Cola® Holiday Caravan 6 Vancouver Stops (FREE)

The Coca-Cola® Holiday Caravan is on it’s way to Metro Vancouver and will be in town from December 15 to December 19. Guests are invited to immerse themselves in a FREE interactive and festive gathering featuring a meet-and-greet session, a complimentary holiday photo opportunity with Santa + a refreshing beverage.

When & Where: December 15-19 at various locations
Cost: Free

Santa’s Christmas Ships: Christmas Boat Parade with Fireworks (FREE)

The annual Santa cruises return to Port Moody’s Reed Point Marina, featuring up to 15 illuminated ships adorned in festive lights. They will be making their rounds starting on December 2nd and can be spotted cruising on Fridays and Saturdays until December 23rd.

Where & When:

  • Dec. 15: Woodlands, Brighton Beach in North Vancouver, Barnet Marine Park, Belcarra Bay
  • Dec. 16: Bedwell Bay, with Santa visiting children in Belcarra Regional Park followed by – fireworks
  • Dec. 22: Belcarra Bay, Deep Cove, Dollarton
  • Dec. 23: Belcarra Bay, Deep Cove, Dollarton

The ships depart from Reed Point Marina at 7pm and usually arrives at their destination around 7:30 to 8 pm.
Cost: Free

Goh Ballet Presents The Nutcracker (Dec 14-17)

Step into the enchanting world of Clara and her cherished Nutcracker Prince as they face off against the formidable Mouse King and journey through the Land of Sweets. This timeless holiday classic, will come to life in the annual production of “The Nutcracker” by Goh Ballet for five shows only this December.

When & Where: December 14-17 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza, Cambie St & Georgia St W, Vancouver
Cost: $67-210

PNE Winter Fair

 

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This holiday season, PNE has an event where guests can find Santa Claus through puzzle-solving and riddle-cracking, go aboard the PNE Holiday Express, and wander through the enchanting Winter Lights. There will also be ice skating and a brand new Ice Bumper Cars experience. To cap things off, guests can treat themselves to some great Holiday Eats & Treats to warm up.

When & Where: December 14-23 at the PNE Fairgrounds
Cost: $25.00

Fleurs de Villes NOËL

Fleurs de Villes is back with its 5th annual Fleurs de Villes NOËL floral trail. The event will feature 40 festive floral installations and other holiday decor created by Vancouver’s favorite florists.

These include a giant snowflake and holiday wreath, a magical floral sleigh, a snow queen, floral elf, Nutcracker-inspired mannequins, and other spectacular floral creations bursting with blooms. The event is free and open to the public.

When & Where: December 9-17 in Downtown Vancouver & Robson Street
Cost: Free

BEING PIAF: Four shows only!

BEING PIAF is a unique solo performance from Los Angeles, as told by the spirit of Edith Piaf: French chanteuse, international star, and magical storyteller.

Filled with music and evocative visuals, BEING PIAF has enjoyed an engagement at New York City’s Triad Theater and is headed for London in 2024. We are beyond fortunate to have a stop on this masterpiece’s ever-expanding tour in Vancouver this December.

When & Where: December 14-17 at the PAL Studio Theatre, 581 Cardero St 8th floor -300, Vancouver
Cost: $32-$36

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

Bring Humour to Your Holidays with The Comedy Department’s Holiday Comedy Rumble: Every Elf for Themself

This December, The Comedy Department is bringing holiday cheer to the West End’s The Show Cellar in Vancouver and to the Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam with Holiday Comedy Rumble: Every Elf for Themselves.

This one-of-a-kind comedy competition promises to bring the ha-ha-ha’s to your ho-ho-ho’s as audiences get ready for candy-cane chaos and the funniest holiday season ever

When & Where: Saturday Shows between December 9-23 at The Show Cellar, 1755 Davie Street, Vancouver
Cost: $22.50

The Skate Before Christmas

The Skate Before Christmas will be a fun way to celebrate the holiday season while raising money for a good cause – young women battling cancer.

Organizers encourage participants to invite friends, wear their favourite holiday sweater, and come join us for a fun afternoon on the ice.

When & Where: December 16 from 1-5pm at the North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex, 10950 126A Street Surrey
Cost: $11.98

Go Holiday Shopping

As the holiday season approaches, the sweet scent of hot spiced apple juice fills the air, and toes begin to tap to bouncy Christmas tunes. And so the holiday shopping season has also begun. Here are a few fun spots to check out this winter season

  • The Christmas Store at Potters – Located in South Surrey, this is Western Canada’s Largest Christmas Store with an impressive array of festive decor.
  • Glenda’s Christmas Cottage -This home-grown holiday shop in Abbotsford is must see place for any Yuletide lovers celebrating the joy of Christmas.
  • There are also a number of Christmas Markets going on from now until the end of December. You can check out our full guide here, with details on the markets taking place this weekend.

Eleventh Hour Artisan Market

Get your last minute shopping done with the ELEVENTH HOUR Artisan Market! Featuring: 30 Carefully Selected Artisans offering a wide variety of products – no duplicate tables, hundreds of Stocking Stuffer Items under $5 $10 & $20, and more.

When & Where: December 15, from 4-10pm at Eagles Hall, 33868 Essendene Ave, Abbotsford
Cost: Free Parking and Admission

The Weirdos Holiday Market

“This is Weird!”: Metro Vancouver’s freakiest holiday market returns for two weekends only. The Weirdos Holiday Market offers the region’s most unusual selection of gift ideas for the giving season. Featuring the work of 50 artists personally curated by founder and organizer Rachel Zottenberg, the market offers an awe-inspiring selection of oddities,

To the delight of everyone who refuses to gift the ordinary and predictable, the Weirdos Holiday Market returns for its seventh annual edition.

When & Where: December 9-10 from 11am to 5pm at the Russian Hall (600 Campbell Ave.)
Cost: $5

Polar Express Squamish (LAST WEEKEND)

Bring out the candy canes and presents – it’s time to board the North Pole Express! As winter’s beauty envelops Squamish, adventurous families are invited to climb on the train to Santa’s workshop. Don’t miss this magical Christmas train ride full of family memories that will last a lifetime.

When & Where: November 25 – December 17 at the Railway Museum of British Columbia,39645 Government Rd, Squamish
Cost: $82-$132 (for 2)

Ongoing Holiday Festivities

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

Holidays on Robson

For 2 Saturday’s this December, you can get into the holiday spirits with free music and floral experiences on Robson Street in Downtown. The event includes the renowned Caminando Carolers who will be singing your favourite holiday songs from 1-4pm.

When & Where: December 9 and 16 from 1-4pm at Bute-Robson Plaza, 800 Bute St, Vancouver
Cost: Free

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

Check out a neighbourhood holiday light displays

Burnaby christmas lights
Photo submitted: DuPlessis Family Christmas Display

Beautiful light displays are popping up all over Metro Vancouver, and some of the most impressive ones may actually be in your own neighbourhood. You can definitely feel the holiday spirit when at these amazingly decorated homes.

Here are a few notable ones:

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)

“A Christmas Cocktail Story” Retro Holiday Pop-up

This retro-themed pop-up, hosted at Dalina in Chinatown, is a must-visit for Vancouver foodies and cocktail lovers looking to celebrate the holiday season in style. As guests step into this holiday wonderland, they’ll be greeted with a special holiday drink to set the mood, delectable shareable fondue, and a delightful assortment of holiday treats.

When & Where: December 1 – 23 at DALINA Main st., 687 Main Street, Vancouver
Cost: $40

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

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

All aboard the 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

Vancouver Christmas Market


The Vancouver Christmas Market at Jack Poole Plaza is a festive holiday tradition in the heart of the city. This enchanting market features beautifully decorated wooden stalls, offering a wide array of seasonal treats, handcrafted gifts, and traditional German fare.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the holiday spirit as they explore the market’s charming atmosphere, sip on mulled wine, and enjoy live entertainment against the backdrop of the iconic Olympic Cauldron.

When & Where: November 16 – December 24 at Jack Poole Plaza
Cost: $19.99

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

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

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

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

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 16/23 – 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

Hidden Wonders Speakeasy Magic Experience

Hidden Wonders Speakeasy Magic Experience is a speakeasy-style performance venue hidden behind a fake business facade in New Westminster’s historic district.

The evening offers a seventy-five-minute magic experience featuring effects exclusively designed for the venue as well as several of the effects Shawn created to impress Ellen, win the world championship and to fool Vegas’s Penn & Teller twice on their hit television show Fool Us.

When & Where: offered every Thursday – Sunday until December 17 at Hidden Wonders Showroom, 662 Clarkson St, New Westminster

 

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

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