Gone is November and in is December!
Anticipation for the holiday season is building across metro Vancouver, with a range of festivities already taking place.
From outdoor light displays to free ice skating, here are 32 awesome events taking place in metro Vancouver this weekend.
Events In Metro Vancouver This Weekend
Friday, December 1
Skating | Robson Square Ice Rink
The Robson Square Ice Rink is slated to open this weekend on Friday, December 1st, 2017 and host free skates daily until Wednesday, February 28th, 2018. Skating is free for all ages. Those who own their own skates are welcome to use them. Skate rentals are $4, and rentals end 30 minutes before closing time. Furthermore, helmets are mandatory for children 12 and under. Robson Square Ice Rink will offer rentals and accept cash only.
Christmas lights | VanDusen Festival of Lights
The Festival of Lights will take over the VanDusen Botanical Garden this weekend from Friday, December 1st – Sunday, January 7th, 2018. You can stroll through the garden and enjoy dancing light shows, photos with Santa and so much more. Dancing Lights occur every 20 minutes at Livingstone Lake. Back by popular demand, the Air France Carousel will take you on a Parisian musical experience around the world. All tickets include a free ride on the carousel.
Outdoor lights | Canyon Lights
Canyon Lights is taking place from Thursday, November 23rd – Sunday, January 28th, 2018. The suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and canyon are being transformed into a world of festive lights and visual enchantment. Guests will also get to see the tallest Christmas tree in the world!
Holiday display | Christmas at Canada Place
The 30th annual Christmas at Canada Place event returns this week from Thursday, November 23rd – Sunday, December 31st, 2017. Presented by the Port of Vancouver, the public is invited to experience the nostalgic tradition of the Woodward’s Windows, a magical holiday lighting display, the Sails of Light, and the festive Avenue of Christmas Trees. Admission is free.
Christmas lights | Glow Christmas Light Garden and Market
4 holiday themed light gardens and a stunning 210 ft. light tunnel. Christmas market with food, beverages, and local pop-up shops. Endless food trucks that includes a bar. Over 500,000 lights and activities for children to enjoy. Glow Christmas is Metro Vancouver’s newest seasonal market. It opens this weekend on Friday, November 24th and stay open until Saturday, December 30th, 2017.
The venue of choice is Milner Village Garden Centre. They specialize in growing poinsettias at Christmas, and garden-inspired decor and gifts all year around. As you make your way through the market, you’ll “feel the warmth and wonder of the Christmas season, under the glow of over 500,000 lights”.
Circus | Cirque du Soleil
Written and directed by Michel Laprise, KURIOS is a tale in which time comes to a complete stop. Moreover, the realm is in the 19th century, leading audiences to completely change their perception of reality. In an alternate yet familiar past, in a place where wonders abound for those who trust their imagination, a Seeker discovers that in order to glimpse the marvels that lie just below the surface, we must first learn to close our eyes. The show stays in Vancouver until Sunday, December 31st, 2017.
Exhibition | The Fabric of Our Land
The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC with the Musqueam Indian Band present the remarkable new exhibition The Fabric of Our Land: Salish Weaving. It’s on display from Sunday, November 19th – Sunday, April 15th, 2018. Curated by Susan Rowley in collaboration with Salish weavers, this exhibition takes visitors on a journey through the past 200 years of Salish wool weaving.
Art | Fight for Beauty
In ‘Fight For Beauty’, Westbank attempts to encapsulate the architecture, artistry, design, fashion and city-building initiatives that have come to define their practice. It will be on display from Saturday, October 7th – Sunday, December 17th, 2017. Fight For Beauty presents public art projects undertaken with world-class creatives.
Exhibition | City on Edge
The Museum of Vancouver (MOV) explores the history of our city’s street protests with City on Edge: A Century of Vancouver Activism. It’s a major, new photo-based exhibition on display until Sunday, February 18th, 2018.
Art | Intangible
Featuring previously crafted, and never-before-seen creations, Intangible spotlights six trailblazing Coast Salish artists influenced by tradition as well as contemporary inspiration.
The Port Moody Arts Centre is hosting their Winter Treasures Artisan Sale this holiday season until Thursday, December 21st, 2017. Sort through a collection of handcrafted gifts, art, jewellery, and fine crafts. Admission is free.
Performance | The Shipment
SpeakEasy Theatre presents the West coast premiere of Young Jean Lee’s provocative play; The Shipment. It plays in Vancouver from Wednesday, November 22nd – Saturday, December 2nd, 2017. Theatre Mania calls The Shipment “an insightful piece about black identity politics that is daring, provocative, and very, very funny”.
Market | Vancouver Christmas Market
The Vancouver Christmas Market returns to Jack Poole Plaza – home of the Olympic Cauldron from Wednesday, November 22nd – Sunday, December 24th, 2017. If you circle this event every year, you’ll notice it’s even better now in the festival’s 8th year. The city’s signature yuletide celebration offers its largest festivities to date. It will feature more than 75 huts stuffed with sweets, treats, and treasures.
One of metro Vancouver’s most magical residential Christmas light displays is ready for another big year. Reveal night for the 2017 Wish Upon a Star Christmas light display took place on Saturday, November 25th. The display will continue to be open from 5:00 – midnight nightly until Sunday, December 31st, 2017.
Outdoor lights | Lights at Lafarge
Lights at Lafarge, a display of over 100,000 Christmas lights returns to Coquitlam on Saturday, November 25th, 2017. The route will take visitors through a dazzling 1.2 kilometres of festive lights with ten themed zones. This family-friendly event is free to attend and is located near the Lafarge Lake SkyTrain station.
Train | The Polar Express Train Ride
The Polar Express Train Ride returns for another exciting year on select dates from Saturday, November 25th – Sunday, December 17th, 2017. Departing from West Coast Railway Heritage Park, hop on this magical train ride to the North Pole, while enjoying hot chocolate and cookies.
Meet the Hobo, Hero Boy, Know-It-All, and the conductor as they act out parts of the movie. Once you arrive at the North Pole take in various activities such as meeting Mr. and Mrs. Clause, visiting Santa’s workshop, the Mini-Rail and much more. Tickets start at $35.
Play | East Van Panto
The East Van Panto is back with another amazing show planned for Snow White & the Seven Dwarves. It plays from Wednesday, November 29th – Saturday, January 6th, 2018 at York Theatre. In this story, you’ll see your hero flee the Queen of North Vancouver across the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge and straight into the madness of the PNE. When she arrives here, she dances with Superdogs, takes a ride on the Coaster, and befriends washed up 80s rock stars “The Seven Dwarves”. Tickets range from $22-$135.
Outdoor lights | Bright Nights at Stanley Park
The Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park Train Plaza will sparkle with over three million twinkling lights this holiday season from Thursday, November 30th – Saturday, January 6th, 2018. This family-friendly holiday attraction features lights, breathtaking displays, and live performers along the 14-minute train ride.
Want to come during the day? There is a matinee tree operating during the daytime that’s the perfect option for families, school groups, and groups with children. However, there is no live performers during this ride. Tickets start at $6.
Comedian | Jerry Seinfeld
Seinfeld will be performing his signature stand-up routine at the Abbotsford Centre this week on Friday, December 1st, 2017. Many know him from his role in the sitcom Seinfeld, which he created and wrote with Larry David.
Music | Handel’s Messiah
Early Music Vancouver (EMV) presents Handel’s Messiah on Friday, December 1st and Saturday, December 2nd, 2017. It takes place at the Vancouver Playhouse, starting at 7:30 p.m. Music director and harpsichordist Alexander Weimann will lead the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the Vancouver Cantata Singers, and four internationally acclaimed vocalists in EMV’s first presentation of Handel’s greatest loved work. Tickets start at $18.
Collectibles | Vancouver Gem & Mineral Show
The Vancouver Gem & Mineral Show takes place at the PNE Forum from Friday, December 1st – Sunday, December 3rd, 2017. Western Canada’s largest gem show is ready to showcase in Vancouver 90+ of the best gem, mineral, and jewellery vendors from across Canada and abroad. You’ll see unique gems, fine crystals, rare fossils, handmade jewellery, fancy beads and findings, lapidary art, lectures and demos, hourly door prizes and more.
One of Vancouver’s most anticipated winter events will mark the official beginning of the holiday season in the city. The Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting takes place this week on Friday, December 1st, 2017. The ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Vancouver Art Gallery (750 Hornby Street). Similar to past years, there will be four Christmas trees erected, with the tallest standing 76 feet tall.
Saturday, December 2
Light festival | Lumière Festival
Experience Lumière, an annual event inspired by light, artistic expression, and community. Lighting up Vancouver’s iconic West End, Lumière kicks off on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 with eleven light inspired public art works on display. In addition, there will be fire performances, live music, and an umbrella parade!
Parade | Magic of Christmas
The City of Langley is excited to bring Santa Claus and his holiday spirit to town this December. Their Magic of Christmas event is taking place on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017. This free family event takes place at McBurney Plaza from 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
There will be entertainment, crafts, a parade, and even a visit from Santa Claus himself. Not to mention, the evening will be capped off with a tree lighting and caroling.
New West Craft is thrilled to announce that their 3rd annual Christmas Night Market is returning this weekend on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017. From 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., take part in a festive evening of shopping, music, food, drinks and plenty of fun. This is a family-friendly event, welcoming everyone to take part in all the activities.
Christmas trees | Dundarave Festival of Lights
The Dundarave Festival of Lights is back for another holiday season, offering four days of nonstop activities. Beginning Saturday, December 2nd, 2017, visitors can enjoy free concerts, a Christmas fair, and the Forest of Miracles.
December 2nd will see the official lighting of the Festival’s Forest of Miracles take place. Not to mention, it’ll be the largest outdoor display of Christmas trees in coastal British Columbia.
Ferris wheel | Shipyards Christmas Market
A 65 ft. tall ferris wheel, dubbed Sky Wheel on the Pier, is coming to the Shipyards Christmas Market. It takes place this weekend on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017. They’re transforming The Shipyards into a winter wonderland filled with music and twinkling lights. Guests can get a free ride on the ferris wheel, while enjoying the epic waterfront views. Not to mention, there will be a new winter artisan market in the Pipe Shop.
Market | Kitsilano Winter Market
The Kitsilano Winter Market returns to the Kits House this weekend on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. For the past 36 years, the event has helped provide important social services to individuals in need. This is a one-day indoor event focusing on local and sustainable crafts & food. Furthermore, it will have live music, craft market, free workshops on green initiatives, and child minding.
Music | The Music of Junk
The Music of Junk is a light-hearted, feel-good family concert experience with singers and musicians performing original music on imaginative, invented instruments built from junk and recycled materials. Tickets are $15.
Christmas market | Maan Farms Christmas Market
The Maan Farms 3rd Annual Christmas Market is open this weekend on Saturday and Sunday. It’s the perfect one-stop shop to cross a few names off of your Christmas list, while supporting local businesses. Moreover, there will also be a gift wrap station by donation. Market admission is free and open to everyone.
Sunday, December 3
Performance | The Nutcracker
The Royal City Youth Ballet Company presents, for the 29th season, the full length ballet The Nutcracker. It takes place this weekend on Sunday, December 3rd, 2017. This traditional ballet has beautiful sets, extravagant costumes, and features a cast of young, dedicated dancers. Tickets are on sale and start at $20.
Produce | Steveston Cannery Farmers Market
The Cannery Farmers Market returns to Steveston from October to April, inside the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. It’s open this weekend on Sunday, December 3rd.
December 6 | The Killers
The rock band will perform at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017. This announcement follows the September 22 release of their highly anticipated new album, Wonderful Wonderful. It’s the group’s fifth studio album, and first in five years.
December 7 | Make It Vancouver! Handmade Market
Running from Thursday, December 7th – Sunday, December 10th, 2017, make your way through 265 vendors. You’ll find clothing, accessories, art, home decor, gourmet goodies, baby and kid items, and many other unique treasures.
December 7 | Yule Duel
Hundreds of voices from more than 20 of Vancouver’s best choirs will again echo through the streets of Gastown on Thursday, December 7th, 2017. The cobblestone streets of Gastown will be closed that evening and festooned with holiday lights for Yule Duel.