604 Now

32 Awesome Events In Metro Vancouver This Weekend (December 15-17)


Photo: Rory Coomey

You’ve made it to the weekend!

It’s time to kick back, relax, and see what’s happening across metro Vancouver.

Christmas lights? There’s plenty of those!

RELATED: Take The Freezing Plunge At The Vancouver Polar Bear Swim

Holiday markets? Many are now open for the crazy shopping season.

From beautiful house lights to festive Christmas markets, here are 32 awesome events taking place in metro Vancouver this weekend.

Events In Metro Vancouver This Weekend

Friday, December 15

Lanterns | Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival

Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival
Photo: Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival

The Vancouver Chinese Lantern Festival will light up the skies of Vancouver with dozens of spectacular gossamer lanterns. It takes place at the PNE Grounds just in time for the Christmas season this weekend from Friday, December 15th – Sunday, January 21st, 2018.

Being the largest festival of its kind in Canada, guests can expect to see 35 illuminated displays transforming over 14 acres of Hastings Park into an explosion of light and colours.

Outdoor lights | Heritage Christmas

Stroll through the streets of the Village to see wreaths, cedar swags and vintage-themed displays. This winter wonderland is open this weekend until Friday, January 5th, 2018.

Christmas lights | Glow Christmas Light Garden and Market

Glow Christmas
Photo: Glow Christmas / Facebook

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’s open this weekend and stays 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”.

House lights | North Vancouver Christmas Lights

The Ribalkin/Viau family are at it again – covering their roof, gardens, gutters, railings and driveway in thousands of of lights, blow-up displays, Christmas decorations, and holiday cheer. the light display will be on from 5:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. daily until the last night of Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018. 100% of both the cash and food donations will go to support the Harvest Project, Shriners Care for Kids, and the BC Epilepsy Society.

Celebration | Holiday Heights at Bloedel: Arctic Oasis

Holiday Heights at Bloedel kicks off for the season this Friday, featuring lights, music, and a holiday scavenger hunt. Tickets start at $3.

Skating | Robson Square Ice Rink

Free Things In Vancouver
Photo: Clayton Perry Photoworks / Flickr

The Robson Square Ice Rink is open this weekend and will 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 until 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
Photo: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

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 is back until 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.

Dance | Judgement Day Breakdance Battle

Judgement Day
Photo: raw&solo lifestyle

Judgement Day, hosted by raw&solo lifestyle, is a traditional 1 vs 1 single-elimination tournament taking place on Friday, December 15th, 2017 at Studio Nightclub. From 7:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m., a 32 bracket tournament will begin and will have Vancouver’s hip hop scene on full display. DJ Static and Wundrkut will be spinning tracks all night and entertaining the crowd.

Party | Westminster House Winter Wonderland

Westminster House is hosting Winter Wonderland on Friday, December 15th, 2017. From 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., partake in exciting activities, while mingling with members of the local community. This annual holiday event helps raise funds for the Rainbow Lodge Retreat in July 2018.

Circus | Cirque du Soleil

Photo: 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

Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art

Featuring previously crafted, and never-before-seen creations, Intangible spotlights six trailblazing Coast Salish artists influenced by tradition as well as contemporary inspiration.

Sale | Winter Treasures Artisan Sale

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.

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.

Lights | Wish Upon a Star Christmas Light Display

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
Photo: City of Coquitlam – Municipality / Facebook

Lights at Lafarge, a display of over 100,000 Christmas lights returned 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 throughout the weekend 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

Bright Nights
Photo: Bright Nights in Stanley Park / Facebook

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.

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 saw 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.

Saturday, December 16

Skiiing | Santa Day

Whistler Blackcomb
Photo: Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb is hosting its annual Santa Day this month on Saturday, December 16th, 2017. Dress as Santa or Mrs. Claus and “a free lift ticket will be awarded to the first 100 people to arrive at the Garibaldi Lift Company, at the base of Whistler Mountain”.

Market | Weirdos Holiday Market

The Weirdos Holiday Market unites Vancouver’s most curious local artisans and vendors to showcase an eclectic array of all things unusual, unique, and out of this world to pique your curiosity. It will be held on Saturday, December 16th and Sunday, December 17th, 2017. Taking place at Betamax Studios, this market is perfect for those who dare to go beyond gifting chocolate hedgehogs and Starbucks gift cards.

Santa | SantaCan

Photo: SantaCon Vancouver 2017 / Facebook

SantaCon takes place in Vancouver on Saturday, December 16th, 2017. They’ll be meeting at Toby’s Pub on Commercial Drive at noon. The rest of the route will be announced that morning.

Shopping | Crafty Affaire Holiday Market

The Crafty Affaire Holiday Market is taking place on Saturday, December 16th, 2017. It will be held at the Croatian Centre from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sort through over 100+ talented artisans and makers offering handmade goodness for the holiday season.

Train | CP Holiday Train

CP Holiday Train
Photo: @CPHolidayTrain / Twitter

The CP Holiday Train will be stopping all over Canada this winter and promises to bring cheer to families across the country. The 19th edition of the train also hopes to raise awareness about hunger-related issues and encourages attendees at each stop to bring a food or cash donation. It stops first at Haney-Maple Ridge this weekend on Saturday, December 16th.

Run | The Big Elf Run

The 3rd annual Big Elf Run takes place this weekend on Saturday. It’ll have a 1km Wee Elf Run and a 5km/10km Big Elf run/walk around Stanley Park.

Sunday, December 17

Solstice | 5th Annual Winter Solstice Coffee House

Enjoy an evening of local live music, storytelling, refreshments and much more! Taking place at Britannia Community Centre, admission is free.

Hockey | Vancouver Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks host the Calgary Flames at Rogers Arena. Puck drop is slated for 5:00 p.m.

Upcoming Events

December 18 | Feeding The Homeless

For the 12th year in a row, more than 150 people in recovery from the greater Vancouver area get together and go into the Downtown Eastside to feed the homeless and do outreach.

December 21 | Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

Hundreds of handmade lanterns and live music. Light installations and aromatic tea for guests to sip on. The 24th annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival returns this month on Thursday, December 21st, 2017.

December 22 | Winter Ice Palace

The 20th annual Winter Ice Palace returns to Cloverdale Arena from Friday, December 22nd – Sunday, January 7th, 2018. It’s a family-friendly open skate, with the arena decked out in twinkling holiday lights.

Log in or create an account to save content

Become a local insider