30 FREE Events & Attractions This December That Everyone in Vancouver Will Love

Travel & Outdoors
Jingle Bells Night / explore coquitlam holidays

Many tend to spend a lot during the holiday season and we’re here to help you keep a little bit extra in your pocket.

Here are the best free Metro Vancouver holiday events and attractions you need to take advantage of this December.


Free Metro Vancouver Holiday Events

Heritage Christmas

Heritage Christmas

Photo: @marija_bojanic / Instagram

About: Stroll through Village streets to see wreaths, cedar swags and vintage-themed displays. At the bandstand, visitors can create their own magical holiday show with lights that change colours to sound.
Date: Saturday November 24th, 2018 – Friday January 4th, 2019
Time: Various

Harrison Hot Springs Winter Light Festival

About: Harrison Hot Springs is going to overflow with holiday cheer this year with a new winter light festival called Lights on the Lake, the Christmas Tree Trail, a Cabin Style New Year’s celebration and much more!
Date: Saturday November 24th, 2018 – Monday January 28th, 2019
Time: Various

Lights at Lafarge

Vancouver holiday events

Photo: City of Coquitlam – Municipality / Facebook

About: 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.
Date: Saturday, November 24th, 2018 – Sunday, January 20th, 2019
Time: Dusk – 11:00 p.m.

Cultus Lake Christmas

About: Discover twinkling lights along Cultus Lake and watch as the surrounding areas come alive with Christmas cheer.
Date: Friday November 30th, 2018 – Saturday December 1st, 2018
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting

About: Similar to past years, there were four Christmas trees erected, with the tallest standing 76 feet tall – 16 feet taller than the massive Christmas tree in Surrey.
Date: Friday, November 30th, 2018
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Shipyards Christmas Festival

Shipyards Christmas FestivalAbout: Organizers are transforming The Shipyards into a winter wonderland filled with music and twinkling lights. This family-friendly event has lots of free activities to take advantage of.
Date: Saturday December 1st, 2018
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Holiday Cheer At The Pier

About: At 6:30 p.m., they’ll flip a switch to light up the pier and gazebo for all to enjoy. This festive illumination will light the way for our special guest, Santa Claus, who will hand out candy canes and pose for pictures!
Date: Saturday, December 1st, 2018
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Magic Of Christmas

About: The Magic of Christmas Parade features over 50 entries consisting of festive floats, bands, decorated vehicles, carollers, dance troupes, and community groups.
Date: Saturday, December 1st, 2018
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Dundarave Festival Of Lights

About: Over 100 Christmas trees are decorated, lit and sponsored by community groups, businesses, schools, churches and families.
Date: Saturday December 1st, Saturday December 8th, Saturday December 15th and Saturday December 22nd, 2018
Time: Noon – Dusk

Free Ice Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink

Robson Square Ice Rink

Photo: @myfreevancity / Instagram

About: This winter will mark the ice rink’s 10th consecutive year of family fun. As winter approaches Vancouver, the skating rink comes alive with families and loved ones. The annual event has become a tradition that helps welcome the holiday season in the 604.
Date: Saturday December 1st, 2018 – Thursday February 28th, 2019
Time: Various

New West Craft Winter Night Market

About: Visitors will enjoy a festive evening of shopping, music, food, drinks and non-stop fun at the River Market in beautiful downtown New Westminster. You’ll get to shop at over 50+ handmade vendors, while enjoying a nice glass of beer or wine.
Date: Saturday December 1st, 2018
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Kitsilano Winter Market

About: Held at Kits House, this is a one-day indoor event focusing on local and sustainable crafts and food.
Date: Saturday, December 1st, 2018
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Surrey Santa Parade of Lights

About: The parade will have a wonderful mix of antique vehicles, big rigs, boats, floats, marching bands, mascots (like Mr Peanut), remote controlled vehicles, dancers, service clubs and sports teams.
Date: Sunday, December 2nd, 2018
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Vancouver Santa Claus Parade

Vancouver Santa Claus Parade

Photo: Vancouver Santa Claus Parade / Facebook

About: The parade has been one of British Columbia’s most cherished holiday traditions for more than 13 years. It draws more than 300,000 spectators to downtown Vancouver each year, plus numerous viewers at home.
Date: Sunday, December 2nd, 2018
Time: 12:00 p.m.

Yule Duel

About: Choirs will be setup along Water Street, performing a selection of holiday songs to entertain the crowd. Once the judges have made their rounds, the festivities will shift to the main stage as teams compete in a final sing-off!
Date: Thursday, December 6th, 2018
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Christmas At Canada Place

Canada Place

Photo: Canada Place

About: 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.
Date: Friday December 7th – Thursday January 3rd, 2019
Time: 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. on December 31st)

Gingerbread Village

About: Shoppers, locals and gingerbread enthusiasts will have a chance to admire various Surrey-inspired gingerbread creations.
Date: Saturday December 8th – Sunday December 16th, 2018
Time: City Central Shopping Centre mall hours

Coquitlam Christmas Farmers Market

About: Guests can shop for unique and beautifully handcrafted local products including jewelry, woodwork, beauty products, pottery, baked goods and more!
Date: Saturday December 8th, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Fridays On Front Holiday Edition

Fridays On FrontAbout: Organizers are bringing the event back for one night only and it’s absolutely free! The Friday’s On Front Holiday Edition market is coming to Downtown New Westminster on Friday, December 14th, 2018.
Date: Friday, December 14th, 2018
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.


About: Dress up as Santa, meet in a specific location and go on a pub crawl with hundreds of people dressed up as Santa Claus.
Date: Saturday December 15th, 2018
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

CP Holiday Train

About: The train will make four stops near Vancouver in December.
Date: Monday December 17th – Tuesday December 18th, 2018
Time: Various

Winter Celebrations

About: The venue will be filled with a cornucopia of entertainment for everyone – from choirs, singalongs, art installations, musical performances, arts and crafts to a hip-hop dance party and a wintry labyrinth to enjoy. The Anvil Centre will come alive with joyous sounds and displays.
Date: Tuesday December 18th – Saturday December 29th, 2018
Time: Various

Vancouver Light Dome

Vancouver Light Dome

Photo: @downtownambassadors / Instagram

About: The glowing light dome is back at Pacific Centre and that means it’s time for Instagram photos!

Christmas In Kerrisdale

About: Enjoy free horse and carriage rides, Santa and roving quartets, all set in the beautifully decorated village.
Date: Saturday, December 8th – Sunday, December 23rd, 2018
Time: Various

Granville Island Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

About: The Winter Solstice Lantern Festival will illuminate the night with lanterns, fire, singing, dancing, music, storytelling,and the gorgeous Labyrinth of Light.
Date: Friday, December 21st, 2018
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Richmond Centre Illuminated Display

Photo: @leannerenee / Instagram

About: The massive moose stands 20 ft. tall with 35,500 glittering lights. The giant display was designed by Studio Artefact, based out of Montreal.
Time: Shopping centre hours

Yaletown Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

About: The Winter Solstice Lantern Festival will illuminate the night with lanterns, fire, singing, dancing, music, storytelling,and the gorgeous Labyrinth of Light.
Date: Friday, December 21st, 2018
Time: 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

New Westminster Santa Parade

About: Santa and friends will hit Columbia Street in downtown New Westminster at 11:00 a.m. sharp so be sure to arrive early to get a front-row spot.
Date: Sunday, December 16th, 2018
Time: 11:00 a.m.

Christmas at the Cannery

About: Merchants and community groups from the Steveston area will show off their creative talents by decorating their own Christmas trees, which will be on display inside the historic cannery, for a friendly competition to earn your votes!
Date: Saturday, December 1st – Monday, December 31st, 2018
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Holiday Movie Night

About: Come dressed in your christmas PJ’s and bring your favourite stuffy to watch The Grinch (Live Action)!. Concession will be available for popcorn and other treats!
Date: Friday, December 7th, 2018
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

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