58 Things To Do And See In Vancouver This Winter

Travel & Outdoors
winter

Temperature may be dropping, but the fun across metro Vancouver is heating up this winter!

RELATED: 13 Things To Do In Burnaby This Winter

Whether you’re looking for outdoor sports, concerts, holiday displays, or anything else, Vancouver has it all this winter.

Things To Do In Vancouver This Winter

Reoccurring

Lights | Laberge Christmas Lights

Laberge Christmas Lights

Photo: Paulin Laberge / Vimeo

Paul Laberge’s North Vancouver home is once again putting on a dazzling computer-animation Christmas light show this winter, featuring 18,000 LED lights. Located on 753 Beachview Drive, the show lasts 60 minutes, taking place in three 20-minute segments.

Their display features over 50 hand-built elements, 18,000 lights, and over 45,000 channels. Moreover, over 14,000 of those light are individually controlled pixels, with red, green and blue LEDs that can each be controlled to produce over 16 million different colours.

Lanterns | 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 winter season until 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.

House lights | North Vancouver Christmas Lights

North Vancouver Christmas Lights

Photo: Chalet Lights Charity

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 this winter. 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 is now open, featuring lights, music, and a holiday scavenger hunt. Tickets start at $3.

Skating | Robson Square Ice Rink

Robson Square Ice Rink

Photo: Spencer Finlay / 604 Now Flickr Pool

The Robson Square Ice Rink is open this winter 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 winter 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 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

Christmas at Canada Place

Photo: littlekiss☆ / 604 Now Flcikr Pool

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.

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.

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

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 winter 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.

December

December 26 | Contact Music Festival

Contact Music Festival

Photo: Contact Festival / Facebook

The Contact Music Festival returns to BC Place this winter on Tuesday, December 26th and Wednesday, December 27th, 2017. Featuring over 15 internationally acclaimed artists, this year’s festival is headlined by EDM superstar Marshmello, and one of the greatest DJs of all time, Armin Van Buuren.

December 26 | Dunkirk

See Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk movie this winter about the Allied soldiers from Belgium. Tickets start at $9.

December 27 | The Big Sick

See the story of a Pakistani-born standup comedian who falls in love with a graduate he meets. Tickets start at $9.

December 28 | Ivan Decker

Canadian standup comedian Ivan Decker performs at The Comedy MIX from Thursday, December 28th – Saturday, December 30th, 2017. Tickets start at $15.

December 28 | The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker

Photo: Goh Ballet

The Nutcracker, performed by Alberta Ballet, plays at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre this winter from Thursday, December 28th – Saturday, December 30th. Choreographed by Edmund Stripe, with sets and costumes designed by Emmy Award-winning designer Zack Brown, The Nutcracker is set in turn of the 20th century Imperial Russia, an era of opulent grandeur. Tickets start at $35.

December 29 | Winter Hike Rave

Winter Hike Rave, hosted by Party4Health, takes place on Friday, December 29th, 2017. This event takes place at Stanley Park from 7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. You can expect music, costumes, and a hike at night. Admission is free.

December 30 | Harlem Globetrotters

Harlem Globetrotters

Photo: The Original Harlem Globetrotters / Facebook

The Harlem Globetrotters are bringing their 2018 “Amazing Feats of Basketball World Tour” to the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver on Saturday, December 30th at 1:00 p.m. this year will also see the debut of the “Flying Globies”. They are an amazing acrobatic trampoline dunk team, which will defy gravity.

December 30 | Vancouver Aquarium Family Sleepover

The Aquarium is hosting a family sleepover to offer adults and kids alike a nice break from the holiday craziness. Families are able to book a night to spend in the galleries before heading to bed in Underwater Steller’s Bay. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore the aquarium without many people around.

December 31 | New Year’s Eve

New Year's Eve

Photo: New Year’s Eve Vancouver / Facebook

For everyone looking to ring in 2018 in style, look no farther than the celebrations planned for downtown Vancouver’s waterfront. Concord’s New Year’s Eve Vancouver 2018 party is taking place on Sunday, December 31st and has plenty in store!

The event will see fireworks celebrations, a free street party, and an indoor party zone. Last year saw over 70,000 people come out and this year is expected to be even bigger.

December 31 | New Year’s Eve Pizza Party with the Kids

Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. is hosting a New Year’s Eve party that the entire family can enjoy. Children are entertained with pizza making, balloon twisting, face painting, and an early New Year’s Eve countdown, while you enjoy your dinner and drinks.

January

January 1 | Polar Bear Swim

Polar Bear Swim

Photo: @andrewchinphotography / Instagram

The annual Polar Bear Swim takes place on Monday, January 1st, 2018 and is expected to draw huge crowds again. As one of the world’s largest and oldest Polar Bear Clubs, the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club started in 1920 when 10 swimmers took the plunge into English Bay on New Year’s Day.

January 1 | Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert

See the glamour of ballroom dance and the delicate beauty of ballet come together in this performance. Tickets start at $75.50.

January 2 | Throwdown: International TheatreSports Festival

From Tuesday, January 2nd – Sunday, January 21st, Vancouver TheatreSports rocks the laughs with its annual improv celebration, Throwdown International TheatreSports Festival. Tickets start at $10.75.

January 6 | Bowie Ball 2018

Celebrate the life of David Bowie, while benefiting the Canadian Cancer Society. See over 20+ local bands and solo artists.

January 6 | Passion Portal

Passion Portal

Photo: Gamma Ra – Performance Artist / Facebook

Passion Portal – Enchanted Forest Party takes place on Saturday, January 6th, 2018. It’s a a multi-room, enchanted forest theme party, full of sensual & electric dance vibes galore, showcasing 25+ local DJ’s & producers. Not to mention, it will have circus, magic and dance stage performances.

There will be two rooms of DJs and dancing. The main room will have deep bass, trap, electro, dubstep, and G house music. Furthermore, the second room will be playing dark & funky underground house, techno, and EDM.

January 9 | Bellydance Classes with Maki

Bellydance is a great way to get in shape and have fun! Level 1 and level 2 classes will be held on Tuesdays from January 9th – April 17th at Scotiabank Dance Centre.

January 11 | Taste BC

Fraser Valley

Photo: Tourism Langley

Taste BC takes place on Thursday, January 11th, 2018 at Pan Pacific Vancouver. It’s an experience of BC’s finest wine, beer and spirits accompanied by tasty fare from our best local restaurants.

Guests will enjoy excellent food and drinks, music, door prizes, and a silent auction that rivals any other. Silent auction items include luxury items, local experience packages, destination packages and delicious products made by British Columbia’s own. Tickets are available now for $49.99 (all-inclusive) at all Liberty Wine Merchants locations.

January 13 | Canada vs Uruguay Rugby World Cup Qualifying

Team Canada prepares to take on Uruguay in a Men’s Rugby World Cup Qualifying match at BC Place.

January 13 | Lift Cannabis Expo

Whether you’re a committed cannabis enthusiast, a cannabis industry professional or simply curious about this complex plant and the opportunities growing up around it, the Vancouver Lift Expo has you covered. Tickets start at $15.

January 13 | Gluten Free Expo

Canada’s largest Gluten Free Expo comes to Vancouver on Saturday, January 13th, 2018. Discover, sample, and save on hundred’s of Gluten Free products.

January 16 | PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

The 2018 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival presents groundbreaking theatre, dance, music, multimedia and film at numerous Vancouver venues. It runs until February 4th.

January 17 | Vancouver International Boat Show

Vancouver International Boat Show

Photo: Boating BC Association / Facebook

Western Canada’s largest boat show, the Vancouver International Boat Show, will run from Wednesday, January 17th – Sunday, January 21st, 2018. The 56th annual event is set to host an exciting lineup of the newest and most innovative boats and accessories.

January 18 | VSO New Music Festival

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s fifth annual event runs from Thursday, January 18th – Monday, January 22nd, 2018. See new creations by Canadian and international composers.

January 21 | DVSN

DVSN

Photo: @dvsndvsn / Instagram

Toronto R&B duo DVSN is coming to Vancouver in support of their Morning After World Tour. They’ll be performing at the Vogue Theatre on Sunday, January 21st, 2018. Composed of Daniel Daley and Nineteen85, the Toronto duo has put together an impressive career together to date.

January 21 | K.Flay

Hip-hop artist K. Flay performs at The Commodore Ballroom. The show begins at 9:00 p.m. and doors open at 8:00 p.m.

January 23 | Meshuggah

Swedish extreme-metal band Meshuggah perform at The Commodore Ballroom. The show begins at 8:00 p.m. and doors open at 7:00 p.m.

January 24 | Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler

The super-talented and hilarious Adam Sandler will be performing live in Vancouver on Wednesday, January 24th, 2018. His show takes place at Orpheum Theatre alongside surprise special guests. Tickets start at $125.

January 26 | 8th Annual Scotiabank Vancouver Canadians Hot Stove Luncheon

The 8th Annual Scotiabank Vancouver Canadians Hot Stove Luncheon is scheduled for Friday, January 26th at the Hotel Vancouver. It’ll go from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

January 27 | Galaxion : 80’s Dance & Gamer Party

Galaxion

Photo: Snow Snow / Flickr

Vancouver is set to host an 80’s themed dance and gamer party this January. Galaxion takes place on Saturday, January 27th, 2018. The event will run from 10:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m. at Hindenburg. There will be drinks, dancing, and even video games free of charge! Doors will open at 10:00 p.m. Cover is $7 before 11:00 p.m. and $10 afterwards.

January 29 | Ricky Gervais

British comedian Ricky Gervais is bringing his worldwide Humanity Tour to Vancouver on Monday, January 29th, 2018.

January 30 | Lights

Lights has built an incredibly passionate and devoted fanbase, selling out headline tours across North America and Europe. She’s performed at numerous festivals including Coachella, Reading & Leeds, plus toured with OneRepublic, Tegan & Sara, Paramore, Kaskade, PVRIS and many others.

February

February 2 | Taboo Naughty but Nice Sex Show

Taboo Naughty but Nice Sex Show

Photo: Taboo Naughty but Nice Show / Facebook

The show will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The show features tantalizing favourites from past shows to new and intriguing features. No matter your interest, Taboo makes sure there is something for everyone.

February 2 | Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead

Photo: Day of the Dead – Canadian Tour / Facebook

The highly anticipated event comes to Vancouver on Friday, February 2nd, 2018 to celebrate the Mexican holiday in a carnival atmosphere. Organizers are excited to create an experience like never before. Professional film makeup artists will be running a candy skull face painting station, and huge piñatas will be scattered around that will need teams of people to break open.

February 3 | Milky Chance

After a summer full of sold out shows and festival performances at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Osheaga, and more, the band will be returning to North America.

February 5 | Katy Perry

The Witness tour will visit just over 40 cities before hosting its final show in Vancouver. The concert will take place on February 5, 2018 inside Rogers Arena.

February 8 | Science of Cocktails

At Science of Cocktails, the city’s most talented bartenders and chefs will showcase the chemistry, biology and physics behind preparing modern cocktails and cuisine.

February 9 | Chinese New Year/ Valentine Dinner Dance

Celebrate Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year at Hycroft Manor. Tickets are $55.

February 13 | Majid Jordan

Canadian R&B duo performs at the Orpheum Theatre. Tickets start at $36.

February 23 | WWE

WWE

Photo: Jinder Mahal / Facebook

WWE will visit Rogers Arena on the “Road to WrestleMania” on Friday, February 23rd, 2018. Superstars expected to perform include The Shield, Samoa Joe, and Braun Strowman.

February 24 | Miguel

Fans will also hear an array of big artists on his new album that include Kali Uchis (“Caramelo Duro”), J. Cole (“Come Through and Chill”), Travi$ Scott (“Skywalker”), and Rick Ross (“Criminal”). This is an all-ages concert that starts at $49.50.

March

March 1 | JFL NorthWest Festival

JFL NorthWest Festival

Photo: Bill Burr; Trevor Noah / Facebook

Bill Burr (F Is for Family), Trevor Noah (The Daily Show), and Jay Pharoah (SNL) are just a couple of the big names coming to the JFL NorthWest festival in 2018. It takes place from Thursday, March 1st – Saturday, March 10th, with shows taking place at numerous venues across the city.

March 1 | Vancouver International Dance Festival

The Vancouver International Dance Festival kicks off on March 1st. See a diverse and dynamic roster of internationally-celebrated artists and local favourites.

March 2 | Monster Jam

Are you ready?! Monster Jam, the most action-packed motorsports experience for families in the world today, returns to Vancouver on Friday, March 2nd, 2018.

March 8 | Nelly

Nelly

Photo: Nelly / Facebook

His show will take place at Harbour Event Centre from 8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. Furthermore, he’ll be joined on stage by Terell Safadi and Seth Whittaker. A native of Austin, Texas, Nelly has pieced together a legendary career. Asides from music, he’s also starred in the 2005 remake film The Longest Yard with Adam Sandler and Chris Rock.

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