‘Tis the season for Christmas markets, twinkling light displays and festive treats. You can enjoy all of that (and more) this weekend.
Take a break from holiday shopping and check out one of these events happening in and around Vancouver.
Things To Do in Vancouver This Weekend
PNE Winter Fair
The PNE is getting into the holiday spirit this year by transforming into a magical winter wonderland the whole family can enjoy.
The PNE Winter Fair is an immersive holiday experience featuring twinkling lights, a Christmas-themed concert series, skating rink, shopping opportunities and festive eats. The 10-day festival kicks off Dec. 14 and will run from 4:30 to 10:30 nightly until Dec. 23.
When & Where: All weekend long at the PNE, 2901 East Hastings Street
CP Holiday Train
The 24th edition of the CP Holiday Train will finish its Canadian journey this weekend in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows on Saturday, and Port Moody on Sunday. See the full schedule here.
Cougar Creek’s Creepy Xmas
Cougar Creek has a twisted take on the holiday season. Discover evil elves and a sadistic Santa during a live horror experience, complete with actors and animatronics.
It’s happening up until the 23rd.
When & Where: All weekend long at 12530 72nd Avenue in Surrey
Yaletown Winter Market
The Yaletown Winter Market is back, just in time for the holidays.
Shop from dozens of local vendors at the Yaletown Roundhouse Community Centre on Saturday and Sunday.
When & Where: Saturday, Dec. 17 and Sunday, Dec. 18 at the Yaletown Roundhouse Community Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews
Pancakes with Santa at the Red Barn Tsawwassen
Enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast with the family and have the opportunity to meet with Santa Claus himself.
It’s taking place from 9am to noon at the Red Barn on Sunday.
When & Where: Sunday, Dec. 18 at the Red Barn at Southlands Tsawwassen, 6333 Market Avenue in Delta
Ugly Christmas Sweater Toonie Skate
Bring family, friends and wear your ugly Christmas sweater and go skating in Burnaby for just a toonie on Saturday. Skates and a helmet are included in that fee.
Guests can also enjoy crafts, face painting, reindeer games and lots of holiday cheer.
When & Where: Saturday, Dec. 17 at Bill Copeland Sports Centre, 3676 Kensington Avenue in Burnaby
New West Kraft
Shop a curated collection of 25+ handmade vendors at New Westminster’s River Market from 11am to 4pm on Saturday.
The market is free and will have something for everyone on your list.
When & Where: Saturday, Dec. 17 at River Market, 810 Quayside Drive in New Westminster
Weirdos Holiday Market
Vancouver’s one-of-a-kind Weirdos Holiday Market is the perfect place to find artsy, highly original gifts for that person on your gift list who thinks they have everything.
Featuring the unique work of 40 brilliantly curated artists and artisans, expect to find unusual, intriguing and sometimes outrageous items on the tables here––ranging from witchy wares to quirky clothing and from magical pottery to eclectic collectibles, books and much more.
When & Where: All weekend long at The Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Avenue
Ongoing Things To Do
Fleurs de Villes NOËL
This vibrant display is finally back. It will help the city celebrate the holidays by brightening up downtown Vancouver streets.
Follow the floral trail along Robson Street and enjoy festive floral workshops led by Vancouver’s favourite florists.
When & Where: All weekend long on Robson Street
Peak of Christmas
Feel the enchantment and radiance of twinkling lights, the calm echo of the snow and the joy of witnessing real reindeer at Vancouver’s North Pole, also known as Grouse Mountain.
Enjoy the natural beauty of Blue Grouse Lake, lit by breathtaking light installations. And go for a stroll through the light tunnel or experience the tranquil beauty of skating on the 8,000 square foot mountaintop ice skating pond.
When & Where: Now until Jan. 2 at Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver
VanDusen’s Festival of Lights
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And one of Vancouver’s most highly-anticipated holiday events is officially back.
The VanDusen Festival of Lights has run every year since 1984. And over the years it’s grown to encompass more than one million dazzling lights and displays to spread holiday cheer.
When & Where: Up until Jan. 2 at VanDusen Botanical Garden, 5251 Oak Street
Vancouver Christmas Market
Everyone’s favourite holiday tradition has returned. The German-inspired Vancouver Christmas Market has something for everyone this holiday season.
Shop dozens of local vendors, sip on some mulled wine and dig into authentic German eats while enjoying the festive atmosphere.
When & Where: All weekend long at Jack Poole Plaza, 1055 Canada Place
Christmas at Canada Place
From now through January 2, the public is invited to celebrate Christmas at Canada Place.
Soak in the season and experience this popular annual holiday tradition, featuring the nostalgic tradition of the Woodward’s Windows, a spectacular holiday lighting display presented by Best Buy, the iconic Sails of Light, and the festive Avenue of Trees.
When & Where: Daily at Canada Place
Ready, set, glow! Canyon Lights is back at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and will run until Jan. 22.
This world-famous attraction is lit from one end to another, making it an incredible sight to see. Visitors can witness the Capilano River become illuminated while walking across the 140-metre-long suspension bridge.
But the bridge is only part of the attraction. Guests can experience the entire rainforest and infamous TreeTops Adventure lit with dazzling lights. The park is also home to the eight tallest Christmas trees in the world.
When & Where: Until Jan. 22 at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, 3735 Capilano Road in North Vancouver
Santa Express Train at Bear Creek Park
The Santa Express has returned to Bear Creek Park in Surrey.
This annual event is back to provide a lot of joy, glee and loads of family fun. There is a chance to meet Santa, take photos, and take a mini train through an enchanted and fully lit-up forest.
When & Where: Every evening from 6-9pm at Bear Creek Park
Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink
Strap on some skates and frolic on one of Vancouver’s most beloved ice rinks for free (if you have your own skates).
The Robson Square rink has always been a popular spot for holiday shoppers. Conveniently located in the centre of downtown, the outdoor rink features a glass ceiling that beautifully lights up for the festive season.
When & Where: All weekend long at Robson Square, 800 Robson Square
Skating at The Shipyards
North Vancouver’s impressive 12,000 square foot skating rink in The Shipyards is open all December long and it’s free (if you bring your own skates).
The massive rink features a powerful sound system and has a retractable roof, so people can enjoy the skylights – or the rain. It also has little islands on the ice to weave around.
When & Where: All weekend long at The Shipyards in North Vancouver
Lights By The Lake
‘Tis the season for romantic strolls filled with twinkling lights and small town charm. Get that Hallmark movie feeling at Lights By The Lake in Harrison Hot Springs.
See the village all lit up in true holiday fashion. Spectators can enjoy the scenery along the two-kilometre promenade with the warm glow of Christmas lights and holiday feels. Visitors may even spot a Sasquatch or two along the way.
When & Where: All weekend long at the waterfront promenade in Harrison Hot Springs
Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum
Experience Burnaby in all its festive beauty. Heritage Christmas is making a comeback this year. The Burnaby Village Museum’s annual event features a completely transformed holiday experience with traditional decorations, lights and holiday spirit.
The event takes place now until Jan. 2, and the best part yet—it’s free.
When & Where: Up until Jan. 2 at Burnaby Village Museum, 6501 Deer Lake Ave
Experience Lumiere this winter. The annual event is inspired by light and artistic expression.
The West End, English Bay, Jim Deva Plaza and the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza have come alive with a series of dazzling light installations.
When & Where: All weekend long at various locations in downtown Vancouver
Lights at Lafarge
Coquitlam’s largest holiday light display is back. Stunning the area of Town Centre Park, Lights at Lafarge will wow spectators as they walk through the beautiful Christmas displays and enjoy some festive fun.
For nine full weeks, this huge and beautiful display will light up the 1.2km stroll around the lake.
When & Where: Now until Jan. 31 at Lafarge Lake, 1201 Pinetree Way in Coquitlam
Sea to Sky Gondola’s Spirit of the Season
The Spirit of the Season is alive in Squamish.
The holiday festivities are returning to the Sea to Sky Gondola, including a decorated forest walk, festive lunches, photos with Santa Claus himself, and even a guided sunset snowshoe tour with headlamps.
When & Where: All weekend long at the Sea to Sky Gondola, 36800 BC-99 in Squamish
Winterlust Dome Dining
Who says you can’t enjoy outdoor dining during the fall and winter months? Thanks to heated bubble domes, you can once again soak up the sights and sounds of outdoor dining while also staying warm and cozy.
The Westin Bayshore’s H Tasting Lounge has brought back its magical Winterlust dome dining experience in the heart of Coal Harbour.
When & Where: All weekend long at the Westin Bayshore, 1601 Bayshore Drive
A Christmas Cocktail Story Retro Holiday Pop-Up
Vancouver foodies and cocktail lovers now have a new way to celebrate the holiday season with the launch of A Christmas Cocktail Story, a retro-themed pop-up at Dalina in Chinatown.
Inside a room specially decorated for holiday fun and photos, guests can enjoy traditional holiday Americana dishes created by Chef Karl Gregg of Rosie’s BBQ alongside festive cocktails designed by local legend Scotty Marshall (Mamie Taylor’s) with help from former Vancouver Bartender of the Year Ron Oliver.
When & Where: All weekend long at Dalina, 687 Main Street
Christmas Store at Potters
The entire Potters Nursery garden is now a magical winter wonderland where shoppers can find tens of thousands of holiday favourites.
At a sprawling 28,000 square-feet, the iconic store has something for everyone on your “nice” list and it’s open now up until Dec. 24.
When & Where: Now until Dec. 24 at Potters, 19158 48th Avenue in Surrey
Metropolis at Metrotown
Check out all the holiday happenings at Metropolis at Metrotown this Christmas season. There are lots of festive activities taking place at the mall, including visits with Santa (after a two-year hiatus), as well as a toy drive, and gift wrapping stations.
Plus, with over 330 stores to choose from, you’ll find something for everyone on your list.
When & Where: All weekend long at Metropolis at Metrotown, 4700 Kingsway in Burnaby
Beyond King Tut
Nat Geo’s Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience recently opened in Vancouver.
Go beyond the mask and see Ancient Egypt’s most iconic king like never before at the Vancouver Convention Centre. With 9 galleries to explore, wind through the story of a young boy whose name still looms large, and how he changed the ancient – and modern – world.
When & Where: Now throughout December at the Vancouver Convention Centre, 999 Canada Place
This popular attraction is the perfect rainy day activity. Flyover is offering its signature Canada “ride” along with a trek to Hawaii.
Guests will be strapped in as they head on an immersive adventure, complete with special effects and other bells and whistles.
When & Where: All weekend long at Canada Place, 999 Canada Place
Beauty and the Beast Pop-Up Bar
Based on the Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont fairytale, come along on a 90-minute journey and step into the enchanted and cursed world of Beauty & The Beast.
This pop-up bar is brought to you by the interactive team behind The Alice Cocktail Experience, Neverland and The Wizard’s Den.
When & Where: Various dates from now until Sunday, Jan. 22 at Vancouver Alpen Club, 4875 Victoria Drive
This massive light festival will be taking place at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds this weekend. The fairgrounds will be transformed into various magical lands that capture the spirit of the holidays.
Stroll on a 1km walk that is fully lit up and explore a light tunnel that leads to Gingerbread Lane. It eventually takes you to a North Pole village with lots of festive displays.
When & Where: All weekend long at Cloverdale Fairgrounds, 17607-17905 62 Avenue in Surrey
Everyday is Christmas at this festive pop-up bar in Vancouver. The creators of The Alice: An Immersive Cocktail Experience, The Beauty & The Beast Experience and Neverland Bar are bringing Tinseltown to The Alpen Club just in time for the holidays.
Guests can expect Christmas tunes, themed drinks and of course, lots of tinsel.
When & Where: Various dates available at The Alpen Club, 4875 Victoria Drive
New Cascades Casino
Cascades Casino Delta recently opened to the public so there’s no better time to check it out than right now.
The casino features a gaming floor with entertainment and multiple dining options, including their signature restaurants – Match Eatery & Public House, Summit Bar, and a full-service buffet.
When & Where: All weekend long at 6005 Highway 17A in Delta
T-Rex The Ultimate Predator Exhibit
Encounter the prehistoric wonders of the late Cretaceous Period and come face-to-face with a 66-million-year-old marvel in T-Rex: The Ultimate Predator at the Science World IMAX theatre.
When & Where: All weekend long at Science World
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