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31 Fun Things To Do In And Around Vancouver This Weekend (Dec 3-5)

things to do vancouver christmas

Photo: MacArthurGlen

Happy December!

As the last month of the year is underway so are a tonne of events and festivities. By now you may have broken out all the Christmas decor and planning your shopping lists. On top of that, we have gathered a number of items to do in and around Metro Vancouver.

There is no shortage of event, but also some ideas if you want to not do all the Christmas’y things.

Here is your roundup of fun things to do in and around Metro Vancouver this weekend.

RELATED: Photos With Santa Are Back But They Look a Little Different This Year


This Weekend – December 3-5

Experience the Magic of Lumagica

lumagica surrey
Photo: Lumagica

For the first time ever, Lumagica will be coming to BC. The massive light festival will be taking place at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds.The fairgrounds will be transformed into various magical lands that capture the spirit of the holidays. Stroll on a 1km walk that is fully light up and take a light tunnel through to Gingerbread lane. It eventually leads you to a North Pole village and tonnes of amazing displays.

Check Out an Icy Bar in Richmond

things to do vancouver - macarthurglen
Photo: MacArthurGlen

On December 4, McArthurGlen outlets in Richmond will have a luxury ice bar. Shoppers are invited to step inside an icy, winter wonderland, and enjoy some cheer. Guests can purchase a hot chocolate, a seasonal mulled wine, or a Spirit Trail (whisky, lemon, chai spice syrup, peach nectar, and angostura bitters).The ice bar will be fully decorated to truly make guests feel like they are stepping into a dreamland.

Go Skating Under The Sky

Robson Square Ice Rink Skating Vancouver
Photo: @marija_bojanic / Instagram

Robson Square’s Ice Rink will open this weekend. Enjoy gliding in this iconic space in the heart of downtown, right in the centre of all the hustle and bustle of holiday happenings. Skating here with the family is truly magical and out of a Christmas movie it feels. Best of all, bring your own skates, and the experience is free!

Enjoy Magical Winter Lights at PNE

pne winter lights drive-thru holiday events
Photo: @kellihehe / Instagram

Back by popular demand, PNE/Playland is kicking off their drive-through Winter Lights event. This is perfect for a safe and entertaining experience with your family. Without having to leave your car you can enjoy nine enchanted lands filled with glowing lights and live performers. There is also a feast of treats to enjoy at this festival.


Donate To A Local Charity

toy drive
Photo: @whatsonburnaby / Instagram

The holiday season can be a wonderful time of the year, but it can also be a hard one. So why not make a local family’s Christmas a bit more magical by making a donation. There are a number of events taking place all over the city.

For one day only on Saturday, December 4 from 11 a.m. to 9.pm, the Burnaby Firefighters Charitable Society will be hosting a toy drive in the Grand Court at Metropolis by Metrotown. New toys or monetary donations will be accepted, and the first 200 people who donate will receive a $10 gift card as a thank you.

Employ To Empower is also hosting their annual pop-up Vancouver Street at Oppenheimer Park in Vancouver. They will be taking donations Saturday December 4 from 9-3 p.m at 41 E Hastings Street in Vancouver.

Visit Alpacas and Shop For Holiday Gifts

alpaca farm
Photo: @kensingtonprairiefarm / Instagram

The Kensington Prairie Farm in Langley is hosting their annual Alpacas And Artisan Holiday Sale on December 5. You can meet and take pictures with these furry animals, while also taking advantage of holiday deals on artisan items, throws, blankets, and so much more. Tickets are required and can be purchased online.

Attend a Christmas Craft Fair

things to do vancouver christmas
Photo: Eventbrite
The Coquitlam Christmas Craft Fair is back this year all weekend long. Enjoy this holiday tradition by browsing artisan holiday items and hand-crafted unique finds. This is a fun activity for the whole family and will take place at Poirier Forum. Tickets are available online.

Check out a Market for Weirdos

weirdos holiday market
Photo: @weirdosmarket & @violetpatrich / Instagram
The Weirdos Holiday Market returns this December with 2 weekend events. This annual craft market is Vancouver’s one-stop-shop for all things unusual, unique, and out of this world. The Weirdos Holiday Market unites Vancouver’s most outlandish local artists and vendors to showcase an eclectic array of all things unusual, unique, and out of this world.

Attend A Holiday Concert Live or via Livestream

trace bundy langley
Photo: @TraceBundy / IG

If you’re looking to kick off the holiday season with catchy melodies and Christmas classics, you’ll want to make your way to the Bez Arts Hub in Langley this Saturday for an evening with internationally-acclaimed ‘acoustic ninja’, Trace Bundy.

On-Going Holiday Things To Do

See A Million Twinkling Lights at Glow

Given the success of last year’s experience, Glow Langley is bringing back its drive-through winter wonderland event. Guests can enjoy magical landscapes, a million twinkling light displays, and festive joy all from the comfort of their car.

Hop On To The Stanley Park Christmas Train

Bright Nights in Stanley Park returned after having to be closed due to the pandemic last year, and they’re opening this Friday. The train has been running for 24 years, and is a favourite holiday tradition for many. It delights guests with decorated lights, music and an entire Christmas village. It’s a great family event full of festive glee.

Be Mesmerized At VanDusen Gardens

Vancouver events vandusen
Photo: VanDusen Botanical Garden / Facebook

Back to offer all the enchantment, the VanDusen of Festival of Lights returned. This event has run every year since 1984. Over the years it’s grown to encompass more than 1 million dazzling lights and displays and spread holiday cheer.

Take The Polar Express

The Railway Museum of BC is bringing back its beloved holiday magic experience with the North Pole Express Train Ride in Squamish. You can board the train and head straight towards Santa’s home town. On for select weekends, the train’s first ride will be happened on Saturday, November 27, 2021.

Be Enchanted at Burnaby Village

The Burnaby Village Museum will host their annual event, Heritage Christmas. It is a completely transformed holiday experienced with traditional decorations, lights and holiday spirit. The entire village will be adorned with festive displays. The event will be ongoing till January 3, and the best part yet—it’s free.

Get Inspired by Lights of Hope

The Lights of Hope are back on at St. Pauls Hospital in downtown Vancouver. Located at 1081 Burrard Street, the lights take up the entire front interface of the hospital. They bring hope to patients and support staff, and joy to passerbys. People are encouraged to give hope by donating at the Living Light installation or online.

Get A Drink With Santa at ‘Tinseltown’

tinseltown vancouver
Photo: Hidden Media

A Christmas themed pop-up bar has opened up for guests on Granville Street in Vancouver. Tinseltown’ is a fully immersive Santa’s workshop inspired cocktail bar that is likely to be very popular this winter. There will be festive lights, decor, and even Santa and his elves.

Shop At The Largest Christmas Store in BC

The Christmas Store at Potters Nursery is back. The entire nursery has transformed into a magical winter wonderland and has all your holiday wants and needs. The massive 28,000 sq-ft space is full of enchanted decor, wonderful gifts, and so much more. A number of themes that make this spot worthy of being added to your holiday “things to do” bucket list.

Experience ‘Lights with Heights’

With much anticipation Canyon Lights will be returning to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park has returned. You can witness the Capilano River become illuminated, while walking across the illuminated 140 metres long breath-taking suspension bridge. The entire rainforest and infamous Treetops Adventure is also lit up with dazzling lights.


Drive-Through A Free Light Festival

The annual Christmas in Williams Park lights display is back. This time being a drive-through with no requirement for advanced booking. This is a completely free event where families can enjoy the route multiple times.

Experience Magical Illuminated Art

Witness Lumière which started last weekend. A number of illuminated artwork displays is expanding throughout Vancouver’s downtown core. Back for its 8th year, Lumière will be spread across to mesmerize in various pockets of Vancouver’s West End.

Have A Blast At The Vancouver Christmas Market

vancouver christmas market
Photo: @vancouverchristmasmarket / Facebook

Back at Jack Poole Plaza, the Vancouver Christmas Market opens up on November 13. Offering an authentic German Christmas market appeal, this festival unites everyone and offers attractions, delicious eats and treats, hot seasonal drinks, twinkling lights and more. This European-inspired Christmas village will sure be a must-see of the season.

Walk Through an Enchanted Garden (For Free)

The City of Surrey is putting on a free illuminated nature trail experience through Bear Creek Park and it’s expected to be absolutely magical. The light displays are dazzling and make for beautiful photo opportunities, not to mention bringing cheer to all your holiday-loving senses.

Take A Photo with Santa

santa photos
Photo: @rollingwithmylens / Instagram

Although absent in 2020, photo opportunities with Santa Claus have returned to multiple malls in the lower mainland. You won’t be able to get too close to Jolly Saint Nick this year, however it is still a fun experience for the family and a great keepsake. Many of the displays are quite beautiful and creative this year. But be sure to book an appointment fast…space is quickly filling out.


On-Going ‘Non-Holiday’ Things To Do

Experience the Sistine Chapel in Vancouver

If you love the art of ages, experience Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition in Vancouver. The exhibit will take place at Canada Place. Without going to Rome, this will allow you to see a life-sized close-up of the greatest masterpieces of Michelangelo. Tickets are on sale now.

Get Dazzled At A Hidden Wonders Show

Have a magical experience in New West by checking out this Hidden Wonders is a 75-minute performance by Canadian magician Shawn Farquhar. Champion of Magic, who is originally from Maple Ridge, B.C. The show is getting rave reviews from across North America. The coolest part is that the venue is hidden and secret to only ticket holders.

Check Out Imagine Picasso

Photo: Christina Chandra / 604Now

Imagine Picasso opened to the public, allowing guests to experience 200 of Pablo Picasso’s paintings from various eras of his life. Slightly different from the Imagine Van Gogh exhibit, the set up for this event mimics an illusive maze where visitors can roam around gazing at moving art come to life, quite literally. The exhibit will run until January 8, 2022.

Discover Hidden Lounges and Speakeasies

What started as murmurs surrounded by a hint of secrecy, a new hidden lounge opened up in Chinatown, and it is one worth checking out—if you have the password that is. As a matter of fact, it’s not the only. If you’re up for more mystery, check out some of the other Vancouver speakeasies and secret bars.


Check Out The Art of John and Yoko

If you are a John Lennon fan or of Yoko Ono, the Vancouver Art Gallery is hosting “Growing Freedom: The instructions of Yoko Ono and The art of John and Yoko” started last week. The exhibit will look at the couples collaborative projects as well as artistic instruction work by Yoko Ono.

Play Inside Unique Displays At The Moon and Back Gallery

An impressive immersive experience just reopened in Richmond and it is absolutely stunning. The Moon and Back Gallery has a series of rooms with augmented virtual reality. The experience will make you smile, bring your pictures to life, and is truly out of this world.

Enjoy DaVinci’s Art & Greatest Inventions

The DaVinci exhibit is an exclusive multi-room exhibit and a unique interactive experience showcasing the work of Leonardo da Vinci. This is the first time this art exhibit has come to Canada, and has drawn millions of visitors worldwide. Check out the educational program available for kids as well. Take advantage of the exhibit on now before it’s gone for good.

Eat in a Heated Bubble Dome

The Westin Bayshore’s H Tasting Lounge has brought back its magical Winterlust dome dining experience in the heart of Coal Harbour. This year, the reimagined private dining experience will feature five brand new domes as well. You can eat outdoors, while being heated and enjoying panoramic views overlooking Stanley Park and onto the North Shore. There are also a few other dining domes around if you want to check out new places.


Regardless of what you do, we hope you enjoy your weekend activities!


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