Vancouver Nightlife: 20 Things To Do Outside of Bars and Clubs

Vancouver Nightlife

While there are an endless number of clubs, pubs, and bars to visit in Vancouver, sometimes the party scene can get a bit repetitive.

If you are looking to spice up your nights with some of the city’s other activities, check out our list of the best nocturnal choices.

Vancouver Nightlife

Late Night Bowling  

Vancouver NightlifeWhen sitting at a bar gets old, bowling is a natural choice. Even if you’re terrible, it is a sure-fire way to get your friends laughing and having a merry time.

Places to check out include the Commodore Lanes & Billiards on Granville Street and Grandview Lanes on Commercial Drive.

Vancouver Ghost Tour

Vancouver Nightlife

Photo: David Rose / 604 Now Flickr Pool

If you love all things spooky, then this is the perfect paranormal night activity. They have them in Gastown, Downtown, and in New Westminster. Although they don’t promise that you’ll see an apparition, they hope that you do! 

You can visit Ghostly Vancouver Tours for more information.

Adult Night At The Vancouver Aquarium

Vancouver Nightlife

Photo: Vancouver Aquarium

While it may be fun during the day, it is extremely fun come nightfall. You’ll be able to sip a drink as you visit the exhibits, and there won’t be any children to get in the way of your nocturnal exploration.

After Dark At Science World

Vancouver Nightlife

Photo: Flickr/Ted McGrath

Once again, an extremely fun place by day, but maybe even better “after dark.” This informative facility is jam-packed with interactive activities, and these are a ton of fun to enjoy with your adult friends with a bevy or two.

The Vancouver Symphony

Vancouver Nightlife

Photo: Vancouver Symphony Orchestra / Facebook

Feeling classy and sophisticated? This is the place to be! Elevate your musical prowess with some of the finest concertos at this elegant venue.

Enjoy Some Laughs

Vancouver NightlifeWhy listen to terrible jokes at a bar when you can hear a professional! Vancouver hosts a myriad of fantastic local and international jokesters all year round. If you aren’t able to catch a big name act, there are multiple venues that are always showing amateur talent that is sure to leave you in stitches.

Check out Yuk-Yuk’s and The Comedy Mix for some laugh-action.

Late Night Skiing

Vancouver Nightlife

Whistler Blackcomb/ Facebook

While it isn’t offered at all times on every resort, it is pretty awesome when it’s available. Although the view from most of the local ski hills is spectacular by day, there’s something magical about a night view. Gazing out at a sea of stars over the city lights with the snow glistening all around  makes for a pretty magical experience. Grouse Mountain is open until 10 pm all season long!

See A Burlesque Show

Vancouver Nightlife

These shows are as sexy as they are hilarious. With an array of themes, ranging from Star Wars to Beyonce and everything in between, there’s something that will satisfy everyone. What’s more, the fantastic performers are usually armed with impressive comedic timing, theatrical presence, and impressive costumes.

See A Hockey Game

Vancouver Nightlife

Photo: Vancouver Canucks / Facebook

Okay, the Canucks aren’t having the best season right now, but that’s no reason to avoid Rogers Arena. It’s still a great time, and it’s a beautiful arena. 

Recite Some Poetry

Vancouver Nightlife

Photo: Andy King / Flickr

Go ahead, express yourself! Poetry is not dead, ladies and gentlemen. It is alive and well in many parts of our spectacular urban centre. There are plenty of places to catch some performances, or, if you are truly brave, to bare your soul in front of an attentive audience.

You can catch some poetry at Cafe du Soleil on Commercial Drive.

See A Movie

Vancouver NightlifeYes, you can do this in any city, but there’s some pretty phenomenal venues in Vancouver. For example, The Rio Theatre on Commercial Drive is a landmark staple of the city’s history. While it shows a few contemporary features, this theatre provides the city with a vast array of historical gems and cult classics. Moreover, you can have a drink and eat a grilled cheese while viewing. It’s a win win!

Go For A Night Drive

Vancouver Nightlife

Photo: MarkDonovanVancouver / Flickr

There’s so many beautiful drives to take in Vancouver. The city is pure panoramic majesty, and there are plenty of viewpoints to stop at along the way. To make the affair even better, stop along the way to sample snacks from all of Vancouver’s diverse neighbourhoods.

Venture Into An Escape Room

Vancouver Nightlife

Photo: James Doyle / Facebook

There are a multitude of experiences to choose from, and some of them are pretty freaky. These activities challenge your wit, and usually involve creepy actors or disturbing settings to get your heart pumping. Enjoy the panic!

See A Play

Vancouver NightlifeEveryone goes to movies, but why not go to a play for a change? There are so many fantastic productions happening in Vancouver all year round, and the city is home to some incredible talent. Known as Hollywood North, Vancouver has aspiring and established actors that truly light up a stage. Enjoy!

Some notable theatres include The Cultch, The Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse, and The Arts Club.  

VanDusen Botanical Garden

Vancouver Nightlife

Photo: VanDusen Botanical Garden

There’s nothing like a stroll through this incredible garden during a festive season. This year, VanDusen made the garden glow with pumpkins galore, and over the holiday season it hosts thousands of people that come to see its sparkling lights. During this time they have hot coco and other festive treats available to warm you up and keep you smiling when it is chilly.

Shopping on Robson Street

Vancouver Nightlife

Photo: Colin Knowles / Flickr

Every major city has a shopping centre, and ours is open fairly late. You can have an early dinner and then shop in the majority of downtown’s shops until around 9pm, and some are even open later. There are a multitude of designer offerings, in addition to some local selections.

Hang in a Late Night Cafe

Vancouver Nightlife

Photo: Robert D Smith‎ / Facebook

Vancouver is known for it’s love of coffee and sushi, and many of its most popular cafes are open late into the evenings. You can gather your pals up for some invigorating discussions, or simply gossip the night away while sipping a beverage.

Go See a Ballet Performance

Vancouver Nightlife

The Goh Ballet Presents The Nutcracker/ Facebook

These ballerinas put on a variety of enchanting performances all year long. The Nutcracker during the holiday season is a beloved classic, but there are numerous shows to enjoy.

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre hosts a number of these beautiful performances throughout the year.

Take A Stroll Around Canada Place

Vancouver Nightlife

Photo: James Stewart / Flickr

There are few places that rival Canada Place’s waterfront beauty. A nighttime stroll around this area is sure to make for a lovely evening.

Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver Nightlife

Photo: Donnie Mac / 604 Now Fickr Pool

Art party anyone? Yes, that’s right. The Vancouver Art Gallery has parties, and they are fantastic. They include live performances, demonstrations, and usually run until about midnight.

The gallery is always open until 9 pm on Tuesdays, and it makes for the ideal place to get out of the rain on a weekday night. Also, the admission is by donation on Tuesdays.

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