Did the holidays drain your wallets as much as they did ours? Don’t worry, because we’ve got a great list of the best free and cheap things to do in Vancouver this January. After all, anyone can have fun on a budget, you just need to know where to look. And friends, we’re ready to share what we’ve found for this month.

Here are the best free and cheap things to do in Vancouver this January.

Shipyards Skate Plaza

There’s no denying that a quick trip to the skating rink is one of the easiest ways to enjoy the city on a budget. Especially because of the recent cold snap, you don’t even have to pretend that you’re skating around in a winter wonderland!

When: Open throughout January
Where: 125 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver
Cost: Free, rental costs vary

Robson Square Ice Rink

Don’t feel the need to trek out to North Van just to go skating? Don’t worry, because the Robson Square Ice Rink is also open for the season! Like the above pick, this is actually free if you bring your own skates and a mere $5 to rent some.

When: Open throughout January
Where: 800 Robson Street
Cost: Free, rental costs vary

Rolla Skate Club at the PNE

On the flip side, the beloved Rolla Skate Club has found a permanent home in the city. And to celebrate, they’re now hosting both all-ages and adults-only parties every Saturday. So, whether you’re going for nostalgia purposes or have never skated before, this is a great (and cheap) option for a night out.

When: Saturdays throughout January
Where: 21 N Renfrew Street
Cost: $15+

Go for a Swim

Speaking of cheap indoor options, most of Vancouver’s indoor swimming pools are open all month long! And, thanks to new rules about vaccination requirements and mask mandates, you can feel comfortable whenever you head down for a few laps.

When: Open throughout January
Where: Locations around Vancouver
Cost: $6.66 for GA

Bloedel Conservatory

For another city-owned option, we can’t forget the Bloedel Conservatory. We’ve long been proponents of this oasis in Queen Elizabeth Park, but it’s definitely during the colder months that we think it’s a must-see.

When: Open throughout January
Where: 4600 Cambie Street
Cost: $7.05

PuSh Festival

That’s right, one of the best performing arts festivals in Canada is coming back to Vancouver! PuSh will be (so far) going for a hybrid setup this year, which means you can enjoy some incredible performances either in-person or from the comfort of your own home. And of course, their commitment to accessibility means that a few options will be free to access.

When: Starts January 20th
Where: In-person and virtual events
Cost: Varies

Street Food City

This is a part of Dine Out, but we think it deserves a special mention. For one week only, some of Vancouver’s best food trucks will be converging at šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square (near the Vancouver Art Gallery). Swing down any day to try some delicious eats while you wander around, and take solace in knowing that you’ll have a hard time finding anything over $15.

When: January 15th to 23rd
Where: šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square

Vancouver Hot Chocolate Fest

Speaking of food and drink options in the city, the Vancouver Hot Chocolate Fest has just announced its return for 2022! While details are scarce, the festival has had no problem getting dozens of the city’s best spots to participate, so we’re expecting more of the (delicious) same for this year.

When: Starts January 15th
Where: All around Vancouver

Italian Film Week

Feeling like 2022 is the year you become a film buff? Start on the right foot with Italian Film Week at the VIFF Centre. Italian movies both classic and contemporary will be showing on a daily basis, offering an amazing crash course on one of the most interesting movie-making countries of the 20th century and present day!

When: January 7th to 13th
Where: 1181 Seymour Street
Cost: $15

Snowshoeing at Cypress Mountain

Ok, emphasis on the ‘around’ Vancouver part here. But, if you’re ready to take a big old day trip this month, know that Cypress Mountain has got a serious amount of snowshoe trails for you to explore. Our advice? Check in with your more outdoorsy friends and family to secure a pair, and eliminate half the cost of a trip out!

When: Open throughout January
Where: 6000 Cypress Bowl Road, West Vancouver
Cost: $18 for GA

Alright folks, that’s our roundup of the best free and cheap things to do in Vancouver this January! From great eats to quick afternoon options and full days out, you’ve got options this month. Now, all you have to do is pick!