As 2023 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect upon the year and enjoy all that the holiday season has to offer. With plenty of holiday markets, light displays, pop-up bars, and shows to check out, consider this list your one-stop shop for activity ideas this upcoming month. From high-energy concerts to Christmas festivals, here are 50 of the best things to do in and around Vancouver this December.

Concerts & live events

Bassjackers & Julian Jordan 

Known for hits like “Eternity,” “Wrong or Right (The Riddle),” and “Traffic,” electronic duo Bassjackers is no stranger to throwing a great party, and that’s exactly what the group is doing alongside Dutch DJ and producer Julian Jordan.

Note that this concert is 19+.

When: Saturday, December 2nd
Where: Harbour Event & Convention Centre
Cost: $37 to $43

Hannah Georgas

Canadian pop/rock singer-songwriter Hannah Georgas is based right here in Vancouver, and she’ll be performing on her home turf on December 7th. Nominated for multiple JUNO awards over the years, Georgas is known for her songs like “Don’t Go,” “Lost Cause,” and “Evelyn.”

Note that this concert is 19+.

When: Thursday, December 7th
Where: Hollywood Theatre
Cost: $39.30

Dan Mangan

JUNO-award-winning Canadian singer Dan Mangan has toured extensively across North America, Europe, and Australia – and is coming to Vancouver on December 9th. With numerous EPs, singles, and music on the silver screen, you’re sure to enjoy at least a couple of tunes you recognize here.

When: Saturday, December 9th
Where: Vogue Theatre
Cost: $39.50 to $42.50

Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, Ricky Martin: The Trilogy Tour 

If you love reggaeton and Latin hip-hop, get ready for three legendary artists under one proverbial roof. Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull (AKA Mr. Worldwide), and Ricky Martin are all going on tour together, and they’re stopping in Vancouver on Sunday, December 10th.

When: Sunday, December 10th
Where: Rogers Arena
Cost: $316+

Home Alone in Concert 

Home Alone is a comedy classic featuring acclaimed music by composer John Williams, which will be performed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra this December. So get ready to relive one of the most beloved, heart-warming holiday tales around.

When: Wednesday, December 13th and Thursday, December 14th
Where: The Orpheum
Cost: $21.19 to $109.19

The Nutcracker by Goh Ballet 

Now we come to one of the most (if not the most) classic holiday tales of all time: The Nutcracker. Performed by the talented Goh Ballet, the story will unfold onstage at multiple showtimes from Thursday, December 14th to Sunday, December 17th.

When: Thursday, December 14th to Sunday, December 17th
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Cost: $131.95+

KFB 16th Annual Christmas Party Matinee: Peach Pit and More 

Ready for another jam-packed all-ages Christmas show? The 16th annual Kingfisher Bluez Christmas Party will have a matinee show featuring Peach Pit, young friend, Cam Blake, Max Boonch, Kylie V, Be Afraid, Flat Earth, Tall Mary, Nonarchy, and Dawson Gool. Best of all? All proceeds from the show go towards 1-800-SUICIDE / Crisis Centre BC.

When: Sunday, December 17th
Where: Commodore Ballroom
Cost: $48

ELF in Concert 

Another family-friendly holiday concert to check out this month features the music from ELF, a story of an Elf from the North Pole who travels to New York in search of his father. The heartwarming classic and score by John Debney will come to life through the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on December 21st and 22nd.

When: Thursday, December 21st and Friday, December 22nd
Where: The Orpheum
Cost: $21.19 to $109.19

Candlelight: Holiday Special ft. “The Nutcracker” and More 

Vancouver is getting a series of holiday concerts this season with performances throughout December, and each one will be illuminated by thousands of candles. One of them will feature music from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” on December 22nd, both at the Kerrisdale Presbyterian Church and Christ Church Cathedral.

When: Friday, December 22nd and Saturday, December 23rd
Where: Kerrisdale Presbyterian Church and Christ Church Cathedral
Cost: $58 to $80

Funk The Halls featuring The Funk Hunters

The Funk Hunters are a Canadian EDM and DJ duo from right here in Vancouver, and every year, they put on a two-day, high-energy Christmas show. This year, they’re performing alongside Felix Cartal, Maddy Oneal, and Rome In Silver. So get ready to put a new kind of “jingle” in your step!

When: Friday, December 22nd and Saturday, December 23rd
Where: Commodore Ballroom
Cost: $59.75+

Merry & Bright – North Shore Choirs 

This year, North Shore Choirs is performing twice on December 23rd; at 1 pm and 4 pm. The choral concerts will use partial proceeds to go towards #EndALS through ALS Action Canada.

When: Saturday, December 23rd
Where: 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver
Cost: $17.31

Contact Winter Music Festival

The annual Contact Winter Music Festival is returning to Vancouver this December with two days of high-energy live music. This year, guests can expect to see Zedd, Rezz, Mau P, Sabai, and much more – including state-of-the-art tech production, pyro, and exciting lighting across two stages.

When: Wednesday, December 27th and Thursday, December 28th
Where: Vancouver Convention Centre
Cost: $149.95 for two-day GA, $249.95 for VIP

Steel Panther 

Switching gears a bit – Steel Panther is an American glam metal band consisting of lead singer Michael Starr, Ralph Saenz, Satchel, and
Stix Zadinia. Originally formed as “Metal Skool” and “Metal Shop,” the group is known for their energetic live shows and revival of 80s metal.

When: Friday, December 29th
Where: Commodore Ballroom
Cost: $65.75+

The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show

Equal parts music and comedy, drag icons Jinkx and Ben DeLa Creme are taking their Holiday Show to Vancouver at the end of the month, complete with fabulous costumes, quick-witted comedy, and brand-new songs. So get ready to kick off the new year with tons of laughs.

When: Saturday, December 30th
Where: The Orpheum
Cost: $149.95 for two-day GA, $249.95 for VIP

Arts & Culture

Back to the Holidays


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The Improv Centre on Granville Island always has something fun going on, and this week is no exception. Their Back to the Holidays (think if A Christmas Carol and Back to the Future had a baby…) improv show is on from now until December 24th, so it’s the perfect time to get a jumpstart on all things festive.

When: On select days from now until December 24th
Where: 1515 Anderson Street
Cost: $26.50

Vancouver Art Gallery

It never hurts to see what exhibitions are going on at Vancouver Art Gallery at any given time. This month, you can check out the Emily Carr exhibit: “A Room of Her Own,” “Conceptions of White,” and “Offsite” by Pedro Reyes – to name a few.

When: Open throughout December
Where: 750 Hornby Street
Cost: Free on December 1st and the first Friday of every month


Sponsored pick: Sabai Thai Spa

Is work hard, play hard, your favourite motto? Then a rejuvenating weekend massage is just the thing you need. Sabai Thai Spa is an award-winning relaxation destination with 7 locations throughout Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Treat yourself to any of their 5-star treatments and feel your worries melt away – especially since they offer rewards, bundles, and limited-time offers to help you save on your visit! Check out their website and see how you can get up to 50% off on massages, spa packages, facials, and more. Keep a lookout for their HUGE Black Friday Deals, too, and use the promo code CURIOCITY at checkout for an additional 5% off select services. Happy relaxing!

Food & Drink

Spirit of the Season Festival 

Returning to the Shipyards this year is North Van’s iconic Spirit of the Season Festival, which delights visitors all over the region with free hot cocoa and a variety of food truck eats, a holiday market at The Pipe Shop, music, dance, & ice skating performances, and of course, a 30-foot Christmas tree lighting.

When: Saturday, December 2nd
Where: The Shipyards, North Vancouver
Cost: Free admission

Sponsored Pick: Moxies Winter Menu

Tis the season for cozy eats, which is good news because Moxies just announced their new menu for the colder season. Check out tasty new additions, like Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts, Short Rib Bolognese, and Rigatoni Arrabbiata, along with some returning favourites from last year, like the Mushroom Mosaic Dip and Sticky Toffee Pudding. This new winter menu is available for a limited time, so don’t wait to book your reso and try it for yourself!

When: Available now until Sunday, January 14th
Where: Moxies restaurant locations across Canada

Reflections Winter Terrace at Rosewood Hotel Georgia 

This one might require a couple of beverage purchases, but the rooftop winter terrace at Rosewood Hotel Georgia is no less magical to experience.

Starting in early November, guests can once again indulge in creative, festive cocktails and light tapas in a comfortable lounge setting, all the while surrounded by twinkling fairy lights to set the scene. If you’re looking for a solid date idea for the colder months, you’ve just found one.

When: Now open
Where: 801 West Georgia Street

Vancouver Christmas Market

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the iconic Vancouver Christmas Market, even if the holiday shopping isn’t the main draw of the event. Sooner than you may think, Jack Poole Plaza will transform into the ultimate winter wonderland, complete with mulled wine, freshly made pretzels, and bratwurst – all thanks to this year’s Vancouver Christmas Market.

When: Now until December 24th
Where: 1055 Canada Place
Cost: $14 for advanced bookings

Tinseltown Vancouver

A Christmas speakeasy called Tinseltown has officially popped up at Le Soleil Hotel complete with Santa’s elves, tinsel, holiday decor, warm winter drinks, festive tunes, and a customized Christmas cocktail menu, which also includes non-alcoholic treats.

When: Now until December 30th
Where: 567 Hornby Street
Cost: $15 per person

Miracle in Gastown

This year, Gastown’s Clough Club has transformed into a ‘Santa-approved’ wonderland fit for all occasions, from a casual catch-up with friends to a festive work gathering. The cocktail list includes a wide range of seasonal twists on classic sips – and there’s a food menu with retro-inspired bites.

When: Now until December 31st
Where: 212 Abbott Street

Miracle at Old Yale Brewing 

Photo via Old Yale Brewing

Old Yale Brewing has also transformed its Abbotsford and Chilliwack breweries into magical Christmasy cabins, adorned with holiday decor and special cocktail features. At both locations, guests can expect a slew of holiday-themed events, from trivia to brunch with Santa.

When: Now until December 31st
Where: 404-44550 South Sumas Road, Chilliwack and 33738 Laurel Street, Abbotsford

Winterlust at H Tasting Lounge

This season, you can once again dine in H Tasting Lounge’s enchanting winter-themed glass domes, which boast heated interiors and panoramic views of the city. Up to six guests can indulge in a feast of tableside-flamed rib-eye steak, roasted carrots, sablefish, grilled octopus with Thai curry, and much more.

When: Now until the end of February, 2024
Where: 1601 Bayshore Drive
Cost: $150 minimum food & beverage per dome

Fruitcake Weather: A Christmas Cabaret 

On Sunday, December 3rd, La Fabrique St-George Winery is hosting a special Christmas Cabaret performance by Postmodern Camerata, filled with classic stories, carols and songs from Irving Berlin to Gordon Lightfoot.

Note that space is limited at this venue, so be sure to snag a ticket sooner rather than later!

When: Sunday, December 3rd
Where: 7 East 7th Avenue
Cost: $22.63

Batch Vancouver Holiday Pop-ups

Batch on Plaza and Batch on Granville are already solid go-tos for happy hour and catching up with friends, and now both locations will transform into festive spaces filled with holiday cheer and holiday-themed drinks, seasonal bites, and live music.

When: December 6th to 8th and 13th to 15th (Batch), November 19th to December 23rd (Batch 200)
Where: 770 Pacific Boulevard and 200 Granville Street, Suite 700

Holiday shopping

The Polygon Gallery’s Annual Holiday Shop 


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If you’re looking for a holiday market with multiple dates to shop, you’ll have plenty of time to check out this year’s Polygon Gallery Annual Holiday Shop, which runs from November 15th to January 7th. The gallery’s main floor will once again transform into a beautifully decorated shop with unique vendors, gifts, art, and interactive activities.

When: November 15th to January 7th
Where: 101 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
Cost: Free admission

Sponsored pick: CF Winterville at CF Richmond Centre

The holiday season is hitting malls across Canada, and that can only mean one thing… Santa pictures! Put on your toothiest smile and head down to CF Richmond Centre from Friday, November 17th until Sunday, December 24th, to get your pictures with the big jolly man in red. Celebrate the season with 5 digital photos for only $15, but book your visit soon because Santa’s schedule is filling up fast!

When: Friday, November 17 until Sunday, December 24
Where: CF Richmond Centre, 6551 No. 3 Rd, Richmond
Cost: $15 for groups up to 6

Make It Show

Vancouver’s premier handmade market is back with its 15th-anniversary celebration and market from December 7th to 10th at the PNE Forum, and there will be a whopping 250 local vendors to check out, including food trucks and licensed beverage vendors!

When: Thursday, December 7th to Sunday, December 10th
Where: 2901 East Hastings Street
Cost: $10-$12

Eastside Flea Holiday Markets


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It wouldn’t be the holidays in Vancouver without the Eastside Flea. Every year, the organizers bring over 50 local vendors selling a diverse selection of goods to Eastside Studios. Shoppers can expect to find everything from handmade jewelry, pottery, art, home decor, etc to vintage clothing, collectibles, and more.

When: Every weekend from now until December 17th
Where: 1101 Union Street
Cost: $5 admission

Coquitlam Christmas Craft Fair 

The 42nd Annual Coquitlam Christmas Craft Fair will take place from Friday, December 1st to Sunday, December 3rd this year, and will feature a wide array of locally-made crafts and gifts.

Admission is $5 per adult (free for children), and tickets can be booked online via two-hour time slots.

When: Friday, December 1st to Sunday, December 3rd
Where: 618 Poirier Street, Coquitlam
Cost: $5 admission

Japan Market Christmas Fair 

With over 75 vendors to peruse (and tasty Japanese fare to snack on), the Japan Market Christmas Fair is just as much for you as it is for the people you’re buying gifts for.

The fair will take place at UBC Robson Square at Plaza level UBC Sun Room from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday, December 2nd and Sunday, December 3rd.

When: Saturday, December 2nd and Sunday, December 3rd
Where: 800 Robson Street
Cost: $4 for early bird admission per person, $5 for GA

Made in the 604 Fall & Winter Pop-up Markets – North Vancouver

Made in the 604 is hosting a slew of fall and winter pop-up markets at the Pipe Shop in North Van this fall, and shoppers can peruse dozens of local vendors for the perfect gifts.

Note that this market is dog-friendly!

When: Saturday, December 2nd and Sunday, December 3rd
Where: 115 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver
Cost: Free admission

Made in the 604 Fall & Winter Pop-up Markets – Heritage Hall 

As well, Made in the 604 will also pop up at Main Street’s Heritage Hall on select weekends in November and December, so it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area!

When: Saturday, December 16th and Sunday, December 17th
Where: 3102 Main Street
Cost: Free admission

Santa’s Workshop at Pacific Arts Market 

Finally, we come to the one-stop shop for your last-minute Christmas shopping needs. Pacific Arts Market is hosting a final holiday market on December 17th from 1 to 5 p.m., complete with live art demos, craft goods, and a visit from Santa.

When: Sunday, December 17th
Where: 1448 West Broadway
Cost: $11.98

Outdoors & Sports

Bright Nights at Stanley Park


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Who’s ready for the return of a beloved Vancouver holiday tradition? Stanley Park’s Bright Nights is back at the end of the month, as is its popular holiday train ride, which means passengers can once again wind through the Stanley Park forest surrounded by thousands of Christmas lights.

When: Now until Monday, January 1st
Where: Pipeline Road in Stanley Park
Cost: $15 per adult, $11 per child

Festival of Lights at VanDusen

In less than a month’s time, VanDusen Botanical Garden will once again transform into the ultimate holiday-themed destination, complete with over one million twinkling lights.

This year, the massive light displays will pay homage to the vibrant flora and fauna from BC’s endangered Garry Oak meadows, according to the City of Vancouver. Guests can also enjoy the garden’s famed Dancing Lights, an immersive show full of spectacular lights in motion as they beam across the pond and treetops.

When: Now until January 7th
Where: 5251 Oak Street
Cost: Tickets available November 1st

Glow Langley 

Canada’s largest Christmas celebration is back in Langley with over one million twinkling lights. This year, Glow Langley’s theme is “Carnival Christmas,” which means the (mostly) outdoor festival is bringing some exciting new features to the table.

For starters, the holiday festival will feature new and improved heated and covered spaces, allowing guests to enjoy the festivities no matter the weather. Also new this year are carnival-themed lights, a new craft corner in a “tent of makers,” and free carnival-themed mini-games!

When: Now until December 30th
Where: 6690 216 Street, Langley
Cost: $15-$70

Squamish At Dusk 

Rose Park in Squamish has transformed into the ultimate winter wonderland as part of a new experience “Squamish at Dusk,” which is equal parts festival of lights and art exhibition.

Guests can expect to enter a magical tunnel of lights, surrounded by glowing trees and a deep, sparkling grotto. There will also be a mesmerizing ‘under-the-water-themed installation, which promises to be immersive.

When: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from November 23rd to December 10th
Where: 38550 Loggers Lane, Squamish
Cost: $10-$15 per adult, $7 to $10 per child

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge

We’re starting off this list with one of the most celebrated holiday events of the year. The Capilano Suspension Bridge transforms into an illuminated winter wonderland every year, complete with changing multi-colour displays, a sparkling rainforest below, and a transformed Cliffwalk.

When: Friday, November 17th to Sunday, January 21st
Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Cost: $49.95 to $66.95 per adult

Light Walk at Grouse Mountain 

While a date has not yet been set for this year’s Light Walk at Grouse Mountain, every year, the ski resort creates an enchanting experience for visitors of the mountain to enjoy. The entrance to the display is marked by a magical light tunnel, which leads snow-shoers and skiers to a glimmering path of lights just off of the mountaintop skating pond.

When: Now until December 25th
Where: 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver

Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting

If what you’re after is a giant Christmas tree lighting instead, we’ve got some good news. This year’s Vancouver Tree Lighting has been confirmed for Friday, December 1st, and will take place outside of the Vancouver Art Gallery ( šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square) at 6 pm.

When: Friday, December 1st
Where: 750 Hornby Street

Shipyards Skate Plaza 

Starting this Friday, ice skating enthusiasts have two popular rinks to choose from, starting with the Shipyards Skate Plaza.

When: Opens Friday, December 1st
Where: 125 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver

Robson Square Ice Rink

The city’s popular Robson Square Ice Rink is also set to open for the season this Friday, so get ready to lace up your skates and partake in some classic holiday fun.

When: December 1, 2023 to February 29, 2024
Where: 800 Robson Street
Cost: $5 for skate rentals

Surrey Santa Parade of Lights

Looking for a festive Santa parade to check out now that Vancouver’s has been cancelled for 2023? The 16th annual Surrey Santa Parade of Lights is on this year, bringing a mix of decorated antique cars, trucks, and floats to the historic town centre of Cloverdale.

The parade will start at 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 3rd. Note that there will be several groups along the parade route selling food and novelties as well, with proceeds going to charity.

When: Sunday, December 3rd
Where: Cloverdale, BC

PNE Winter Fair


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The annual PNE Winter Fair is back with 12 nights of Christmas-themed concerts and theatrical shows, indoor skating, and winter light displays. And of course, enough mini donuts and holiday treats to go around!

When: December 8th and 9th, and 14th to 23rd
Where: 2901 East Hastings
Cost: $25-$30 per adult, $7 for ice skate rentals

Go skiing/snowboarding 

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, these ski hills around Vancouver offer snow enthusiasts some great rental options, as well as unparalleled views. And all except one are officially open for the season!

Where: See our picks above

Vancouver Giants

For the hockey lovers out there, the Vancouver Giants are playing multiple home games at the Arena Bowl at the Langley Events Centre this month against the Rockets, Silvertips, Cougars, Thunderbirds, Royals, and Oil Kings. Tickets start at just over $20 a pop, and you can view the full list of home games scheduled for this season here.

When: December 1st, 9th, 16th, 17th 27th, and 29th
Where: 7888 200 Street Langley
Cost: $23.70+

Go on a classic winter stroll 

While it might make getting around a little (or a lot) more difficult, there’s no denying that our city transforms into a winter wonderland when it snows. If you’re looking to enjoy a nice stroll this season, here are some great options to start with – from mountain climbs to inner-city parks.

Where: See our picks above

And that’s a wrap on some of the most festive, delicious, photo-worthy, and exciting things to do in Vancouver this month. Happy holidays!