It’s a short week this week, but there’s still plenty to do around town worth noting, especially if you’re looking to extend the holiday festivities. From an EDM winter music festival to holiday pop-ups and light festivals, here are 10 of the best things to do in and around Vancouver this week (December 26-29).

Contact Winter Music Festival

The annual Contact Winter Music Festival is returning to Vancouver this week with two days of high-energy live EDM. 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

Sponsored pick: Dior Atelier of Dreams Pop-Up

The House of Dior invites you to discover a holiday wonderland of iconic beauty gifts at Holt Renfrew Vancouver. Inspired by the Tuileries Garden in Paris, the immersive pop-up shop brings the Dior Atelier of Dreams to life. You need to check it out at Holt Renfrew before January 5th to see the magic yourself and to find iconic beauty gifts and exclusive souvenirs in-store.

When: Now until January 5th, 2024
Where: Holt Renfrew
Cost: Free

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+

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

Bright Nights at Stanley Park

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

Holiday History & Hot Chocolate

Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours has introduced an exciting new guided tour just in time for the holidays, aptly named Holiday History & Hot Chocolate. On the tour, participants will be guided through multiple light displays at the city’s finest hotel lobbies, see historic heritage buildings, and hear tales of intrigue, jealousy, and murder, according to the tour’s website.

When: Saturday, December 2nd to Sunday, January 7th (except for December 25th and 26th and January 1st)
Where: Meet at the corner of Robson and Granville Streets
Cost: $49 per adult, $45 for youth and seniors

Festival of Lights at VanDusen

VanDusen Botanical Garden has once again transformed into the ultimate holiday-themed destination, complete with over one million twinkling lights.

This year, the massive light displays 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

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.

Where: 801 West Georgia Street

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

Shipyards Skate Plaza 

Ice skating enthusiasts can hit up the beautiful holiday-themed rink at the Shipyards well into the new year, and this week is the perfect opportunity if you haven’t gotten the chance to hit the ice yet!

When: Now open
Where: 125 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver

Go on a winter road trip 

Whether you want to visit a festive town or simply get out of the city for a bit, there are plenty of beautiful small towns with a lot of charm to explore in BC this winter.

Where: See our picks above

And that’s a wrap on the week, Vancouver! We hope it’s a great one.