While the holiday season in Vancouver is marked by dazzling lights, treats, and beverages – the rest of BC is no stranger to getting into the festive mood either. So for this list, we’ll be highlighting some of the biggest and most highly-anticipated events of the season across the province, including Vancouver holiday staples. Without further ado, here are 25 exciting things to add to your winter bucket list in BC this year.

Vancouver Christmas Market

The annual Vancouver Christmas Market is a holiday staple for a reason. Actually, for multiple reasons, many of which can be consumed, including their iconic mulled wine, freshly baked pretzels, bratwurst, and more. And let’s not forget about their festive light installations and light tunnel. This classic wintertime activity needs no selling on our part.

When: Opens Saturday, November 12th
Where: 1055 Canada Place, Jack Poole Plaza
Cost: $18 for GA

Light Up the Orchard РPrince George 

The Northern Lights Estate Winery is hosting The North’s largest walk-through holiday light display, featuring thousands of lights, holiday decor, and photo stations to capture your fave memories.

Note that Light Up will be closed on December 24th and 25th.

When: Until December 31st
Where: 745 Prince George Pulpmill Road
Cost: $11.27 GA

Lights by the Lake – Harrison

If you find yourself near Harrison Lake sometime this season (perhaps via an impromptu trip to Harrison Hot Springs?) you’ll definitely want to check out the Christmas lights along the promenade and village square. Each business has decorated its storefront, and visitors might just catch a glimpse of the infamous Sasquatch fishing for sturgeon. And while you’re at it, check out the Winter Night Lights festivities in Agassiz, with special events happening on Saturday, December 10th. Guests can expect live music, cocoa, a story-time with the Grinch, and even a ride on the mini-passenger train.

When: Until Sunday, January 8th
Where: Harrison Lake

PNE Winter Fair

For 10 nights in December, the PNE Winter Fair will feature Christmas-themed concerts, an indoor skating rink, family-friendly holiday theatre shows, and of course, a quintessential winter light display. Oh, and plenty of tasty doughnuts and holiday treats to go around, of course.

When: Wednesday, December 14th to Friday, December 23rd
Where: 2901 East Hastings Street
Cost: $15 for Fair admission, concerts additional (require fair admission)

Bright Walk in White Rock 

 

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The City of White Rock will be hosting the 2nd annual Bright Walk this Saturday, December 10th from 5 to 7 pm. Guests can take part in cookie decorating, meeting Santa, and witnessing the lighting of the 20-foot Christmas tree with Mayor Knight and Council. As well, visitors can enjoy a live performance by the Gingerbread Men Trio, dance to a live Dj, and watch a light-up interpretive dance from Xba Centre of Dance. Don’t forget to peruse the 30 local vendors for unique second-hand gifts, play some interactive games, and sip on some free hot cocoa.

When: Saturday, December 10th
Where:  15300 Marine Drive, White Rock
Cost: Free

Go on a holiday-themed Forest Walk in North Vancouver

The Sea to Sky Gondola is hosting a ton of festive events & activities this year, including a Decorated Forest Walk decked out with festive lights and Scandinavian-style decor. For a unique wintertime experience that combines the best of the holiday season with BC’s breathtaking natural landscape, head on over to Squamish.

When: Saturday, December 3rd to Saturday, December 31st
Where: 36800 BC-99, Squamish

Christmas Pop-up Art Market – Kimberly

Check out some 100% handmade and original art and gifts at the Christmas Pop-up Art Market in Kimberly. With 33 local artists to peruse, the market focuses on wildlife, nature, and the small-town lifestyle.

When: Until December 24th
Where:  15300 Marine Drive, White Rock
Cost: Free

Go ice skating

Robson Square Ice Rink

Who’s ready to kick off ice skating season at Robson Square? For just $5 per skate rental, you can skate to your heart’s content. Stop by on a spontaneous trip downtown, or plan a special pre-dinner visit on your next date.

When: Friday, December 2nd to February 28th, 2023
Where: 800 Robson Street
Cost: $5 for skate rentals

The Shipyards Skate Plaza

Starting Friday, December 2nd, you can head over to the Shipyards, rent some skates for $7 a pop ($5 for kids) and skate to your heart’s content at the largest outdoor skating rink in Metro Van. Enjoy some stunning waterfront views as you skate, and even pop into the nearby Polygon Gallery to make a day of it.

When: Opens Friday, December 2nd
Where: 125 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver

Starlight Ice Skating Rink 

The Starlight Skating Rink in Harrison is officially open for the season. Rentals are available for $8 for adults and $5 for children, and the rink is open from Thursday to Monday from 1 pm to 9 pm.

Where: 495 Esplanade Avenue, Harrison

Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain

 

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The Peak of Christmas has transformed the top of Grouse Mountain into a winter wonderland with a variety of activities and experiences to enjoy, ranging from mountaintop ice skating to a magical light walk. You can even meet a couple of Santa’s reindeer before checking out his workshop. Access to the Peak of Christmas is available through a Mountain Admission Ticket, and those who have a season pass to Grouse Mountain can enjoy it free of charge.

When: Friday, November 25th to January 2nd
Where: 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver
Cost: $36-$69, or $119 for a family of four

VanDusen Festival of Lights

The holiday season at VanDusen Botanical Garden is marked by festive light displays and scenic walks through the illuminated lakeside path, surrounded by over one million Dancing Lights across the garden‚Äôs 15 acres. And with several themed areas to peruse, festive treats to feast on, and holiday music to enjoy ‚Äď this event is a great date pick as well as a spot for the whole family to enjoy.

When: Until January 2nd
Where: 5251 Oak Street
Cost: $21

NYE at the Fairmont Empress in Victoria 

 

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This NYE gala is definitely one for the bucket list – and one day if we’re lucky, for the books. The Fairmont Empress in Victoria has hosted grand balls and events since 1919, and guests on NYE can be a part of the historic tradition that lives in the Crystal Ballroom. This year, in classic formal fashion, Fairmont Empress‚Äô event will involve black-tie attire, cocktails upon arrival, live entertainment and a four-course seated dinner.

When: Friday, November 25th to January 2nd
Where: 721 Government Street, Victoria
Cost: $329 per adult

Lumagica in Surrey

Back until December 30th, Surrey’s most magical holiday experience, Lumagica will be transforming the Cloverdale Fairgrounds into a winter wonderland. Featuring impressive light displays, family-friendly activities, great food and a host of live entertainment (including Santa himself) this is the ultimate spot to get into the holiday spirit.

When:¬†November 25, 2022 ‚Äď December 30, 2022
Where:¬†Cloverdale Fairgrounds ‚Äď 6050 176 St, Surrey BC V3S 4E7
Cost: Tickets from $18

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge

And now, for another classic holiday tradition in Vancouver. The Capilano Suspension Bridge transforms into an illuminated winter wonderland every year, complete with multi-colour displays, a ‚ÄėSnow Owl Prowl‚Äô scavenger hunt, and cocoa & live music at the Trading Post Gift Store.

When: Saturday, November 19th to Sunday, January 22nd
Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Cost: $62.95 GA for a day pass

Glow Gardens Langley

ICYMI, Glow Langley is a beloved annual event that brings over one million cascading lights to Langley. This year‚Äôs theme? ‚ÄúThe Jolly Jumble,‚ÄĚ which features a scavenger hunt, a holiday train ride, pictures with Santa, and much more.

When: Wednesday, November 23rd to December 31st
Where: 6690 216 Street, Langley
Cost: $20-$70+

Dundarave Festival of Lights

While details are still a little scarce for this year‚Äôs event, the Dundarave Festival of Lights is currently putting together their¬†‚ÄúForest of Miracles‚Ä̬†and preparing for their festival of lights, which will take place from Saturday, December 3rd to Sunday, January 8th.

When: Saturday, December 3rd to Sunday, January 8th
Where: Dundarave Beach, Millennium Park, Grosvenor Ambleside Galleria

See Home Alone in concert

And now, for a holiday pick. You can see¬†Home Alone¬†in concert in addition to your screen at home. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra presents¬†Home Alone¬†in concert, performing¬†renowned composer John Williams‚Äô ‚Äúcharming and delightful score.‚ÄĚ

When: Wednesday, December 14th and Thursday, December 15th
Where: 601 Smithe Street
Cost: $31.90+

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 experiences. And all except one are officially open for the season!

Where: See our picks above

Winterlust at H Tasting Lounge

 

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Winterlust dome dining at H Tasting Lounge is back this year, bringing the ultimate holiday-themed culinary experience to Vancouverites. And their holiday cocktail lineup ‚Äú12 Guests of Christmas‚ÄĚ features 12 creative drinks based on rambunctious holiday dinner guests. From the ‚ÄúDeadbeat Adult Child‚ÄĚ to the ‚ÄúProblematic Uncle‚ÄĚ – each drink will surely bring up some colourful memories.

And as for the domes themselves, each one seats 6 people and features a heater, fresh air circulation, and an independent sound system. Oh, and sweeping views of Coal Harbour! A bucket list dining experience if there ever was one.

When: Open throughout winter
Where: 1601 Bayshore Drive
Cost: Varies per package

Grab some winter-inspired drinks

A Christmas Cocktail Story

This festive pop-up is also retro-themed, with food, drinks, and decor that bring guests back to the classic 1950s holiday party era. The interior of Dalina on Main will be completely transformed for the duration of the pop-up, and spots can be reserved online for 1.5 hours ($36.50 per person). Each reservation includes a welcome drink, one Christmas Cocktail of your choice, and a platter of treats.

When: Thursday, December 1st to December 23rd
Where: 687 Main Street
Cost: $36.50 per person

Batch on Plaza

One of our personal fave spots in the city,¬†Batch on Plaza¬†has officially transformed for the holidays, complete with a covered patio and fire to keep guests warm and cozy. Oh, and plenty of mulled wine, bratw√ľrst, and holiday tunes to go around.

Where: 770 Pacific Boulevard

Reflections: The Winter Terrace

When it comes to amazing holiday-themed cocktails, The Winter Terrace at Rosewood Hotel Georgia is a must-visit this season. Enjoy some classic mules, Baileys drinks, and more under cozy lights and festive holiday decor.

Where: 801 West Georgia Street

Contact Winter Music Festival

And finally, a non-traditional option this holiday season. If hearing dubstep makes you nostalgic for the 2010s or gets you on your feet, this is the festival for you. Contact Winter Music Festival is returning to Vancouver for two days of high-energy music and high-energy performances. This year, guests can expect to see Chart-topping, Grammy-winning artists like The Chainsmokers, UK electronic group Above & Beyond, Canadian duo Loud Luxury, and much more.

When: December 29th and December 30th
Where: 777 Pacific Boulevard
Cost: $140.75 per day or $204.40 for a 2-day pass

And that’s a wrap on our BC winter bucket list. We hope this list inspires you to make some plans and create fantastic new memories this season.