What: The Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club is one of the largest and oldest Polar Bear Clubs in the world. Its initial swim was in 1920 when a small number of hardy swimmers took the plunge into English Bay on New Year’s Day. Led by their founder, Peter Pantages, the swim has grown from around 10 swimmers in that year to the new record of 2,550 official entries set in 2014.
Where: English Bay, Vancouver
When: January 1, 2016; Registration is from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
What: On the last Saturday of each month, the CAG invites all ages to drop-in for short exhibition tours and free art making activities that respond to our current exhibitions. Responding to Kim Beom’s book Noonchi, about a dog in search of an owner, you will create your own illustrated story about Noonchi using drawing materials and a small folded paper book.
Where: Contemporary Art Gallery – 555 Nelson Street, Vancouver
What: Each week you can look forward to finding locally grown vegetables and fruit, meat and seafood from local ranchers and fishermen, artisan cheese and bread, herbs and seasonal nursery items, baked goods, prepared foods and artisanal craft.
Where: Nat Bailey Stadium – 4601 Ontario Street, Vancouver
When: Saturday, November 7 to Saturday, April 23 (Every Saturday); 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
What: After a successful trial season last year, we’re excited to return to Hastings Park for a full winter season! We were welcomed and supported by the local community with dedicated Vancouver Farmers Markets shoppers from all over the Lower Mainland. Located within a thriving community close to the highway and the Second Narrows Bridge, the Hastings Park Farmers Market is a perfect place to stop and shop.
Where: Hastings Skate Park – Renfrew Street, Vancouver
When: Sunday, November 8th to Sunday, May 1st (Closed Dec. 27); 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
What: Open year-long, the Public Market at Granville Island is a favourite destination for locals and tourists alike. There are several produce vendors, along with local food and craft artisans, prepared foods, and much more to see and do.
What: Held under the Cannery roof in Richmond, this winter farmers’ market acts as a gathering place for the local community and provides an opportunity for farmers and artisans to showcase their products. Visitors to the market can enjoy a rustic atmosphere, fresh produce, and a varied selection of prepared foods.
Where: The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site – 12138 Fourth Avenue, Richmond
When: October 2015 to April 2016, 1st and 3rd Sundays of every month; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
What: The White Rock Farmers’ Market will run nine winter markets this year, which will feature a range of vendor produced goods, including fresh fruits and veggies, with an en emphasis on locally-grown farm produce. Also available at the market are baked and organic goods, artisan cheeses and breads, condiments and preserves, and fair trade coffee.
Where: Elks Hall, 1469 George Street, White Rock
When: October 18 to December 18, Sundays;10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
What: This New Westminster wintermarket offers attendees farm-fresh produce, plants, quality handmade crafts from local artists and artisans, gourmet prepared foods, live entertainment, and whole stack more.
Where: Belmont Street (between 6th and 7th Streets), New Westminster
When: November 7 to April 16 (excluding January 2); 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
What: At the Richmond Olympic Experience, you and your family and friends can compete on over a dozen world-class sport simulators and fun interactive challenges. The ROX is billed as the most interactive sport attraction in North America for a reason.
Where: Richmond Olympic Oval – 6111 River Road, Richmond
What: In the spirit of the True North Strong and Free, Metro Vancouver has literally dozens of ice arenas now open for public skating, including a number of extra-festive outdoor rinks. With special holiday events and regular public skating hours, there are plenty of opportunities to lace up some skates and hit the ice.
What: The rink at Robson Square is operated seasonally by the provincial government when the temperatures begin to dip, running from morning into the late evening hours. Skaters can skate for free if they bring their own skates while those without skates can rent a pair on-site. There is also a concession stand serving snacks and warm drinks.
Where: 800 Robson Street, Vancouver (Robson & Howe)
When: December 1, 2015 until February 28, 2016; times vary
What: Over three million dazzling lights decorate acres of the dark forest, reaching as high as the forest canopy for Bright Nights in Stanley Park. The attraction is also accompanied by a train ride, musics, snacks, entertainment, and even visits with Santa and his elves.
Where: Miniature railway area at Stanley Park, Vancouver
What: The suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and canyon are transformed into a world of festive lights and visual enchantment. See the world’s tallest living Christmas tree (153 feet tall), experience the voice-activated light show, go on a scavenger hunt throughout the park, sing along with the holiday band, take a family photo at the Winter Pavilion, and more.
Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge – 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
When: Friday, November 27 – Sunday, January 3, 2016; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
What: High up in the alpine range lies the Sea to Sky Gondola near Squamish, offering unparalleled views of snow-capped mountains. The Christmas festivities include snowshoeing, tubing, a forest walk, warm and cozy storytime and a brunch with Santa himself. There will also be a Christmas Market at the mountain base and local choirs singing holiday carols, including a special holiday concert.
Where: Sea to Sky Gondola – off Highway 99 just before Squamish
What: Vancouver’s legendary pop-up gay warehouse party where anything goes and everyone is welcome boys, girls, gays, straights, daddies and grannies – leave your labels at the door and get your derrier ready to celebrate a new chapter! This is a body-positive / gender-positive space and most importantly this is a safe space. Express yourself!
Where: Vancouver Art and Leisure – 1965 Main Street, Vancouver
What: Taiki Nulight, or Erka Chinbayer to his friends, has been DJing and Producing for many years in very different circles. Being influenced by UK Garage, House and Electronic Dance Music, he has created a trademark sound which is truly his own.
Where: Red Room Ultra Bar – 398 Richards Street, Vancouver