Contrary to popular belief, date nights during the winter months don’t have to be restricted to the indoors. To help plan your romantic excursions during the colder half of the year, we’ve compiled a list of winter date ideas at a wide range of prices.
We’re talking cozy local restaurants, snowshoe trails, holiday festivals, and everything in between.
Here are 21 wonderful winter date ideas in Vancouver.
Located on the fourth floor of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, the Reflections Winter Patio has become one of Vancouver’s most highly-anticipated winter dining experiences.
The holiday-inspired destination is complete with chic holiday decor, twinkling lights, garlands, throw blankets, heat lamps, and a selection of warm tapas and beverages.
When: Open now, seven days a week, until December 31, 2018
Time: Saturday to Monday from 3 to 11 pm; Tuesday to Friday from 11:30 am to 11 pm
Where: Rosewood Hotel Georgia – 801 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
Every year, FlyOver Canada transforms their virtual experience with a holiday twist. Participants meet two of Santa’s elves, Chestnut and Pinecone, and join them in a flight across Canada – getting a sneak peak of Santa’s Workshop in the process.
When: Open now until January 6, 2018 (closed Christmas)
Time: Hours of operation vary based on date
Where: FlyOver Canada – 201 – 999 Canada Place, Vancouver
Tickets: Available online, starting at $28 for adults ($24 for BC residents)
Love to hit the mountains, but your significant other can’t ski or snowboard? Fortunately, everyone knows how to sit on a toboggan, meaning it’s a friendly date idea for any non-skier or snowboarder.
After any number of rides down the hill, wind down afterwards with a warm drink at the Enquist Lodge, complete with snacks, a roaring fireplace, and beautiful views.
When: Now until the end of the winter season
Time: Hours of operation are based on weather conditions, check online for up-to-date information
Where: Mt. Seymour – 1700 Mt. Seymour Road, North Vancouver
Cost: $25 per person for two hours, $15 for every additional hour
The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain is a popular outdoor attraction and a standout reason for a trip to the North Shore. Visitors can enjoy a sleigh ride, a slide zone, and an 8,000 sq. ft. outdoor skating rink.
With a mesmerizing gondola ride and the upscale Altitude Bistro just mere steps away, the Peak of Christmas is a staple for any holiday date list.
When: Now until January 6, 2018
Time: A daily schedule for all Peak of Christmas activities can be found here
Where: Grouse Mountain – 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver
Admission: All festive Peak of Christmas activities come complimentary with a local’s pass, Y2Play, Winter Seasons Pass, or Alpine Experience ticket.
One of Vancouver’s most popular Christmas attractions returns to Jack Poole Plaza for the holiday season. Guests can wander through more than 55,000 sq. ft. featuring over 80 vendors, a stunning Christmas carousel, and a cozy, heated Alpine Lounge.
Other highlights also include Lovers’ Lane – a 30-foot-long tunnel decorated with 10,000 sparkling lights, as well as ‘love lock’ installation.
When: Now until December 24, 2018
Time: 11:30 to 9:30 pm (closes at 6 pm on December 24)
Where: Jack Poole Plaza – 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver
Tickets: Available online for $10 or at the gate for $12
The Sea to Sky region boasts some of the deepest snow in North America, allowing a wide variety of terrain whether you’re an experienced snowshoer or a first-timer.
Visitors can book a guided snowshoe tour at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola, or opt for a self-guided, marked trail. Just be sure to pack a backpack full of emergency essentials, such as an extra flashlight and extra food and water.
When: From now until the end of the season
Time: Hours vary day-to-day, check online for up-to-date information
Where: Sea to Sky Gondola -36800 BC-99, Squamish
Cost: Snowshoeing is free, although rentals are available for $20. Tickets to ride the Gondola cost around $40 for a roundtrip.
Hundreds of thousands of twinking lights are currently illuminating the Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam. The stunning outdoor display wraps its way entirely around Lafarge Lake, leading visitors through a 1.2-kilometre loop around 10 themed zones.
When: November 25, 2018 to January 18, 2019
Time: From dusk until 11 pm
Where: Town Centre Park – 1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
Entering the rink’s ninth consecutive winter season, skating is free for all ages for those who bring their own skates. Those without skates can also be rented on-site for a small fee.
When: December 1, 2018, to February 28, 2019
Time: Sunday to Thursday from 9 am to 9 pm; Friday to Saturday from 9 am to 11 pm
Where: Robson Square Ice Rink – 800 Robson Street, Vancouver
Cost: Free with a pair of skates, rentals on-site are $5
The Fire and Ice Show is an eclectic mix of music, dance, and pyro performances. Spectators get to watch world-class athletes flipping and twisting through a burning ring of fire, with a fireworks display to cap off the night.
When: December 23, 2018 to March 25, 2019
Time: Show begins at 7 pm
Where: Skiers Plaza and the Whistler Village between the Whistler and Blackcomb Gondolas
Cost: Free of charge
Grab a hot chocolate and see the Lights of Hope display
Grab a warm beverage and go see the St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope display. The annual Christmas tradition has been running since 1998 and raises millions of dollars for the hospital’s most immediate patient care and equipment needs. Last year, the campaign raised a whopping $3.1 million for these initiatives.
The light display consists of 200 illuminated stars and more than 100,000 bright lights. There will also be food trucks and carollers to add to the festivities.
When: From now until January 8, 2019
Time: The lights display will be illuminated from dusk to dawn
Where: St. Paul’s Hospital Burrard Entrance – 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver
Cost: Free of charge
If you’re tired of the shopping malls, the Eastside Flea Holiday Market has a DJ, local craft beer, and a delicious selection of hot food from a number of food trucks. In addition to finding handmade clothing, collectables, plants, and toys, visitors can take part in the community donation drive hosted by Eastside Flea.
When: Every weekend from now until December 16, 2018
Time: 11 am to 5 pm
Where: 550 Malking Avenue, Vancouver
Admission: $3 at the door
The Sea of Lights gives the ever-popular Vancouver Aquarium a festive twist. Their latest interactive experience feature lights, bubbles, sounds, and movements to create a playful interpretation of an ocean dive. Other holiday classics include the shocking electric eel tree and the Insta-worthy jelly snow globe.
A fun rendition of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer can also be seen in their 4-D theatre.
When: Now until January 6, 2018
Time: 10 to 5 pm, 10 to 4 pm during the holidays
Where: 845 Avison Way, Vancouver
Cost: $38 for adults, available online or at the gate
Every year, the dazzling botanical garden will be covered in more than a million lights to help ring in the Christmas season. Grab a hot chocolate and walk through 15 acres of lit trails including the gingerbread woods, lantern alley, and the Make-a-Wish candle grotto.
All tickets, which can be purchased online or at the gate, include a free ride on the carousel.
When: December 1, 2018, to January 6, 2019
Time: Operating hours are as follows:
December 1 to 20: 4:30 to 9 pm
December 21 to 24: 4:30 to 10 pm
December 25: Closed
December 26 to January 1: 4:30 to 10 pm
January 2 to 6: 4:30 to 9 pm
Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Adults $18.50 online and $20 at the gate
Bright Nights at Stanley Park marks the return of one of Metro Vancouver’s most popular Christmas light displays. Visitors can expect more than three million dazzling lights across acres of dark forest.
The Christmas Train, located at the heart of the park is the main attraction, accompanied by music, snacks, entertainment, and a visit from Santa and his elves.
When: November 29, 2018, to January 5, 2019
Time: Hours available online
Where: Piepeline Road, via the West Georgia Street Park Entrance
Train Tickets: Adults ride for $12
Best paired with a dinner and a warm drink in the North Shore area, the annual Holiday Hi-Light Festival features 150,000 lights taking over the Park and Tilford Gardens. Best of all, entry is by donation with 100% of proceeds going to the North Vancouver Firefighters Charitable Society.
When: Now until December 31, 2018
Time: 5 to 9 pm
Where: Park & Tilford Gardens – 333 Brooksbank Avenue, North Vancouver
Admission: By donation
Located at the Nordic Area on Hollyburn Ridge, Cypress Mountain’s cross country skiing area features 19 km of groomed trail, 7.5 km of trail for night skiing, and the largest ski school in Canada offering both skate and classic lessons.
When: From opening to closing day of the season
Time: Hours vary from day-to-day
Where: Cypress Mountain – 6000 Cypress Bowl Road, West Vancouver
Rentals: Full day rentals start at $24, $16 after 3 pm
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is glittering right now for Canyon Lights, with thousands of sparkling lights illuminating the iconic bridge and other areas of the park. The 30-ton Douglas Firs of the Treetops Adventure will also be dressed in light. Be sure to dress warm, however, proper jackets and footwear are essential.
Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge – 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Time: 11 am to 9 pm
When: Now until Saturday, January 27, 2019
Tickets: $46.95 for adults
The Vancouver Theatre Sports League shows off improv comedy at its finest with a variety of shows such as Merry Kiss-mas, Ok Tinder, 2018 Year in Review, and a New Year’s Even Celebrations. After the show, walk around the quiet, romantic ambience of Granville Island to enjoy the view, the lights, and whatever comes after.
Where: The Improv Centre – 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
Time: Showtimes vary
When: Dates will vary based on the desired show
Tickets: Available online, starting at $15.75 for adults
You may need to save up for this excursion but it’s likely one of the most unique experiences you’ll have during the winter season. In addition to boarding a beautifully decorated ship, passengers are entertained by live carolers and a traditional holiday menu, featuring slow-roasted turkey and honey-glazed ham. If interested, be sure to call and book in advance.
When: December 1 to 23, 2018
Time: Boarding typically begins at 6:30 pm with sailing from 7 to 9 pm
Where: 501 Denman Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Admission starts at $76.95 plus taxes and gratuity
The Aurora Winter Festival is Vancouver’s latest and greatest winter extravaganza. Taking place from now until December 30, guests are given a true North Pole experience upon arrival. Attractions include a frozen river to skate on, a tube park, a number of rides, santa’s workshop, and food trucks galore.
When: Now until December 30, 2018
Time: 4 to 10 pm
Where: Concord Pacific Place, Vancouver
TIckets: Available online, $19.99 for general admission
Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition will be glowing this winter because the Chinese Lantern Festival will be returning for another year. From February 1 to March 31, 2019, you can celebrate the Lunar New Year by exploring this stunning display of colourful lanterns. The Chinese lanterns have been a tradition for two thousand years, beginning in the Han dynasty. The site will be illuminated with dozens of massive artisan lanterns and there will also be live performances, children’s activities, and delicious food.
When: Friday, February 1 to Sunday, March 31, 2019
Where: Pacific National Exhibition – Renfrew and Hastings Street, Vancouver