18 festive Metro Vancouver events to enjoy between Boxing Day and New Year

Dec 20 2021, 9:02 pm

We could all use more holiday cheer right now, so why not keep the spirit of the season going until the end of the year (and beyond)?

Don’t tuck away the tinsel just yet – there is still lots of festive fun to be had between December 26 and January 1, including huge holiday lights displays, a Christmas pop-up bar, and more.

Here are 18 festive Metro Vancouver events to enjoy between Boxing Day and New Year.

Canyon Lights

canyon lights 2021

Capilano Suspension Bridge

What: The magical Canyon Lights attraction is making its return to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park for the 2021 holiday season. The famed suspension bridge will be glowing, and the canyon floor underneath it will be illuminated with lights from below, creating an enchanting winter wonderland.

Visitors will be able to venture through a rainforest decorated with holiday lights and see the eight tallest Christmas trees in the world. Not to mention, part of the park will light up with its Insta-worthy “Arc de Lumina” light tunnel.

When: Now until January 23, 2022
Time: 11 am to 9 pm
Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park – 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Tickets: Available online

Steveston’s Winter in the Village

What: It’s easy to explore the Christmassy town and immerse yourself in a storybook holiday setting on your own. And there’s also the Winter In the Village passport you can download for free to help you see all the sights. It can take you on a self-guided Light up the Village tour of all the best spots to see and comes loaded with deals like 20% off at the Steveston Hotel.

Businesses in the Steveston Village love to go full-tilt for the holidays and they’re even competing in a Merchant’s Holiday Display Contest that you can vote in. Plus, the boats at Fisherman’s Wharf are also competing to have the brightest and most festive holiday look. In the neighbourhood, you have to check out The Ho Ho Ho House at 4280 Garry Street to see a wow-worthy holiday home display.

When: Now until December 31, 2021
Where: Various locations in Steveston Village
Cost: Free

Lights at Lafarge

What: Lights at Lafarge returns this year with modifications to adhere to current provincial health orders and public safety. This year’s winter lights display has been adjusted to create two walking loops within Town Centre Park to enjoy. Organizers are also encouraging people to visit during off-peak hours (before 6 pm and after 8 p), come during weekdays, and avoid the week of December 20 to 26 where the park may be busier.

When: Now until January 31, 2022
Where: Town Centre Park – 1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
Cost: Free

Little Mountain Shop Holiday Pop-up at The Polygon 

What: The Polygon Gallery hosts Little Mountain Shop Holiday Pop-Up throughout the holiday season. Shop for sustainably-minded products from an all-Canadian lineup of mostly-local, women-led, BIPOC makers and creatives. Plus, every Thursday evening includes a festive Meet the Makers social that everyone is welcome to.

When: Now until December 26, 2021
Time: 10 am to 5 pm (Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), 10 am to 8 pm (Thursday)
Where: The Polygon Gallery – 101 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver
Cost: Free

Skate Plaza at The Shipyards

North Vancouver’s Shipyard ice skating rink opens on December 1, 2021 (City of North Vancouver).

What: The Shipyards’ large, covered outdoor plaza has been converted into a free ice rink for the season. The rink will be open to skating seven days a week from 12 to 7 pm.

The surface is approximately 12,000 sq ft and is covered by a retractable roof. Skaters can either bring their own skates or rent a pair of skates on-site, although quantities are limited. Helmets and skating aids are free. Figure skating and hockey will not be permitted at the rink.

When: Daily until the end of season
Time: 1 to 8 pm
Where: The Shipyards Commons, North Vancouver
Admission: Free, skate rentals are available at a cost of $7 (quantities are limited)

Deck the Halls in South Granville

What: A number of retailers in South Granville have transformed their storefronts with floral decorations, creating a holiday walk full of joy and cheer. The installations are part of the South Granville Business Improvement Association’s (SGBIA) Deck the Halls, which creates a festive holiday experience along its popular shopping district.

Each participating retailer worked with Granville Island Florist to design their own unique winter display, making for plenty of Insta-worthy photo opportunities.

When: Now until early January 2022
Where: South Granville Street from the Granville Bridge to 16th Ave.
Cost: Free

St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope (John Lau/Daily Hive)

What: St. Paul’s Foundation’s massive light display outside of St. Paul’s Hospital has been an annual Christmastime tradition and fundraising campaign since 1998. The 4,000 feet of sparkling lights and hundreds of shining stars recognizing the support of generous donors will shine nightly on Burrard Street until January 7, 2022.

Lights of Hope raises funds for equipment, life-saving research, community programs, and other essential services at St. Paul’s as well as other Providence Health Care hospitals and long-term care homes in BC.

When: Now until January 7, 2022
Time: Nightly
Where: St. Paul’s Hospital – 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver

Tinseltown Christmas pop-up bar

What: This Christmas-themed pop-up bar is perfect for Christmas fanatics looking to have a merry ol’ time. You can indulge in all the good things about the holiday like Christmas music, Christmas-themed drinks and, of course, Christmas pudding. It is a 19+ event, and non-alcoholic beverages are available upon request.

When: Now until December 31, 2021
Time: Seatings available from 1 pm to 9 pm
Where: 904 Granville Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $17, purchase online

FlyOver Canada – Soar With Santa

What: Experience the magic of Christmas this December with FlyOver Canada’s Soar With Santa. Fly across Canada and up to the North Pole in this festive flight happening until January 3, 2022.

When: Now until January 3, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: 999 Canada Place, Canada, Vancouver, BC
Tickets: Available on-site or online. Booking online beforehand is advised.

Surrey Holiday Lights

surrey holiday lights

(Surrey Holiday Lights)

What: Surrey Holiday Lights is an indoor and outdoor light and music festival that will take place at Surrey Civic Plaza. The dazzling experience is highlighted by the holiday lights tent, which features different illuminated exhibitions, a canopy of holiday lights, and plenty of photo opportunities. The outdoor Snowflake Stage and the indoor North Pole stage will feature live music throughout the day as well.

Children will also be able to take photos with Santa, although they’ll be positioned and angled so that they can keep a safe distance. Visitors looking to do some shopping can also check out the Holiday Market, which will showcase boutique artisans, Christmas crafts, and Indigenous artists. And if you’re in need of some hot beverages or delicious food, check out the Enchanted Eats area, which has some of Surrey’s best food trucks, treats, and gourmet hot chocolate and coffee.

When: Now until January 2, 2022
Time: 4 to 10 pm daily
Where: Surrey Civic Plaza – 13450-104 Avenue, Surrey
Tickets: Available online

Grouse Mountain’s Peak of Christmas

What: Grouse Mountain’s whimsical Peak of Christmas experience features a stunning Light Walk around Blue Grouse Lake, as well as open-air ice skating with incredible views on the 8,000 sq ft Mountaintop Skating Pond. Other fan-favourite events include Breakfast with Santa and photos at Santa’s Workshop by donation, which will benefit the BC Children’s Hospital.

This year, for the health and safety of individuals enjoying Grouse Mountain’s Peak of Christmas, proof of vaccination will be required for all guests born in 2009 or earlier. Additionally, face masks will be mandatory inside all resort facilities.

When: Now until January 3, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: Grouse Mountain – 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver
Cost: Complimentary with an annual Locals or Snow Pass, a Mountain Admission Ticket, or a special family ticket rate of $109 for two adults and two children.

Lumagica

What: Lumagica is described as a “festive light extravaganza” that will take place at the Cloverdale Fairgrounds in Surrey. The experience is highlighted by a 1 km light walk meant to capture the spirit of the holidays. Visitors are transported through a light tunnel to Gingerbread Lane, light forests, and a magical North Pole Village.

Organizers say that Lumagica includes over 120 features and ornaments, interactive displays, animations, and photo opportunities. There’s also a festive marketplace that will feature live entertainment, warm drinks and tasty treats, and holiday gifts.

When: Now until December 30, 2021
Time: 4 to 10 pm
Where: Cloverdale Fairgrounds – 17607-17905 62 Avenue, Surrey
Cost: Tickets start at $16, available online

Vallea Lumina

What: Vallea Lumina is an enchanting outdoor experience that is just a 10-minute drive from Whistler Village. Immerse yourself in a natural landscape that’s been transformed with lights, sounds, videos, and art as you wander through the woods on your journey.

The 1.5 km undulating trail can take visitors between 50 to 80 minutes to explore. You can get your tickets online in advance. For the winter season, the first showtimes of the night will happen at 6 pm. During the holiday season, shows will begin at 5 pm.

When: Now until April 2022
Time: Various times
Where: Cougar Mountain Basecamp, Whistler
Tickets: Online, $29.99

Bright Nights 2021 at Stanley Park

stanley park christmas train

Univaded Fox/Flickr

What: Vancouver’s most wholesome and nostalgic holiday activity has officially returned to Stanley Park for the holidays. The Stanley Park Christmas Train, also called Bright Nights, will be humming along its tracks, and you can experience the magic of millions of twinkling lights in the festive forest. Firefighter volunteers are busy setting up the Bright Nights display in the plaza, and they will be getting donations for the Burn Fund.

When: Now until January 2, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: Stanley Park, Vancouver
Tickets: Available on Ticketleader

PNE WinterLights Drive-Thru

What: This December, the PNE will transform the park into PNE WinterLights, a unique and whimsical holiday drive-thru. The experience will include stunning lights, special holiday characters and winter creatures, live performers, and some tasty seasonal food offerings.

Specifically, this year’s installation will feature two light tunnels, a snowglobe village filled with live dancers, and nine different “lands” each with unique themes. The drive-thru will also have a special radio broadcast throughout the experience that visitors can tune into from their vehicle.

When: December 26 to 31, 2021
Time:
 4:30 to 10:30 pm
Where: 
The Pacific National Exhibition — 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Available online, starting at $42

Christmas Glow in Langley Drive Through

What: The 2021 Glow Gardens in Langley is back this holiday season. You can drive through illuminated tunnels and see towering light sculptures from the coziness of your car. You’ll go on a 20-minute long journey through gardens of twinkling lights at a pace that will make you feel like you’re driving in a parade. Plus, you can order one of their iconic light-bulb-shaped Glow Cups to sip on while you cruise.

When: Now until January 1, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: Darvonda Nurseries – 6690 216 Street, Langley
Tickets: $29.99 per vehicle, purchase online

VanDusen Festival of Lights

What: More than 15 acres of the grounds at VanDusen Botanical Garden will be dripping with magical lights and filled with holiday decor. Expect to find plenty of your favourite holiday treats for sale, too, as you wander the illuminated paths of the gardens. This year, there’s a new illuminated rose garden display where the garden stewards used their artistry to “reawaken” the garden. Capacity for the event will be limited, and proof of vaccination will be required.

When: Now until January 3, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online-only, $17.50 for adults

Robson Square Ice Rink

What: Situated under the covered outdoor plaza at Robson Square, the rink operates seasonally when temperatures begin to dip. The rink also has an indoor skate rental and a cafe area that is currently being set up, as well as an outdoor patio with heaters. There will also be live music performances from December 13 to 24 as part of the 12 Days of Christmas programming.

When: Daily throughout the season
Time: Sunday to Thursday from 9 am to 9 pm; Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 11 pm; Holiday hours vary.
Where: 800 Robson Street, Vancouver (Robson Street and Howe Street)
Cost: Free for all ages if you bring your own skates. (Skate rentals are $5, and rentals end 30 minutes before closing time.)

Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

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