15 things to do to kickoff 2017 in Vancouver today: Sunday, January 1

Dec 31 2016, 11:58 am

Hello, 2017!

Start the New Year off right with the chilly Polar Bear Swim or run off those calories at the New Year’s Day Fat Ass 50k Ultramarathon. There are plenty of New Year’s Day events around the city that will kick off your 2017 with some fun.

For more things happening around town, check out our events section.

Dive into 2017 at the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim 2017

Polar Bear Swim

Sherwood411 / Flickr

  • What: Start off 2017 the right way by plunging into the frigid waters of English Bay to ring in the New Year. The Vancouver Polar Bear Swim is a tradition dating back to 1920 when 10 brave swimmers took a cool dip into English Bay on January 1.
  • Where: English Bay Bathhouse – 1700 Beach Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, January 1, 2017. From 2:30 t0 3:30 pm. Come early for registration.
  • Tickets: Free. Participants must register online. The Greater Vancouver Food Bank will be accepting donations of non-perishable food or cash – please be generous!

Run off those holiday calories at the New Year’s Day Fat Ass 50K Ultramarathon



  • What: Run off those holiday calories at this New Year’s Day Ultramarathon.
  • Where: Brockton Oval in Stanley Park
  • When: Sunday, January 1, 2017. Run starts at 9 am.
  • Register: Online, $25

Waltz into 2017 at the Salute to Vienna

  • What: Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert an afternoon concert of Strauss waltzes with the Strauss Symphony of Canada featuring the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
  • Where: Orpheum– 601 Smithe Street at Seymour, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, January 1, 2017, from 2:30 to 4:30 pm.
  • Tickets: Available online 

Get rid of that NYE hangover at Big Rock Urban Brewery’s Hangover Brunch 

brunch table


  • What: Looking for something to soak up all the alcohol from your New Years Eve escapades? Look no further than our Hangover Brunch at Big Rock Urban Eatery.
  • Where: Big Rock Urban Eatery – 310 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, January 1, 2017, from 11 am to 3 pm.
  • Tickets: Available on Eventbrite, $13

Find your zen at Ninjitsu Sundays

  • What: Ninjitsu is the ancient art of the ninja shadow warriors of Japan. Through the practice of Ninjitsu you’ll learn to move your body & mind in a more poetic way, through breath & traditional exercises.
  • Where: Vital Health Medical Clinic Kitsilano –1855 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, January 1, from 10:30 am to 12 pm
  • Register: On Eventbrite, free

Find your snuggle buddy at the Richmond Cuddle Party

  • What: Wanna socialize? Fill your cuddle Tank? Practice clear communication? Many find it a cheerful environment to meet others. In an atmosphere that’s nurturing and fun. And you decide with whom and how to cuddle. Including the option to not cuddle at all but socialize, relax.
  • Where: #307-6451 Minoru Blvd (buzz #7224), Richmond
  • When: Sunday, January 1, from 2 to 5 pm
  • Register: On Eventbrite, donation of $20 is recommended at the door

Catch some laughs at Double Down: Spontaneous Comedy Duos 

  • What: Instant Theatre Company proudly presents DOUBLE DOWN: A Night of Spontaneous Improv Duos! You’ve seen very structured and methodical improv, where groups have worked together for weeks and months to put on a show. Now, we’re going to break all of those rules. Come watch as 4 brand new improv duos will be created on the spot from 8 names drawn randomly from a bowl! No preparation, no safety net, just spontaneous improv fun!
  • Where: Havana–1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, January 1, from 7:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Register: On Eventbrite, $8

Need more comedy? Check out Streetfight Imrov! 

Streetfight Improv / Eventbrite

  • What: Streetfight is a hilarious hour of head to head short form improv that you don’t want to miss. Every week we get ten of the funniest improvisers in town (or amazing special guests!) who compete back and forth with short improvised scenes vying for your laughter!
  • Where: Havana–1212 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, January 1, from 9 to 10 pm
  • Register: On Eventbrite, $8

Find your hangover cure at the Sunday Service’s Hangoverstravaganza

  • What: It is widely agreed that 2016 was the worst year on record and at the Sunday Service they totally agree and have a job for you: start your 2017 off correctly by coming down to the Fox Cabaret as they do a salute to Hangovers called: The Hangoverstravaganza.
  • Where: The Fox Cabaret–2321 Main Street, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, January 1, from 9 to 11 pm

Catch the last of these holiday events:

Bright Nights in Stanley Park

  • What: More than three million dazzling lights decorate hectares of the dark forest, reaching high as the forest canopy for Bright Nights in Stanley Park. There’s also a train ride, music, snacks, entertainment, and visits with Santa and his elves. Be sure to catch the last day of the event!
  • Where: Miniature railway area in Stanley Park
  • When: Sunday, January 1. Times vary, check website for details.
  • Admission: Bright Nights entry by donation ($4 is suggested), Christmas train tickets available on Ticketleader, from $6-$12.

Chalet Place, North Vancouver Light Display

  • What: A North Vancouver has been lighting up with over 100,000 lights each Christmas for a few years, all for a good cause. The homeowners welcome visitors but encourage a donation to the Harvest Project in return.
  • Where: 4967 Chalet Place, North Vancouver
  • When:  Until January 6. The house is illuminated nightly at 5:30 pm.

Holidays at the Aquarium

SC and penguin

Holidays/Vancouver Aquarium

  • What: Scuba Claus is back in town for another underwater adventure at the Vancouver Aquarium. He’ll be making special trips to deliver gifts to the most deserving creates in the sea while entertaining guests on the other side of the glass. Once that’s done, you can catch a showing of the Polar Express in 4-D.
  • Where: Vancouver Aquarium – 845 Avison Way, Vancouver
  • When: Now until January 2

Festival of Lights at VanDusen

  • What: See the botanical garden covered in more than a million lights. Find reindeer and Scandinavian goes roaming the trails.
  • Where: VanDusen Gardens – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
  • When: Now until January 2

Christmas at FlyOver Canada

  • What: Christmas at FlyOver Canada takes FlyOver Canada’s spectacular trip across Canada and adds a couple of holiday elements, like helping Santa search for his missing elves and getting an extra 90-second animated view of the North Pole.
  • Where: 201 – 999 Canada Place
  • When: Now until January 2, 9:30 am to 10 pm. 9:30 am to 6 pm on December 24.
  • Price: $21.95 for adults, $23.95 for FastLane. Buy tickets online

Lights at Lafarge Lake

Photo by: Ania Jedrzejewska / Instagram

  • What: See more than 100,000 twinkling lights light up Coquitlam’s Lafarge Lake, in a magical, free, outdoor display for visitors of all ages.
  • When: Town Centre Park – 1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
  • When: Nightly from dusk to 11 pm, until January 22
DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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