16 things to do in Vancouver this week: December 14 to 20

Dec 14 2020, 7:00 am

Please note: As recommended by BC’s provincial health officials, gatherings of any kind and unessential travel in the province is not recommended at this time. Please adhere to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including proper physical distancing and frequent handwashing. If you are sick, please stay home. 

The countdown to Christmas is on, and there are plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit.

We’ve compiled a list of things to do to get you in the mood for all things merry and bright.

Here are 16 things to do this week in Vancouver.

PNE Winterlights drive-thru

@dailyhiveDrive through holiday light tunnel! ##dailyhive ##dailyhivevancouver ##pne ##holidays ##vancouver♬ Christmas Bells – StudioKolomna

What: PNE is presenting a new holiday celebration, PNE WinterLights – A Magical Journey to Santa, for families and friends to enjoy Christmas safely from their vehicles.

When: December 17-23, 26-27
Where: Hastings Park – 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
Time: 4 to 10 pm
Tickets: $25 for carloads of 2 or less, $39 for carloads of 4 or less, $45 for carloads of 5 or more, available through TicketLeader.ca

Vancouver Aquarium Virtual Holiday Show: Scuba Claus is Coming to Town

scuba claus

Scuba Claus (Vancouver Aquarium)

What: The Vancouver Aquarium is bringing back its festive Scuba Claus character for a virtual Christmas show this month raising money for the marine research and rescue organization.

The aquarium is working with BCIT students to produce a show that follows Scuba Claus around the aquarium looking for the lost key to his toy cupboard.

Viewers watching will get to see many of the centre’s animals, including penguins, sea lions, and sea otters.

Where: An online event visible on the aquarium’s Facebook page
When: Premieres on Sunday, December 20
Time: 11 am PT
Cost: $9.99 per household

Grouse Mountain’s Light Walk

grouse mountain light walk

Grouse Mountain Light Walk/Grouse Mountain

What: If you’re looking to take a sparkling snowshoe stroll this winter, you can head to Grouse Mountain’s Light Walk, full of lustre and lanterns.

When: Now through the entire winter season
Where: Grouse Mountain – 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver
Admission: Family Rate for a Mountain Admission Ticket, which includes admission for 2 adults and 2 children/youth (under 18), is $79.50

All festive Peak of Christmas activities are complimentary with a Mountain Admission Ticket, Annual Membership, Winter Season Pass, or Lift Ticket.

The Longest Night – Music for Solstace

things to do vancouver

The Longest Night/ VICO

What: The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra will release a new series of filmed performances in celebration of the Winter Solstice. The series features small ensembles and soloists playing repertoire that spans from regions around the world.

When: December 20 to 21
Where: Watch and listen online
Price: Free

Capilano Mall’s Live from the North Pole 

What: Deck the halls this holiday season with Capilano Mall’s month-long Live from the North Pole virtual event! Magical virtual activities include downloading a letter to Santa template for the little ones, enjoying storytime with Mrs. Claus, making DIY holiday crafts, and jamming out to the Jingle Bell Rock Concert. Plus, don’t forget to dance with the Sugar Plum Fairy or check out Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker Beyond the Stage: Fallen Prince. Happy Holidays!

When: Until December 24
Time: N/A
Where: Online and via Capilano Mall’s Instagram and Facebook pages
Tickets/Admissions: N/A

Christmas Melodies – A Concert in Benefit of the Transplant Research Foundation of BC

Things to do

Christmas Melodies/ Eventbrite

What: Join in on a virtual concert in benefit of the Transplant Research Foundation of BC. Staged at the sanctuary of St Matthias and St Luke Church in Vancouver, this concert features holiday favourites performed by Rebecca Collett, Mike Ferguson, and Kevin Zakresky.

When: Friday, December 18
Where: Online — You will receive a Zoom link via email during the week of the concert which will be your link to the live event.
Tickets: Available on Eventbrite, $15

Kiss Me In Gastown

Gastown mistletoe

Gastown BIA

What: For the second year in a row, large mistletoe will spring up throughout the neighbourhood as part of Kiss Me In Gastown. The installation invites people to (safely) “walk the streets while spreading the love” with their bubbles.

Through Glow Up Gastown, visitors can step into a world of mystical glowing trees using augmented reality. The interactive installation was created in partnership with the Vancouver Mural Festival.

From December 9, 2020, until January 2021, visitors to Gastown will be able to scan a QR code with their smartphone and watch as trees magically sprout from the streets.

When: Until January 2021
Where: Gastown, Vancouver
Price: Free

BC SPCA pet toy donation drive


What: The BC SPCA is looking for new pet toy donations at its East Vancouver location until December 20 as part of a toy drive to support pet owners living on the Downtown Eastside.

When: Donations are being accepted until December 20. Items should be marked “for Charlie.”
Where: BC SPCA’s Vancouver Branch, 1205 E 7th Avenue
Time: Open noon to 5 pm on weekdays and noon to 4 pm on weekends

The Shipyards District Holiday Gift Guide

things to do

The Shipyards District Holiday Gift Guide/ Supplied

What: Step outside and into The Shipyards District Holiday Gift Guide! Support local small businesses by shopping The Shipyards District Holiday Gift Guide this season, virtually from the comfort of your couch at shipyardsdistrict.ca or in-person in the neighbourhood by making the most of the free evening and weekend parking in the ICBC Parking Lot.

When: Throughout December
Time: Get your gifts virtually 24/7 at shipyardsdistrict.ca or enjoy free evening and weekend parking in the ICBC Parking Lot at 151 Esplanade W, North Vancouver
Where: The Shipyards District – Lower Lonsdale, North Vancouver
Tickets/Admissions: Free

Go skiing or snowboarding at one of Vancouver’s local hills

grouse mountain


What: All three of Vancouver’s North Shore mountains are now open for the winter season, welcoming skiers and snowboarders who make advance reservations. Check out Cypress Mountain with excellent views of the water, Grouse Mountain, which is transit-accessible, or Mt Seymour, the highest elevation of the three.

When: Now until the snow melts
Where: Cypress is at 6000 Cypress Bowl Road, Grouse is at 6400 Nancy Greene Way, and Seymour is at 1700 Mount Seymour Road
Time: Times vary by the mountain, but they typically open between 9 and 10 am, and stay open for the evening until 9 or 10 pm
Admission: Varies by mountain

Check out a new show

Disney Plus

Pavel Metluk/Shutterstock

What: There’s nothing but time these days, so it’s a perfect time to catch up on your must-watch list. Binge away on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ — and don’t forget the popcorn.

When: Any day
Time: Any time
Where: Your phone, tablet, computer, or television
Cost: $10 to $12 or a free trial

Try an online fitness class

Toronto fitness studios


What: Although fitness studios have been temporarily closed across the province, it doesn’t mean you need to stop working out.

A number of local studios and businesses have begun to offer online classes, giving you the perfect opportunity to keep your body moving and your mind active.

Here is a list of several online workouts and classes to try in Vancouver while supporting local businesses.

Artisan Winter Farmers’ Market

What: This festive market will capture the magic of the season by featuring local farmers, artisans and craft makers, each offering a selection of handmade seasonal gifts, gourmet goodies and one-of-a-kind items. Holiday shoppers will have the opportunity to connect with a curated lineup of independent vendors at the outdoor beach-front setting of Grosvenor Ambleside.

When: Until December 20
Where: 1340 Marine Drive (between 13th and 14th Streets) in West Vancouver.
Time: Friday: 2 to 6 pm / Saturday and Sunday: 12 to 4 pm

Check out Vancouver’s massive 75-foot-tall Christmas tree

things to do vancouver

Photo: Daily Hive Vancouver

What: While events around the city have been cancelled, the holiday cheer has not been. If you’re looking for something to cheer you up, check out Vancouver’s massive 75-foot-tall Christmas tree, which is now lit up in the heart of the downtown core. Snap a few pics and bask in the glorious, glowing lights.

When: Now until January 4
Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza — 750 Hornby Street

Watch the Goh Ballet’s online rendition of “The Nutcracker: Beyond the Stage”

things to do

Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker/ Goh Ballet

What: Cozy up on the couch and catch the Goh Ballet’s holiday online rendition of the holiday classic: The Nutcracker. 

When: December 18 to January 2
Screening online

Rickshaw Theatre’s Keithmas XI Live Stream

things to do vancouver


What: A celebration of the birth of Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards, featuring platinum recording artist Big Sugar, Cancon legends The Odds and Joe Keithley aka punk legend DOAJoe. 100% of the proceeds go to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

When: Friday, December 18 to 20
Where: Streaming on demand
Time: 7 pm on December 18 to 11:59 pm on December 20
Tickets: Online, $15