9 things to do in Vancouver this week: December 28 to January 3

Dec 28 2020, 9:32 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 2021 is on.

While the week after Christmas typically feels like a blur, filled with holiday leftovers and hibernating on the couch, there are still plenty of things to get up to around town, or from the comfort of your home.

Here are nine things to do in Vancouver this week.

Vancouver Polar Bear Swim – Digital Dip 

What: Vancouver’s annual Polar Bear Swim will go ahead on January 1, but with an adjustment for physical distancing and COVID-19 protocols. The event will take place virtually, and on New Year’s Day at 2:30 pm, “participants are encouraged to take a dip in a bathtub or kiddie pool and, if brave enough, adjust the temperature to 7°C / 44.6 °F – the average water temperature of previous Polar Bear Swims.”

When: Friday, January 1, 2021 
At home in your bathtub
Register: Online

Dundarave Festival – Forest of Miracles

What: The Forest of Miracles has expanded to cover the West Vancouver waterfront this season. From its original site at Dundarave Beach, the display of over 100 trees has been extended eastward to Millennium Park and the Grosvenor Ambleside Galleria.

Where: Dundarave Beach, Millennium Park, Grosvenor Ambleside Galleria — West Vancouver
Cost: Free

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.

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.

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

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 opportunity to catch up on your must-watch list. Binge away on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ — 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: New year, new you. A number of local studios and businesses offer online classes, giving you the perfect opportunity to keep your body moving and your mind active in 2021.

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

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: Until January 2
Screening online