35 things to do in Vancouver this week: December 25 to 29

Dec 23 2017, 5:29 pm

Christmas and the last week of December is here!

Celebrate the season with friends, family, and our list of 35 things to do from Monday, December 25 to Friday, December 29.

From a Vancouver Aquarium Scavenger Hunt to the timeless story of Little Women, there’s loads to do in your downtime.

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

Monday, December 25 (Christmas Day!!!)

Vancouver Aquarium Scavenger Hunt

december 25

Atlantic spiny lumpsucker/Vancouver Aquarium

  • What: Take part in a self-guided scavenger hunt and enter to win one of three Behind-The-Scenes tours at Vancouver Aquarium. Staff have rounded up their favourite animals to create a scavenger hunt that’s fun and engaging for all ages. The Aquarium is open 365 days a year, including statutory holidays. So you can visit on Christmas morning if you want to.
  • When: Monday, December 25 to Sunday, January 7, 2018
  • Time: 7 to 8 pm
  • Where: 845 Avison Way, Stanley Park
  • Tickets: $39 for adults, $30 for students and seniors, $22 for children –  Tickets available online

Winter Ice Palace

  • What: The 20th Annual Winter Ice Palace is a winter wonderland at Cloverdale Arena. Find a time to skate across the old fashion pond. And yes, it’s open on Christmas Day and New Years Day.
  • When: Now to January 7, 2018
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: Cloverdale Ice Arena, 6090 176 Street, Surrey
  • Admission: $4.50/person, $3.25 for skate rentals; $1.75 for helmet rentals. Free admission for Recreation Pass holders.

Holiday Hi-Light Festival

  • What: This annual event features a majestic festival of illumination with more than 150,000 lights on display over three acres. Entry is by donation, with 100% of proceeds to the North Vancouver Firefighters Charitable Society.
  • When: Now to Sunday, December 31, 2017
  • Time: 5 pm to 9 pm daily
  • Where: Park & Tilford Gardens – 333 Brooksbank Ave, North Vancouver
  • Admission: By donation

Sesame Street Chanukah on Ice!

Winter Wonderland at Richmond City Hall

  • What: Stroll through a winter wonderland for some festive holiday spirit, featuring a gallery of beautifully-decorated Christmas trees. Visitors are encouraged to make a donation and bring a non-perishable food item to support our local food bank. After viewing the trees, vote for your favourite.
  • When: Now to Monday, December 25, 2017
  • Time: 11 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Richmond City Hall Galleria – 6911 No. 3 Road, Richmond
  • Admission: Free

Lights at Lafarge

  • What: Hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights will once again illuminate Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam as part of a magical display this holiday season. The outdoor display wraps its way entirely around Lafarge Lake, leading visitors on a 1.2-kilometre loop through 10 themed zones.
  • When: Now to Thursday, January 18, 2018
  • Time: Daily
  • Where: Town Centre Park – 1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
  • Admission: Free

Peak of Christmas

  • What: Take a spin on Grouse Mountain’s 8,000 sq. ft. outdoor ice skating pond or zip down the multi-lane snow sliding zone. You can also take a Sleigh Ride through the mountain’s Winter Wonderland, meet Santa’s Reindeer, watch family Christmas movies, and write a letter to Santa. At Santa’s Workshop, believers young and old can share their special Christmas wishes and take a photo. Photos are by donation to BC Children’s Hospital.
  • When: Now to Sunday, January 7, 2018
  • Where: Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver
  • Admission: Family Rate for Peak of Christmas festivities includes admission for 2 adults and 2 children/youth (under 18) for $89.95. All festive Peak of Christmas activities are complimentary with an Annual Local’s Pass, Y2Play or Winter Season Pass, as well as regular Alpine Experience tickets.

Tuesday, December 26

Contact Winter Music Festival 2017

  • What: Western Canada’s biggest winter music festival. Contact is taking over BC Place for the sixth consecutive year for two days filled with energetic electronic dance music from a line-up of 15 internationally acclaimed artists. Headliners include the legendary DJ Armin Van Buuren and EDM DJ Marshmello. Adventure Club, Rezz, Mr Carmack, Tchami, Ekali, Alan Walker, Malaa, and Carnage, among others will also be spinning tracks.
  • When: Tuesday, December 26 and Wednesday, December 27, 2017
  • Time: 5 pm
  • Where: BC Place Stadium – 777 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
  • Tickets: $99.50 general admission passes | $150.50 VIP area passes – Available via Ticketmaster

2017 Year In Review with Vancouver TheatreSports League

  • What: The lead-up to the US election, Kate and Will’s visit, climate change, the demise of Brangelina and the construction of more bike lanes are just a few of the stories that grabbed the headlines this year. All these and more provide fodder for Vancouver TheatreSports’ quick-witted improvisers as they find the funny in the important and not so important events of 2017. 
  • When: Tuesday, December 26 to Sunday, December 31, 2017
  • Time: Various showtimes
  • Where: The Improv Centre – 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $10.75-$39.50

Kavuus Boxing Week Sale

  • What: The ultimate Canadian furniture provider, Kavuus, is having an incredible Boxing Week sale – offering 20% off everything site-wide. Running from December 26 to midnight on January 1, this sale means you can get that dreamy sofa that you’ve always wanted.
  • When: Tuesday, December 26 to Thursday, January 1 at midnight
  • WhereOnline at www.kavuus.com

Dish & DUER Boxing Week Sale

  • What: Starting on Boxing Day, Dish & DUER will be offering epic end of year reductions. The denim purveyors are going to be selling pants for as low as $29 at their flagship store in Gastown. There’s also going to be an online sale on the Dish & DUER website where you’ll be able to snag deals on insanely comfortable performance pants for men and women starting at $49, $69, and $99 (which will also be available in store).
  • When: Tuesday, December 26 to Sunday, December 31, 2017
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: Dish & DUER – 118 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • Contact: 604-323-0441

Helly Hansen Queensborough Boxing Week Sale

  • What: Norwegian outerwear brand Helly Hansen is having a massive blowout sale for Boxing Week. From December 26 to 31, the Queensborough Landing store in New Westminster will be knocking from 40% to 70% off everything in-store.
  • When: Sunday, December 26 (7 am to 9 pm) to December 31, 2017
  • Where: Helly Hansen – Queensborough Landing, 805 Boyd Street, New Westminster

A WISE Boxing Day Bash with Petunia & The Vipers and Sarah Scouten

  • What: Blow off some holiday steam and dance Boxing Day away down at The WISE Hall with Petunia & The Vipers and Sarah Jane Scouten.
  • When: Tuesday, December 26, 2017
  • Time: 8:30 pm to midnight
  • Where: The WISE Hall – 1882 Adanac Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: $10 suggested minimum donation

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge

december 26

Canyon Lights/Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

  • What: The suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and canyon are transformed into a world of festive lights and visual enchantment. See the world’s tallest living Christmas trees (more than 200 feet tall), experience the voice-activated light show, go on a scavenger hunt throughout the park, sing along with the holiday band, take a family photo at the Winter Pavilion, and more.
  • When: Now until Sunday, January 28, 2018
  • Time: 11 am to 9 pm daily
  • Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge – 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
  • Tickets: $42.95 for adults| $33.95 for students  – Tickets available at the gate or via Capilano Suspension Bridge

Wednesday, December 27

Cosmic Yearbook Holiday Week

  • What: Every day this holiday week, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre has a featured craft and special additions to each of their shows highlighting some of the amazing cosmic events of 2017, from the solar eclipse in August, the end of the Saturn Cassini mission, and more.
  • When: Now to Sunday, January 7, 2018
  • Time: 11:30 am to 4 pm
  • Where: H.R. MacMillan Space Centre – 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: All activities included with general admission, which is $18

Say Wha?! – Sara’s Least Favourite Things

  • What: At Say Wha?!, engaging and charismatic performers put their comedic spin on some of the worst writing in print. This month’s edition features the Best of the Worst.
  • When: Wednesday, December 27, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: Cottage Bistro – 4468 Main Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: $10

Mostly Marley

  • What: Mostly Marley performs classic reggae (but mostly Marley) at Blue Martini Jazz Cafe in Kitsilano.
  • When: Wednesday, December 27, 2017
  • Time: 7 pm
  • Where: Blue Martini Jazz Cafe – 1516 Yew Street, Vancouver

Community Skate at the PNE Agrodome

december 27

Skating (Vit Kovalcik/Shutterstock)

  • What: ​​​Bring your family and your skates for a fun day of skating. Wear your own skates and helmets as no rentals are available. Helmets are recommended for all skaters and are required for children 12 and younger.
  • When: Various dates from Wednesday, December 27, 2017 to Monday, February 12, 2018
  • Time: 1 to 4 pm
  • Where: PNE Agrodome – 2901 E Hastings St, Vancouver
  • Admission: $2-$3, free for children 2 years and under

Mei Langfan Beijing Opera Troupe

  • What: As the most renowned Beijing Opera troupe in the world, the Mei Lanfang Beijing Opera Troupe bears the name of the greatest opera group in modern Chinese history. Founded in the 1920s, this troupe’s distinctive interpretation and style was created by Mr. Mei Lanfang.
  • When: Wednesday, December 27, 2017
  • Time: 7 pm
  • Where: Hard Rock Casino – 2080 United Blvd, Coquitlam
  • Tickets: Online, $58-$268

King of the Rail

  • What: King of the Rail is a three-part series of rail jam contests culminating in the crowning of the King and Queen of the Rail on the final night. A great competition for the participants and an excellent show for the spectators.
  • When: Wednesday, December 27, 2017,  Wednesday, January 3 and Saturday, January 13, 2018
  • Time: 5:30 pm
  • Where: Whistler Village next to the Fitzsimmons Chair – Whistler
  • Admission: Free for spectators

Winterfest at Burnaby 8 Rinks

  • What: Celebrate the holidays with your friends and family at Burnaby 8 Rinks with their Christmas decorated rink. Experience the magic with live Christmas trees and glowing holiday lights.
  • When: Now to Sunday, December 31, 2017
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: Burnaby 8 Rinks – 6501 Sprott Street,Burnaby
  • Admission: $5.50-$6.50, skate rental $4, helmet rental $3

Thursday, December 28

Vancouver Canucks versus Chicago Blackhawks

  • What: Vancouver Canucks face off with the Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Arena.
  • When: Thursday, December 28, 2017
  • Time: 7 pm
  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • Tickets: On Ticketmaster, $59-$239

Ivan Decker

  • What:  Ivan has appeared at the Montreal Just for Laughs festival and has made various TV and radio appearances, including his own half-hour comedy special on CTV and as a guest on CBC’s The Debaters. He also recently performed on Conan.
  • When: Thursday, December 28 to Saturday, December 30, 2017
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: The Comedy Mix – 1015 Burrard Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $15-$20

Laberge Christmas Lights

  • What: Light enthusiast Paul Laberge hosts an epic Christmas light animation show featuring 18,000 LED lights set to a huge range of music at his home in North Vancouver every year, to support the Harvest Project.
  • When: Christmas-themed lights will run until December 28, then New Year’s Eve-themed lights until early January.
  • Time: Sundays through Thursdays, 4:30 pm to 9 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 4:30 pm to 10 pm, Christmas Eve 4:30 pm to midnight.
  • Where: 753 Beachview Drive, North Vancouver
  • Admission: By donation to the Harvest Project, more info at laberge.christmas

Billy Dixon & Soul Train with guests Wes Mackey & Dan Casavant

  • What: Billy Dixon and his Soul Train Express, blues legend Wes Mackey and Daniel Joseph Casavant perform at Federico’s Supper Club.
  • When: Thursday, December 28, 2017
  • Time: 5:30 pm, live music from 8 pm
  • Where: Federico’s Supper Club – 1728 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • Reservation: Online, $59

Rock in Peace 2017

  • What: Vancouver’s music community comes together to celebrate the lost musical heroes of 2017, with all proceeds to benefit Music Heals Canada. Featuring Parker Bossley, JP Maurice, Daniel James, Royal, Adam Fink, Trevor Risk, and more.
  • When: Thursday, December 28, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: Fox Cabaret – 2321 Main Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: $8, plus tax and s/c

The Quiplash Comedy Show: December Delight at Seven Dining Lounge

  • What: Join The Fictionals and Friends for Jackbox Jokes. Your votes via smartphone decide which scenes the comedians will act out, and who leaves this month’s Quiplash champion. Plus, sign up for the pre-show Audience Tournament for your chance to play against the comedians in the main event.
  • When: Thursday, December 28, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: Seven Dining Lounge – 53 West Broadway, Vancouver
  • Tickets: At the door, $7 or $5 for students

Little Women – Bring On Tomorrow Co.

The cast of Little Women. Image: Kevin Clark

  • What: Bring On Tomorrow Co. along with Kay Meek and Creber Music Productions presents a musical version of Louisa May Alcott’s timeless story, Little Women. Telling the heartfelt story of four sisters in 20th century New England, this production hopes to deliver Alcott’s inspiring message of strong, independent women and sisterhood to new generations of audiences. The show features Ranae Miller, recently seen this summer as Mary Poppins with Theatre Under the Stars, along with other talented young performers Michelle Creber, Jennifer Gillis and Julia MacLean. William Tippery plays the cute boy-next-door. Because what story is complete without one?
  • When: Wednesday, December 27 to Saturday, December 30, 2017
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: The Grosvenor Theatre at the Kay Meek Centre – 1700 Mathers Ave, West Vancouver
  • Tickets: From Kay Meek, $25-$39

Friday, December 29

VanDusen Festival of Lights

  • What: VanDusen Gardens’ annual Festival of Lights features more than a million lights to bring in the Christmas season. All tickets include a free ride on the Air France Carousel. Visitors can also stroll through interactive themed areas, watch the famous dancing lights show on Livingstone Lake, sing along to your favourite holiday classics at the Festival Stage, listen to stories and take a selfie with Santa, light a candle at the Make-A-Wish candle grotto, or simply warm up with a specialty beverage at the new licensed fireside lounge.
  • When: Friday, December 1, 2017 to Sunday, January 7, 2018 (Closed December 25)
  • Time: 4:30 to 9 pm, until 10 pm between December 15 and December 24
  • Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: $18.50 for adults, available online.

Robson Square Ice Rink 2017

December 27

Robson Square Ice Rink (LeonWang/Shutterstock)

  • What: The provincial government’s Robson Square Ice Rink is open for the 2017/2018 season, and as per tradition skating is free for all ages for those who bring their own skates. Those without skates can rent a pair on-site. A concession stand on the side will also serve warm drinks and snacks.
  • When: Now to February 28, 2018
  • Time: 9 am to 9 pm from Sunday to Thursday; 9 am to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday
  • Where: 800 Robson Street, Vancouver (Robson Street & Howe Street)
  • Admission: Free for all ages if you bring your own skates. Skate rentals are $4, and rentals end 30 minutes before closing time.
  • Note: Helmets are mandatory for children 12 years and under. Robson Square Ice Rink accepts cash only.

Feel Good Fridays at Brentwood Town Centre

  • What: Head to Brentwood every Friday from noon to 2 pm for free manicures, massages, shoes shine, live DJ plus extra surprises that vary week to week.
  • Where: Brentwood Town Centre – 4567 Lougheed Hwy, Burnaby
  • When: Every Friday from noon to 2 pm until Friday, December 29
  • Admission: Free

Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency Vancouver

  • What: The annual Gingerbread Lane features more than 30 gingerbread creations designed by secondary schools, professionals, and amateur culinary artists. As well as providing a welcome dose of holiday feels, the event also helps to raise money local charities with more than $80,000 secured during its 26 year history to date.
  • When: Now to Friday, December 29, 2017
  • Where: Hyatt Regency Vancouver – 655 Burrard Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Winter Hike Rave

  • What: Whether you like to dance or just need a reason to get out, step outside of your comfort zone and experience a hike to remember with Party4Life.
  • When: Friday, December 29, 2017
  • Time: 7:30 to 10 pm
  • Where: Stanley Park, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, Free


  • What: BODYHEAT is Vancouver’s longest running techno focused queer dance party. BODYHEAT mixes staging, visual effects, and lighting to create new environments for the experience of dark electronic music and new media forms.
  • When: Friday, December 29, 2017
  • Time: 11 pm
  • Where: Vancouver Art and Leisure – 494 Railway Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $15 + fees

Karaoke Christmas Lights 2017

Vancouver Trolley Company tour at Christmas (Vancouver Trolley Company)

Vancouver Trolley Company tour at Christmas (Vancouver Trolley Company)

  • What: Join in the Christmas carol karaoke on a Vancouver trolleybus, as you marvel at the city’s festive lights. Throughout December, the Vancouver Trolley Company is running its Karaoke Christmas Lights tour, showcasing the city in a unique way.
  • When: Now to Friday, December 29, 2017
  • Time: Check in at 6 pm, tour runs from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
  • Where: Check in at the Welcome Centre in Canada Place – 999 Canada Place, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $45 for anyone over 13 years old, $30 for children aged between three and 12 years old.
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