15 things to do in Vancouver this week: December 27 to January 2

Dec 26 2021, 11:00 pm

Please note: British Columbia is in Step 3 of its COVID-19 restart plan. Please adhere to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing a mask or face-covering in public indoor and retail spaces. If you are sick, please stay home.

The last week of 2021 is here, so let’s make the most of it. From New Year’s Eve events, dazzling light displays, and more, here are 15 things to do in Vancouver from December 27 to January 2.

Circus3’s New Year’s Eve Variety Show



What: Comedian Daniel Zindler hosts Circus3’s New Year’s Eve Variety Show. The family-friendly event features circus acrobats and a number of surprises during the 75-minute show. The event concludes with Vancouver’s largest and tallest balloon drop.

When: December 31, 2021
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 630 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Starts at $29, purchase 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 visit 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

Vancouver Special: Disorientations and Echo at the Vancouver Art Gallery

What: Vancouver Special: Disorientations and Echo is a comprehensive look at Greater Vancouver contemporary art. The exhibition features work by newer artists as well as established artists, with a variety of media, scale and modes of presentation.

When: Now until January 2, 2022
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery – 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

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
Admission: Tickets available online, $13 for train tickets and Christmas train tickets available on Ticketleader, from $6-$12

Learn about the history of Vancouver’s neon signs

What: An exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver (MOV) will immerse you in the city’s bright past and delve into the divide that changed its urban landscape. Until Summer 2022, Neon Vancouver | Ugly Vancouver features a collection of flashy signs dating back to the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. Some are being lit for the first time since they were recovered from junkyards.

When: Until Summer 2022
Where: Museum of Vancouver — 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

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

Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village

What: Burnaby Village comes alive with the Christmas spirit this holiday season, transformed into a winter wonderland featuring gorgeous twinkling lights, festive-themed displays, seasonal entertainment and activities, and even a Christmas carousel.

When: Now until January 3, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: Burnaby Village Museum — 6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
Cost: Free admission, Carousel Rides $2.65 each

The Improv Centre: Year in Review!

What: The Improv Centre’s Year in Review is an improvised look at 2021’s top stories and gives a comedic perspective on the past 365 days as the New Year approaches.

When: December 29 to 31, 2021
Time: 7:30 pm (Wednesday and Thursday), 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm (New Year’s Eve)
Where: The Improv Centre – 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online


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

Rawsome Comedy presents Laugh In The New Year


(Alexander_G / Shutterstock)

What: A comedy extravaganza sure to get your new year off on the right foot. Enjoy a night of comedy along with a three-course meal at ChiChi’s Grill. There are two shows during the evening, with performers including headliner Byron Bertram, plus Bobby Warrener, Maddy Kelly and Malik Elassal.

When: December 31, 2021
Time: Early dinner and show starting at 6 pm, late dinner and show starting at 8:45 pm
Where: ChiChi’s Grill – 117 West Pender Street Vancouver
Tickets: $65 plus fees for a reserved table for 2, purchase online

The Wizard’s Den

What: The Wizard’s Den is a boozy interactive experience. In your 90-minute sitting, you’ll get to imagine what it would be like to be at a Hogwarts party. You and your friends will have to complete challenges to unlock potion ingredients. Then, you’ll brew your concoctions with the help of the local potion master. Your ticket will get you two boozy potions plus either a mulled wine or an IPA to drink.

When: Now until December 30, 2021
Time: Various times
 904 Granville Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $46, purchase online

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 pm).

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

Warm up with some cheap and delicious ramen

cheap ramen


What: There is no shortage of slurp-able ramen in Vancouver, but where can one go to find cheap ramen that doesn’t sacrifice taste or quality? From the thickness and flavour of the broth to the integrity of the noodles, we did some serious digging to curate this list just for you.

Here are six of the best places for affordable ramen in Vancouver that won’t disappoint your tastebuds.

When: Various days of operation
Time: Various hours of operation
Where: Various restaurants across Vancouver. See the list online.

Granville Island Public Market

What: You can shop at the Granville Island Public Market year-round. It’s indoors, so it’s a great option on a rainy day. This place is loved by locals and tourists alike. Shop for all your basics and extras here and grab lunch from some of the city’s best eats.

When: Every day
Time: 9 am to 6 pm
Location: Granville Island – 1661 Duranleau Street, Vancouver

NYE with Dawn Pemberton and Narai Dawn

What: Guilt & Co.’s presents Dawn Pemberton and NaRai Dawn backed by talented instrumentalists for their New Year’s Eve celebrations. Enjoy great music and great company during four sets of Funk and Soul throughout the evening.

When: December 31, 2021
Time: 9 pm to late
Where: Guilt & Co. – 1 Alexander Street, Underground, Vancouver
Tickets: $10 per set of music

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