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 and 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 full week of November is already here so let’s get a move on. Plan your week with some help from our list of 15 fun things to do in Vancouver. Check out Surrey Holiday Lights, The Zolas, and more.
What: Surrey Holiday Lights is an indoor and outdoor light and music festival that will take place at Surrey Civic Plaza. The dazzling experience is highlighted by the holiday lights tent, which features different illuminated exhibitions, a canopy of holiday lights, and plenty of photo opportunities. The outdoor Snowflake Stage and the indoor North Pole stage will feature live music throughout the day as well.
Children will also be able to take photos with Santa, although they’ll be positioned and angled so that they can keep a safe distance. Visitors looking to do some shopping can also check out the Holiday Market, which will showcase boutique artisans, Christmas crafts, and Indigenous artists. And if you’re in need of some hot beverages or delicious food, check out the Enchanted Eats area, which has some of Surrey’s best food trucks, treats, and gourmet hot chocolate and coffee.
When: November 25, 2021, to January 2, 2022
Time: 4 to 10 pm daily
Where: Surrey Civic Plaza – 13450-104 Avenue, Surrey
Tickets: Available online (first 1,000 tickets sold can use HOLIDAY40 for 40% off admission)
What: The Yaletown Business Improvement Association hosts the annual free outdoor Christmas festival, CandyTown, turning Yaletown into a winter wonderland. Holiday shoppers can finish their shopping list at the local merchants and specialty market while enjoying roaming holiday characters, an updated CandyTown Cocktail Tour and a life-size CandyLand board game with interactive characters. Vancouver’s only free outdoor winter market also offers by-donation horse-drawn carriage rides, ice carvings, and more.
When: November 27, 2021
Time: 12 to 6 pm
Where: Yaletown — Mainland Street, Hamilton Street, and parts of Davie Street
What: This Vancouver Art Gallery exhibit, Vancouver Special: Disorientations and Echo, is an expansive look at Greater Vancouver contemporary art. The exhibition features works 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
What: Artists of all skill levels are invited to the Museum of Surrey on Thursday afternoon for Sketching in the Galleries. Participants are asked to bring their own supplies, though easels are available if needed. Guests may also visit the Surrey Stories Gallery and the Feature Gallery during the sketching sessions.
When: Every Thursday until November 25, 2021
Time: 3 to 4:30 pm
Where: Museum of Surrey – 17710 56a Avenue, Surrey
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
Where: 904 Granville Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $46, purchase online
What: Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver is hosting a Chanukah Market with a variety of vendors, food trucks, and live entertainment. Shop for latkes and Chanukah cookies, handcrafted Jewish greeting cards, and more while children enjoy fun activities. Proof of vaccination is required for ages 12 and up.
When: November 28, 2021
Time: 11 am to 5 pm
Where: Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver parking lot – 950 West 41st Avenue, Vancouver
Cost: Donation to the Jewish Food Bank
What: Whistler’s popular food and beverage celebration runs all the way until November 28. This delicious shindig always offers attendees a stellar selection of tastings, dinners, and one-of-a-kind experiences.
When: Now until November 28, 2021
Time: Various times
Where: Various locations
Cost: Various, see the list of Whistler Cornucopia events Online
What: The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden’s newest exhibition is Look Towards the Sun, an artistic exchange between Lam Wong, a Chinese Canadian diaspora artist from Hong Kong and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, an artist of Cowichan and Syilx First Nations ancestry.
Yuxweluptun’s paintings celebrate and assert Indigenous ways of living and being while shining a light on Indigenous title, rights, and sovereignty on unceded territories. Wong’s paintings and contemplations as an immigrant inspire his practice as the Garden’s artist-in-residence. Looking Towards the Sun also includes a personal response to the horrific findings of the remains of 215 children buried at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, the school that Yuxweluptun is a survivor of.
When: Wednesday to Sunday until December 23, 2021
Time: Various entry times
Where: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden – 578 Carrall Street, Vancouver
Cost: $12-$32, purchase Online
What: Vancouver indie rockers The Zolas perform an all ages show at the Vogue Theatre with a special guest on November 26.
When: November 26, 2021
Time: Doors 8 pm, show 9 pm
Where: Vogue Theatre – 918 Granville Street, Vancouver
Cost: $27.50, purchase online
What: The 2021 Glow Gardens in Langley is back this holiday season. You can drive through illuminated tunnels and see towering light sculptures from the coziness of your car. You’ll go on a 20-minute long journey through gardens of twinkling lights at a pace that will make you feel like you’re driving in a parade. Plus, you can order one of their iconic light-bulb-shaped Glow Cups to sip on while you cruise.
When: November 23, 2021, to January 1, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: Darvonda Nurseries – 6690 216 Street, Langley
Tickets: $29.99 per vehicle
What: The Polygon Gallery hosts Little Mountain Shop Holiday Pop-Up throughout the holiday season. Shop for sustainably minded products from an all-Canadian lineup of mostly local, women-led, BIPOC makers and creatives. Plus every Thursday evening includes a festive Meet the Makers social that everyone is welcome to.
When: November 24 to December 26, 2021
Time: 10 am to 5 pm (Wednesday, Friday Saturday and Sunday), 10 am to 8 pm (Thursday)
Where: The Polygon Gallery – 101 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver
What: One of Vancouver’s favourite destinations for tacos and burritos, Tacofino, is officially giving their nachos the spotlight this week. Options up for order will include Thai Spicy Pork, Flaming Hot Nachos, Vegan Chorizo Nachos, and Tater Totchos. The signature Tacofino Nachos made with roasted jalapeños, feta, cheddar, Monterey jack, salsa fresca, and crema will also be available. Nacho Average November takes place from November 16 to 23 exclusively at Tacofino’s 15 W Cordova location.
When: Now until November 23, 2021
Time: Business Hours
Where: Tacofino Taco Bar – 15 W Cordova, Vancouver
What: Grouse Mountain’s whimsical Peak of Christmas experience features a stunning Light Walk around Blue Grouse Lake, as well as open-air ice skating with incredible views on the 8,000 sq ft Mountaintop Skating Pond. Other fan-favourite events include Breakfast with Santa and photos at Santa’s Workshop by donation, which will benefit the BC Children’s Hospital.
This year, for the health and safety of individuals enjoying Grouse Mountain’s Peak of Christmas, proof of vaccination will be required for all guests born in 2009 or earlier. Additionally, face masks will be mandatory inside all resort facilities.
When: November 25, 2021 to January 3, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: Grouse Mountain – 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver
Cost: Complimentary with an annual Locals or Snow Pass, a Mountain Admission Ticket, or a special family ticket rate of $109 for two adults and two children.
What: ART FOR KIDS is an art show fundraiser and short documentary screening in support of Shanty Town Spirit, a Cambodian children’s charity founded and run by the Princess of Cambodia. The event features works by local artists Isaac Holland, KC Hall, and Bryan Beyung, who will be in attendance. There will also be three screenings of the seven-minute documentary film during ART FOR KIDS, and 50% of all art sales will go directly to Shanty Town Spirit charity.
When: November 26 and 27, 2021
Time: 5 to 11 pm
Where: Slice of Life Gallery – 1636 Venables Street, Vancouver
Cost: $10, purchase tickets online
What: More than 15 acres of the grounds at VanDusen Botanical Garden will be dripping with magical lights and filled with holiday decor. Expect to find plenty of your favourite holiday treats for sale, too, as you wander the illuminated paths of the gardens. This year, there’s a new illuminated rose garden display where the garden stewards used their artistry to “reawaken” the garden. Capacity for the event will be limited and proof of vaccination will be required.
When: November 26, 2021, to January 3, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online only, $17.50 for adults