Over 35 fun and fantastic things to do around Vancouver this winter

Dec 22 2021, 5:35 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 and frequent hand washing, and wearing a mask or face-covering in public indoor and retail spaces. If you are sick, please stay home.


Winter has arrived and the new season has brought a bunch of fun and fantastic events to Vancouver. From Harvest Haus to Just For Laughs Vancouver, VMF Winter Arts and more, here are 38 events you need to check out around the city.

Things to do in winter

Harvest Haus: Late Harvest

Harvest Haus

Harvest Haus/Facebook

What: The 7th annual Harvest Haus is taking over the PNE Forum from February 11 to 12, 2022, for a weekend of delicious food, exciting live entertainment, singalongs, and of course BEER. Harvest Haus: Late Harvest Edition, presented by “Feaster” and Villeneuve Creative, will see a return to a more traditional Bavarian all-seated table format in line with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

When: February 11 and 12, 2022
Time: 6 to 11:30 pm (Friday), 11:30 to 4:30 pm and 6 to 11:30 pm (Saturday)
Where: PNE Forum – 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $35 – $65, depending on which event it is for and where the tables are located within the Haus. Purchase online

Robson Square Ice Rink

What: Situated under the covered outdoor plaza at Robson Square, the rink operates seasonally when temperatures begin to dip. The rink also has an indoor skate rental and a cafe area that is currently being set up, as well as an outdoor patio with heaters. There will also be live music performances from December 13 to 24, as part of the 12 Days of Christmas programming.

When: Daily throughout the season
Time: Sunday to Thursday from 9 am to 9 pm; Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 11 pm, Holiday hours vary.
Where: 800 Robson Street, Vancouver (Robson Street and Howe Street)
Cost: Free for all ages if you bring your own skates. (Skate rentals are $5, and rentals end 30 minutes before closing time.)

H Tasting Lounge’s Winterlust

What: H Tasting Lounge’s enchanting winter patio, located at The Westin Bayshore Vancouver. Winterlust offers an opportunity to chill out in the magical snow globes and soak in the winter vibes as well as enjoy festive cocktails.

Folks can look forward to enjoying new heated Alpine-inspired domes decked out with cozy Nordic-inspired decor this year. Each dome is 8’-by-8′ and boasts panoramic glass panelling.

When: Now through winter 2022
Time: Various times
Where: H Tasting Lounge — 1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver
Reservations: Online

Street Food City X

What: Now in its tenth year, the food truck extravaganza will take place on select dates in January, when foodies can find a rotating selection of purveyors outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, in šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square, on the north side of the building. Previously the festival has featured more than 20 awesome food trucks and carts, so it’s a good thing entry is FREE this year, leaving you more cash to spend on some epic eats.

Expect vendors like Disco Cheetah, Mamas Fish & Chips, Melt City, Mr. Arancino, REEL Mac and Cheese, and Shameless Buns, to name just a few.

The festival will be open during specific hours on weekdays and weekends, so be sure to mark your calendar and head to this delicious destination while you can.

Dates: January 15 to January 23, 2022
Time: Weekdays from 11 am to 2 pm; weekends from 11 am to 5 pm
Where: šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square (in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery), Vancouver
Price: Free entry

Just For Laughs Vancouver

What: Just For Laughs Vancouver will take place from February 15 to 27, 2022, at various venues in downtown Vancouver. The festival is delivering with some of the biggest names in comedy, including John Mulaney, Nicole Byer, Ronny Chieng, and How Did This Get Made? – LIVE!.

When: February 15 to 27, 2022
Time: Various showtimes
Where: Multiple venues across Vancouver
Tickets: All tickets for Just For Laughs Vancouver can be purchased online

Whistler Sliding Centre

whistler sliding centre

whistlerslidingcentre/Instagram

What: You don’t have to be an Olympian to ride like one in Whistler. Try your hand at passenger bobsleigh and public skeleton rides at the Whistler Sliding Centre.

You can slide in a four-person bobsleigh driven by a trained pilot through 10 corners of the track at speeds of up to 125 km/hr. For public skeleton, guests can whip through the track’s final six corners, reaching speeds of up to 100 km/hr on their own individual skeleton sled. Participants have to be at least 16 years old. No experience is required.

When: Now until March 27, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: 4910 Glacier Lane, Whistler
Cost: Each ride is $199 per person, with all proceeds going to support sliding sports and athletes who train at the non-profit organization. Book online.

HSBC Canada Sevens

What: The Canada Sevens event was first held in Vancouver back in 2016, and has since become one of Vancouver’s most beloved sporting events. Hosted in a tournament format featuring fourteen-minute games, the fast-paced action has a reputation for being one of the most exciting sports to watch live. Fans have also been known to check out the action in hilarious costumes, adding a unique twist to the event’s experience.

When: February 26 and 27, 2022
Where: BC Place — 777 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Skate Plaza at The Shipyards

What: The Shipyards’ large, covered outdoor plaza has been converted into a free ice rink for the season. The rink will be open to skating seven days a week from 12 to 7 pm.

The surface is approximately 12,000 sq ft and is covered by a retractable roof. Skaters can either bring their own skates or rent a pair of skates on-site, although quantities are limited. Helmets and skating aids are free. Figure skating and hockey will not be permitted at the rink.

When: Daily until the end of season
Time: 1 to 8 pm
Where: The Shipyards Commons, North Vancouver
Admission: Free, skate rentals are available at a cost of $7 (quantities are limited)

Singletree Winery Di Vine Domes

What: Singletree Winery in Abbotsford has two dazzling domes set up for cozy wine tastings. The Di Vine Domes are open Wednesday to Sunday, and there are a few different packages available. Each dome has a theme, with guests choosing whether they want to drink in the ambiance of an Enchanted Forest or a Canadian Cabin. Guests will sample cheese from the Fraser Valley and hyper-local eats inside the domes paired with their wine.

When: Wednesday to Sunday
Time: Various times
Where: 5782 Mount Lehman Road, Abbotsford
Reservations: Online

Dine Out Vancouver 2022

Dine Out Vancouver 2022

Gunnerchu/Shutterstock

What: Taking place from January 14 to 31, 2022, the popular annual fest typically features hundreds of restaurants, each offering multi-course meals at affordable, fixed price points. In addition to the Vancouver World Chef Exchange dinner series — aka when select Vancouver restaurants host one-of-a-kind collab dinners — the Street Food City food truck festival is returning as well.

When: January 14 to 31, 2022
Time: Various hours of operation
Where: Various restaurants across Vancouver

Go-Karting on Ice

When: An event organizer behind the Wizard’s Den and Tinseltown Christmas pop-up bars is bringing a new activity to Vancouver this winter – go-karting on ice. Starting on February 1, 2022, Vancouverites can get behind the wheel of a winterized go-kart at a secret location in the city.

When: Starting February 1, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: Secret location, Vancouver
Tickets: $55 to $85 per person

Holiday Events and Christmas Lights

Photos and Visits with Santa at Capilano Mall

What: Now that Santa is setting up his home away from home at Capilano Mall, families have the chance to visit him right through to December 24. Walk-ins are available on a first-come, first-serve basis based on availability, and you can also make an appointment through the online booking system.

To ensure that everyone who visits Santa has a digital and print keepsake to remember the moment, there will be a local professional photographer on site. You can get a Santa photo package for $19.99, which includes one 4×6 print and a digital download. And to make it better, those who purchase a photo package will receive a snowman hand puppet (one per child while supplies last).

When: Now until December 24, 2021
Bookings: Walk-ins on the day, or book an appointment online ahead of time
Where: Capilano Mall’s Grand Court – 935 Marine Drive, North Vancouver
Price: Starting at $19.99

Vancouver Christmas Market

vancouver Christmas market 2021

GoToVan/Flickr

What: This fall and winter, you can experience the magic of a German-style holiday festival at the Vancouver Christmas Market until December 24. Organizers say this year’s event will be bigger than ever with more than 80 vendors where you can buy gifts and eat to your heart’s content. All your favourites are going to be there, so you can fill up on melty raclette cheese, spätzle, chimney cakes, schnitzel, and more.

When: Daily until December 24, 2021
Time: 11:30 am to 9 pm (Now until December 23), 11:30 am to 6 pm (December 24)
Where: Jack Poole Plaza – 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver
Cost: Various, purchase online

FlyOver Canada – Soar With Santa

What: Experience the magic of Christmas this December with FlyOver Canada’s Soar With Santa. Fly across Canada and up to the North Pole in this festive flight happening until January 3, 2022.

When: Now until January 3, 2022 (Closed on December 25)
Time: Various times
Where: 999 Canada Place, Canada, Vancouver, BC
Tickets: Available on-site or online. Booking online beforehand is advised.

Surrey Holiday Lights

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: Now until January 2, 2022
Time: 4 to 10 pm daily
Where: Surrey Civic Plaza – 13450-104 Avenue, Surrey
Tickets: Available online

Bright Nights 2021 at Stanley Park

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

St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope (John Lau/Daily Hive)

What: St. Paul’s Foundation’s massive light display outside of St. Paul’s Hospital has been an annual Christmastime tradition and fundraising campaign since 1998. The 4,000 feet of sparkling lights and hundreds of shining stars recognizing the support of generous donors will shine nightly on Burrard Street until January 7, 2022.

Lights of Hope raises funds for equipment, life-saving research, community programs, and other essential services at St. Paul’s as well as other Providence Health Care hospitals and long-term care homes in BC.

When: Now until January 7, 2022
Time: Nightly
Where: St. Paul’s Hospital – 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver

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 23 and December 26 to 31, 2021
Time:
 4:30 to 10:30 pm
Where: 
The Pacific National Exhibition — 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Available online, starting at $42

VanDusen Festival of Lights

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: Now until January 3, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online only, $17.50 for adults

Cheer on the home teams

Vancouver Canucks

thatcher demko canucks

Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

What: The Canucks continue their NHL season this winter at Rogers Arena. Games include the Edmonton Oilers on January 25, Calgary Flames on February 24, and New Jersey Devils on March 15.

When: Various dates
Time: Various times
Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
Cost: Various, purchase online

Vancouver Giants

What: Vancouver Giants’ CHL season continues this winter at the Langley Events Centre. Cheer them on as they face off with Kelowna Rockets on January 22, Kamloops Blazers on March 4, and more.

When: Various dates
Time: Various times
Where: Langley Events Centre – 7888 200 Street, Langley
Cost: Various, purchase online

Vancouver Warriors

Vancouver Warriors

Vancouver Warriors/Facebook

What: The Vancouver Warriors continue the new National Lacrosse League season at Rogers Arena in the Winter. Check out their matchups against Colorado Mammoth on January 7, Panther City Lacrosse Club on February 5, and Toronto Rock on March 12.

When: Various dates
Time: Various times
Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
Cost: Various, purchase online

Abbotsford Canucks

What: Abbotsford Canucks kick off their AHL season with games against the Bakersfield Condors on January 5, 7, 9 and 10; Manitoba Moose on February 11 and 12; Colorado Eagles on March 11 and 13; and more.

When: Various dates
Time: Various times
Where: Abbotsford Centre – 33800 King Road, Abbotsford
Cost: Various, purchase online

Enjoy the arts

VMF Winter Arts 2022

What: From February 11 to 27, the second annual VMF Winter Arts is transforming public spaces across downtown Vancouver into interactive, open-air galleries featuring augmented reality (AR) art and lights.

VMF Winter Arts 2022 is a free, all-ages outdoor festival that features interactive AR art and light installations at eight locations across the city. Download the free VMF App to find all the installations, including Canada Place, Bentall Centre, Park Place, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Public Library, Yaletown, BC Place, and Science World.

When: February 11 to 27, 2022
Where: Public spaces across Vancouver’s core, Yaletown, and False Creek
Cost: Free

Friends! The Musical Parody

friends musical

FRIENDS! The Musical Parody / Gallery

What: Superfans of the ’90s hit show Friends will find delight in learning that a musical parody based on the series is coming to the Bell Performing Arts Centre this winter. The North American tour for Friends! The Musical Parody will make its way to Surrey on February 27, 2022

In Friends! The Musical Parody, references from the show are littered throughout the production, including an iconic Central Perk backdrop along with an array of songs based on some of the plot points.

When: February 1, 2022
Time:
7:30 pm
Where:
Bell Performing Arts Centre, 6250 144 Street, Surrey
Tickets: Online

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition

What: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition invites visitors to experience the 34 frescoes on the Vatican ceiling in life-sized, close-up detail. According to organizers, the frescoes were reproduced by using “state of the art technology from exclusively licensed high definition photos.”

Visitors will be able to see reproductions of works such as The Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment, down to each individual colour and brushstroke.  The exhibition will operate with limited capacity, timed entry, and in accordance with BC’s public health guidelines.

When: Now until January 23, 2022
Time: 10 am to 6 pm
Where: Vancouver Convention Centre East – Exhibition Hall A, 999 Canada Place
Tickets: Starting at $12.60 (plus service charges), online

The Offspring ft. Simple Plan

What: The Offspring and Simple Plan will be playing a variety of shows across the country, and Vancouver is the last stop on their Let The Bad Times Roll Canadian tour.

Formed around 1984, The Offspring didn’t rise to mainstream success until the 90s, with the release of the 1994 hit album Smash. In 1998, they released Americana, which was their most commercially successful outing to date. Simple Plan, a Canadian punk band from Montreal, rose to prominence in the early 2000s, and released their first studio album in 2002. They’ve also won two Juno Awards.

When: March 3, 2022
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Vancity Comedy Extravaganza Vol. 3

What: Looking to start the new year with laughs? Check out Dino Archie and a stacked stand-up lineup at Vancity Comedy Extravaganza. The third edition of the all-star comedy showcase takes place on January 8, 2022, at the Vogue Theatre and features JUNO award winners, Just For Laughs veterans, and more.

When: January 8, 2022
Time: Doors at 7 pm, show at 8 pm
Where: Vogue Theatre — 918 Granville Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Starting at $30, purchase online. Use promo code DINGY2022 for a discount.

Voxel Bridge

What: Voxel Bridge, created by Columbian artist Jessica Angel, is a one-of-a-kind public art installation featuring augmented reality and blockchain technology underneath the south end of the Cambie Bridge. The exhibition is 19,000-square-feet in size and was created in association with the Vancouver Biennale. The artwork explores how public space can be constructed and used both physically and digitally. Voxel Bridge will remain in place and open to the public until 2023.

When: Now until 2023
Time: Anytime
Where: Underneath the south end of the Cambie Bridge
Cost: Free

Imagine Picasso

What: Imagine Picasso is a collaboration between creators Annabelle Mauger and Julien Baron, art historian Androula Michael, and leading figure in the French architecture movement Rudy Ricciotti. The experience will feature more than 200 of Picasso’s paintings being shown together for the very first time.

Paintings will be projected onto nine full-blown Origami-style structures, which will offer a one-of-a-kind perspective on the work of the great Picasso. The experience will last approximately one hour. Non-commercial photography is permitted, and organizers encourage guests to share their photos online.

Organizers point out that Imagine Picasso is designed as a contactless experience. It will have limited capacity and timed entries, and the event will be in full accordance with current public health orders.

When: Now until January 8, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: Vancouver Convention Centre — 1055 Canada Place Way, Vancouver
Tickets: Available online

SuperFiller Exhibit at Lipont Gallery

junk food

YKLM Auctions/Supplied

What: Jeff Wilson’s SuperFiller series is on display now in Richmond and it’s a chance to get up close with familiar snacks and treats. From Cool Ranch Doritos to White Rabbit milk candies, you’ll see a ton of familiar and colourful foods in a new way at this junk food gallery. The exhibit even feels a bit like a supermarket, with shelves full of chip bags and a shopping cart.

It’s free to drop by the Lipont Gallery in Richmond right by Aberdeen Station and you can register online in advance.

When: Now until January 5, 2022
Time: Monday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Lipont Place – 4211 No. 3 Road, Richmond
Cost: Free

Yoko Ono: Growing Freedom

What: GROWING FREEDOM: The instructions of Yoko Ono and The art of John and Yoko at Vancouver Art Gallery showcases the importance of imagination and participation in the work of Yoko Ono and John Lennon. Inside the gallery, instructional exhibits can be as simple as an exercise in imagination printed on the walls and putting a literal bag over your head. The second part of the exhibit explores more works and focuses on Yoko Ono and John Lennon’s Canadian connections, including their meeting with Pierre Trudeau and the Montreal bed-in.

When: Now until May 1, 2022
Time: Gallery hours 10 am to 5 pm, 12 pm to 8 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver
Cost: $24, admission by donation Tuesdays 5 pm to 8 pm. Purchase Online

Chelsea Handler’s “Vaccinated and Horny” tour

Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler

What: The comedian, TV personality, and New York Times bestselling author will be performing as part of her upcoming “Vaccinated and Horny” tour. Handler will be performing in Vancouver on January 8 and 9, 2022 with both shows happening at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

When: January 8 and 9, 2022
Time: 7 pm
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre — 630 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra: Rocketman Live in Concert

What: Rocketman charts the life and music of the iconic Elton John. The VSO plays the score live to the film starring award-winning actor Taron Egerton. Enjoy “Your Song”, “Tiny Dancer”, “I’m Still Standing” and many more in this unique show.

When: March 18 and 19, 2022
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: The Orpheum – 601 Smithe Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Eat fresh with farmers’ markets

Riley Park Winter Farmers Market

What: Visitors will find over 70 farms and producers and a selection of food and coffee trucks. Shop for fruits and veggies, eggs and dairy, meat, prepared food, craft beverages, craft items, and more.

When: Every Saturday until April 23, 2022
Time: 10 an to 2 pm
Location: 50 E 30th Ave and Ontario St, Vancouver

Hastings Park Farmers Market

What: With over 35 farms and producers, the Hastings Park Winter Farmers Market makes it easy to keep meals farm-to-table. Highlights of the weekly event are winter produce, artisanal cheeses, bread, craft alcohol, treats, and delicious food truck offerings.

When: Every Sunday until April 24, 2022
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Location: Hastings Park – 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver

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

Port Moody Winter Farmers’ Market

What: Established in 2008, the Port Moody Winter Farmers’ Market began as a bi-weekly market in the lobby and courtyard of the Port Moody Rec Centre. Now a weekly market, shoppers can stop by every Sunday for local BC produce, artisan crafts, and delicious baked goods.

When: Every Sunday from November to April
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Port Moody Recreation Complex – 300 Ioco Rd, Port Moody

Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

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