Winter is a great time to get outside! Here are 10 outdoor events to check out around Vancouver in December, including Canyon Lights, Gifts For The Animals, and more.
For more things happening around town, check out our events section.
What: The provincial government’s Robson Square Ice Rink is open for the 2019/2020 season, and as per tradition, skating is free for all ages. Wedged under the covered outdoor plaza at Robson Square, the rink is operated seasonally by the government when temperatures begin to dip.
Skating is free for all ages for those who bring their own skates. Those without skates can rent a pair on-site, for a fee. An on-site concession stand will also serve warm drinks and snacks.
When: Daily from November 30, 2019 until February 29, 2020
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)
Price: Free for all ages, if you bring your own skates. (Skate rentals are $5, and rentals end 30 minutes before closing time.) Robson Square Ice Rink accepts cash only. Helmets are mandatory for children 12 years and under.
What: Discover why eagles are plentiful in our region in the winter, and learn some of the habitat components that allow the species to flourish.
When: December 4, 2019
Time: 10 am to 12 pm
Where: Deas Island Regional Park, Delta
Admission: $3, registration required. Barcode 7851 – 604-432-6359
What: Enjoy a fun fall story inside the treehouse at Redwood Park, and then explore the forest on a guided seasonal sensory walk. Parent participation required.
When: December 6, 2019
Time: 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm and 1 pm
Where: Redwood Park – 17900 20 Avenue, Surrey
Admission: Free, register online
What: A festive-focused fun run to help the less fortunate in the community. The 2019 Santa Shuffle 5 km fun run and 1 km Elf Walk takes place at 10 am in Stanley Park, beginning at Lumberman’s Arch. The coast-to-coast event raises money for the Salvation Army. Each runner will also receive a finisher medal.
When: December 7, 2019
Time: 8:30 am (check-in and late registration), 9:45 am (opening ceremonies), 9:50 am (warmup), 10 am (5 km run starts), 10:15 pm (1 km run starts)
Where: Lumberman’s Arch, Stanley Park
Tickets: Available online
What: Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre show attendees how to help local wildlife by creating items such as frog homes, bird feeders, and bee waterers. Participants will go on a search for wildlife habitats and create items to take home for their own garden.
When: December 8, 2019
Time: 1 to 2:30 pm
Where: Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre – 3663 Park Road, North Vancouver
What: Go for a walk through Steveston’s historic fishing village to the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site. Then head back to the Steveston Community Centre for some light refreshments and winter cheer.
When: December 14, 2019
Time: 10 to 11 am
Where: Garry Point Concession stand – 12011 7th Avenue, Richmond
What: A local naturalist leads a birding walk through a Surrey park where you can see the various birds of the city.
Walks are drop-in and will happen rain or shine but may be cancelled due to high winds or extreme weather conditions. Wear appropriate footwear and clothing, and bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them. Binoculars will be available to borrow as well.
When: December 21, 2019, January 18, February 15, March 21, April 18, May 16, 2020
Time: 9 am to 11 am
Where: Various parks in Surrey
What: Bright Nights at Stanley Park features over three million dazzling lights decorating acres of the dark forest, reaching as high as the forest canopy for all to see and enjoy. The attraction in the heart of the park is also accompanied by a train ride, music, snacks, entertainment, and even visits with Santa and his elves.
The annual tradition, now in its 22nd year, is operated and installed by 800 firefighters – a task that requires 8,000 hours of set-up over three months. Bright Nights attracts 200,000 visitors every year, with all proceeds benefiting the Burn Fund, which provides life-saving, life-supporting, and life-enriching services to people in BC.
When: Now until January 1 (closed on Christmas Day)
Time: Various times
Where: Stanley Park Miniature Railway – Pipeline Road, Stanley Park
Admission: $8.40 – 12.60. Tickets available online
What: Ring in the New Year at Mount Seymour and their Family First Night. The event includes snow shoeing, laser tobogganing, acro fire entertainment, food vendors, live performances, and more. There will also be an early countdown and fireworks at 8:25 pm.
When: December 31, 2019
Time: 5:30 to 8 pm
Where: Mt. Seymour — 1700 Mt. Seymour Road, North Vancouver
More Info: Online
What: The Canyon Lights features thousands of sparkling lights illuminating the iconic suspension bridge and other areas of the park. The 30-ton Douglas Firs of the Treetops Adventure will also be dressed in lights. Standing at an impressive 110 feet above the forest floor, the Douglas Firs that connect the suspension bridges are the eight tallest Christmas trees in the world, according to event organizers. Also returning to this year’s festival is the Snowy Owl Prowl scavenger hunt, gingerbread cookie decorating, and sing-along carols with a holiday band.
When: Now until January 26, 2020 (closed on December 25)
Time: 11 am to 9 pm daily; holiday activities run from 4 to 9 pm
Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Tickets: Available online, with annual passes (included with admission) available for BC residents