27 things to do in Vancouver this weekend: December 27 to 29

Dec 26 2019, 3:30 pm

Time flies when you’re having fun! Here are 27 Vancouver events happening on Friday, December 27, Saturday, December 28, and Sunday, December 29. Check out the Contact Winter Music Festival, Vancouver Warriors, and more.

And for more things happening around town, be sure to check out our events section.

Friday, December 27

CONTACT Winter Music Festival

Tiesto (Jordan Loyd/Facebook)

What: Tiësto, Major Lazer, Kaskade, and Rezz will headline CONTACT Winter Music Festival’s seventh edition, taking place December 27 and 28 at BC Place. Presented by Blueprint and Live Nation Canada, CONTACT is Canada’s largest indoor music festival hosting more than 34,000 guests annually and featuring state-of-the-art technical production, pyro, and lighting across two stages.

When: December 27 and 28, 2019
Time: 5 pm to midnight
Where: BC Place — 777 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Holiday Hi-Light Festival

What: The 31st Annual Holiday Hi-Light Festival has more than 150,000 lights on display over three acres. Entry is by donation and 100 per cent of proceeds go to North Vancouver Firefighters and their various appointed charities

When: Now until December 31, 2019
Time: 5 to 9 pm
Where: Park & Tilford Gardens – 333 Brooksbank Ave, North Vancouver
Admission: By donation

Bright Nights at Stanley Park 2019

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, available online

Jacob Samuel – Live Comedy Album Recording

What: Jacob Samuel (Just for Laughs, CBC’s The Debaters, Winnipeg Comedy Festival) records his debut stand-up comedy album at Yuk Yuk’s Vancouver on December 27 and 28. Also featuring MC Ivan Decker and more.

When: December 27 and 28, 2019
Time: 8 pm and 10:30 pm (Friday), 7 pm and 9:30 pm (Saturday)
Where: Yuk Yuk’s Vancouver – 2837 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Winter Wunderland at Prost Haus

What: Prost Haus, the enclosed rooftop bar located on Granville Street, is putting a German twist on the holidays with their first Winter Wunderland event. Taking place every Friday and Saturday until December 28, Winter Wunderland serves holiday-themed drinks like rum and eggnog and mulled wine AKA traditional Germain Gluehwein. There are also non-alcoholic options, many desserts, and also the option to decorate your own gingerbread and sugar cookies for $10 per person.

When: Every Friday and Saturday until December 28
Time: 3 pm to 1 am
Where: Prost Haus Rooftop — 904 Granville Street
Admission: Free

Heritage Christmas

Heritage Christmas/Burnaby Village Museum

What: Take a trip back to holidays past at Burnaby Village Museum with Heritage Christmas. See vintage-themed displays, listen to live music, and enjoy theatre performances. There will also be crafts for children, baking in the Farmhouse, and visits with Father Christmas. There’s even the option to have a full turkey dinner, or festive drinks or treats from the Ice Cream Parlour.

When: Now until January 3, 2020
Time: 1 to 9 pm
Where: Burnaby Village Museum – 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby
Admission: Free, carousel rides $2.65

Aurora Winter Festival 2019

What: The Aurora Winter Festival, now one of the largest events of its kind in Western Canada, is returning for the 2019 holiday season. The six-week, North Pole-inspired festival will be expanding its event to fifteen acres in size and relocating to Hastings Park.

Upgrades from last year include a larger surface for ice skating, a longer tube park, and double the number of rides and games. Other attractions include a light tunnel showcasing the Aurora Borealis, a story-time theatre with Santa for kids, a giant tube park, ice skating on a frozen pond, six amusement park rides, games, some of Vancouver’s best food trucks, and a market with 40 holiday-inspired vendors.

When: Now until December 31, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Hastings Park – 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online, General Admission passes start at $17.99 / Senior and Child passes start at $12.99 / Family passes start at $49.99

Saturday, December 28

Ballet BC presents Alberta Ballet – The Nutcracker

What: Ballet BC presents Alberta Ballet in the holiday tradition, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. Featuring choreography by Edmund Stripe and sets and costumes designed by Emmy Award-winning designer Zack Brown, The Nutcracker tells the story of Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, the evil Mouse King, and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Musical score performed live by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

When: December 28 to December 30, 2019
Time: 1 pm (December 28, 29, 30), 6:30 pm (December 28, 29)
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre — 630 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Vancouver Canucks vs Los Angeles Kings

jacob markstrom

Vancouver Canucks / Twitter

What: Vancouver Canucks hit the ice against LA Kings at Rogers Arena on December 28.

When: December 28, 2019
Time: 7 pm
Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Robson Square Ice Rink

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 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.

Christmas Glow Vancouver

What: Christmas Glow will take place inside the Harbour Convention Centre, and visitors will be able to enjoy nearly 50,000 sq. ft. of enchanting twinkling lights and holiday activities.

This year’s theme for Vancouver is “Santa’s Lost Presents.” Guests will be able to help the elves find Santa’s lost presents. Themed light-up structures, including Santa’s sleigh and his trusty reindeer, will be set up around the venue. Adults will be able to enjoy the licensed bars, seasonal beverages, and live music while interactive activities and festive playgrounds will keep the kids busy.

When: Now until January 5, 2020
Time: Hours of operation vary depending on date of visit.
Where: Harbour Convention Centre — 760 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Vancouver Giants vs Kelowna Rockets

What: Vancouver Giants hit the ice against Kelowna Rockets on December 28 at Langley Events Centre.

When: December 28, 2019
Time: 7 pm
Where: Langley Events Centre – 7888 200 St, Langley
Tickets: Online

VanDusen Festival of Lights 2019

What: The dazzling botanical garden will be covered in more than a million lights to help ring in the Christmas season. Visitors can stroll through interactive themed areas, watch the famous dancing lights show on Livingstone Lake, take a photo with Santa, light a candle at the Make-A-Wish candle grotto, or simply warm up with a specialty beverage at the licensed fireside lounge. All tickets, which can be purchased online or at the gate, include a free ride on the carousel.

When: Now until January 5, 2020 (closed Christmas Day)
Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
Time: 4 pm to 9:30 pm (closed Christmas Day)
AdmissionAdults: $19 online and $21 at the gate. Youth and seniors: $14.50 online and $16 at the gate.

Grouse Mountain’s Peak of Christmas 2019

What: Visitors can 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 magic 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 pay by donation to BC Children’s Hospital.

Access to the Peak of Christmas is included with your Annual Local’s Pass, Y2Play or Winter Season Pass, as well as regular Alpine Experience tickets.

When: Now until January 5, 2020
Time: 9 am to 10 pm
Where: Grouse Mountain – 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver
Admission: Peak of Christmas activities are complimentary with Mountain Admission Ticket, Annual Membership, Winter Season Pass, or Lift Ticket. Tickets online. Discounted rates are also available for BC residents

Lights of Hope 2019

St. Paul’s Lights of Hope (Spencer Finlay / Flickr)

What: St. Paul’s Foundation’s Lights of Hope sees the building glow with over 100,000 bright lights, and more than 200 shining stars. New to the display this year is the Living Light, an interactive art piece that gives everyone the opportunity to light a star themselves.

Installed front and center of the display, the Living Light star is built with a dimmer that slowly waxes and wanes, as though the light is breathing. A kiosk installed below the star is fitted with a plaque that asks visitors to choose a donation amount, tap a contactless credit card to donate, and “Help Keep Hope Alive.” The star glows brightly every time a donation is made before gradually dimming again if it goes too long without a tap.

When: Now until January 6, 2020
Time: Every Day and Night
Where: St. Paul’s Hospital Burrard entrance – 1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver
Admission: Free

Holidays at Vancouver Aquarium

What: Vancouver Aquarium has a variety of holiday favourite activities this season, including the electric-eel-powered Christmas tree (with feedings daily at 11:30 am), the tot-friendly kelp maze, and the picture-perfect jelly snow globe. Check out the mistle-toad” near the Frogs Forever Gallery, and after wandering the galleries with cocoa in hand, it’s time for a journey to the North Pole in the Vancouver Aquarium’s 4-D theatre, where The Polar Express 4D Experience plays daily. 

When: Now until January 5, 2020
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park – 845 Avison Way, Vancouver
Admission: Adults: $38| Senior/Student: $30 | Child (4-12): $21 | Child (0-4): $0  – Tickets available online

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley

What: Written by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley is the festive followup to Pride and Prejudice. The Bennet sisters get together for Christmas at the home of Lizzy and Mr. Darcy. An unexpected visitor could be a an awkward attempt at a set-up, or a Mary’s chance at romance.

When: Now until January 4, 2020
Time: Various times
Where: The Arts Club Granville Island Stage — 1585 Johnston Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Sunday, December 29

Luzia by Cirque Du Soleil

LUZIA

Cirque du Soleil LUZIA/Cirquedusoleil.com

What: For the first time in British Columbia, guests will be invited to witness the imaginative and stunning production titled LUZIA, a waking dream of Mexico. Naturally, viewers can expect aerialists, trapeze artists, hoop diving, contortionists, jugglers, and even football freestylers, to name a few of the production’s members. The performance will take place at the redesigned white-an-gold Big Top at Concord Pacific Place.

When: Now until December 29, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Concord Pacific Place – 88 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Winter Crafts at Cameron: Noisy Makers for New Year’s Eve

What: Bring a young crafter to make a noisemaker for New Year’s Eve! Supplies will be provided, and attendees are welcome to drop by anytime between 2 and 3 pm. All children 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

When: December 29, 2019
Time: 2 to 3 pm
Where: Burnaby Public Library – Cameron Branch – 9523 Cameron Street, Burnaby
Admission: Free

Karaoke Christmas Lights Trolley Tour

What: Throughout December, the Vancouver Trolley Company is running its Karaoke Christmas Lights tour, showcasing the city in a unique way. Stops include Bright Nights at Stanley Park, local light displays such as the English Bay Christmas Tree, Hycroft Manor and Canuck Place, VanDusen Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights, and a viewing of St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope.

When: Now until December 29, 2019
Time: Check in by 6:15 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

Ellie King’s Snow White

What: Enjoy the tale of Snow White told in classic British Pantomime at Surrey Arts Centre. The interactive show is fun for the whole family, and written by Ellie King with music by Geoff King. Guests can also get autographs from the cast after the show.

When: Now until December 29, 2019
Time: Various times

Where: Main Stage at Surrey Arts Centre — 13750 88 Avenue, Surrey
Tickets: Online

Holiday at the Elbow Room Café

What: Zee Zee Theatre presents Holiday at the Elbow Room Cafe, inspired by and in tribute to the iconic cafe. The show features a mix of holiday classics and songs from Elbow Room Café: The Musical by Dave Deveau and Anton Lipovetsky. Written by Deveau and directed by Cameron Mackenzie, husbands and lifelong friends of Elbow Room Café owners Patrice Savoie and Bryan Searle.

When: Now until December 29, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: The Cultch Historic Theatre — 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Festive Afternoon Tea

H Tasting Lounge Festive Afternoon Tea

Courtesy H Tasting Lounge

What: H Tasting Lounge at the Westin Bayshore offers a Festive Afternoon Tea during weekends from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm until December 29. Guests can expect a Tourtière, a Confit Turkey Sandwich, a Squash Soup, and a Smoked Salmon & Cucumber sandwich on rye bread, alongside a Yule Log, Festive Profiterole, Frangipane Cake, Gingerbread Cake, and a picture-perfect Festive Cotton Candy Bonsai Tree.

Whether you choose to sip on Tealeaves Nutcracker Black Tea Blend, the Tealeaves Organic Herbal Sugar Plum Fairy, or dabble in boozy concoctions like Mulled Wine, the limited-time menu is bound to get you in the holiday spirit.

When: Weekends until December 29, 2019
Time: 11:30 am to 4:30 pm
Where: H Tasting Lounge (Westin Bayshore) – 1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver
Price: $55 per person; reserve online

Winter Ice Palace

What: The 22nd Annual Winter Ice Palace turns Cloverdale Ice Arena into a winter wonderland. Enjoy festive lights, decorations, and music while making laps on the ice.

When: Now until January 5, 2020
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

Vancouver Warriors vs San Diego Seals

What: The Vancouver Warriors face off with the San Diego Seals in National Lacrosse League action on December 29.

When: December 29, 2019
Time: 1 pm
Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Big Day BBQ Tailgate Pop-up

What: Big Day BBQ is holding a Sunday Throwdown pop-up series every Sunday at The American. Sports fans can enjoy a classic spread of 14-hour smoked brisket, Memphis-style ribs, pulled pork, and a variety of sides like Tex-Mex Pasta Salad, Smokey Slaw, and Pit Beans. Rotating event specials like half chickens, beef ribs, and Frito pies will also be available on select days (these will be announced via Instagram closer to the game day).

When: Every Sunday until December 29, 2019
Time: 10 am
Where: The American – 926 Main 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 until April 26, 2020
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Port Moody Recreation Complex – 300 Ioco Road, Port Moody
Admission: Free