12 things to do in Vancouver this weekend: December 31 to January 2

Dec 31 2021, 3:00 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 and frequent hand washing, and wearing a mask or face-covering in public indoor and retail spaces. If you are sick, please stay home.

So long 2021 and hello 2022! The new year is finally here so let’s make the most of the weekend with these 12 fun things to do in Vancouver from December 31 to January 2. Polar Bear Dip at Home, New Year’s Eve comedy, and more.

2022 Polar Bear Dip at Home

What: Vancouver’s annual Polar Bear Dip will go ahead on January 1, but this year swimmers are encouraged to take the plunge at home. Register for this year’s event, then fill your bathtub, kiddie pool or anything that will fit you with cold water (7°C). Share your Polar Bear Dip experience online using the hashtag #VanPolarBearSwim, then send a photo or video of your chilly start to the new year to [email protected] to receive a Polar Bear Swim Club button (Canadian residents only).

When: January 1, 2022
Time: Traditional swim time is 2:30 pm
Where: Your bathtub or kiddie pool

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 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

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

Backyard Adventures at Science World

What: Science World invites guests to connect with nature and discover scientific wonders in their latest exhibit, Backyard Adventures. Dig in the dirt of an augmented reality garden bed, ride a mechanical bee, play backyard-themed mini golf and more.

When: Now until January 14, 2022
Time: 10 am to 5 pm (open 10 am to 3 pm on December 31 and 12 to 5 pm on January 1)
Where: TELUS World of Science – 1455 Quebec St, Vancouver
Tickets: Online

Vancouver Giants vs Kelowna Rockets

What: Vancouver Giants take on the Kelowna Rockets in CHL action at Langley Events Centre.

When: January 2, 2022
Time: 4 pm
Where: Langley Events Centre – 7888 200 Street, Langley
Cost: Various, purchase online

Laugh Track NYE Pop-Up Comedy

What: Laugh Track is ringing in the New Year in style with two special comedy events with reduced, socially-distanced capacity. The early show features performances by John Cullen, Sophia Johnson, and headliner Patrick Maliha. The late show features Johnson and headliner Simon King.

When: December 31, 2021
Time: 8 pm and 10 pm
Where: The Butcher and Bullock – 911 W Pender St, Vancouver
Tickets: $49, 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

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

Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village

Heritage Christmas/Burnaby Village Museum

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

Winter Discovery Days at the Fraser River Discovery Centre

What: The Fraser River Discovery Centre is celebrating the holiday season with Winter Discovery Days, a series of festive, family-friendly fun activities. Participants on December 31 will craft festive gifts such as personalized holiday cards and snow globes, while registrants for January 3 will learn the science behind snowflakes while creating 3D models of different types of snowflakes. Register online.

When: December 31, 2021 and January 3, 2022
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Fraser River Discovery Centre – 788 Quayside Drive, New Westminster
Cost: $3-$6, Family (2 Adults + 4 Children) $15. Children under 2 are free.

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