20 things to do in Vancouver this weekend: December 23 and 24

Dec 22 2017, 5:26 pm

The weekend before Christmas is here, so keep the holiday fun going on December 23 and 24.

From Ugly Christmas Sweater parties to festive ice skating, there’s plenty still to enjoy.

For more things happening around town, check out our events section.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Unicorn Uniform Holiday Pop-Up

  • What: Unicorn Pop-Up Shop features all the shiny, iridescent, unicorn-coated merch you could ever dream of – think unicorn emoji pouches, mugs, jewellery, socks, shirts, decor, gifts, and more. The pop-up is being run by Unicorn Uniform, who are offering attendees the chance to stock up on all of their unicorn goodies for the year.
  • When: Saturday, December 23, 2017
  • Time: 11 am to 7 pm
  • Where: Ana V Beauty – 1125 Howe Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Christmas Queen 4 – Secret Santa

  • What: Vancouver TheatreSports’ The Christmas Queen is returning this holiday season with the latest instalment in the series, Christmas Queen 4 – Secret Santa. Confusion and hijinks ensue when the Queen and Santa exchange bodies in a Freaky Friday-style magical sleight-of-hand.  What happens to the Workshop’s Toy Factory with the Queen as Santa in charge? The answers are revealed as VTSL’s ensemble players take audience suggestions and turn them into 90 minutes of holiday hilarity.
  • When: Saturday, December 23
  • Time: 7:30 pm.
  • Where: The Improv Centre – 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $10.75-$24.25

Christmas in Kerrisdale Festival

  • What: Brass bands, Santa, horse and carriage rides, and roving carollers are all part of this cherished family afternoon event. Free ice skating will also be offered at the neighbourhood arena from 5:30 to 7 pm. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.
  • When: Saturday, December 23, 2017
  • Time: Noon to 4 pm
  • Where: Kerrisdale Village – West 41st Avenue between Larch and Maple Street
  • Admission: Free

Dundarave Festival of Lights

  • What: The final day of festive, free concerts, a Christmas fair, and the Forest of Miracles, the largest outdoor display of Christmas trees in British Columbia. You can also enjoy the Dundarave Nativity, a group of carvings made from old growth cedar, and attend a Christmas Wassail and Bonfire.
  • When: Saturday, December 23, 2017
  • Time: Every Saturday afternoon
  • Where: Dundarave Beach – 25th Street at Bellevue Avenue, West Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Ugly Christmas Sweater Toonie Skate

  • What: ​Bring family, friends and your finest Ugly Christmas Sweater for a holiday toonie skate. Featuring crafts, face painting, reindeer games, and a visit from Santa and friends.
  • When: Saturday, December 23, 2017
  • Time: 12:30 to 3 pm
  • Where:  Bill Copeland Sports Centre – 3676 Kensington Avenue, Burnaby,
  • Admission: $2, free for children 3 and under

Vancouver Canucks versus St. Louis Blues

  • What: Vancouver Canucks take on the St. Louis Blues at Rogers Arena.
  • When: Saturday, December 23, 2017
  • Time: 7 pm
  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • Tickets: On Ticketmaster, $59-$239

Brit Chill Holiday Skate

  • What: A festive, free skating session at Britannia Community Centre. There will be crafts, treats and visits from Santa Claus, Frosty and Rudolf.
  • Time: 1 to 3:30 pm
  • Where: Britania Community Centre – 1661 Napier Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Now That’s Ugly Sweater Party

  • What: Live music, a DJ, group dances and sing-alongs, mistletoe, gifts, contests, carollers, an eggnog chugging competition and more, all in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Wear the cheesiest, ugliest, most festive clothing possible.
  • When: Saturday, December 23
  • Time: Doors 8 pm
  • Where: Commodore Ballroom – 867 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online tickets sold out, on the door $45

Christmas Presence

  • What: Local musicians Michael Hart, Garth Bowen, Corey Janz, Jon Ochsendorf, Rachel Button, John Voth, Nelson Boschman, Chad Galpin, and Kenton Wiens team up for the last night of Christmas Presence 2017.
  • When: Saturday, December 23, 2017
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: Pacific Theatre – 1440 W 12th Ave, Vancouver
  • Tickets: At Pacific Theatre; $15.75-$38.35

Feast of Seven Fishes

  • What: Cibo Trattoria will make spirits bright by hosting a pair of ‘Feast of Seven Fishes’ culinary events in the restaurant’s intimate dining room this weekend. Both dinners feature a menu comprising seven courses that showcase the best fresh, local seafood and ingredients available in dishes such as BC Spot Prawns with Calabrian Chilli and Herb Crusted Sea Scallops, Pan Roasted Sablefish, and Grilled Tuna Tagliatelle.
  • When: Saturday, December 23 and Sunday, December 24, 2017
  • Where: Cibo Trattoria – 900 Seymour St, Vancouver
  • Tickets: $88 per person, $163 per person with wine pairings

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Kitsmas on West 4th

  • What: Everything is merry and bright over in Kitsilano, too, as the West 4th Business Improvement Association (BIA) has been hosting its annual Kitsmas event, a month long festival that runs through Christmas Eve, designed to make holiday shopping a little easier, and more merry and decorative. Oh, and it even includes free valet parking on select dates! Seriously.
  • When: Now until Sunday, December 24
  • Where: West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free. Valet parking by donation.

VanDusen Festival of Lights

  • What: VanDusen Gardens’ annual Festival of Lights features more than a million lights to bring in the Christmas season. All tickets include a free ride on the Air France Carousel. Visitors can also stroll through interactive themed areas, watch the famous dancing lights show on Livingstone Lake, sing along to your favourite holiday classics at the Festival Stage, listen to stories and take a selfie with Santa, light a candle at the Make-A-Wish candle grotto, or simply warm up with a specialty beverage at the new licensed fireside lounge.
  • When: Friday, December 1, 2017 to Sunday, January 7, 2018 (Closed December 25)
  • Time: 4:30 to 9 pm, until 10 pm between December 15 and December 24
  • Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden – 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: $18.50 for adults, available online.

A Christmas Carol

  • What: Gateway Theatre’s adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens story features live music and energetic staging. Like all of their holiday shows of the past, A Christmas Carol will be a fun-filled spectacle for the whole family to enjoy together.
  • When: Now to Sunday, December 24, 2017
  • Times: Various times.
  • Where: Gateway Theatre – 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond
  • Tickets: Online

Steveston Festival of Trees 2017

  • What: This event allows merchants and community groups from the Steveston area to show off their creative talents by decorating their own Christmas trees, which will be on display inside the historic cannery for a friendly competition. Favourite designs are decided by votes, and the winners take a prize.
  • When: Friday, December 1 to Sunday, December 31, 2017
  • Time: 10 am to 3 pm (open to 2 pm December 24 and 31)
  • Where: Cannery Farmers’ Market – 12138 Fourth Avenue
  • Admission: Free

BYOW Vegan Feast at Virtuous Pie

  • What: The plant-based pizza and ice cream purveyor is serving not one but two holiday feasts on Christmas Eve, and not only is the menu insanely drool-worthy (and completely vegan, of course), but attendees also have the option to bring their own wine with no corkage fee. That is, if you’re not interested in ordering any of the craft beer or wines on the menu at the eatery already.
  • When: Sunday, December 24, 2017
  • Time: 12:30 and 5:30 pm
  • Where: 583 Main Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: $45 per person, on Eventbrite

FlyOver Canada Christmas

  • What: Fly with Santa and his elves on a magical flight across Canada and on to the North Pole! After meeting some of Santa’s elves, Chestnut and Pinecone, you’ll join them as they take flight across Canada looking for their fellow elves. You may even get a sneak peek of Santa’s Workshop as you soar over the North Pole.
  • When: Now until Sunday, January 7, 2018
  • Time: Noon to 6 pm
  • Where: FlyOver Canada – 999 Canada Place, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $17.85-$27

The Day Before Christmas

  • What: ​​As warm and wonderful as the holidays are, there’s also a lot of stress and anxiety leading up to the big day. Arts Club Theatre Company has brought back the hilarious comedy The Day Before Christmas, which many audiences will be able to relate to. The play, which ironically was written by two playwrights who hate Christmas, centres on Alex, a perfectionist intent on holding on to her Christmas traditions, despite a turbulent whirlwind of family, work and other personal issues. This year’s production has some fresh new energy as it features two new leads, Jennifer Copping and Paul Herbert.
  • When: Now to Sunday, December 24, 2017
  • Time:  Various times
  • Where: Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Centre – 203–162 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver
  • Tickets: From Arts Club Theatre Company, $29-$64

It’s a Wonderful Life at the Rio Theatre

  • What: The Rio Theatre is showing Frank Capra’s holiday classic, It’s A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve. One of the most influential fantasy films ever made and one of the most universally adored examples of old-school Hollywood.
  • When: Sunday, December 24, 2017
  • Time: Doors at 6 pm, movie at 6:30 pm
  • Where: Rio Theatre – 1660 East Broadway, Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, $10 in advance, or $12 at the door

Vancouver Christmas Market 2017

Vancouver Christmas Market

Vancouver Christmas Market at Jack Poole Plaza. (Vancouver Christmas Market)

  • What: Featuring more than 75 huts of authentic German sweets, treats, and treasures, the Vancouver Christmas Market  is a holiday staple in the city and offers something for everyone of all ages. Each year, the Vancouver Christmas Market brings this festive Old World tradition to Vancouver. This cherished holiday event offers an authentic German feast for the senses.
  • When: Until Sunday, December 24, 2017
  • Time: 11 am to 9 pm daily (closes at 6 pm Christmas Eve)
  • Where: Jack Poole Plaza – 1075 Canada Place, Vancouver
  • TicketsOnline, $5-$10

The Sunday Service Presents “The Eve”

  • What: Laugh through Christmas Eve with The Sunday Service at Fox Cabaret. Gather with friends and take turns drinking festive lagers and holiday hi-balls. The gang will be there, doing improv and making you laugh so you can celebrate the coming week.
  • When: Now to Sunday, December 24, 2017
  • Time: 9 pm
  • Where: Fox Cabaret – 2321 Main Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: $7