10 Amazing & Fun Winter Activities to do in Vancouver

Vancouver is an incredible city in the winter and since it’s our first holiday season in Vancouver we’re excited to try all of the Christmas-themed activities! Whether you want to look at Christmas Lights, do some winter sports or enjoy snowy views we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of some of the best things to do in Vancouver in the winter along with holiday-themed events held around the city!

Keep in mind, some of these events will cost you admission fees and/or parking fees, and some activities in the winter will be free. Know that you can always purchase rental equipment for the day for winter sports and be prepared for the outdoors if you’re going for a winter hike. Continue reading for our favourite winter activities to do in Vancouver!

How to prepare for Vancouver in the Winter

Vancouver has some of the most mild weather in all of Canada and is known for winters that are easy to handle. Vancouver does not get a lot of snow in the city and rains for most of the winter. If you’re looking for snow, you’ll be headed to one of the local North Shore mountains in Vancouver and make sure you’re prepared for weather changes and have proper gear to keep warm.

Top 10 Things to do in Vancouver in the Winter

Capilano Suspension Bridge Canyon Lights

One of our favourite things to do in Vancouver at any season is visit Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. In the Winter, however, the park is transformed into a magical holiday light show with the Canyon Lights. Twinkle lights are wrapped around the bridge, trees, and all over the park! This only happens from November 19th – January 22nd and tickets can be bought for $62.95 per adult on Capilano Suspension Bridge’s website here. If you’re a BC resident, make sure you ask for your annual pass!

VanDusen Garden’s Festival of Lights

The Festival of Lights at Vandusen Gardens is one of the coolest outdoor light displays in the city! You’ll arrive to the park and are immediately greeted by Christmas-themed lights arranged in an entire loop for you to follow. This event runs from November 25th – January 2nd and is our favourite Christmas event in Vancouver so make sure to buy your $21 per adult tickets here. Make sure to check the maps to make sure you’re visiting all of the light attractions! You’ll notice a light-show every 20 minutes and plenty of spots for photos. Some of our favourites were the light tunnels, the large Christmas ornament, and the owl made of lights!

Vancouver Christmas Market

The Vancouver Christmas Market is located in the heart of Downtown Vancouver at Jack Poole Plaza with some of the best holiday views in the city. The traditional German market themed event features many unique food vendors, gift vendors and Christmas decorations like the giant Christmas tree and hanging lights. Tickets can be bought online here in advanced for $17.99 or $19.99 per adult for same day tickets.

Bright Nights in Stanley Park

Another fun festive-themed light display around Vancouver can be found at Stanley Park where you’ll find donation-based admission to some of the most beautiful holiday lights in the city! This family friendly light display features trains, antique fire trucks, reindeer and more. Find information about this event on their website here!

Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing & Snow-tubing on the North Shore Mountains

The top winter activity for Vancouverites is definitely to indulge in winter sports. When we tell people we moved to Vancouver we’re often immediately asked if we ski or snowboard. Even if skiing and snowboarding are not in your hobbies, you can find other winter sports to do like snowshoeing and snow-tubing. All of these winter sports can be done on Vancouver’s North Shore mountains, and you’ll either choose to go to Cypress Mountain, Mount Seymour, or Grouse Mountain.

Go to a Vancouver Canucks Hockey Game

One of the most Canadian things you can do is to go to a hockey game! Vancouver’s team is the Vancouver Canucks, and if you’re visiting during hockey season it’s well worth it to catch a game at the Rogers arena. There’s something about the loud, exciting hockey fans packed into the stadium that really gets your energy going! Cheer on the Vancouver Canucks, grab some food/drink and see why us Canadians love hockey. Buy tickets to home games here on their website.

Go for a Winter Hike

The two of us obviously love hiking, and we’ve learned to seriously enjoy hiking in the winter too! Getting bundled up for the cold weather and hiking through the snow is a totally different experience and it’s pretty special to enjoy the snow-covered views. There are plenty of accessible trails near Vancouver in the winter, and I’ve come up with a list of 10 Winter Hikes to do Near Vancouver to help you decide! Make sure you’re prepared with warm clothes, proper footwear, and spikes/poles if necessary.

Take the Gondola up Grouse Mountain

The gondola up Grouse Mountain will take you to the highest peak in Vancouver! You’ll get spectacular views overlooking the city and I suggest treating yourself to lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants on Grouse Mountain. There’s skiing and snowboarding, snowshoeing, mountain skating, sledding and Christmas themed decorations. There’s even a light-walk with beautiful light tunnels with snowy mountain views. Check out more winter-activities on Grouse Mountains website.

Adventure to Natural Hot Springs near Vancouver

If you’re feeling adventurous, one of the coolest things to do in Vancouver in the winter is to search for natural hot springs. This will likely take an entire day trip, as two of the hot springs are outside of Whistler and involve hiking but it’s worth the adventure! Keyhole Hot Springs and Sloquet Hot Springs are two natural hot springs options found at the end of 4×4 required logging roads. Check current conditions and trail reviews before going! For hot springs that are easy to get to, try Scandinave Spa in Whistler.

Take a day-trip to Whistler

Whistler, BC is located approximately 1 hour 45 minutes from Vancouver and is definitely worth the day-trip in the winter. Whistler is one of Canada’s dreamiest mountain towns with lots of things to do, world class skiing/snowboarding and the impressive Garibaldi Provincial Park. Renting a cabin/chalet in Whistler should be something added to your bucket-list and exploring Whistler Village in the winter is extremely fun with restaurants and bars buzzing with outdoor enthusiasts.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prev Post

Our Top 7 Best Backcountry Trips Near Vancouver, BC

November 26, 2022

Next Post

Hiking to Panorama Ridge for Sunset (Top Trail in Garibaldi)

December 31, 2022