While I sit here and work through my Christmas season routine of watching holiday classics like Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and The Grinch, I figured I should pass along some things to do and see this Holiday season in Vancouver…
Robson Square Ice Skating
Go ice skating at Robson Square! The cost is free for those who bring their pair of skates or rent a pair for fairly cheap.
Location: 800 Robson Street, Vancouver (Robson & Howe)
Cost: Free! (For those who bring their own skates)
Christmas light hunting
A budget friendly activity could be going for an adventure to find some amazing Christmas light displays. This doesn’t necessarily have to be in Vancouver but a wonderful place to check out is the St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope located at St. Paul’s hospital, 1081 Burrard Street
Cost: a little bit of fuel
Explore the Mountains
Late afternoon light with a fresh snowfall on The Lions. North Shore range, North Vancouver. . . . . #wintertones #vancouvermountains #bc #landscape #canada #artofvisuals #lonelyplanet #travelstoke #wildernessculture #avontuurco #thecreatorclass #thecreative #tonetality #thevisualones #canadamountains #exploremore #mthrworld #atmospherics
You can adventure up to the snowy local mountains for a festive winter experience! If you have some cash to spare, make a day of it and hop on the slopes!
Cost: fuel & if you are interested, chairlift tickets or mountain dependent fees
Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
For a less busy and way more budget friendly activity, you can visit the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge in Lynn Valley for a winter wander which is in comparison to the Capilano Suspension Bridge free of cost (minus the lights). There are also little trails to follow around, again similar to Capilano.
Enchant is a brand new holiday experience. It is the world’s largest Christmas Light Maze and Market providing entertainment for all ages. The market features little items for purchase and a spot to get your hot chocolate for the younger ages and an alcohol stand for those at legal drinking age featuring spiked hot apple cider, mulled wine and more.
Tickets/Cost: You can purchase tickets online at www.enchantchristmas.com for a specific date
Child & Senior: 14.95
Location: W 1st Ave & Crowe Street, Vancouver BC
Hours: 4pm to 10pm
Our Experience: Although we try to stick to free low cost activities, this one was hard to pass up! Fortunately, for the first time in a long while we had just experienced a large(er) snowfall for the city and it was still snowing when we went (with a little mix of rain) making it extra Christmassy. I have to admit, it was a little smaller and less mazy than I had expected but regardless it was a fun festive experience! When you arrive you are handed a card where you are told that if you find the 9 reindeer you get to meet Santa at the end. Throughout there are signs pointing to the exit, which is what kind of makes it less maze-like
‘Bright Nights’ The Christmas Train at Stanley Park ($)
The ever classic (and perfect date night) Bright Nights at Stanley Park has been around for years combining over 3 million lights that the train takes you through and donates a portion of each ticket sold to the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn fund.
Tickets/Cost: The entrance cost is by donation. Tickets to ride the train can be purchased online or at the ticket booth on site.
Youth (13-18) & Senior (65+): $9
Child (3-12): $8 & children 2 and under are Free
Location: Stanley Park on Pipeline Road vi the West Georgia Street park entrance
Hours: There are matinee hours – 10am to 2:30pm
Night train hours – 3pm to 11pm
Bright Nights will be open until January 1st
Our Experience: We went to Bright Nights probably about 5 years ago. It was a bit more expensive then, but still just as festive and magical.
Vancouver Christmas Market ($)
An annual festive market based off of European style markets, the Vancouver Christmas Market is anything and everything you could expect. From food and beverages to one of a kind crafty items. There are also many different attractions for children such as carousels, Santa visits and even a scavenger hunt.
Tickets/Cost: You can purchase tickets online at the vancouverchristmasmarket.com or on location (in cash)
Adult (13+): $8
Senior (65+): $7
Youth (7-12): $4
There are also many ticket combos (ie, Couples Combo: $25, 2 admissions, carousel rides for two, 1 gingerbread treat, 1 photo session & more)
Location: Jack Poole Plaza near Canada Place
Hours: 11am to 9pm until December 31st
Capilano Suspension Bridge – Canyon Lights ($$$)
The year round attraction gets ultra festive at this time of year. Christmas lights are strewn from tree to tree, the front of the bridge all the way to the end and beyond. In addition to this walk, there are many other activities for all.
Tickets/Cost: For the price of an Adult ticket (Adult) BC residents get an annual pass with their purchase of a ticket. You can purchase tickets online.
Senior (65+): $36.95
Student (17+ with valid ID): $32.95
Youth (13-16): $26.95
Child (6-12): $13.95
There are also family packs in addition to these prices above.
Location: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Hours: 11am to 9pm until January 8th
Grouse Mountain ($$$$)
This mountain is the “Peak of Vancouver” and known for the ever-challenging Grouse Grind. During this holiday season, they have the North Pole set up where kids you can have breakfast with Santa, visit his workshop, visit Elf Headquarters and hang out with real reindeer. This isn’t even it all, most importantly you can skate on a mountain top frozen pond, take a walk through a Christmas light tunnel and ride the sea to sky gondola. You can see a list of all the activities at www.grousemountain.com
Cost: For the sky ride and seasonal activities like sleigh rides, ice skating and lumberjack show.
Senior (65+): 40.95
Youth (13-18): 25.95
Child (5-12): 15.95
Location: 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver
Hours: 9am to 10pm