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28 things to do in Vancouver this week: December 16 to 19

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

Our friends at Daily Hive Vancouver have provided us a list with everything to do this week in Vancouver as recommended by Daniel Chai|

Monday, December 16

CP Holiday Train/ Facebook

What: The 21st edition of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will travel across Canada this holiday season and will be making its annual stop in Metro Vancouver this December. Bring non-perishable donations to support your local food bank, and enjoy live performances by Terri Clark and Dallas Smith.

When: December 16 and 17, 2019 Time: Pitt Meadows between 8:55 to 9:35 pm (Monday), Port Moody between 5:20 and 6:15 pm; Port Coquitlam between 7 and 7:45 pm (Tuesday) Where: Pitt Meadows – Corner of Harris Road and Advent Road, at the railway crossing; Port Moody — ​300 loco Road, behind Arena and Rec Centre; and Port Coquitlam – Port Coquitlam West Coast Express Station Admission: Free

What: Santa Claus is at Capilano Mall ahead of his busiest day of the year. Kick off the holidays with a traditional visit to Santa, who will be available for photos through December 24.

There are special giveaways for those who purchase a photo package with Santa. Plus bring your pet for a visit and a photo with Santa on December 16, and December 17 from 6 pm to 8 pm.

When: Now until December 24, 2019 Time: Varies by date Where: Capilano Mall — 935 Marine Drive, North Vancouver Price: Purchase Santa photo package on the day of visit; option to schedule appointment online at

What: Bring the family and enjoy the 25 Christmas trees at the Museum of Surrey that have been custom decorated by Cloverdale businesses. Don’t forget to vote for your favourite one.

When: Now until December 22, 2019 Time: 12 to 5 pm Where: Museum of Surrey — 17710 56a Avenue, Surrey Admission: Free

What: Held in the Notch8 Restaurant & Bar’s Private Dining Room, this Nutcracker themed tea service features holiday décor and vintage storybooks, and food will be served on a decorative Christmas tree tier.

Food featured in this tea includes Porcini Mushroom Hot Cocoa topped with bitter chocolate marshmallow, Ginger Mont Blanc Babka, and Fruitcake Scone served with clotted cream, marmalade and black cassis curd, and a ‘Sugar Plum Fairy’ with candy cane stripe beetroot, goat cheese, and pine dust to name a few.

When: Now until December 31, 2019 (excluding December 24 and 25) Time: Seatings at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm Where: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver — 900 W Georgia Street, Vancouver Price: Adults, $79; children, $39.50 (ages 12 and under); reserve online

What: Vallea Lumina is a 45-minute adventure that follows two hikers seeking “a mystical valley where stardust falls from the sky.” The interactive experience gives hikers the chance to play, touch, and engage with Vallea Lumina’s ever-changing environment, and is presented by Montreal-based entertainment studio, Moment Factory and Whistler’s “The Adventure Group.”

There will also be a free shuttle going to and from Cougar Mountain, as well as non-alcoholic refreshments and snacks available for purchase on-site.

When: Now until April 2020 Time: Shows begin at sundown Where: Cougar Mountain, free shuttles from Whistler Village Tickets: Online, $29.99 per adult; $24.99 per child


What: Catoro, Vancouver’s magical cat cafe, is hosting a number of “community nights,” in December. Enjoy a different holiday film every Monday in December, including Home Alone on December 16. There will also be board games and trivia on December 18. Each event will cost $25, is 90 minutes in duration, and includes a drink and plenty of cats.

When: December 16, December 23, December 30 (films); December 18 (activities) Time: 6:30 pm (Monday), 7:30 pm (Wednesday) Where: Catoro Cafe — 666 E Broadway, Vancouver Register: Online

What: Arts Club Theatre brings the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical to life at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. Enjoy classics like “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” and more with the family.

When: Now until January 5, 2020 Time: Various times Where: Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage — 2750 Granville Street, Vancouver Tickets: Online

Tuesday, December 17

What: The 10th annual authentic German-inspired Christmas Market features a selection of traditional food and beverages, over 80 artisan vendors, children’s activities, live entertainment, and the opportunity to ride downtown Vancouver’s only Christmas Carousel. Guests can also enjoy $10 admission at the gate every Tuesday.

When: Daily until December 24, 2019 Time: November 20 to December 23, 11:30 am to 9:30 pm; December 24, 11:30 am to 6 pm Where: Jack Poole Plaza — 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver Tickets: Online. Adult, $12.99; seniors, $10.99; youth $6.99 (online) / adult, $15; seniors, $13; youth, $9 (gate admission). There is also free admission for children six and under, $8 Early-Bird Admission on weekdays before 2 pm (gate admission), and $10 admission all day every Tuesday (gate admission)

Bah Humbug 2018 SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs.

What: Jim Byrnes stars in the 10th annual and final edition of the modern re-telling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, set in the Downtown Eastside. Scrooge, played by JUNO-award winning Byrnes, is a pawnshop operator and hotel landlord who renovicts his tenants. The production is part of SFU Vancouver’s 30th Anniversary.

When: Now until December 21, 2019 Time: Various times Where: SFU Woodard’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts — 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver Tickets: Online

What: Vancouver Canucks hit the ice against Montreal Canadians at Rogers Arena on December 17.

When: December 17, 2019 Time: 7 pm Where: Rogers Arena — 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver Tickets: Online

What: The Good Noise Gospel Choir is the Gospel Choir in residence at Christ Church Cathedral. This holiday season the group is putting on a series of concerts with guest jazz vocalist Maureen Washington.

When: December 17, 2019 Time: 7:30 pm Where: St. John’s Shaughnessy Church — 1490 Nanton Avenue, Vancouver (December 17) Tickets: Online

Ice skating/Grouse Mountain

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. And if you really want to get to know St. Nick, join him for breakfast from Saturday, December 1 to Sunday, December 23, and be sure to get on his good list.

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

What: Fighting Chance Productions presents the Canadian premiere of the pop/rock musical Girlfriend, based on the titular album by Matthew Sweet. Social outcast Will and popular football player Mike explore their relationship and discover that there is more to life than what high school taught them.

When: Now until December 21, 2019 Time: Various times Where: The Nest — 1398 Carwright Street, Vancouver Tickets: Online

What: Vancouver Giants face off with the Prince George Cougars at Langley Events Centre on December 17.

When: December 17, 2019 Time: 7 pm Where: Langley Events Centre — 7888 200 Street, Langley Tickets: Online

Wednesday, December 18


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 January 5, 2020 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

What: The fifth Annual Winter Treasures features handcrafted gifts, fine crafts, art, and décor by local artisans. The Winter Treasures Artisan Market is held in conjunction with Blackberry Gift Shop’s annual Christmas Marketplace.

When: Now until December 18, 2019 Time: Various times Where: Port Moody Arts Centre – 2425 St. Johns Street, Port Moody Admission: Free

What: The Fictionals and special guest Chase Padgett celebrate the Christmas Season with a Horrible Holiday Special at the Rio Theatre. Enter to play in the CAH tournament for your chance at Christmas gifts, enjoy hilarious comedy, and help crown the new Most Horrible Person in Vancouver. Plus wear your best Ugly Christmas Sweater for more chances to win prizes.

When: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 Time: 8 pm Where: The Rio Theatre – 1660 East Broadway, Vancouver Tickets: Online

VanDusen Gardens Festival of Lights/VanDusen Gardens Festival of Lights

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, and includes 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 to 9:30 pm (closed Christmas Day) Admission: Adults: $19 online and $21 at the gate. Youth and seniors: $14.50 online and $16 at the gate.

What: The 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. Receive a token with your admission to vote for your favourite tree, or bring a donation for the Richmond Food Bank to receive a voting token on market days.

When: Now until December 31, 2019 Time: 10 am to 5 pm Where: Cannery Farmers’ Market — 12138 Fourth Avenue, Richmond Admission: Regular admissions apply

What: Anonymous Art Show is a group exhibition and North Vancouver Community Arts Council fundraiser showcasing work by over 300 emerging and established artists. The artists behind each 8” x 8” artwork remains anonymous until the piece has been bought.

When: Now until December 18, 2019. Time: 9 am to 5 pm (Monday to Friday) Where: CityScape Community Art Space – 335 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver Admission: Free

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% 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

Thursday, December 19

Courtesy of Glow Gardens

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 (Closed Christmas Day) Time: Hours of operation vary depending on date of visit. Check the calendar here. Where: Harbour Convention Centre — 760 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver Tickets: Online

What: Shop for everyone on your Christmas list while enjoying a pint at Moody Ales. Each week has a different variety of vendors showcasing crafts, jewellery, chocolates, and more.

When: December 19, 2019 Time: 6 to 10 pm Where: Moody Ales — 2601 Murray Street, Port Moody Admission: Free

What: This festive party will feature 30+ plant-based food, beverage, clothing vendors to name a few. There will also be DJ sets and a zero-waste wrapping station. Cash donations go to P.E.A.C.E. Everywhere.

When: December 19, 2019 Time: 5 to 10 pm Where: The Waldorf – 1489 E Hastings Street, Vancouver Admission: Minimum $5 donation or clothing, canned food, pet food, or toiletries donation for WISH Drop-In Centre Society

What: The Smoke Show features a cast of nine women, and it combines humour and seduction in the form of an interactive dance cabaret. Inspired by modern and classic genres, expect to see influences from Motown, Fosse, Jazz, Rock, and Burlesque.

When: December 19, 2019 Time: 8 pm Where: Central Studios  856 Seymour Street, Vancouver Tickets: Available online $30, show is 19+

What: Some of Vancouver’s most talented choirs will be taking over the corner of Water and Cambie Street in Gastown on various nights in December to carol for charitable causes.

The Leckie Building (Water and Cambie Street) will also turn into a giant living holiday story as a 120-ft animated video projection, created by students at Vancouver Film School (VFS), will play every 30 minutes in sync with the chime of the famed Gastown Steam Clock during each Not-So-Silent Nights. There will also be late-night shopping, mistletoe treasure hunts, on-street treats, and giveaways and surprises to enjoy.

When: December 19 and 20, 2019 Where: Gastown Vancouver Time: 5 to 8 pm Admission: Free. Choirs will be accepting donations for charities

What: Vancouver Canucks take on the Vegas Golden Knights at Rogers Arena on December 119.

When: December 19, 2019 Time: 7 pm Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver Tickets: Online

What: The annual Gingerbread Lane has taken over the lobby of the Hyatt Regency. This year’s display features gingerbread creations designed by secondary schools, professionals, and amateur culinary artists. As well as providing a welcome dose of holiday feels, the event also helps to raise money for Make-A-Wish.

When: Now until December 31, 2019 Time: All Day Where: Hyatt Regency Vancouver, 655 Burrard Street Admission: Free

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