It's time to celebrate! Great things to do in Vancouver this weekend: December 20th. to 22th.
It’s the last weekend before Christmas, and there’s lots of festive fun to be had in Vancouver! Here are some great things to do on December 20, December 21 and December 22th.
Friday, December 20
The Funk Hunters/Live Nation
What: Canadian electronic duo The Funk Hunters are made up of Nick Middleton and Duncan Smith, who are performing at Commodore Ballroom with Funk The Halls on Friday, December 20 and Saturday, December 21. Featuring special guests.
When: December 20 and December 21, 2019 Time: Doors at 9 pm, show starts at 9:30 pm Where: Commodore Ballroom — 868 Granville Street, Vancouver Price: Starting at $35 (including GST) — Tickets available via Ticketmaster
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: For more information and a detailed daily schedule for all Peak of Christmas activities, go here 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.
What: Enjoy the tale of Snow White told in classic British Pantomime at Surrey Arts Centre. The interactive show is fun for the whole family, and written by Ellie King with music by Geoff King. Guests can also get autographs from the cast after the show.
When: December 20 to 22, December 26 to 29, 2019 Time: Various times Where: Main Stage at Surrey Arts Centre — 13750 88 Avenue, Surrey Tickets: Online
What: Prost Haus, the enclosed rooftop bar located on Granville Street, is putting a German twist on the holidays with their first Winter Wunderland event. Taking place every Friday and Saturday until December 28, Winter Wunderland serves holiday-themed drinks like rum, eggnog, and mulled wine AKA traditional Germain Gluehwein. There are also non-alcoholic options, many desserts, and also the option to decorate your own gingerbread and sugar cookies for $10 per person.
When: Every Friday and Saturday until December 28 Time: 3 pm to 1 am Where: Prost Haus Rooftop — 904 Granville Street, Vancouver Admission: Free
What: Goh Ballet, an internationally renowned (but locally owned) organization, is proud to celebrate its 11th anniversary of The Nutcracker with five performances between December 20 and 22, featuring live music by the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. Follow along as Clara travels through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets where she meets the enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy.
When: December 20 to 22, 2019 Time: Matinee and Evening Performances Available Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre — 630 Hamilton Street, Vancouver Tickets: Online
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 20, 2019 Where: Gastown, Vancouver Time: 5 to 8 pm Admission: Free. Choirs will be accepting donations for charities
What: Harrison Hot Springs will be overflowing with Christmas spirit this holiday season, thanks to the return of its annual Winter Light Festival. Light displays on the Harrison Lakefront will showcase the mythical creature hiking, biking, paddling, skiing, fishing, camping, and windsurfing. The event will also feature a Christmas tree trail and a brand-new synthetic outdoor ice rink.
When: Now until January 12, 2020 Time: Various times Where: Harrison Hot Springs Admission: Free
Saturday, December 21
What: Chor Leoni and the Arts Umbrella Dance Company team up for Angels Dance at the Orpheum on December 21. Featuring traditional Holiday music from the Southwest, Appalachia, Europe, and Canada, Chor Leoni, an ace band, and modern ballet dancers will make the music come alive in a magical holiday experience.
When: December 21, 2019 Time: 4 pm and 8 pm Where: Orpheum Theatre — 601 Smithe Street, Vancouver Tickets: Online
What: Vancouver Canucks face off with Pittsburgh Penguins at Rogers Arena.
When: December 21, 2019 Time: 7 pm Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver Tickets: Online
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: December 21, 2019 Time: Various times Where: SFU Woodard’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts — 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver Tickets: Online
What: A local naturalist leads a birding walk through a Surrey park where you can see the various birds of the city.
Walks are drop-in and will happen rain or shine but may be cancelled due to high winds or extreme weather conditions. Wear appropriate footwear and clothing, and bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them. Binoculars will be available to borrow as well.
When: December 21, 2019, January 18, February 15, March 21, April 18, May 16, 2020 Time: 9 am to 11 am Where: Various parks in Surrey Admission: Free
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 Vancouver Cantata Singers perform two Christmas Reprise XVII concerts on December 21. This year the program features a mix of traditional Christmas carols and modern holiday compositions for the unaccompanied choir.
Where: December 21, 2019 Time: 2 pm (Vancouver) and 7:30 pm (New West) Where: Holy Rosary Cathedral, 646 Richard’s St., Vancouver (2 pm), Queen’s Avenue Church, 529 Queen’s Avenue, New Westminster (7:30 pm) Tickets: Online
Dundarave Festival of Light/ John Martin
What: The Dundarave Festival of Lights is back for another season, offering festive, free concerts, a Christmas fair, and a Forest of Miracles. You’ll be able to enjoy concerts in the Longhouse and the Nativity Pavilion for free, decorate the festival’s Christmas tree, and shop at the Christmas Fair. It’s free to wander among the magical Christmas trees, which are decorated and sponsored to help raise funds to end homelessness.
When: December 21, 2019 Time: Saturday afternoon Where: Dundarave Beach – 25th Street at Bellevue Avenue, West Vancouver Admission: Free
What: Attendees can make stocking stuffers, hand-crafted ornaments, and more festive crafts at Museum of Surrey’s drop-in Merry Makers.
When: December 21, 2019 Time: 1 to 4 pm Where: Museum of Surrey – 17710 56a Avenue, Surrey Admission: By donation
What: The Steveston Historical Society in cooperation with City of Richmond and Richmond Arts Coalition presents local musicians performing holiday classics. There will also be free hot chocolate, holiday activities, vintage-style Christmas crafts, and more for the family to enjoy.
When: December 21, 2019 Time: 4 to 6 pm Where: Steveston Town Square Park – 3791 Moncton Street, Richmond Admission: Free
What: Place des Arts annual Christmas Boutique features a variety of locally sourced, eco-friendly gifts. Shop for ornaments, decorations, crafts, and more for everyone on your holiday shopping list.
When: December 21, 2019 Time: 9 am to 9 pm (Monday to Friday), 9 am to 5 pm (Saturday), 1 to 5 pm (Sunday) Where: Place des Arts – 1120 Brunette Avenue, Coquitlam Admission: Free
Sunday, December 22
Vancouver Christmas Market
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: 11:30 am to 9:30 pm (Now until December 23), 11:30 am to 6 pm (December 24) 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)
What: It’s a Wonderful Christmas-ish Holiday Miracle is a new Canadian comedy by Marcus Youssef about a family during a complicated season. With music from Songs for Christmas and Silver & Gold by Sufjan Stevens. Presented by Arts Club Theatre.
When: December 22, 2019 Time: Various times Where: Goldcorp Stage at The BMO Theatre Centre — 162 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver Tickets: Online
What: Free Christmas attractions presented by the Port of Vancouver will be taking over the Canadian Trail, along the west promenade of Canada Place from now until January 1, 2020, from 8 am to 11 pm daily. This year’s festivities include a historic peek into the past with Woodward’s Windows displays, the festive Avenue of Trees, and the iconic white sails of Canada Place being illuminated with bright colours and designs throughout the holidays. And make sure to stop by Canada’s North light display including “Chrismoose,” a massive 15-ft-tall moose light sculpture. Snap a photo to commemorate a fun time at Christmas at Canada Place.
When: Now until January 1, 2020 Time: 8 am to 11 pm Daily Where: The Canadian Trail, West Promenade – 999 Canada Place, Vancouver Admission: Free
What: East Van Panto returns for their seventh year with Pinocchio, created by playwright Marcus Youssef, composer Veda Hille, and director Stephen Drover. When a lonely old ice-cream seller named Gelato is given a puppet by the mysterious Beckwoman of Commercial Drive, his dreams of having a child suddenly come true. Join a locally famous cricket, an angry orca, and a dastardly fox as poor Pinocchio does his best to tell everyone the truth and become a real boy. But why are Pinocchio’s limbs always growing?
When: Now until January 5, 2020 Time: Various times Where: York Theatre – 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver Tickets: Online
What: Bring the family and enjoy the 25 Christmas trees at Museum of Surrey that have been custom-decorated by Cloverdale businesses. Don’t forget to vote for your favourite one.
When: December 22, 2019 Time: 12 to 5 pm Where: Museum of Surrey — 17710 56a Avenue, Surrey Admission: Free
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra: A Traditional Christmas
What: The VSO plays its annual Traditional Christmas concerts at Orpheum Theatre on December 22. Enjoy singing, storytelling, and holiday cheer with host Christopher Gaze, and special guests.
When: December 22, 2019 Time: 4 and 7:30 pm Where: Orpheum Theatre – 601 Smithe Street, Vancouver Tickets: Online
What: Take a trip back to holidays past at Burnaby Village Museum with Heritage Christmas. See vintage-themed displays, listen to live music, and enjoy theatre performances. There will also be crafts for children, baking in the Farmhouse, and visits with Father Christmas.
When: Now until January 3, 2020 (closed December 24 and 25) Time: Various times Where: Burnaby Village Museum – 6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby Admission: Free, carousel rides $2.65
What: H Tasting Lounge at the Westin Bayshore offers a Festive Afternoon Tea during weekends from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm until December 29. Guests can expect a Tourtière, a Confit Turkey Sandwich, a Squash Soup, and a Smoked Salmon & Cucumber sandwich on rye bread, alongside a Yule Log, Festive Profiterole, Frangipane Cake, Gingerbread Cake, and a picture-perfect Festive Cotton Candy Bonsai Tree.
Whether you choose to sip on Tealeaves Nutcracker Black Tea Blend, the Tealeaves Organic Herbal Sugar Plum Fairy, or dabble in boozy concoctions like Mulled Wine, the limited-time menu is bound to get you in the holiday spirit.
When: Weekends until December 29, 2019 Time: 11:30 am to 4:30 pm Where: H Tasting Lounge (Westin Bayshore) – 1601 Bayshore Drive, Vancouver Price: $55 per person; reserve online
What: This market features local artists exhibiting paintings, jewellery, pottery, photography, and leather goods, to name a few. Each Christmas market will feature tastings, crafts, wine, and more.
When: Every Sunday until December 22, 2019 Time: 1 to 5 pm Where: 2nd floor 1448 W Broadway, Vancouver Admission: Free
What: Scuba Claus will be visiting the Vancouver Aquarium daily to don his flippers and dive with the colourful cold-water creatures in the Strait of Georgia habitat. Returning holiday favourites at the Aquarium also include the electric-eel-powered Christmas tree (with feedings daily at 11:30 am), the tot-friendly kelp maze, and the picture-perfect jelly snow globe. Don’t forget to check out the “mistle-toad” near the Frogs Forever Gallery and sneak a kiss or two with your loved ones. After wandering the galleries with cocoa in hand, it’s time for a journey to the North Pole in the Vancouver Aquarium’s 4-D theatre, where The Polar Express 4D Experience plays daily.
Visitors can also pose for a photo with Scuba Claus between 10 am and 3:30 pm from December 20 to 24 (cost: $23).
When: Now until January 5, 2020 Time: 10 am to 5 pm Where: Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park — 845 Avison Way, Vancouver Admission: Adult: $38 | Senior/Student: $30 | Child (4-12): $21 | Child (0-4): $0