6 Free Things to Do in Vancouver in Winter



Snowshoeing on Cypress. Image: T. Jerven

You spent enough over the holidays. Since it’s Vancouver, it’s also safe to say that your housing is expensive too.  So keep your cash in your wallet and discover all the free fun Vancouver has to offer in winter. Here are six free things to do in Vancouver now.

(Looking specifically for free family-friendly activities? Check out our 5 Free Family Attractions in and around Kitsilano list.)

6 Free Things to Do in Vancouver in Winter

1.  Free Ice Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink
Robson Square Ice Rink is a genuine crowd pleaser; it’s ideal for folks in search of a creative date-night activity, or a families looking for a fun diversion. Situated smack dab in downtown Vancouver, the rink is open daytime and evening, with extended opening hours to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s B.Y.O.S. (bring your own skates), otherwise, skate rentals are $4 a pop. Open through the end of February.

2. Free Entry to the Vancouver Art Gallery on Tuesday Nights
Rain got you down? Head inside and feed your brain with the cool exhibits at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Every Tuesday from 5pm to 9pm you can skip paying the usual $17 admission rate for adults. Admission is by donation.  The permanent collection includes stunning contemporary interpretations of regional landscape by First Nations artists, and the largest group of paintings by the modernist landscape painter Emily Carr.

3. Free Snowshoeing Trails on Cypress and Seymour
It’s a simple sport; if you can walk, you can snowshoe. The benefits – stunning winter wonderland scenery and healthy exertion – are addictive. Snowshoeing the trails listed below is free if you own gear. If not, rentals are available for about $20, depending on resort. On Cypress, check out Hollyburn Mountain. This thigh-burning, 450-metre ascent is well worth the glittering views of Vancouver and the Burrard Inlet. On Seymour, try Dog Mountain. Shorter and significantly easier than Hollyburn, Dog Mountain offers a slight yet scenic ascent with all the Dr. Seuss-style, snow-covered, curling trees and a pleasant view of the Burrard Inlet.

4. Free Sightings of Your Favourite Hollywood Actor/Actress Filming in Vancouver
Vancouver is known as Hollywood North with good reason. Man of Steel, The Twilight Saga, and Elysium are just a few of the blockbusters filmed in town. Residents regularly stumble across film sets on the seawall, in Gastown, in Strathcona neighbourhood and even at the SFU Burnaby campus. Most recently, the movie version of the wildly-popular, erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey was filming in Vancouver.  Browse the local filming in Vancouver blogs to find film sets and set your glims on visiting celebs.

5. Score Free Stuff
In need of a little apartment therapy? Bored with your hobbies and entertainment options? Crave a cuddle? The online classifieds Free Stuff section has everything from home decor and electronics to puppies. The Swap/Trade section also has good deals. Trade a motorcycle for a boat; a book you’ve already read for an unread one.

6. Ski for Free
Mount Seymour is offering free skiing for women Monday evenings January 27 -March 31 (excluding Monday, February 10: Family Day). How it works: Bring a “Shred for the Cure” voucher available at Pacific Boarder (1793 West 4th Ave.) in Kitsilano. You’ll get a complimentary evening lift ticket valid from 5pm-10:00 p.m.) to ski or snowboard at Mount Seymour. You’re asked to make a minimum, nominal donation of $5 to the BC Cancer Foundation; lift tickets are $41.00 during evenings.

Last modified: January 16, 2014

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