The holidays are here. You’ll spend tons on gifts and entertaining. But you don’t need to spend money on holiday entertainment to have a great time. Here are 7 fun, free things to do in Vancouver over the holiday season. Browse more Vancouver Christmas events here.
7 Free Vancouver Christmas Events
Ice skating at Robson Square Ice Rink: December 1-February 2015
Lovely, seasonal and super fun, ice skating at Robson is a classic Vancouver Christmas tradition. It’s free when you BYOS (bring your own skates). Rentals are available for $4.00. There’s an onsite vendor with snacks and warm drinks. Bring a date. Bring a friend. Bring the kids. It’s open December 1st until February, 2015 and on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.
St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope: Now-December 31
It’s the most twinkly light display in Downtown Vancouver. It’s free to bask in starry glow, but if you can donate to a good cause, do.
Vancouver Tree Lighting at Jack Poole: December 4
Attending the annual lighting of the 50-ft. Vancouver Christmas tree at Jack Poole Plaza is a family-favourite. The festivities run 5:30pm – 7:00pm and include live entertainment and music, free cookies and hot chocolate, local food trucks and fun activities for kids! Come experience holiday magic at its best! Complete your night with a visit with Santa, or stop by the Canada Post station to write a letter to the Big Man himself.
Rogers Santa Claus Parade Vancouver: December 6
Head to Georgia and Broughton at 1pm to catch the start of this annual Christmas extravaganza. Over 3,500 folks are participating this year consisting of 60 marching bands, choirs, festive floats, and community groups. You’ll find more family fun at the Coast Capital Savings Christmas Square (from 10:30am) including the Food Bank drop-off zone, gingerbread decorating station, face painting, Letters to Santa station, balloon twisting, and an entertainment stage featuring several music and dance performances.
Christmas in Steveston Village: December 6
Santa arrives off the boat on Steveston Public Wharf December 6, 2015 at 1:00pm. Free Santa hats, a classic Christmas car display, mascots, carolers, Cannery Farmers’ Market and more.
Lumiere Festival Vancouver: December 11-12
In addition to dozens of dazzling lighting installations, there will be a free trolley service, free horse-drawn carriages, and free entertainment throughout the West End’s commercial streets.
Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas: Now-January 1
Free gate admission includes light displays, entertainment, crafts, baking, Father Christmas, and more. Carousel rides are $2.55.
Last modified: December 1, 2015