Top Things to do in Vancouver in December 2022 (2023)

December brings alight the holiday events all over British Columbia. There are dozens of things to do in Vancouver in December, it is almost impossible to fit all of them in. While some holiday events in Vancouver actually occur in November, most celebrations and events are in December.

If you are wondering what to do in Vancouver in December you will not be disappointed in 2022. There are still plenty of Vancouver events to enjoy, and I have listed them all below.

If you have never seen Fly Over Canada, then you are in for a treat. During the Ultimate Flying Ride you will see numerous cities and vistas across the country. The production team for FlyOver Canada were able to select 18 scenes from over 100 hours of footage to represent Canada in the ride film. There are no subtitles or voice-overs during the experience, as we did not want to detract from the flying sensation

Tickets:Book your tickets online in advancehere for the lowest price and to ensure availability.

Dates:Offered Year Round and can be combined with seasonal productions.

Important Notes:The queue is partially exposed to the elements. Ensure you wear proper attire. It is recommended to buy tickets online in advance.

Soar with Santa this Christmas on a magical flight across Canada from FlyOver Canada. This season, we invite audiences to soar with Santa across Canada and the North Pole in an original cinematic ride experience.

Tickets: Book your tickets online in advance here for the lowest price and to ensure availability

Important Notes: The queue is partially exposed to the elements. Ensure you wear proper attire. It is recommended to buy tickets online in advance

The PNE is bringing Vancouver a unique Winter Fair this holiday season! The event runs for ten magical nights and will feature a nightly Christmas-themed concert series, a large indoor skating rink, family-friendly holiday theatre shows that will be a favourite for the little ones, a winter market, tasty food and beverages, and a walk-thru Winter Lights display!

All entertainment elements at PNE Winter Fair arefreewith admission(except for theHoliday Night Concertsin the Pacific Coliseum).

TICKETS: Adults Online $15 at Gate $17, Seniors Online $12 at Gate $14, Child 4-17 Online $12 at Gate $14, kids 0-3 FREE

Named one of the most spectacular holiday lights displays in the world, Canyon Lights is set to dazzle and amaze, high above the forest floor. The suspension bridge, rainforest and Capilano River are ablaze with lights, making it a perfect spot for photos. Treetops Adventure (the eight tallest Christmas trees in the world) is lit from top to bottom, the “Arc de Lumina” light tunnel mesmerizes on Cliffwalk, while the Snowy Owl Prowl scavenger hunt entertains the whole family.

A tradition for many Vancouver families, Canyon Lights looks forward to welcoming back guests with a few operational changes to ensure the health and safety of visitors and staff in a COVID world. While normally one of the things to do in Vancouver in December, Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge will again be open to visitors on November 20th 2021. Tickets and annual passes will only be available for pre-purchase online for a specific date and time to limit contact upon entry and reduce capacity.

Dates for Canyon Lights: November 20th 2021 to January 23rd 2022

Location: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver

Important Notes: Masks are required. Strollers are not allowed. Dress for the outdoors.

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Top Things to do in Vancouver in December 2022 (1)

Skate at Robson Square

Since 2010, Robson Square ice rink has been open each Decmeber for locals and visitors to skate! It is located between Howe and Hornby streets behind the Vancouver Art Gallery and is one of the most popular ice skating rinks in Vancouver. The ice skating rink is in the middle of the square. The rink is open-air, but also covered and partly underground.

Location: 800 Robson Street, Vancouver, V6Z 2E7

More Info: Robson Square Ice rink

Ski at The Local Mountains

A Vancouverite pastime, skiing on the local mountains is what so many adults remember about growing up in Vancouver.

Grouse Mountain features 33 Ski and Snowboard runs, 15 night runs, 4 chairlifts and 6 terrain parks. Single Lift Tickets include access to the Skyride, chairlifts and mountaintop activities. Lift Ticket valid for one uphill and downhill ride on the Skyride in the same day.

Mount Seymour is the closest to downtown Vancouver. has 4 chair lifts, 5 terrain parks, a tube park, snowshoeing and toboggan area. It has 40 marked runs, about half of which are available for nigth skiing.

Cypress is the biggest of the local mountains and has cross country skiing in addition to downhill skiing and snowboarding. there is also snow tubing and snowshoeing.

RELATED: Best snowshoeing in Vancouver

Stanley Park Holiday Train

Welcoming over 200,000 visitors annually, the Stanley Park Railway is popular with locals and tourists alike. The Stanley Park Holiday train is back for the 2021 holiday season in vancouver

The 20 gauge, 2 km track winds through the forest over ground cleared by Typhoon Freda, the most devastating storm in Vancouver history which blew through in 1962.


Passengers can get a close-up look at a vintage engine and a quick photo before boarding for the 15-minute ride.

The jewel of the Stanley Park Railway’s collection of old locomotives is a locally-built replica of Canadian Pacific Railway Engine #374, famous for pulling Canada’s first transcontinental passenger train into Vancouver in the late 1880s.

Stanley Park Railway is adjacent to other popular destinations such as Lumberman’s Arch, Malkin Bowl, and the Rose Garden.

Tickets: $13 for adults (19-65) Children (3-12) $9, Youth (12-17) $10, Seniors (54+) $10 (under 2 is free). They must be bought online in advance. There are also matinee tickets that are cheaper.

Location: Stanley Park

Dates: Nov 26th 2021 to Jan 2nd 2022

Lights on the Lake at Harrison Hot Springs

While this event gained a ton of online press for being mis-marketed as a Whoville, it is a beautiful display of lights in Harrison on Harrison lake. Whether you visit for the day or make it a weekend getaway from Vancouver, it is a great outdoor event that will likely be very popular in 2021.

2021 Dates to be released

Read More: things to do in Harrison Hot Springs

Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum

Thousands of guests will be transported to a winter wonderland at the Burnaby Village Museum during Heritage Christmas, one of the largest annual holiday celebrations in Metro Vancouver. Twinkling lights will adorn the vintage storefronts at Burnaby Village Museum, while holiday carolers
and characters like Buddy the Elf wander the streets during Heritage Christmas. The result is a magical holiday experience unlike any other in Metro Vancouver and it’s all presented free of charge by the
City of Burnaby.

Location: 6501 Deer Lake, Burnaby BC

Dates for 2021: TBD

Grouse Mountain Peak of Vancouver

Grouse Mountain offers more than just skiing. With skating, light walks, snowshoeing and more, it is worth taking the tram up the mountain. More info will be posted on activities and dates for 2020 as it becomes available.

Get your admission passes here.

(Video) Christmas in Vancouver 2021 - Top 5 Things To Do!

Vancouver Christmas Market

Vancouver’s largest and longest-running Christmas Market – and only European Christmas Market – invites families and friends to reconnectandcelebratethespiritoftheholidayseasonwithanexpandedsix-weekschedule

The 11th year of the outdoor, traditional German-inspired Market will introduce new vendors and activities with schedules launching over the coming weeks.

Traditional mulled wine,savourytreatsandbakedgoods,carouselrides,festivemusic,andmagicallightingdisplays

Experience a selection of traditional food and beverages, and browse vendors offering authentic wood carvings and toys, knitted goods, nutcrackers, pottery, and other unique gifts. This is a popular place to get Vancouver souvenirs.

Dates: Nov 13th 2021 to Dec 24th 2021

Location: Jack Poole Plaza, 1055 Canada Place

Prices: Tickets start at $7.99 based on the type of ticket you purchase. Kids 6 and under are free.

Tickets: Pre Sale Tickets are available online. Tickets can also be purchased on arrival subject to availability.

Important Notes: Visitors to the market must show their COVID-19 vaccination passport and government-issued photo ID at the gates

Vancouver Santa Claus Parade

After months of exploring alternative formats and options that would allow it to go ahead in some way, the Vancouver Santa Claus Parade Society has officiallycanceledthe Vancouver Santa Claus Parade for 2020 due to COVID-19.

For 16 years, the annual parade has thrilled audiences of all ages with crowds of 300,000 flocking to downtown Vancouver to watch marching bands, choirs, float entries and community groups perform along the 1.8-km route. In addition to kicking off the holiday season, the parade celebrates the spirit of giving by generating much needed donations for those in need across the Lower Mainland through its support of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, as well as the CKNW Kids’ Fund, which enhances the lives of children living with physical, mental and social challenges in B.C.


“The health and safety of our participants and spectators will always be our highest priority. While current guidelines for public gatherings preclude us from staging the parade this year, our hope is to return in 2021, when we can better ensure the health and safety of everyone involved.” the Vancouver Santa Claus Parade Society released in a statement on their website on Oct 29th

Other events associated with the parade are also canceled this year. These include Breakfast with Santa at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Photos with Santa at TELUS Garden, and pre-parade entertainment in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Dates: Dates for 2021 TBD

Lights at Lafarge Lake

Lights at Lafarge Lake is one of the largest free light displays in Metro Vancouver, featuring more than 100,000 twinkling lights. The outdoor display will be a popular Vancouver event in November 2020 as it offers an outdoor activity. If you are wondering what to do in Vancouver in November and are looking for an outdoor activity, this is one you should add to your list.

Dates: TBD for 2021

Top Things to do in Vancouver in December 2022 (3)

Christmas in Wiliams Park (Langley)

Christmas in Williams Park transforms this popular langley park into a lighted wonderland. this FREE event for families offers a drive-through light experience thanks to the Christmas in Willams Park Society.

Where: 6525 238Th st, Langley

Dates: TBC for 2021

Is December a Good Time to Visit Vancouver?

December is considered the offseason to visit much of British Columbia but that does not mean you should not visit Vancouver in the winter. It is a festive time of year, one in which you can catch annual events like the Nutcracker across much of BC. Generally, the local ski hills are not open until winter break (between Christmas and New Years) although Whistler Blackcomb opens in line with American Thanksgiving in November. The summer months are peak season to visit Vancouver, so if you want to visit without crowds or are visiting for Christmas, December is a good time to come into the city.

It rains 20 out of 30 days of the month, so make sure you plan for rain. While the city does not see much snow, the wet can be very uncomfortably cold, so ensure you have the right clothing.

Read More: 99 things to do in British Columbia

Does it snow in Vancouver in December?

As you will read below, snow is a rare sight in Vancouver and is usually only seen on higher elevations. With that being said, flakes do fall in the city on occasion. If you are looking for a white Christmas, Christmas in Vancouver is not the right choice (but nearby Whistler or other British Columbia ski resorts are perfect choices!)

Weather in Vancouver in December

Vancouver has a moderate climate for most of the year. It does not get the cold snowy weather that you will find in much of the rest of Canada, but it is important to plan for the elements just in case. There is a likely chance of snow in higher elevations in Metro Vancouver in December, and you are likely to see fresh snow on the mountains around the city (usually the first dusting comes in late October and early November).

Snow on the mountains likely means rain in the city. When planning a trip to Vancouver in December, ensure you are prepped for rain with a decent waterproof jacket and appropriate footwear. You will also want layers.

(Video) What to See In Vancouver! (2022) | Travel Guide

Get more information on Vancouver weather December with tips on what to pack, temperatures to expect and how likely you are to see wet weather or sunshine.

December in Vancouver: What to Pack

As mentioned above, it does not get extremely cold, but expect wet and cool weather, usually just above freezing. You will want to ensure you have warm, waterproof clothing including sweaters, hoodies, and a heavier jacket. Bring closed-toed shoes and some type of waterproof footwear. You will probably want a light pair of gloves and a hat. If you do not have a packable umbrella, I suggest you buy one.

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Top Things to do in Vancouver in December 2022 (4)
Top Things to do in Vancouver in December 2022 (5)


Is it worth going to Vancouver in December? ›

Vancouver is an amazing December destination because it has a milder winter than other Canadian cities. But at the same time, you can still expect a beautiful winter wonderland with plenty of fun December activities.

What is Vancouver like in December? ›

Temperatures hover above freezing and rain can be plentiful, as this is one of Vancouver's rainiest months. You can expect average December temperatures to linger around 37 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius), with highs around 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius).

How many days in Vancouver is enough? ›

Then it is possible to get a real feel for Vancouver in just 2 days. But if you would like a bit more time to linger in the places that interest you most, then plan for a 3 or 4 days.

Is 4 days enough in Vancouver? ›

In Summary

You should now have no problem deciding how to spend 4 days in Vancouver to ensure you see all the city is famous for. You'll go from visiting the hotspots Downtown to chilling on Vancouver's many beaches and exploring the renowned Stanley Park.

How much money do you need per day in Vancouver? ›

You should plan to spend around CA$155 ($115) per day on your vacation in Vancouver, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, CA$34 ($25) on meals for one day and CA$13 ($9.66) on local transportation.

Will there be snow in Vancouver in December? ›

Snowfall. Months with snowfall are January through April, November and December. In Vancouver, during December, snow falls for 2 days and regularly aggregates up to 41mm (1.61") of snow. Throughout the year, there are 10.2 snowfall days, and 192mm (7.56") of snow is accumulated.

What is the coldest month in Vancouver? ›

August is the hottest month in Vancouver with an average temperature of 18°C (64°F) and the coldest is January at 3.5°C (38°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 13 in July.

What do you wear in Vancouver in winter? ›

From November to February, temperatures average from 5° to 10° Celsius during the day (around 40° - 50° Fahrenheit). To stay cozy and dry, you'll need warm clothes, a raincoat and an umbrella. Waterproof footwear is always a good idea.

Does it rain a lot in December in Vancouver? ›

Vancouver's wettest months are November and December with an average precipitation of 182mm. And - with an average of just 41mm of precipitation - July and August are the driest months in Vancouver.

Can you get around Vancouver without a car? ›

Vancouver is known for being a very walkable city with a compact downtown core, so you'll likely find many of the places you want to go are just a short walk from your hotel.

Which part of Vancouver is cheapest? ›

The West End, located in the Downtown area, is the most affordable of all the Downtown locations. The West End is bordered by Downtown, Stanley Park, and the ocean. It's the most diverse of all the Downtown Vancouver neighbourhoods.

What is the best month to visit Vancouver? ›

The best times to visit Vancouver are from March to May and from September to November when the weather is mild and hotel rooms can be found at bargain rates.

What is Vancouver best known for? ›

Vancouver is known for its rain, its ancient forests, its ecologically-minded locals, and its seawall. Locals and tourists know Vancouver for its world-famous swimming, surfing and hiking along the Pacific Ocean. Let's find out what else Vancouver is known for!

Is food expensive in Vancouver? ›

Based on the above, the total average price of food in Vancouver would cost you between $480 and $660 each month.

What is a good hourly wage in Vancouver? ›

The average vancouver full time salary in Canada is $35,100 per year or $18 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $31,200 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $43,388 per year.

What is a livable salary in Vancouver? ›

Average Cost of Living per Month in Vancouver

The average cost of living in Vancouver is $3,959/month for a single person who rents. This average is based on many factors including the cost of housing, transportation, groceries, and entertainment. Average cost of living. $3,959/month. Monthly net income of $50,000/year.

How cold is it in BC in December? ›

December in British Columbia ranges from cool and damp on the southern coast to bitterly cold in northern and mountainous areas. Vancouver, on the southwestern coast, stays relatively mild in December, with a minimum temperature of 36°F (2°C) and a maximum of 43°F (6°C). Inland areas are colder and see snow.

Will Vancouver see a white Christmas? ›

2021 has been full of unheard-of weather events in and around Vancouver, and it looks like there's one more rare moment in the stocking. Odds are good, very good, that it'll be a white Christmas in Vancouver this year.

When was the last snowy Christmas in Vancouver? ›

Within the last two decades, Vancouver has only experienced a white Christmas in 1996, 1998 and 2008.

Is Vancouver colder than London? ›

Vancouver is slightly cooler on average. You would have to look this up, because it's a near run thing. My family moved from London to Vancouver in 1973 - and the temperature was not discernibly different on average. Vancouver gets considerably more rain, as the orographic rain events can last for days.

Is Vancouver colder than Toronto? ›

Toronto: Weather. Toronto, with its drastic temperature fluctuation, is both muggier and colder than Vancouver.

What is the snow season Vancouver? ›

The first snowfall of winter for Vancouver usually arrives in December, but can show up as early as November or even October. The season's last snowfall typically happens in February or March although in some years a late snow lands in April. Vancouver is normally free of snow every year from May to September.

What kind of jacket do I need for Vancouver? ›

So what you want to pack is light clothing that allows you to put on multiple layers at once. A sweater and a raincoat are also necessary for this wet condition. Apart from the raincoat, you also want an umbrella and waterproof jacket to keep it handy in case the rains come unexpectedly and don't last long.

Do you need a winter jacket in Vancouver? ›

The high temperatures for Vancouver in the winter are quite cold and tend to hover in the mid-40s, while winter low average temperatures in Vancouver typically reside in the mid-30s. For Vancouver in the winter, we recommend packing a cozy puffer coat to help keep you warm.

How cold is it in Vancouver during Christmas? ›

December Weather in Vancouver Canada. Daily high temperatures decrease by 2°F, from 45°F to 42°F, rarely falling below 34°F or exceeding 51°F. The lowest daily average high temperature is 42°F on December 28.

How often does Vancouver get a white Christmas? ›

Will your Christmas be white and snowy?
City% Chance (65 years) 1955-2019Change in frequency (%) (Recent-Early)
Toronto City45-9
Toronto (GTA)51-23
36 more rows
10 Dec 2021

Is Vancouver Canada expensive? ›

Vancouver's reign as Canada's most expensive city is over, a new survey has found. According to Mercer's 2022 Cost of Living report, Toronto is more expensive than Vancouver. Montreal, Ottawa, and Calgary rounded out the top five. The global index ranked Toronto and Vancouver 89th and 108th, respectively.

What is the coldest day of the year for Vancouver? ›

The coldest temperature across Metro Vancouver, however, is −23.3 °C (−10 °F) recorded in Pitt Meadows on January 23, 1969. With snow being an infrequent occurrence over a typically mild winter, many cold hardy flowers remain in bloom and are common in gardens and office exteriors throughout the winter.

Is 3 days enough in Vancouver? ›

Vancouver is an amazing city with so much to see and do both within the city itself and in the surrounding area. While 3 days in Vancouver won't allow you to see everything,it will give you a great taste of what this awesome Canadian city has to offer.

Is 5 days in Vancouver enough? ›

It means that there are tons of activities to keep you entertained on a city break out of the ordinary. We've put together a suggested itinerary for five days in Vancouver. It's enough time to do the city justice or to combine a stay in Vancouver with a second destination like Whistler or Vancouver Island.

Where is the rich part of Vancouver? ›

West Vancouver tops off the list as the richest part of Vancouver with mega mansions overlooking the city.

Where is the safest place in Vancouver? ›

Overall, Vancouver Is a Safe Place To Live

While these three areas, Shaughnessy, West Point Grey, and South Cambie, are the safest places to live in Vancouver, it is worth noting that Vancouver is a reasonably safe city overall.

Does downtown Vancouver have free parking? ›

Free parking at downtown garages and lots on weekends

With the exception of the Center Garage, which charges for parking seven days a week, drivers can park at any city lot for free each weekend.

Is it safe to walk around downtown Vancouver? ›

Vancouver is perfectly safe to visit alone, especially if you stick to the tourist-popular areas such as Gastown, Stanley Park, Yaletown, and Davie Village. Solo travelers will definitely want to avoid driving or walking through the DTES at night and stick to populated, well-lit streets.

Do tourists need a car in Vancouver? ›

Vancouver's public transportation system is the most extensive in Canada and includes service to all major tourist attractions, so you really don't need a car, especially if you're staying in the downtown area.

How much money do you need per month in Vancouver? ›

Summary about cost of living in Vancouver, Canada: Family of four estimated monthly costs are 3,696$ (4,906C$) without rent. A single person estimated monthly costs are 1,001$ (1,329C$) without rent. Vancouver is 25.75% less expensive than New York (without rent).

Is Vancouver cheaper than New York? ›

The cost of living in New York City is 55% more expensive than in Vancouver. Cities ranked 2nd and 251st ($3563 vs $2298) in the list of the most expensive cities in the world and ranked 1st and 5th in the United States and Canada, respectively. Check the United States vs Canada comparison.

Is Vancouver cheaper than California? ›

Cost of living in Los Angeles, California (United States) is 10% more expensive than in Vancouver (Canada)

When can you see whales in Vancouver? ›

From March to October each year, thousands of whales migrate through the waters near Vancouver, making it one of the world's best locations for whale watching.

What is the cheapest time to fly to Vancouver? ›

How to find cheap flights to Vancouver? The cheapest time to fly to Vancouver from the rest of Canada is in November. October also offers cheap flight tickets. Vancouver flights bought for travel in November are on average 26% cheaper than flight tickets bought for travel in December.

Is Banff near Vancouver? ›

The distance between Banff and Vancouver is around 560 miles (900 kilometers) and spans three mountain ranges: the Coast, Columbia, and the Rocky Mountains. What is the best way to get from Vancouver to Banff? The fastest (and arguably, best) way to get from Vancouver to Banff is to fly.

How many days do you need in Vancouver? ›

The perfect Vancouver itinerary takes in Vancouver's city, nature and neighbourhoods. While you should stay for longer if you have the time (ain't that always the case!), three days in Vancouver is an ideal time to experience the best things to do in Vancouver.

Why is Vancouver called No Fun City? ›

No Fun City (or Nofuncouver) – long-time nickname which can refer to a variety of things depending on use and context. It can refer to some of the city's cultural policies that result in a less lively local music scene, to a perceived "lame" nightlife.

Is Vancouver Christmas Market worth it? ›

Overall, I would say the Vancouver Christmas Market is worth a visit IF you go during a quieter off-peak period and take advantage of the deals they offer, preferably with some good company in tow.

What is the best month to go to Vancouver? ›

The best times to visit Vancouver are from March to May and from September to November when the weather is mild and hotel rooms can be found at bargain rates.

What is the nicest street in Vancouver? ›

Point Grey Road is the city's most exclusive street. This stretch of idyllic Kitsilano waterfront is accessible almost exclusively by a private road, making it the perfect low-traffic route for walking or riding a bike.

Do you need a car in Vancouver? ›

Vancouver's public transportation system is the most extensive in Canada and includes service to all major tourist attractions, so you really don't need a car, especially if you're staying in the downtown area.

Do you have to be vaccinated to go to Vancouver? ›

Proof of vaccination is not required for travel in Canada

You do not need proof of vaccination to: Enter Canada. Travel within Canada by plane or train. Board an international flight at a Canadian airport.


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