Twenty great things to do in Vancouver over the holiday season

Photo courtesy of Grouse Mountain.

It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas. Here's my list of fun activities to savour with loved ones this year in Vancouver, and a little beyond.

1. The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain

Take a very mini vacation by travelling to Grouse Mountain’s annual Peak of Christmas. The festivities take place 3,700 metres above downtown Vancouver. Focused around the Peak Chalet, there are tons to do like visiting the Gingerbread Village, skating at the 8,000 square foot outdoor rink, viewing reindeers Dancer and Vixen in their pre-Christmas habitat and participating sleigh rides.

Of course there’s the usual ride up on Grouse’s Skyride gondola to look forward to as well, with an amazing view of the city and an almost guaranteed ‘White Christmas.’ You can also have breakfast with Santa himself, between Dec. 14 to 24. Click here for more info.

When: On now until Dec. 24. View daily hours and conditions here.
Grouse Mountain - Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver

Ticket prices are as follows (for Peak Experience only):

  • Adult – $45.95
  • Senior – $41.95
  • Youth – $27.95
  • Child – $13.95
  • Family – $117.95
    You can purchase your tickets here.

Photo courtesy of Grouse Mountain

2. Scuba Claus at Vancouver Aquarium

The aquarium will be dressed in holiday spirit this year. Visitors can walk-through the Christmas tree in the Ocean Courtyard and see if they can make their way through the outdoor maze of decorated trees.

Then go watch Scuba Claus’ annual visit as he swims amongst the halibut, rockfish, sturgeon and sea stars in the Strait of Georgia exhibit. Find out more.

When: Now until Dec 24.
Where: Vancouver Aquarium - 845 Avison Way

Photo from Vancouver Aquarium website

3. Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

The eighth annual lighting ceremony is set to be bigger than ever. This year marks the 8th annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony to take place in Vancouver. The 50-foot tree covered with 64,700 bright bulbs will be at Jack Poole Plaza two days prior to the event and will remain on site until the first week of January. The tree weighs in at 7,611 lbs.

When: Dec. 5 between 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm
1055 Canada Place

Photo by Mike Wu via Flickr

4. River District 2014 Winter Craft Fair

For the third consecutive year, the River District Centre is hosting its annual Winter Craft Fair. Roam around, do some holiday shopping and support local artisans.
Check out a full list of vendors here. Admission is free.
When: Sunday Dec. 7 and 21, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: River District Centre - 8683 Kerr Street

5. Chinatown Mall Holiday Pop-up Streetwear Marketplace

Chinatown Mall is Vancouver’s original pop up streetwear marketplace, occurring seasonally in historic Chinatown and presented by PAPER ROUTE. The event will host more than 40 artists, artisans, brands, collectors, curators, designers and shops to create an interesting concept that targets Vancouver’s growing streetwear community. There will also be a dance workshop hosted by Jasmine Spice (L.A./Tantra Fitness).

When: Dec. 6 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Chinese Cultural Centre - 50 East Pender
Tickets are $5 advance or at door with food bank donation or $ 7 at door. Kids under 12 will get in for free. Buy your tickets on Eventbrite.

6. Santa Claus Parade

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