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Top 10 Vancouver Winter Events & Activities

Things to Do in Vancouver BC in December, January & February

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Winter in Vancouver, BC, is a special time of year. Packed with events and activities, winter in Vancouver is the season for skiing and snowboarding, Christmas events, New Year's celebrations, multicultural festivals, and more! Use this guide to find the best things to do in Vancouver this winter, with events and activities for December, January and February.

1. Vancouver Skiing & Snow Sports

Vancouver Winter Events & Activities: Skiing & Snowboarding
Image Courtesy of Tourism Whistler

When it comes to Vancouver winter activities, nothing is more popular than hitting the slopes! Vancouver is perfectly situated for skiers and snowboarders: there are five amazing ski and snowboard resorts--including some of the top venues in North America--just a short distance away. It's also ideal for the snowshoeing, too, with trails for every skill level, from beginner to expert.

 

2. Free Ice Skating at Robson Square

Vancouver Winter Events & Activities: Robson Square Ice Rink

Since reopening for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, the free outdoor ice skating at Robson Square has become one of Vancouver's most popular winter activities. Located at 800 Robson Street (just across from the Vancouver Art Gallery in the heart of downtown Vancouver), the Robson Square Ice Rink is open from November 15, 2013 - February 28, 2014. Skating is free; skate rentals are $4, helmets and ice cleats are $2.

3. Winter Activities on Grouse Mountain

Vancouver Winter Events & Activities: Grouse Mountain
Image Courtesy of Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain, located just 20 minutes north of downtown Vancouver, is a mini epicentre for Vancouver winter activities. Not only can you ski, snowboard and snowshoe on Grouse Mountain, you can enjoy a winter wonderland of events and activities, including outdoor ice skating, sleigh rides, and December's Peak of Christmas.

4. Christmas Events in Vancouver

Vancouver Winter Events & Activities: Vancouver Christmas Events
Photo by Greg Descantes

5. Vancouver Boxing Day Sales

Vancouver Winter Events & Activities: Vancouver Boxing Day
Image Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver

The biggest shopping event of the year is also one of Vancouver's biggest winter events: Boxing Day! Boxing Day (December 26) is a holiday in Canada but its best known for being the day when everything in Vancouver--fashion, electronics, home furnishings, and more--goes on sale.

6. Vancouver New Year's Eve Celebrations

Vancouver Winter Events & Activities: Vancouver New Year's Eve
Photo © Sergio Dionisio / Getty Images

In Vancouver for New Year's Eve? Then get ready to party! Vancouver New Year's Eve celebrations run the gamut from the elegant to the hedonistic, with even a few all-ages events thrown in!

7. Vancouver Indoor Winter Activites for Kids (& Adults)

Vancouver Winter Events & Activities: Vancouver Indoor Activities for Kids
Image Courtesy of Vancouver Aquarium

As a parent of a toddler, I know how hard it can be to find Vancouver winter activities for kids that won't be too cold or too rainy. (Not that kids can't ski and snowboard, too.) Luckily, Vancouver has lots of options for indoor winter activities for kids of all ages, including ice skating, indoor climbing, indoor playlands and more.

8. Dine Out Vancouver

Vancouver Winter Events & Activities: Dine Out Vancouver
Image Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver

Started in 2002 by Tourism Vancouver, Dine Out has become one of the most popular Vancouver winter events. A city-wide culinary event, Dine Out offers discount menus at over 200 Metro Vancouver restaurants--letting you "taste drive" new cuisine for less, as well as special events around town. Dine Out Vancouver runs from January 17 - February 2, 2014.

9. Vancouver Chinese New Year Parade & Festival

Vancouver Winter Events & Activities: Vancouver Chinese New Year Parade
Image Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver

One of the best Vancouver winter events is the annual Chinese New Year Parade in Vancouver's historic Chinatown, a cultural extravaganza that's one of the city's biggest and best annual parades. The next Vancouver Chinese New Year Parade is February 2, 2014.

10. Special Vancouver Winter Events & Festivals

Vancouver Winter Events & Activities: Lunarfest
Photo by Dana Lynch

When it comes to Vancouver winter events, December, January and February are chock full of art and cultural festivals!

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