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The Best Free and Paid Events Near Vancouver, BC: December 2023

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Hello, Vancouverites, can you believe that December has arrived already? We've put together an awesome list of events happening around Vancouver, BC that's set to make this month unforgettable. Save money with free events, splurge a little, or hit the snow hills - we've got it all. Get cozy as we explore the hottest happenings, from holiday markets to the snow season. Let's make December 2023 in Vancouver amazing!

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Family, christmas, market, winter attire

Free Events Near Vancouver, BC: December 2023

Date: November 24 to January, 2024

Address: Coquitlam, British Columbia

Admission: Free

About: Embark on a magical journey along the 1.2 km pathway encircling Lafarge Lake.

These breathtaking seasonal lights and imaginative displays promise a unique and enchanting experience, bringing the joy of the season to life in a spectacular outdoor display.

Don't forget: The lights are on from 4 to 10 p.m. daily with peak hours being from 6 to 8 so it will be better to plan around those hours.

Tip: Due to limited on-site parking, visitors are encouraged to take the SkyTrain to the Lafarge Lake - Douglas SkyTrain station, which drops you off right at the park.

Date: November 26 to January 5, 2024

Address: 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby, BC V5G 3T6

Admission: Free, carousel rides are $2.52 plus tax

About: The Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum offers a festive experience with live entertainment, scavenger hunts, and stunning light displays spread across the 10-acre complex in Deer Lake Park. Concord Pacific, a long-time community supporter, is dedicated to assisting those in need in Burnaby during the holiday season. This event will be closed on December 24 and 25.

Don't forget: On Saturday, December 2, 2023, from 5 to 9 pm will be the official launch of this event with the lighting of the Christmas tree being held at 6 pm. The best part is that all the carousel proceeds (of this night) will be donated to the Burnaby Christmas Bureau to help those in need.

Dates: November 30, 2023 to January 1, 2024

Address: Located on Pipeline Road in Stanley Park, via the West Georgia Street park entrance.

Admission: Free

About: While we were shocked that the train ride was sold out in no time (kudos to you if you got tickets), the plaza will still be open and free for everyone to enjoy the holiday lights and the vintage fire truck. There is also an opportunity to meet Santa at the North Pole workshop and enjoy some tasty treats at the concession store. This family-friendly event will run rain or shine, except for December 25.

Please consider walking, riding your bike, or taking transit to this event.

Don't forget: You can donate to BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund at the beginning of your walk (box at the entrance).

Dates: December 1 to March, 2024

Address: 125 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver, BC V7L 0B3

Admission: Free

About: The Shipyards Skate Plaza is a free ice skating rink. You can bring your skates, or if you prefer, rent them for $7 for adults and $5 for children. It's located in a lively setting and is perfect for people of all ages to enjoy ice skating. The rental option makes it easy to join in the fun without having to buy your skates. It's an inclusive and accessible place for everyone to enjoy winter skating!

Don't forget: Bring your skates.

Dates: December 1 to December 29, 2023

Address: 655 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC

Admission: Free

About: This beautiful gingerbread display, which smells good by the way, is situated around the lobby of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, and it will surprise you. There is a lot of creativity and work put into this amazing lane, which is the longest one in Canada. You can also check the details to either enter the contest or vote for your favourite gingerbread work.

Don't forget: To donate to the Make a Wish Foundation.

Dates: December 1, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.

Address: Outside Vancouver Art Gallery on Georgia St

Admission: Free

About: With live music and entertainment, the 76-foot-long (the biggest in BC) Christmas tree will be lit in Vancouver this Friday, December 1st. Enjoy complementary hot chocolate, take photos with the performers that will be roaming around, and meet Santa at this family-friendly event.

Don't forget: 100% of the proceeds from the Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration go directly back to the community.

Dates: December 1, 2023 to February 29, 2024

Address: 800 Robson St, Vancouver, BC

Admission: Free

About: If you enjoy skating or want to learn, this is an amazing opportunity for you to visit the Robson Ice Rink. The entrance is free, but if you don't have your own skates, you can rent some for only $5, including a helmet. There are also aids available for beginners.

This event will run everyday.

Don't forget: In the twelve days of Christmas, enjoy live music.

Dates: December 2, 2023

Address: Bill Curtis Square, Helmcken Plaza, Yaletown, Vancouver, BC

Admission: Free

About: This beautiful, free event happening in Yaletown will entertain the whole family. There will be unique gifts, tasty food and snacks, live ice carving demonstrations, horse carriages by donation, letters to Santa, holiday characters, and more. This event will run rain or shine, and it is for sure one you will want to come back to.

Don't forget: Proceeds from the horse carriage ride donations will support the BC Children's Hospital Foundation. ($5 per person, $10 per family, free for children under 2 years old).

There is rain in the forecast so dress accordingly and be comfy.

Paid Events Near Vancouver, BC: December 2023

Dates: November 16, 2023 to December 24, 2023

Location: 1055 Canada Place

Admission: General Admission $19.99, Season Pass $35.99, Family Season Pass $99.99 (see site for details)

About: If you are looking for a unique gift, the Vancouver Christmas Market is a perfect place to check out. With over 90 artisans, the market is a cheery way to do your holiday shopping and enjoy family-friendly entertainment, tasty food, mulled wine, or, if you are into beers, a selection of German and Austrian beers. Also, for the kids, there is a carousel ride and a fun scavenger hunt.

Don't Forget: Downtown Vancouver is a very busy place, so plan your trip accordingly and consider using transit instead of driving.

Dates: November 17, 2023 to January 21, 2024

Location: 3735 Capilano Rd

Admission: $36.95-$66.95

About: Capilano Suspension Bridge is an awesome place to visit year-round, and the holiday season is no exception. Here, you will enjoy beautiful light displays while walking on the 450-foot suspension bridge, treetops, cliffs, and easy strolls. Holiday live music will also be playing outside The Trading Post for you to enjoy while having a snack or hot chocolate.

If you don't want to drive, there is a free shuttle bus from Vancouver. Check out the full schedule and remember to book your Canyon Lights tickets in advance.

This event runs rain or shine, with the exception of December 25.

Don't forget: Partial proceeds from the admissions are donated to fire and burn education in schools throughout British Columbia.

Dates: November 24, 2023 to January 7, 2024

Address: 5251 Oak St, Vancouver BC

Admission: $12.32–$26.88 Tickets must be purchased online for a designated entry time.

About: The VanDusen Festival of Lights is a favourite seasonal event, displaying over a million lights. The garden turns into an enchanted land where you can also enjoy dancing lights displayed, the most popular being the one they make by the pond to the beat of different Christmas songs. You can also enjoy food and snacks from different vendors or visit the Shaughnessy Restaurant for a specialty adult beverage like mulled wine or Baileys hot chocolate. This event is family-friendly and runs daily, rain or shine (except December 25).

Don't forget: You can make a donation for Make a Wish at the Scottish shelter.

Date: December 1st to January 1st 2024

Address: 1123 272 Street, Langley, British Columbia

Admission: Adults $22, kids $12 (6 and under Free), Seniors $18. (Online price)

About: During the 2023 holiday season, Martini Town (which is a versatile film backlot established in 2020 on a 16-acre property) transforms into a festive Christmas wonderland. The outdoor set dazzles with lights and Christmas displays for the Merry & Bright event. Attendees can enjoy an artisan market with local vendors, live music, food trucks, and even catch a glimpse of Santa Claus at select times. This event will be closed December 25.

Don't forget: Tickets for Merry & Bright are only available online in advance. A portion of the proceeds are donated to the Langley Food Bank!

PNE Winter Fair

Date: December 8-9, 14-23, 2023

Address: 100 N Renfrew St, Vancouver, BC V5K 3N7

Admission: Adults $25, kids $12 (3 and under Free), Senior/youth(13-18 years) $19. (Online price)

About: Join the festive fun at Discover Santa, where you can embark on a special journey to meet Santa by solving puzzles and riding the PNE Holiday Express. Wander through the enchanting Winter Lights presented by BC Hydro, perfect for snapping memorable photos. Lace up your skates or try the Ice Bumper Cars at the Tim Hortons Ice Rink, and treat yourself to a culinary delight at Holiday Eats & Treats. When you need a break, catch live shows like Nutcracker on Ice and the Magic of Santa. Make the PNE Winter Fair your new holiday tradition, filled with joyful activities for everyone to enjoy.

Don't forget: try the Ice Bumper Cars

Seymour Mountain lift
Seymour Mountain lift

Date: December 8, 2023

Date: December 8, 2023

Date: December 9, 2023

Date: Open

Please note that these dates are the ski hill plan dates but can change due to the amount of snow at the time.

To wrap up

Whether you're into free events, treating yourself to a bit of well-deserved indulgence, or making tracks through the freshly opened snow hills, we're really hoping you find your sweet spot for December. 

And remember, there's no pressure to fill every moment with events. Sometimes, the true magic of the holidays lies in the joy of a quiet day at home, sipping on a warm cup of hot chocolate. While we've shared a roundup of exciting events, embrace the freedom to choose what brings you the most joy.


We understand that for many people, the holidays can be a little stressful. This season, we hope you find time to unwind and enjoy some wonderful moments with your loved ones.


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