Home Vancouver Activities and Things to Do Vancouver’s Best Winter Activities

Vancouver’s Best Winter Activities

Vancouver Winter Activities

Vancouver is world famous for its winter activities like skiing and other snow sports. The city also has amazing Christmas holiday attractions.

Outdoor winter sport activities include downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, skating, tubing and more. The 2010 Winter Olympics weren’t in this city for nothing!

Special events taking place in the winter of 2022/23 include the Beyond King Tut and Beyond Van Gogh exhibitions. The first of these goes until January 14th and the second runs from February 1st until early March. There is also the Dine Out Vancouver Festival (from Jan. 20th to Feb. 5th), PuSh Festival (from Jan. 19th until Feb. 5th), and Just for Laughs Comedy Fest (from Feb. 16th to 25th).


Beyond King Tut in Vancouver

Beyond Van Gogh


Vancouver Winter Things to Do

Outdoor winter sport activities usually start around early December and go until April. The snow is typically best from late December until early February, but the spring skiing weather can be fantastic (but also warm and on the slushy side).

Good indoor winter activities include ice skating at various rec centres around the region, staying indoors somewhere if it’s raining, and checking out a hockey game in the evenings.

Parks can be nice places to visit in the winter on sunny days. Some parks are better than others though. Unless you want to go snowshoeing, parks in the mountains are usually buried in snow by mid to late November. Parks with lakes or oceanfront are nice in all four seasons, as are ones where the leaves stay green all year long. For a list of places to check out, see our article about Lower Mainland Parks & Nature.


Abbotsford's Mill Lake in Winter
Abbotsford’s Mill Lake Park in Winter


Lower Mainland Ski Hills

Vancouver is famous for its world-class ski hills which include Grouse Mountain, CypressMount Seymour, Sasquatch Mountain and (further afield) Whistler-Blackcomb. The first three are smaller, but located on the North Shore just minutes from downtown Vancouver. Whistler-Blackcomb is close to a two-hour drive away, but it’s also one of the best ski resorts in the world, so definitely worth the trip.

Click Lower Mainland’s Ski Hills for general information on the area’s various mountains (including a comparison of the different locations).

To learn about snowshoeing opportunities, see the above articles about individual ski hills, or check out the following two articles:



There are a few places in the Lower Mainland where you can rent Ski-Doos and go on snowmobiling tours. The Adventure Group in Whistler, for example, offers guided tours at both beginner and intermediate levels.

To learn about snowmobiling opportunities in Whistler see the website WhatToDoInWhistler.ca.


Whistler Snowmobiling Tour
Snowmobiling in Whistler


Christmas Activities in Vancouver

There is always a lot to do in Vancouver around Christmas time. Here are some of the highlights:

For more great things to do during the Christmas season, check out December’s Calendar of Events or Vancouver’s Best Christmas Activities.


Bright Nights Christmas Illuminations
Bright Nights at Stanley Park


Vancouver in Sun and Snow

It doesn’t snow very often at lower elevations in Vancouver, and in winter there isn’t always a lot of sun. When there’s sun in the sky and snow on the ground, however, the region becomes especially magical, as evident in the video below.



Other Information

Other articles that might be of interest include the following:

Another website you might be interested in is WhatToDoInWhistler.ca. It highlights the best things to see and do in the resort town of Whistler.