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!
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 warm and on the slushy side).
Lower Mainland Ski Hills
Vancouver is famous for its world-class ski hills which include Grouse Mountain, Cypress, Mount 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:
Christmas Activities in Vancouver
There is always a lot to do in Vancouver around Christmas time. Here are some of the highlights:
- Christmas Lights at VanDusen Garden.
- Enjoy mulled wine while shopping at the Vancouver Christmas Market (from late November until late December).
- Holiday decorations and family-friendly activities at Glow Christmas in Langley.
- Cameo appearances by Santa Claus at the multi-dimensional theatre experience at FlyOver Canada at Christmas.
- Holiday Heights at Bloedel runs for a couple of weeks in December and features beautiful indoor Christmas lights at the Bloedel Conservatory at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park.
- Visit Burnaby Village Museum and enjoy their Heritage Christmas decorations (all of December).
- Bright Nights at Stanley Park showcases an amazing display of Christmas lights put on annually as a fundraiser for the Burn Fund by the Vancouver Firefighters. Admission is by donation and it’s absolutely worth a visit.
- Christmas Lights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
- Sleigh rides, gingerbread houses, skiing and skating at Grouse Mountain’s Peak of Christmas.
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.