New Year’s Eve celebrations take place at various venues on December 31st including in downtown Vancouver, North Shore ski hills and area night clubs.
NEW YEAR’S EVE IN 2020/21
Because of COVID-19, New Year’s Eve was very different compared to the past. There wasn’t any major parties or fireworks events. The best place to celebrate the arrival of 2021 was from home (or at a virtual party with friends via Zoom).
Other popular places to celebrate the end of 2020 were at area restaurants. Not everyone can be at a restaurant at the stroke of midnight. Enjoying a nice meal earlier in the evening though was still a nice way to say goodbye to what has been a challenging year. Due to recent government orders, however, folk could not have alcoholic drinks with their food after 8 pm.
To learn about what Vancouver’s fireworks celebrations will look like on December 31st in 2021, see our article about False Creek NYE Fireworks.
Below is a list of top New Year’s Eve party venues that take place most years including ski hills and venues with family-friendly activities. For ages 19+ party venues, see our article about Vancouver NYE Parties for Adults.
Click on any of the following links to jump to a specific venue or activity, or continue reading for full details about Vancouver’s best places to welcome the New Year.
Or, for details about pyrotechnic shows, click Vancouver Fireworks (which takes you to another page).
Lower Mainland New Year’s Eve Activities
The largest New Year’s Eve celebrations in the Lower Mainland used to take place around Canada Place in downtown Vancouver. The festivities there included ticketed parties as well as free concerts and fireworks.
2018 was the final year for the main fireworks and concert activities at Canada Place. On December 31st, 2019, there were smaller events at different locations, but no major fireworks. On the last day of the year in 2020 (and other future years), however, there were plans to have fireworks once again, and a massive light show, but at the eastern end of False Creek instead of by Canada Place.
The plan for fireworks at the new False Creek venue wasn’t possible in 2020, thanks to COVID-19. Hopefully They can happen on December 31st in 2021 instead. Click False Creek NYE Fireworks to learn about next year’s event.
Other significant New Year’s Eve events that take place in years without pandemics are at area ski hills including Mt. Seymour, Cypress and Grouse Mountain on the North Shore, as well as in the Fraser Valley at Sasquatch Mountain. All four resort events include fireworks and various amounts of family-friendly activities (at least in years without pandemics). 2021 details, however, are to be confirmed.
Of course New Year’s Eve celebrations for adults ages 19+ also take place at night clubs and other party venues throughout the Lower Mainland most years (although not on December 31st in 2020).
See below for details about all of the above December 31st party places (from past year and for future years, but not for 2020).
Metro Vancouver New Year’s Party Places
In years when there isn’t a global pandemic, New Year’s Eve parties take place at various night clubs, theatres and other venues around town. Some of the most popular parties in 2019 for adults ages 19+ are listed below. Party places on December 31st in 2021 will likely be similar. Things were unusually quiet, however, in 2020.
(Note: Rates, venues and other details are subject to change.)
- Vancouver Boat Parties – the popular cruise company offered a New Year’s Eve party cruise on December 31st in 2019. It is scheduled to run between around 9:00 pm and 1:00 am on the Burrard Queen vessel and it features great views, music, and food for sale. The trip starts and finishes in False Creek near the Plaza of Nations at 760 Pacific Boulevard. For tickets and more details click New Year’s Eve Boat Party.
- Dinner and Dance Party at the Pinnacle – New Year’s Eve is celebrated at the Lobby Restaurant at North Vancouver’s Pinnacle Hotel with a four-course dinner and dancing most years. Tickets for this year’s event cost $68 (plus applicable fees). Click New Year’s Eve Dinner at the Pinnacle for tickets and details.
- New Year’s Eve SpeakEasy Cruise – Vancouver Nightlife’s New Year’s Eve celebration happens on the Magic Spirit Yacht this year. The boat has two decks and the 3-hour cruise is set to feature two DJs and lots of food. The trip begins at 10:00 pm on December 31st and concludes at 1:00 am on January 1st. (Cancelled for 2020.)
- Guilt & Company – the popular live music venue in Gastown featured an evening of casual fun. Don’t expect fancy decorations and party favours here. Do expect a wonderful time though, and to be entertained by NaRai & Friends. Admission in 2019 was by donation (with a suggested minimum of $25 with all funds collected going to the singer and his co-performers). We checked out this hugely popular venue and it was packed! (Did not happen in its usual form in 2020.)
- Vancouver Theatresports – the live theatre improv performance at the Improv Centre on Granville Island on December 31st was New Year’s Eve 2019. (Did not happen in 2020.)
- NYE at Harbour Event Centre – an end-of-2019 event with lights and DJ music at the Harbour Event Centre. Tickets were $45 plus tax and online fees.
- New Year’s Party at the Shipyards – North Vancouver’s Shipyards hosted its second annual New Year’s Eve party last year at the Tap & Barrel Restaurant at #8 Lonsdale Avenue. Tickets were $25 at early bird prices or $35 for regular admission. We dropped by this venue at about 9:30 pm and it was really quiet. It likely wasn’t until around 11:00 or so before the party really got going.
- A Very 90’s New Year’s Party – last year featured a night of 90’s DJ music last year at the Gull Bar & Grill at 175 East 1st Street in North Vancouver. Admission cost $45 and included appetizers and a complementary welcome drink.
- Grand Ball NYE – a New Year’s Eve party with elaborate design, art installations and live entertainment at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver at 900 West Georgia Street. Tickets started at about $60 last year. We were at this party right at midnight, on January 1st, 2020, and it looked like a great event. Saw lots of people in fancy attire having fun!
- New Year’s Eve at Frankie’s Jazz Club – a night of dinner and Jazz with the Bradley/McGillivray Blues Band at 755 Beatty Street in 2019. This place sold out well in advance.
- New Year’s Eve Gala Ball – New Year’s Eve celebrations at the Fairmont Waterfront at 900 Canada Place in Vancouver. The party last year went from 9 pm to 1 am and tickets started at around $96 including taxes and fees. We visited this venue at about 12:30 am on January 1st in 2020. A lot of people had already left, but many more were still dancing and having a great time.
- Gatsby’s House Party – the party at the Marriott Pinnacle at 1128 W. Hastings Street in downtown Vancouver last year included an appetizer buffet and DJ music. Admission started at about $73 including taxes and fees and the party went from 9:00 pm until 2:00 am (although lots of people left soon after midnight). We dropped by to take a look at about 12:30 am on January 1st in 2020. They wouldn’t let us in to take a look, but things looked from the entrance like the party was pretty much over.
- Casino Royale New Year’s Eve – a James Bond-style celebration of the end of the 2010’s took place last year at the Lamplighter Public House at 92 Water Street in Gastown. The event didn’t have a huge 007-theme, but it was fun and sold out. We dropped by to take a look at around 10:00 pm and the place was fairly full. We didn’t see any roulette tables, and didn’t hear any James Bond music either (although no doubt over the course of the evening there was some). There was great DJ music though and people were having a good time.
- NYE at the Taphouse Guildford – a dance party featuring the music of DJ JAY VILLE and a giant balloon drop at 15330 102A Avenue in Surrey last year. Tickets cost $20.
- Family NYE @ Glow – a family-friendly New Year’s Eve event took place in the evening at Glow Vancouver at the Plaza of Nations by False Creek. The event included live entertainment, a bubbly drink, craft activities and all of Glow Vancouver’s regular Christmas lights and attractions. Early-bird prices started at about $20 for seniors and children and $25 for adults. (Did not happen in 2020, since Glow was a drive-thru event.)
For a list of more adults-only December 31st venues see Vancouver NYE Parties for Ages 19+.
New Year’s Eve Boat Parties
One of the best places to celebrate the arrival of the New Year is on a New Year’s Eve boat party cruise. They offer night club-style dancing, food, drinks and spectacular views of the city.
A popular New Year’s Eve cruise in 2019 was with Vancouver Boat Parties. Their 2020 event was going to run from around 9:00 pm on December 31st until 1:00 am on January 1st. It was going to take place on the Burrard Queen which is a 200+-person luxury vessel (although the capacity was limited to 50 people in 2020 due to COVID-19). The event features food and music to enjoy on two decks. 2021 details are to be confirmed.
This is a very popular event and usually sells out well in advance. For tickets and more details click New Year’s Eve Boat Party.
New Year’s Eve at Canada Place and False Creek
The Lower Mainland’s largest New Year’s Eve celebrations used to happen around Canada Place in downtown Vancouver on the evening of December 31st.
IMPORTANT NOTE: As mentioned above, the Canada Place fireworks event did NOT take place on New Year’s Eve on December 31st in 2019. The event took a one-year break. It was going to return to Vancouver on December 31st in 2020, however, but at a new location – at the eastern end of False Creek (near Science World). Now they say the event won’t happen until December 31st in 2021. See the Concord Pacific NYE website for details or click New Year’s Eve Fireworks in False Creek.
Up until 2018, the free street party with 20 food trucks, outdoor concerts and over 100,000 people used to take place along Canada Place Way. There were also indoor ticketed events at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
In years when it did take place, the free Street Party ran from around 7:00 pm until 12:15 am, indoor ticketed events went from 7:00 pm until 1:30 am, and fireworks took off at both 9:00 pm and 12:00 am.
New Year’s Eve on Granville Street
There are a number of night clubs on Granville Street just south of Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver. In years when there isn’t a global pandemic, all fill up on New Year’s Eve, so you need to buy tickets for them in advance. Even if you don’t get into one of the pubs or official party venues, there is lots of partying going on in the street.
On New Year’s Eve the City of Vancouver usually shuts Granville Street down to vehicular traffic. It becomes a pedestrian-only area and fills up with crowds of people. You can’t drink alcohol in public in the street, but walking around and having fun is free.
December 31st at Area Ski Hills
Lower Mainland ski hills are where you can celebrate New Year Eve’s in the snow. Mt. Seymour usually offers a family-focused event most years, and Grouse Mountain has both adult-only and family-friendly options. Cypress also hosts a smaller and less formal event.
Vancouver’s North Shore mountains have early evening fireworks most years. Sasquatch Mountain has fireworks followed by adult-only partying in the pub. 2021 details are to be confirmed.
New Year’s Eve at MT. SEYMOUR
NOTE: Due to poor weather conditions this event was cancelled in 2019. In 2020 it didn’t happen because of COVID-19.
The Family First Night event at Mt. Seymour usually runs from 5:30 until 8:30 pm and costs about $30 per person. Activities include laser tobogganing, fire pits, snowshoeing, live entertainment and fireworks.
Click Family First Night for more information about the North Shore’s longest running New Year’s Eve event.
New Year’s Eve at GROUSE MOUNTAIN
North Vancouver’s Grouse Mountain ski resort offers three different New Year’s Eve options on December 31st most years. There’s a New Year’s Eve Dinner and Family New Year’s Celebrations.
New Year’s Eve Dinner
Grouse Mountain’s New Year’s Eve Dinner is the ski hill’s main option for dining. In past years there was a Gala which was for adults only and included dinner and then dancing. In 2019, there were dinner options, but also dancing.
Dinner in the Observatory Restaurant in recent years cost about $120 per person (plus taxes, tip and beverages). In December 2019, however, sittings ranged between $125 (for an earlier 6-course dinner) up to $150 (for a later 8-course session). (NOTE: As of December 2020 the Observatory Restaurant is closed until further notice.)
In 2019 the 6-course dinner menu featured a chickpea crisp and hummus appetizer, salmon with caviar, a smoked radish and kale salad, sturgeon, striploin steak, sorbet and chèvre cheesecake for dessert. Extras with the 8-course dinner included goat cheese tortellini and veal tonnato with tuna belly. Vegetarian options were also available.
Four-course dinners were also offered for $90 (plus taxes, tip and beverages) at Altitudes Bistro.
Click Grouse New Year’s Eve Gala for more information about the event.
Family New Year’s Eve Celebration
The Family New Year’s Eve Celebration at Grouse Mountain usually includes ice skating, fire performances, a live band and DJ music at the skate pond, fireworks at 9:00 pm and more. This event often sells out (and did for the December 31st event in 2019, until it got cancelled due to poor weather).
Activities scheduled for December 31, 2019, included live entertainment, sleigh rides, and photo opportunities with the Snow Queen and King. The headliner band last year was Delhi 2 Dublin. Entertainment for 2019 included the band Toy Zebra and ventriloquist Kellie Haines.
2021 details are to be determined.
Click Family New Year’s Eve Celebration for further details about the event in 2019.
New Year’s Eve at CYPRESS MOUNTAIN
NOTE: Due to poor weather conditions this event was cancelled in 2019.
On New Year’s Eve Cypress Mountain usually offers s’ mores to roast around fire pits, live entertainment and fireworks. The snacks typically start at around 5:00 pm, the entertainment runs from 5:45 until 7:45 pm or so, and the fireworks begin at 8:00.
The live entertainment at the Cypress event a couple of years ago included Flamenco music and hands-on Afro-Peruvian percussion and drumming. The event on December 31st, 2019, would have been similar (had it not been cancelled due to heavy rain). Hopefully it will be able to return in 2021.
Click Cypress on New Year’s Eve for more information.
New Year’s Eve at SASQUATCH MOUNTAIN
Sasquatch Mountain is located in the Hemlock Valley not far from Harrison Hot Springs. At the resort on December 31st most years there’s a torch-light parade and fireworks.
The torch-light parade usually starts at around 8:30, the fireworks blast off at around 9:00 pm and New Year’s Eve celebrations continue at Molly Hogan’s Pub from 10:00 pm to 1:30 am.
Tickets for the event at Sasquatch Mountain in 2019 cost just $15 or so, which was the same price as in previous years. Tickets had to be purchased in advance. 2021 details are to be confirmed.
See the Sasquatch Mountain website for more details.
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For information about Vancouver’s main fireworks in Burrard Inlet, and best places to watch them from, click NYE fireworks.
For ideas on other things to do at other times of the year, check out any of the following:
- Vancouver’s January Events Calendar
- Free Events in January
- Festivals & Events Calendar
- Vancouver Fireworks Events
- False Creek NYE Fireworks