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Free December Events in Vancouver

Free December Things to Do

There so many free things to do in Vancouver in December 2018 including holiday concerts, craft fairs, Christmas lights and seasonal attractions.

Free Activities in December 2018

For a list of some of the best things to do in December, including activities that aren’t free, check out the December Events Calendar. For a list of the best FREE (or almost free) special events this month, see below.

(Note: Event locations, times, prices and other details are subject to change. Check with each event’s website for the most up-to-date information.)

Saturday, December 1st

  • Special Christmas Events
    • Shipyards Christmas Festival – at North Vancouver’s Shipbuilders’ Square at 138 Victory Ship Way. Festival activities include an artisan market, the lighting of the Christmas tree, family-friendly activities and performances by various groups.
    • Bright in Burnaby at Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm. Today also features additional special events from 4:00 until 9:00 pm including the lighting of the museum’s Christmas tree and light refreshments.
    • Wesbrook Village Winter Festival – Christmas decorations, live entertainment, visits with Santa Claus and the Etsy Vancouver Winter Market (the last of which costs $3 for folk ages 12 and older).
    • Santa Claus Parade – along Columbia Street in New Westminster.
    • Holiday Cheer at the Pier Christmas celebrations at Port Moody’s Rocky Point Park from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.
    • Christmas at the Park– a community event at Memorial Peace Park in Maple Ridge between 4:00 and 6:00 pm which is then followed by a parade beginning at Plaza Street and Dewdney Trunk Road. From there the parade goes to 224th Street, through the Memorial Peace Park, and then south again along 224th to Selkirk.
    • Dundarave Festival of Lights today’s Saturday event features Christmas tree decorating by local community groups plus live entertainment at West Vancouver’s Dundarave Beach.
    • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Ongoing Winter Holiday Events
    • Heritage Christmas – Christmas activities and decorations at Stewart Farm in South Surrey from 12:00 to 3:00 pm.
    • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
    • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
    • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
    • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm.
    • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
    • Robson Square Skating – free ice skating in the square underground behind the Vancouver Art Gallery on Robson Street.
  • Markets
    • NV Holiday Bazaar – a large Christmas craft fair at the West Vancouver Community Centre at 2121 Marine Drive from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
    • New West Winter Night Market – a holiday craft fair event at New Westminster’s River Market between 6:00 and 9:30 pm.
    • Heritage Christmas Craft Fair – a holiday craft market at Steveston Village’s Britannia Heritage Shipyard from 11:00 until 4:00.
    • A Country Christmas – a holiday artisan market with admission by donation at Chilliwack’s Tzeachten Hall between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
    • Toque Craft Fair – a small artisan market with around 20 vendors at 303 East 8th Avenue in Vancouver. Admission is by donation.
    • Riley Park Farmers Market – in the parking lot at Nat Bailey Stadium at 4601 Ontario Street from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.
    • New Westminster Farmers Market – not far from Moody Park in the 600 block of Belmont Street in downtown New Westminster between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Cheap Cineplex MoviesElf is showing in the morning for just $2.99 at select theatres in the Lower Mainland. It’s not free, but it is extra cheap!
  • Other Free Events

Top December Things to Do

Sunday, December 2nd

  • Special Christmas Events
    • Vancouver Santa Claus Parade – pre-parade activities in the plaza at the Vancouver Art Gallery from 10:00 am until noon. The parade itself starts at around 12:00 pm and goes along Georgia Street and Howe Street.
    • Wesbrook Village Winter Festival – Christmas decorations, live entertainment, visits with Santa Claus and the Etsy Vancouver Winter Market (the last of which costs $3 for folk ages 12 and older).
    • Christmas in Steveston Village – various holiday activities in Richmond’s historic fishing village including a display of classic cars, the arrival of Santa Claus by boat, and photo opportunities with St. Nick at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery.
  • Markets
    • NV Holiday Bazaar – a large Christmas craft fair at the West Vancouver Community Centre at 2121 Marine Drive from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
    • Toque Craft Fair – a small artisan market with around 20 vendors at 303 East 8th Avenue in Vancouver. Admission is by donation.
    • Hastings Park Farmers Market – at Hastings Park between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Free parking at the PNE at Pandora and Renfrew for market shoppers.
    • Cannery Farmers Market – between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm at Steveston Village’s historic Gulf of Georgia Cannery at 12138 Fourth Avenue.
  • Ongoing Winter Holiday Events
    • Festival of Trees – decorated Christmas trees at the historic site in Steveston Village (and with free admission today because it’s also winter farmers market day.)
    • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
    • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
    • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
    • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
    • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm.
    • Robson Square Ice Skating – free ice skating in the square underground behind the Vancouver Art Gallery on Robson Street.
  • Entertainment
    • Jazz Vespers – at St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church in downtown Vancouver between 4:00 and 5:00 pm. Admission is by donation. Today’s feature musician is Leora Cashe.
    • Jazz Vespers in Surrey – Jazz also takes place at Northwood United Church at 8855 156th Street in Surrey from 4:00 to 5:00 pm. By donation.
  • Other Free Events

Christmas Craft Fairs

Monday, December 3rd

  • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 5:30 pm.
  • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
  • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Robson Square Ice Skating – free ice skating in the square underground behind the Vancouver Art Gallery on Robson Street.
  • Other Free Events

Tuesday, December 4th

  • Vancouver Art Gallery – admission from 5:00 until 9:00 pm is by donation (as it’s Tuesday).
  • Cheap Movie Night – at various movie theatres throughout Metro Vancouver (so although not free, it is less expensive than usual).
  • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 5:30 pm.
  • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
  • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Robson Square Ice Skating – free skating on the ice rink outside the Vancouver Art Gallery at the corner of Howe and Robson Street.
  • Other Free Events

Wednesday, December 5th

  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
  • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 5:30 pm.
  • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Robson Square Ice Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink near the Vancouver Art Gallery at the corner of Howe and Robson Street.
  • Other Free Events

Thursday, December 6th

  • Special Christmas Events
  • Ongoing Winter Holiday Events
    • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
    • Robson Square Ice Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink outside the Vancouver Art Gallery at the corner of Howe and Robson Street.
    • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
    • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 5:30 pm.
    • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
    • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
    • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
    • Other Free Events

Friday, December 7th

  • Bill Reid Gallery – free admission to the First Nations art gallery between 2:00 and 5:00 pm (because it’s the first Friday of the month).
  • Special Christmas Events
    • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights, live entertainment and special family-friendly activities from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
    • Singing Christmas Tree – family-friendly entertainment including performances by a 100+ member choir, an orchestra, dancers and even acrobats at Broadway Church in Vancouver.
  • Ongoing Winter Holiday Events
    • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
    • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
    • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
    • Robson Square Ice Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink near the Vancouver Art Gallery at the corner of Howe and Robson Street.
    • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
    • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
    • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
    • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 5:30 pm.
    • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Other Free Events

Best Christmas Activities

Saturday, December 8th

  • Special Christmas Events
    • Christmas Lights Up Parade – a community Santa Claus parade in Aldergrove.
    • Christmas Open House – Santa Claus, live music, crafts and refreshments at Stewart Farm in South Surrey from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.
    • Singing Christmas Tree – family-friendly entertainment including performances by a 100+ member choir, an orchestra, dancers and even acrobats at Broadway Church in Vancouver.
  • Cheap Cineplex MoviesPolar Express 3D is showing in the morning for just $2.99 at select theatres in the Lower Mainland. It’s not free, but it is extra cheap!
  • Ongoing Winter Holiday Events
    • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
    • Dundarave Festival of Lights – free live music and other entertainment in West Vancouver as part of today’s Dundarave Native Paddle Songs event.
    • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
    • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
    • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
    • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
    • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm.
    • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
    • Robson Square Ice Skating – free ice skating in the square underground behind the Vancouver Art Gallery on Robson Street.
  • Other Free Events

Christmas Craft Fairs

Sunday, December 9th

  • Shows & Entertainment
    • Singing Christmas Tree – family-friendly entertainment including performances by a 100+ member choir, an orchestra, dancers and even acrobats at Broadway Church in Vancouver.
    • Jazz Vespers – at St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church in downtown Vancouver between 4:00 and 5:00 pm. Admission is by donation. Today features Shannon Gaye’s Songs of Joy & Peace.
    • Jazz Vespers in Surrey – Jazz also takes place at Northwood United Church at 8855 156th Street in Surrey from 4:00 to 5:00 pm. By donation.
  • Farmers Markets
    • Hastings Park Farmers Market – at Hastings Park between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Free parking at the PNE at Pandora and Renfrew for market shoppers.
    • Cannery Farmers Market – in Steveston Village at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Ongoing Winter Holiday Events
    • Festival of Trees – decorated Christmas trees at the historic site in Steveston Village (and with free admission today because it’s also winter farmers market day.)
    • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm.
    • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
    • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
    • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
    • Robson Square Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink outside the Vancouver Art Gallery at the corner of Howe and Robson Street.
    • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
    • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Other Free Events

Monday, December 10th

  • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 5:30 pm.
  • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
  • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Robson Square Skating – free ice skating in the square underground behind the Vancouver Art Gallery on Robson Street.
  • Other Free Events

Tuesday, December 11th

  • Vancouver Art Gallery – admission from 5:00 until 9:00 pm is by donation (as it’s Tuesday).
  • Cheap Movie Night – at various movie theatres throughout Metro Vancouver (so although not free, it is less expensive than usual).
  • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
  • Robson Square Skating – free ice skating in the square underground behind the Vancouver Art Gallery on Robson Street.
  • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
  • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 5:30 pm.
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Other Free Events

Freshslice Pizza Ad

Wednesday, December 12th

  • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
  • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum.
  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Robson Square Skating – free ice skating in the square underground behind the Vancouver Art Gallery on Robson Street.
  • Other Free Events

Thursday, December 13th

Best Christmas Activities

Friday, December 14th

  • Special Christmas Events
    • Singing Christmas Tree – family-friendly entertainment including performances by a 100+ member choir, an orchestra, dancers and even acrobats at Broadway Church in Vancouver.
    • Christmas in the Village – a holiday craft market at Fort Langley’s Community Hall at 9167 Glover Road. Admission is by donation.
    • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights, live entertainment and special family-friendly activities from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Ongoing Winter Holiday Events
    • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
    • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
    • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
    • Robson Square Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink behind the Vancouver Art Gallery.
    • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
    • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm.
    • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Other Free Events

Saturday, December 15th

  • Special Christmas Events
    • Carol Ships Shoreline Celebration – a community bonfire, live entertainment, craft-making opportunities and boats with Christmas lights out on the water in North Vancouver’s Deep Cove between 7:30 and 9 pm.
    • Dundarave Festival of Lights – free live music and festive holiday celebrations in West Vancouver as part of today’s World Christmas event.
    • Singing Christmas Tree – family-friendly entertainment including performances by a 100+ member choir, an orchestra, dancers and even acrobats at Broadway Church in Vancouver.
  • Cheap Cineplex Movies – a family-friendly is showing in the morning for just $2.99 at select theatres in the Lower Mainland. It’s not free, but it is extra cheap! (To be confirmed.)
  • Ongoing Winter Holiday Events
    • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
    • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
    • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
    • Robson Square Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink behind the Vancouver Art Gallery.
    • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
    • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
    • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm.
    • Heritage Christmas – Christmas activities and decorations at Stewart Farm in South Surrey from 12:00 to 3:00 pm.
    • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Markets
    • Shipyards Christmas Market – a winter holiday-themed market featuring 40+ artisan vendors at North Vancouver’s Shipbuilders’ Square.
    • Christmas in the Village – a holiday craft market at Fort Langley’s Community Hall at 9167 Glover Road. Admission is by donation.
    • Riley Park Farmers Market – in the parking lot at Nat Bailey Stadium at 4601 Ontario Street from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.
    • New Westminster Farmers Market – not far from Moody Park in the 600 block of Belmont Street in downtown New Westminster between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.

Vancouver Christmas Concerts

Sunday, December 16th

  • Shows & Entertainment
    • Singing Christmas Tree – family-friendly entertainment including performances by a 100+ member choir, an orchestra, dancers and even acrobats at Broadway Church in Vancouver.
    • Jazz Vespers – at St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church in downtown Vancouver between 4:00 and 5:00 pm. Admission is by donation. Today features an “Old Time Family Christmas” concert.
  • Markets
    • Shipyards Christmas Market – over 40 market vendors at Shipbuilders’ Square in North Vancouver. (2018 details to be confirmed.)
    • Christmas in the Village – a holiday craft market at Fort Langley’s Community Hall at 9167 Glover Road. Admission is by donation.
    • Hastings Park Farmers Market – at Hastings Park between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Free parking at the PNE at Pandora and Renfrew for market shoppers.
    • Cannery Farmers Market – in Steveston Village at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. (This is a great day to visit the historic site because during market hours admission is free!)
  • Ongoing Winter Holiday Events
    • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
    • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
    • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
    • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
    • Robson Square Skating – free ice skating in the square underground behind the Vancouver Art Gallery on Robson Street.
    • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm.
    • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
    • Festival of Trees – decorated Christmas trees at the historic site in Steveston Village (and with free admission today because it’s also winter farmers market day.)

Monday, December 17th

  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
  • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
  • Robson Square Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink behind the Vancouver Art Gallery.
  • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
  • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm.
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Other Free Events

Tuesday, December 18th

  • Vancouver Art Gallery – admission from 5:00 until 9:00 pm is by donation (as it’s Tuesday).
  • Cheap Movie Night – at various movie theatres throughout Metro Vancouver (so although not free, it is less expensive than usual).
  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
  • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
  • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
  • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Robson Square Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink behind the Vancouver Art Gallery.
  • Other Free Events

Wednesday, December 19th

  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
  • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
  • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
  • Robson Square Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink behind the Vancouver Art Gallery.
  • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Other Free Events

Thursday, December 20th

  • Beaty Nocturnal – the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at UBC is open by donation tonight from 5:00 to 8:30 pm. Guided tours are at 7:00 pm.
  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
  • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
  • Robson Square Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink behind the Vancouver Art Gallery.
  • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm
  • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Other Free Events

Friday, December 21st

  • Final day of school before the holidays at most Lower Mainland elementary schools and high schools.
  • Special Events
    • Winter Solstice Lantern Festival – dance and fire performances and outdoor processions in the evening at Granville Island, Yaletown and the Strathcona neighbourhood.
    • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights, live entertainment and special family-friendly activities from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Ongoing Winter Holiday Events
    • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
    • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
    • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
    • Robson Square Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink behind the Vancouver Art Gallery.
    • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
    • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm
    • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Other Free Events

Saturday, December 22nd

  • Dundarave Festival of Lights – the annual Christmas Wassail & Bonfire Night event featuring live entertainment and a giant bonfire takes place at West Vancouver’s Dundarave Beach at 150-25th Street.
  • Cheap Cineplex Movies – a family-friendly is showing in the morning for just $2.99 at select theatres in the Lower Mainland. It’s not free, but it is extra cheap! (To be confirmed.)
  • Riley Park Farmers Market – in the parking lot at Nat Bailey Stadium at 4601 Ontario Street from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm.
  • Ongoing Winter Holiday Events
    • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
    • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm
    • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
    • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
    • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
    • Robson Square Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink at the corner of Howe and Robson Street.
    • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
    • Heritage Christmas – Christmas activities and decorations at Stewart Farm in South Surrey from 12:00 to 3:00 pm.
    • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Other Free Events

Top December Things to Do

Sunday, December 23rd

  • Jazz Vespers – at St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church in downtown Vancouver between 4:00 and 5:00 pm. Admission is by donation.
  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
  • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
  • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
  • Robson Square Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink at the corner of Howe and Robson Street.
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm.
  • Heritage Christmas – Christmas activities and decorations at Stewart Farm in South Surrey from 12:00 to 3:00 pm.
  • Other Free Events

Monday, December 24th (Christmas Eve)

Tuesday, December 25th (Christmas Day)

  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
  • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Robson Square Skating – free ice skating in the square underground behind the Vancouver Art Gallery on Robson Street.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be!

Wednesday, December 26th (Boxing Day)

  • Boxing Day – official start of the post-Christmas shopping sale deals.
  • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm.
  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
  • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
  • Robson Square Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink at the corner of Howe and Robson Street.
  • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be!

Thursday, December 27th

  • Museum of Vancouver – admission is by donation from 5:00 to 8:00 pm (because it’s the last Thursday of the month).
  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
  • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
  • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
  • Robson Square Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink at the corner of Howe and Robson Street.
  • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm.
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Other Free Events

Friday, December 28th

  • Museum of Vancouver – today is a special “pay-what-you-can-night” from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.
  • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm.
  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
  • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
  • Gingerbread Lane – Christmas gingerbread house displays at the Hyatt Regency at 655 Burrard Street.
  • Robson Square Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink at the corner of Howe and Robson Street.
  • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack.
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Other Free Events

Saturday, December 29th

  • Museum of Vancouver – today is a special “pay-what-you-can-night” from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.
  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Robson Square Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink at the corner of Howe and Robson Street.
  • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
  • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
  • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm.
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Dickens Christmas – free Christmas displays at the British Museum at 45945 Alexander Avenue in Chilliwack (to be confirmed).
  • Cheap Cineplex Movies – a family-friendly is showing in the morning for just $2.99 at select theatres in the Lower Mainland. It’s not free, but it is extra cheap! (To be confirmed.)
  • Other Free Events

Sunday, December 30th

  • Christmas at Canada Place – Christmas lights and seasonal displays.
  • Robson Square Skating – free skating on the outdoor ice rink behind the Vancouver Art Gallery.
  • Bright Nights – Christmas lights (by donation) and (not free) miniature train rides at Stanley Park.
  • Heritage Christmas – free Christmas things to do and see at Burnaby Village Museum from 1:00 to 9:00 pm.
  • Lights at Lafarge – free Christmas light displays between dusk and 11 o’clock around Lafarge Lake at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.
  • Holiday Hi-Light Festival – Christmas lights and decorations from 5:30 until 9:00 pm at North Vancouver’s Park and Tilford Gardens (by donation).
  • Jazz Vespers – at St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church in downtown Vancouver between 4:00 and 5:00 pm. Admission is by donation. Today features a New Year’s Eve Salsa Band.
  • Other Free Events

New Year's Fireworks

Monday, December 31st (New Year’s Eve)

  • FREE Transit – free public transit from 5:00 pm today until late at night.


Other December Events

For a list of other things to do this month (including activities that aren’t free), see the December Events Calendar.

Click Top Christmas Activities for other best seasonal things to do in December.

To see what’s happening next month, see the January Calendar of Events.

For more, check out Vancouver’s Best Places for Winter Activities or Vancouver’s Top Things to do at Christmas Time.

 

 

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