50 Delightfully Fun Holiday Events to Check Out in Vancouver

Festive (Christmas lights! Carolling duels!) and some not-so-festive (a Mad Max and Wizard of Oz mash-up?) things to do this season.

1. Vancouver Christmas Market

November 22 to December 24

Vancouver’s own German style Christmas Market is back! With delicious German treats, performances on a flying stage, trivia nights and plenty of vendors, you’ll be as twisty as a pretzel trying to take it all in. December 6 is a special date night, where sweethearts can enjoy tastings for two and have a chance to win a romantic Victoria getaway.When: November 22 to December 24Where: Jack Poole Plaza, 1055 Canada Place (site of the Olympic Cauldron)Price: $5 to $50More info: Vancouver Christmas Market

2. VanDusen Festival of Lights

November 23 to December 31

Take a stroll through the winter wonderland that is the VanDusen Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights. The 55-acre garden will be filled with over a million dazzling lights, fun displays, hot beverages and the chance to ride a carousel.When: November 23 to December 31Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden, 5151 Oak StreetPrice: $8.50 to $15.50More info: VanDusen Festival of Lights

3. Christmas at Canada Place

November 23 to December 31

In the 1960s, Woodwards would create beautiful wooden window installations of classic holiday scenes, from Santa’s Workshop to The Lamplighter (not the bar, but the old-timey profession). Christmas at Canada Place has brought back these historic installations as well as musical performances, crafts, an avenue of Christmas trees and more.When: November 23 to December 31Where: Canada PlacePrice: $6 to $12More info: Canada Place

4. Onegin

November 23 to December 31

Based on the famous poem by Pushkin and opera by Tchaikovsky, Onegin is a new musical by local geniuses Veda Hille and Amiel Gladstone. Presented by the Arts Club, Onegin follows the story of Evgeni Onegin as he incites passions while visiting his family estate. Expect romance, jealousy, tragic duels, beautiful sets and even a killer guitar solo.When: November 23 to December 31Where: Granville Island Stage, 2750 Granville StreetPrice: $29 to $49More info: The Arts Club

5. Canyon Lights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge

November 23 to January 28

Majestic old growth trees, reaching over 100 feet in height, at the Capilano Suspension bridge have been dramatically lit and decorated as part of Canyon Lights, a winter lights festival. Visitors to the festival can expect enchanting trails, tree top adventures and even a Snowy Owl Prowl.When: November 23 to January 28Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge, 3735 Capilano Road, North VancouverPrice: $15 to $43More info: Canyon Lights

6. Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain

November 24 to January 7

Sleigh rides, a gingerbread village, Santa’s workshop, a skating pond and more await at the Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain! Entry is part of all regular admissions or a family pass can be bought for the day.When: November 24 to January 7Where: Grouse Mountain, 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North VancouverPrice: Included with mountain pass or $89.95 for family admissionMore info: Grouse Mountain

7. Holiday Traditions at the Vancouver Aquarium

November 24 to January 7

Forget chimneys, Santa makes deep sea deliveries! Scuba Santa, a jellyfish snow globe, eel-ectric light displays and more are taking place during Holiday Traditions at the Vancouver Aquarium. Now even the sea cucumbers can celebrate this holiday season.When: November 24 to January 7Where: Vancouver Aquarium, 845 Avison WayPrice: $22 to $40More info: Vancouver Aquarium

8. Sea to Sky Gondola: Spirit of Christmas

November 24 to January 7

With fondue, decorated forest walks, choir concerts and pancakes with Santa, there are plenty of reasons to head up the Sea to Sky Gondola for the Spirit of Christmas. On Saturdays, join a small group on headlamp hike to enjoy the fresh winter wilderness.When: November 24 to January 7Where: Sea to Sky Gondola, 6800 BC-99, SquamishPrice: $14 to $40More info: Sea to Sky

9. East Van Panto: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

November 29 to January 6

Presented by Theatre Replacement and The Cultch, East Van Panto: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves turns the classic fairy tale on its head for a delightful holiday tradition. Panto is short for pantomime, a theatrical experience that encourages audience participation and musical satire perfect for both children and the young at heart.When: November 29 to January 6Where: The York Theatre, 639 Commercial DrivePrice: $22 to $56, family packs availableMore info: The Cultch

10. Friends of the VPL: Christmas Used Book Sale

November 30 to December 2

Whether you’re looking for a gift for your literary friend or a book to cuddle up with on a winter’s night, the Vancouver Public Library’s Christmas Used Book Sale is a great place to start. On sale are children’s and adult books, DVDs and more with all proceeds going to support the library’s programs.When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.Where: Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, 350 West Georgia StreetPrice: FreeMore info: VPL

11. CBC Open House and Food Bank Day

December 1

CBC/Radio Canada is offering you the chance to attend live broadcasts with special musical guests and take a tour of their newsroom and studios as part of CBC Open House and Food Bank Day. You can even try your hand at being a weather presenter on set! Donations to the Food Bank can be made online or in person on the day of the event.When: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.Where: CBC Vancouver Broadcast Centre, 700 Hamilton StreetPrice: By donationMore info: CBC

12. Harry Potter: A Triwizard Tournament

December 1

Put your magic skills to the test at the Vancouver Public Library’s event Harry Potter: A Triwizard Tournament. Participating teens (sorry adults, seems the owls ate our invitations) can wander the library—it will be turned into the Hogwarts Great Hall. Costumes encouraged!When: 3 to 5 p.m.Where: Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, 350 W. Georgia StreetPrice: Free admission, registration requiredMore info: VPL

13. Toque Fundraiser and Craft Fair

December 1 to 3

A curated treasure trove of gifts made by artists and designers, Toque is the Western Front’s annual fundraiser and craft fair. This year’s fair includes vendors Easy Tiger Spa, Explorer’s Press, and Forest and Waves as well as a back-deck barbeque.When: December 1 to 3Where: Western Front, 303 East 8th AvenuePrice: By donationMore info: Toque

14. Ice Skating at Robson Square

December 1 to February 2018

Just down the stairs from the Vancouver Art Gallery is the Ice Rink at Robson Square, an adorable and festive ice rink for all ages and abilities. Admission is free and skate rentals are available for a small fee.When: December 1 to February 2018Where: Robson Ice Rink, 800 Robson StreetPrice: Free admission, rentals availableMore info: Robson Square

15. Elf at Cineplex Theatres

December 2

Perhaps Will Ferrell at his finest, Elf will be playing at Cineplex Theatres across the province on December 2 for just $2.99.When: 11 a.m.Where: Multiple Cineplex theatresPrice: $2.99More info: Cineplex

16. Winter Wreath Workshop

December 2

Make your own beautiful wreath at the UBC Botanical Garden! Participants can bring their own clippings if preferred, but if you’d rather buy the handiwork of a Friend of the Garden, wreaths will be for sale in the Garden Shop for the month of December.When: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.Where: UBC Botanical Garden, 6804 SW Marine DrivePrice: $65More info: UBC Botanical Garden

17. The Mint Records Ridiculously Early Xmas Party

December 2

Want to dance the night away with some of the friendliest and most fun musicians in town? The Mint Records Ridiculously Early Xmas Party features Woolworm, Needles//Pins, Jay Arner, Supermoon and Kellariss, as well as carol singing between acts. The first 50 people in the door will receive a gift bag with treasures from a variety of record stores. Proceeds will support organizations such as Girls Rock Camp Vancouver and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.When: 8:00 p.m.Where: The Astoria, 769 E Hastings StreetPrice: $10 to $12More info: Mint Records

18. Peter and the Wolf

December 2

Relive the joy of this Prokofiev’s classic Peter and the Wolf, told through narration and illustrated by the UBC Symphony Orchestra with each character of the story “played” by a different musical instrument and melody. Fun of the whole family, this production will be narrated by UBC’s own festively named president, Santa Ono.When: 8 to 10 p.m.Where: Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, 6265 Crescent RoadPrice: $8More info: UBC Symphony Orchestra

19. Annual Aboriginal Craft Fair

December 2 to 3

Join the Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society for their annual Aboriginal Craft Fair! The fair will feature an array of traditional and contemporary works and tasty treats such as smoked salmon and bannock.When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.Where: Aboriginal Friendship Centre, 1607 E Hastings StreetPrice: By donationMore info: VAFCS

20. Lumiere Festival

December 2 to 9

For one week, Lumiere Festival will fill Vancouver with dazzling light installations, dance parties and community performances. Of note is a giant outdoor dance party by Pary4health, a pop-up ping pong party by Frida and Frank, and “The Limitations of Words to Describe Feelings,” a huge glowing vision board created by Jamie Hughes on which visitors are invited to share their thoughts and memories.When: December 2 to 9Where: West End, English Bay, Jim Devan PlazaPrice: FreeMore info: Lumiere YVR

21. Icelandic Bake and Craft Sale

December 3

Enjoy the baking, crafts and dotted Os of Iceland at the Icelandic Bake and Craft Sale, hosted by the Icelandic Canadian Club of British Columbia. Crafts including wooden toys and flower plants will be for sale in the morning, followed by a bake sale that features vinaterta (multi-layered cake) and whole or half legs of hangikjö (triple-smoked lamb).When: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.Where: Scandinavian Community Centre, 6540 Thomas Street, BurnabyPrice: FreeMore info: Facebook

22. Philosophy of Love Art Night and Film Screening

December 4

What is love? Find out for yourself at the Philosophy of Love Art Night and Film Screening. Enjoy the video-poetry of Ray Briggs and Swoon, followed by the screening of What is Love? by photo artist Angela Fama, exploring the varied experiences of love as people from across the U.S. and Canada define what love means to them.When: 7:30 p.m.Where: The Fox Cabaret, 2321 Main StreetPrice: Free, registration requiredMore info: Metaphysics of Love

23. Holiday Lights Walking Tours

December 5, 13 and 20

Join the Downtown Vancouver BIA for free Holiday Lights Walking Tours of the beautiful light displays around downtown Vancouver. Stops include the St. Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope; walkers can also enjoy complimentary hot beverages from Trees Organic.When: 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.Where: Lot 19, 855 W Hastings StreetPrice: Free, registration requiredMore info: Downtown Vancouver

24. Yule Duel

December 7

Head down to Gastown where dozens of choirs will duel in the most warm-hearted competition of the holiday season, the Yule Duel. Choirs will compete in sing-offs judged by celebrity judges with all proceeds going to May’s Place Hospice in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.When: 6 to 9 p.m.Where: Water Street, GastownPrice: By donationMore info: Yule Duel

25. Talent Time: 10th Annual Xmas Special

December 7

A hilarious, ridiculous and always surprising talent show, Paul Anthony’s Talent Time: 10th Annual Xmas Special will feature especially festive acts. Co-hosted by Ryan Beil, the show will include stand-up by Charles Demers, joyous choirs, an indoor snow machine, miracles, a John Lennon impersonation and more!When: 8:00p.m.Where: The Rio, 660 E BroadwayPrice: $10 to $12More info: The Rio

26. Night Shift: Supernatural Vibes

December 7

Celebrating Northwest Coast matriarch voices and women’s stories and talents, Supernatural Vibes is an all-female lineup of Indigenous spoken word and hip-hop performers. Curated by emcee Suzette Amaya, this instalment of the Museum of Anthropology’s Night Shift series features artists such JB the First Lady and indie pop group Sister Says.When: 7 p.m.Where: Museum of Anthropology, 6393 NW Marine DrivePrice: $10More info: MOA

27. Bah Humbug!

December 7 to 16

Written to respond to the issues facing the Vancouver community today, Bah Humbug! is an East Van retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. A story of greed, gratitude and human redemption, Bah Humbug! will feature an array of musical styles from folk, gospel and industrial rock put on by award winning local performers.When: December 7 to 16Where: Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, 149 W Hastings StreetPrice: $20 to $35More info: Eventbrite

28. Got Craft? 2017 Holiday Edition

December 9 to 10

With workshops, food trucks, swag bags and more than 80 local vendors, Got Craft? 2017 Holiday Edition may be the most fun you have all season while doing your holiday shopping.When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.Where: Maritime Labour Centre, 1880 Triumph StreetPrice: $3More info: Got Craft?

29. Sunday Soul Brunch

December 10

Held in the spirit of music’s power to create connection and reaffirm our humanity, Sunday Soul Brunch features the uplifting music of Dawn Pemberton and The Good Almighty! Put on by Pi Theatre, the brunch buffet will be a delicious spread of Southern classics.When: 10:30 a.m.Where: Emerald Supper Club, 555 Gore AvenuePrice: $36More info: Pi Theatre

30. Chanukah Celebration at the Vancouver Art Gallery

December 12

Celebrate Hanukkah with the lighting of Canada’s largest Menorah! Held outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, this Chanukah Celebration will include live music, a gelt drop, hot chocolate and doughnuts.When: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.Where: Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby St.Price: FreeMore info: Facebook

31. Gastown Cabaret: Boy Band Christmas

December 12

The Gastown Cabaret is back (alright!) with a Boy Band Christmas filled with Bendy Boylesque, belly dancing and comedy all set to the soundtrack of your favourite boy bands.When: 8:00 p.m.Where: Guilt and Co., 1 Alexander StreetPrice: $10More info: Facebook

32. The Anxiety Show

December 12

While the holidays are fun, they can also be filled with awkward family obligations, overspending and an overwhelming amount of cheer. To help you laugh off some of the pressure, the Anxiety Show features comedy based on mental health issues from comedians as well as open mic performers. This month’s show features hilarious storytellers Sarah Bynoe and Jo Dworschak.When: 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.Where: The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main StreetPrice: $11 to $13More info: Eventbrite

33. Mad Max: Yellow Brick Road

December 13 to 16

Put together Mad Max, post-apocalyptic munchkins and a one-arm Glinda and you’ve got the unlikely mashup of Mad Max: Yellow Brick Road. This full scripted parody by Instant Theatre Comedy finds Mad Max singing, swearing and rapping his way through the land of Oz. Will he survive the Lollipop Guild?When: 7:30 p.m.Where: Havana Theatre, 1212 Commercial DrivePrice: $15 to $20More info: Eventbrite

34. Good Tidings! A Good Noise Gospel Christmas

December 15 to 16

Feel the joy at Good Tidings! A Good Noise Gospel Christmas with special guest Canadian jazz singer Maureen Washington. Performing alongside the 90-voice gospel choir, Washington brings her powerful vocals to a performance that is bound to get you on your feet.When: 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.Where: Christ Church Cathedral, 690 Burrard StreetPrice: $10 to $25Most info: Good Noise Gospel Choir

35. Holiday Heights at Bloedel: Artic Oasis

December 15 to January 7

Tired of the grey and cold? Skip the airfare and visit the Artic Oasis at Bloedel Conservatory to experience the warmth and magic of tropical climates. Visitors can search for hidden penguins amongst the parrots and palms, then enjoy the beautiful view from Queen Elizabeth park.When: December 15 to January 7Where: Bloedel Conservatory, 4600 Cambie StreetPrice: $3.15 to $14.75