December is almost here so why not end 2017 with some fun, free events and activities? Every December, Vancouver transforms into a holiday wonderland filled with magical fairy lights, lofty lit up Christmas trees and all around festive vibes.
This month is jam-packed with so many things to do and so many events. It's also holiday shopping season and winter break which means you're probably dropping quite a bit of money on gifts or vacations.
That's why we’ve compiled an extensive list of free things to do around the city so that you can have fun without spending too much mula and we’ve got you covered for all weeks of the month. So save some money for your Christmas shopping or vacation at these free spots.
During one of the busiest and most happening times of the year, we’re here to help you save time and money (because time = money) with fun festive activities that will keep you bank balance stable. Check out these free events, activities, festivities and more to do in the city during November!
Which dates are you looking for?
For December 1 to 9, click "Next".
Go ice skating at Robson Square
The cute, festive rink at Robson Square is the classic Vancouver winter activity. The rink opens December 1, 2017 until the end of February 2018.
Visit one of these 8 Incredible Winter Waterfalls In BC
Who's up for some free adventure? Experience the beauty of frozen waterfalls in B.C.
Stroll through a Heritage Christmas at the Burnaby Village Museum
Discover a 1920s style village decked out for the holidays with cedar boughs, wreaths and big red bows. The official launch, Bright in Burnaby, is on Saturday December 2 but the event runs until January 5, 2018.
These beautiful fundraiser brings lights to downtown Vancouver every year. Experience 10 km of lights and 100,000 bulbs at St. Paul's Hospital.
Take festive pics at this crystal light dome.
Get those obligatory Christmas light Instas at this beautiful light dome. Located outside Nordstrom on Granville Street, this dome will fulfill your Insta dreams.
Party at Light Up Big White
Head on over to Big White Ski Resort for it's winter celebration. On December 2nd, Light Up Big White will kick off the winter season on the right foot. There will be a big carnival, fireworks and more!
Visit the BC National Parks that are free for 2017
2017 is almost over and so is Canada's 150th birthday... so don't miss your last chance to visit all the National Parks for free.
Attend Party in the Plaza
Warm up in the winter cold with some dancing. Jim Deva Plaza will transform into a giant winter dance party hosted by Party4Health and Lumiere for the first time ever on December 8th from 8 pm to 11 pm.
Attend the Santa Claus Parade
The 14th annual Santa Claus Parade is coming back to Vancouver December 3rd at 12pm. Get ready to see the streets of downtown filled with Christmas cheer.
Check out Lumiere
Lumière showcases light installations, performances, and artistic expressions. This annual winter event that emphasizes community building will illuminate West End, English Bay and Jim Deva Plaza this December.
For December 10 to 16, click "Next".
Go on a Winter Hike Rave with Party4Health
Love partying and hiking? Combine your two loves at the Winter Hike Rave, an event thrown by Party4Health, an organization that promotes health and community through partying. The hike rave takes place on December 16 from 6pm to 9pm in Stanley Park (3rd Beach) and is alcohol and drug free.
If you love shopping local, check out the Winter Farmers Market at Nat Bailey Stadium. This farmers market runs every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm and features over 70 vendors.
There are tons of beautiful snowshoeing trails to choose from across the Lower Mainland. For starters, Dog Mountain is an easy trail with a beautiful payoff.
Skate at the Olympic Plaza Ice Skating Rink
What better place to experience winter wonderland in B.C. than our very own ski town, Whistler? Skate around the Whistler village for free from mid-December 2017 to March 2018.
5th Annual Christmas Tree Festival
From November 25 to December 31, you can see the Christmas Trees at the Port Coquitlam Museum And Archives. There's even a Christmas Tree Festival Scavenger Hunt.
Explore the Instagrammable walls of Vancouver.
Need a break from the holiday instas. The murals of Vancouver will do the trick.
Find out all the free food (click here) and things you can get free (click here) on your birthday
Your birthday only comes once a year so why not make the most of it (and all the free things you can get?). There are tons of birthday goodies in Vancouver.
Camp out one of these free campsites
Experience the Canadian wilderness this winter. There are several free campsites located throughout B.C.
See the Carol Ships Parade of Lights light up the Vancouver waters
Get ready to see the Vancouver waters lit up by Christmas Carol ships. The Carol Ships Parade of Lights features ships decorated with Christmas lights that sail through Vancouver. It costs money to go on these boat cruises but it is free to watch the light show from shore.
See the Canadian Holiday Train in BC
Want to see the Polar Express? The Canadian Holiday Train will be stopping in British Columbia in various towns from December 11 and ending it's B.C. run at Coquitlam on December 17.
For December 17 to 23, click "Next".
Experience the light of lanterns at the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival
See the darkest night of the year illuminated by lanterns. The annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival takes place on December 23, 2017 in four different neighbourhoods.
See the Dundarave Festival of Lights
Christmas trees beside a beach isn't a sight you see every day. The Dundarave Festival of Lights will feature free concerts every Saturday from December 2 to December 23, which will be the bonfire night.
Hastings Park Winter Farmers Market
Shop local at this farmers market that is home to over 30 different farms and producers. The Hastings Park Winter Farmers Market is located at the PNE Fairgrounds between the Forum and Agrodome.
Learn more about Vancouver with a walking tour with The Tour Guys
Can't go on a vacation this winter? Why not play tourist in your own city and maybe discover some hidden spots?
Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery on Tuesday for entrance by donation
Every Tuesday, the VAG opens it's doors for entrance by donation. Experience one of the artistic sides of Vancouver.
Warm up in a natural hot spring.
What better way to beat the winter cold than to warm up in a free and beautiful undeveloped hot spring? There are several natural hot springs located throughout the province.
Go on a winter hike
The beautiful outdoors is calling you. Experience winter wonderland firsthand in the winter hikes of B.C.
Dance the night away at these clubs with no cover
Want to save money on cover? Check out these clubs for free entry (cut off time or day is different from club to club).
Experience Christmas in Kerrisdale
Every year this cute Vancouver neighbourhood on the West Side celebrates the holidays with tons of cute, free festivities. Enjoy free ice skating, musical performances and more.
Trinity Street Christmas Light Festival
Watch this local neighbourhood, Trinity St (2400 and 2900 blocks), transform into homes extravagantly decked out for the holidays. You can wander along the street to see all the unique displays. Just keep in mind that there isn't street parking and be respectful of this residential neighbourhood.
For December 24 to 31, click "Next".
Walk through the Lights at Lafarge Lake
Stroll on a beautifully lit lakeside trail in Coquitlam. The 100,000 lights will be up from November 26 to January 21, 2018.
Experience Bright Nights in Stanley Park
3 million sparkling lights await you at Stanley Park this holiday season. Entrance is by donation and benefits the BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund. There's even a Christmas train you can ride (for an extra cost).
See the Vancouver Christmas Tree
Get in the Christmas spirit and see the 76 feet tall Vancouver Christmas Tree. Located right in Robson Square, the tree will bring some festive vibes to the city's core.
Slide down Cleveland Park hill on a sled
If we get a white Christmas, why not make the most of the snow and go for some playful fun tobogganing?
Watch the annual NYE fireworks in Downtown Vancouver.
End 2017 and start 2018 with a bang (literally). Watch the free fireworks display in English Bay on December 31.
Conquer these epic food challenges to get your food for free
Challenge accepted. Bring your A-game to these insane food challenges and you might just get a free meal out of it.
Visit this insane castle in Victoria
This castle has been featured in several Hollywood movies. Explore the set of Deadpool, X-Men and more.
Go for a Polar Bear swim
Why not end the year with a cool adventure? Do as the polar bears do and swim in some icy winter waters.
Walk across a snow-covered BC suspension bridge
Suspension bridges are already so beautiful, but when they are covered in snow they become even more of a sight to behold. This suspension bridge in Whistler can become super snowy in the winter time.
Bring your dog on a dog friendly trail
Take your pup on a hike where he or she can roam freely. Check out this list of dog friendly trails around Vancouver.