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Things to Do in Vancouver in Winter

Looking for things to do in Vancouver in winter? From thrilling ski trips and ziplines to tree lightings and holiday markets, Vancouver is a can’t-miss destination in the winter. Read on for a list of the best things to do in Vancouver in the winter!

A pair of ice skates.

Outdoor Vancouver Winter Activities

From skiing and ice skating to winter ziplining, Vancouver is packed with outdoor activities in the winter. The cold climate ensures fresh powdery snow for skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and more, with that same snow providing gorgeous landscapes to take in on a zipline tour or as you fly down a path on your skis!

Skiing and Snowboarding

Take advantage of the tall mountains and plentiful snow during the winter in Vancouver: hit the slopes! Skiing and snowboarding are some of the most popular winter activities in Vancouver, with thousands of visitors and locals donning their skis and hopping on boards to explore and enjoy the ski trails in and surrounding Vancouver – nearby mountains include Cypress, Grouse, and Seymour. 

Visit Whistler

Whistler, just a short drive from Vancouver, offers a wonderland of thrilling winter activities. From skiing and snowboarding to ziplining and snowmobiling, Whistler makes full use of the impressive natural landscape that surrounds them. The fun doesn’t stay outdoors, though: Whistler also features the indoor Wintersphere, a winter wonderland experience for the whole family, at the Whistler Conference Center. 

Ice Skating in Robson Square

Visit the Robson Square Ice Rink this winter in Vancouver! This classic annual installation draws locals and visitors alike to Robson Square in downtown Vancouver from December thru February. Rent your skates and enjoy one of the most popular winter activities in Vancouver. Discover more things to do on Robson Street.

A plate of pasta.

Winter Vancouver Events and Festivals

Showcasing local flavors and local talents, Vancouver hosts an impressive schedule of winter events and festivals, including plenty of holiday events. 

Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2024

Canada’s largest food and drink festival will take place again in 2024 from January 17 to February 4. Dine Out Vancouver is a month-long festival that showcases the diverse flavors and techniques present in local restaurants, food trucks, and dining installations. Over 300 restaurants, breweries, suppliers, wineries, and more gather to celebrate Vancouver’s status as one of the world’s greatest food hubs.

Winter Arts Festival

Winter Arts Festival transforms Vancouver into a living, open-air gallery. Using sculpture, augmented reality (AR), laser art, projection mapping, and live performances, this festival celebrates art, light, and entertainment with works of temporary public art installations during the darkest season of the year. 

Celebrating Christmas in Vancouver? Check out these awesome Vancouver Christmas events and festivals

VanDusen Festival of Lights

Explore 15 acres decorated with over one million sparkling lights at the VanDusen Festival of Lights. One of the most iconic winter events in Vancouver, this annual event transforms the always-beautiful VanDusen Botanical Garden into a glowing display of color and wonder. See the Dancing Lights, explore themed light areas, and enjoy delicious treats from a selection of food vendors. 

Planning to ring in the new year in Vancouver? Discover the fun waiting for you at these Vancouver New Year’s Eve events!

Winter is the best time to visit the Vancouver Aquarium.

Indoor Vancouver Activities

When you’ve had your fill of outdoor winter activities in Vancouver, indoors is just as exciting. Whether you’re searching for the perfect gift at the Vancouver Flea Market or exploring the depths of the sea at the Vancouver Aquarium, you’re sure to find plenty of ways to spend your time in this interesting city.  

Vancouver Flea Market

The Vancouver Flea Market covers nearly 40,000 square feet of space, home to over 350 vendors offering a range of items for sale. Browse collectibles, antiques and vintage items, handmade crafts, memorabilia, jewelry, and more this winter in Vancouver at this unique, fully-indoor flea market. 

Vancouver Aquarium

The Vancouver Aquarium is a great place to spend a winter day in Vancouver. No matter the weather outside, the aquarium is warm and dry – save for the 2,500,000 gallons of water in the tanks. At Canada’s largest aquarium, housing 65,000 animals, you can count on plenty of interesting creatures to learn about and watch.

The Orpheum

Home of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Orpheum is an iconic concert hall that has hosted millions of showgoers since its 1927 opening. Winter shows at Orpheum in 2024 include the Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert and multiple performances from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, like Casino Royale and scores from Tchaikovsky and Liszt.

From exciting ski excursions to serene aquarium tours, Vancouver has plenty of activities to offer in winter. Whether you’re searching for an action-packed adventure, relaxing getaway, or a balance of the two, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for when you stay in the heart of downtown Vancouver with Carmana Hotel and Suites