It’s tough to save money during the holidays while going to gatherings of friends and family, hosting dinners, and exchanging gifts. However, I know of several activities that will get you in the holiday spirit without sliding you into debt. Here is my second annual list of Free Christmas Activities in Metro Vancouver*:
Free Christmas Activities in Metro Vancouver
- Light Up the Village at Park Royal November 18, 2016. Enjoy complimentary hot chocolate, balloons, Lindt truffles. Special activities like cookie decorating and face painting will be by donation.
- Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas November 19, 2016 to January 2, 2017. Free gate admission includes light displays, entertainment, crafts, and more. Carousel rides are extra.
- Surrey Tree Lighting on November 19, 2016 with light displays, free concerts, exhibitors, amusements, and a giant 50ft tree at Surrey City Hall Plaza.
- St Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope kicking off with a community celebration on November 24, 2016.
- Festival of Trees at Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver & CF Pacific Centre November 25, 2016 to January 2, 2017. The 30th annual Festival of Trees are on display supporting BC Children’s Hospital.
- CandyTown in Yaletown November 26, 2016. A free winter wonderland and neighbourhood festival with visits with Santa and the Ice Queen, Christmas arts and crafts, and of course lots of sweet treats.
- Lights at Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam November 26, 2016 to January 22, 2017. More than 100,000 twinkling lights, featuring 10 themed zones, plus activities including lantern workshops, scavenger hunts, hot chocolate nights, caroling and more.
- Edmonds Festival of Lights November 26, 2016 at Edmonds Community Centre with the lighting of the Edmonds Tree, entertainment, snacks, crafts, and Santa visits.
- Port Coquitlam Winter Artisan Market and fair November 25-27, 2016 at Leigh Square Community Arts Village.
- New Westminster Santa Claus Parade. December 3, 2016 along Columbia St. Activities at the Anvil Centre, River Market, Fraser River Discovery Centre.
- Christmas Kick Off in Port Coquitlam. December 3, 2016 at Leigh Square Community Arts Village.
- Maple Ridge Santa Claus Parade December 3, 2016 followed by Christmas in the Park at Memorial Peace Park.
- Rogers Santa Claus Parade December 4, 2016 in Downtown Vancouver on Georgia and along Howe. More family fun at the Coast Capital Savings Christmas Square at Robson Square.
- Ladner Christmas Carol Ships set sail on December 2 & December 3, 2016. The Ladner Gospel Assembly choir will be set up at the government dock at the foot of Elliott street to serenade the crowd with Christmas favourites.
- Festive Tree Lighting December 7, 2016 at Dunbar Community Centre.
- Wesbrook Balloon Winter Wonderland December 3 to 18, 2016, launching with a Holiday Craft Fair and festival on December 3, 2016.
- Surrey’s Santa Parade December 4, 2016 in the historic downtown of Cloverdale.
- Big Rigs for Kids December 4, 2016 at Surrey City Hall Plaza. Watch a parade of lighted trucks roll through Downtown Surrey followed by a community Christmas carol sing-a-long.
- Park & Tilford Hi-Light Festival November 25 to December 31, 2016. Entry by donation with 100% proceeds to the North Vancouver Firefighters Charitable Society.
- Light Up the Heights December 3, 2016. Free street festival along Burnaby Heights (Hastings between Boundary and Gamma) with tree lighting ceremony in the evening.
- Christmas in Steveston Village Santa arrives off the boat on Steveston Public Wharf December 4, 2016. Free Santa hats, a classic Christmas car display, mascots, carolers, Cannery Farmers’ Market and more.
- Steveston Festival of Trees. Free admission on Cannery Market Days December 4, 11, 18.
- CP Holiday Train. After crossing the country from Montreal and visiting 150 communities, the CP Holiday Train will finish its journey in Pitt Meadows (December 16th), ending in Port Coquitlam and Port Moody (December 17th). View the light displays and enjoy a free concert.
- Burnaby Lake Park Holiday Open House. December 4, 2016. Guided walks, history, crafts.
- Robson Square Tree Lighting December 2, 2016 with a holiday concert, photos with Santa, holiday crafts, free hot chocolate and cookies, the lighting of the 50 ft. Christmas tree and more.
- Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink. Free when you bring your own skates. Open December 1, 2016 to February 14, 2017.
- Christmas Sail Past December 10. View lighted ships from the White Rock pier as the holiday procession sails past spectators.
- Christmas at Canada Place December 16 to December 30, 2016 free outdoor displays, lights, the legendary Woodward’s Windows, and more.
- Christmas Lights Photowalk at English Bay December 17, 2016.
- Lumiere Festival Vancouver December 3, 2016 lighting up the West End at Jim Deva Plaza and Morton Park.
If you have any other events to add, send them in via my contact form and I’ll include them (free or not) on the December event list. Thank you!
* Please note that there may be costs associated with extra activities at these events and attractions, such as food/snacks, admission to other attractions or sites, etc. This post covers information available at the time of publishing and any posted signage or fees at these activities should be observed.
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