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 third annual list of Free Christmas Activities in Metro Vancouver*:
Free Christmas Activities in Vancouver
- Thursday, December 7, 2017 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Yule Duel Choir Competition in Gastown, proceeds from donations support May’s Place Hospice.
- Vancouver Menorah Lighting on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at the Vancouver Art Gallery for Chanukah in the City.
- Festival of Trees at Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver & CF Pacific Centre until January 1, 2018. The 31st annual Festival of Trees are on display supporting BC Children’s Hospital.
- Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink. Free when you bring your own skates. Open December 1, 2017 to February 2018.Free live music nightly starting December 13th.
- 24th Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival on Thursday December 21, 2017 on Granville Island, in Chinatown, and Yaletown.
- Christmas at Canada Place until December 31, 2017 with free outdoor displays, lights, the legendary Woodward’s Windows, and more.
- Lights of Hope at St Paul’s at 1081 Burrard St until January 8, 2018.
- Free family movie nights at Wesbrook Village, December 13, 20, and 27.
- Free skating at all Vancouver Park Board rinks for National Skating Day on December 10, 2017.
Free Christmas Activities in Burnaby & New Westminster
- Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas until January 5, 2018. Free gate admission includes light displays, entertainment, crafts, and more. Carousel rides are $2.65.
- Lights at 609 Robson Avenue, New Westminster. Many twinkling lights, candy canes and displays decorate this New Westminster home.
- Celebrate the Holidays with MLA Judy Darcy & MP Peter Julian on December 9, 2017 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at Fraser River Middle School Gymnasium
Free Christmas Activities in Langley & Fort Langley
- Holiday Chaos. Free family fun at the Times Community Centre on Saturday, December 16, 2017 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm with bouncy Castles, slides, obstacle course, holiday-themed crafts, games and more.
- Caroling in McBurney Plaza December 9, December 15, and December 23 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at McBurney Plaza. Sing-along with carolers while enjoying hot chocolate in the plaza.
- A Fort Langley Christmas December 22-23, 27-30, 2017 with complimentary admission for Canada 150. Hear Kwantlen stories, taste a chestnut roasted over the fire, and make a beautiful cedar ornament. Take a guided tour or enjoy the daily feature at noon. Admire the giant outdoor Christmas tree and take family photos at various scenic spots on site.
Free Christmas Activities in Surrey & White Rock
- Pioneer Christmas at Historic Stewart Farm, December 9, 2017 from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Enter the world of an old-fashioned Christmas at the Historic Stewart Farm.
- Winter Fest at Guildford Recreation Centre on Saturday, December 16,
2017 from 10:00am to 1:00pm. The event is aimed at children ages 6 to 12, but everyone is welcome to enjoy cookie decorating, holiday crafts, games, treats, sports challenges, a photo station and more.
- Friends of the White Rock Library Christmas Open House on December 9, 2017 from 1:30pm to 4:00pm. Join the Friends of the Library for Christmas music with Gary Cyr and members of the South Surrey/White Rock Ukulele Circle. Come early for refreshments and to enter for door prizes.
Free Christmas Activities in the Tri-Cities
- Lights at Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam until January 21, 2018. Hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights, 10 themed zones, plus activities with the ParkSpark team (like Jingle Bells December 22nd) more.
- Rae Street Christmas Lights at 3313 Rae Street, Port Coquitlam until January 5, 2018. Sundays to Thursdays 5:00pm to 10:00pm, Fridays to Saturdays 5:00pm to 11:00pm.
- Dangville, the Christmas Village at 2638 Brewster Drive, Coquitlam open December 10 to 23 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm. Free admission, accepting donations for the CKNW Orphans Fund.
- Free Family Movie Night at Evergreen Cultural Centre on Monday, December 18, 2017 at 7:00pm.
- Port Moody Christmas Craft Fair on December 9, 2017 from 10:00am to 4:00pm at Port Moody Civic Centre. There is no fee for entry, but donations to the Share Family and Community Services Society are appreciated.
- PoCo Heritage Tree Festival until December 31, 2017. Vote for your favourite tree and support PoCo Heritage.
- CP Holiday Train. After crossing the country and visiting 170 communities, the CP Holiday Train will will roll up into the Fraser Valley on December 16th for a show stop in Agassiz, then head over to Haney-Maple Ridge for another, and will end the night in Pitt Meadows. The train will roll on December 17th with the two final stops and performances in Port Moody and Port Coquitlam. Light displays and shows (Alan Doyle and The Beautiful Band) are free. Donations for the local food bank are suggested.
Free Christmas Activities on the North Shore
- Park & Tilford Hi-Light Festival until December 31, 2017. The 28th annual Holiday Hi-Light Festival at Park & Tilford Gardens. This annual event features a majestic festival of lights with over 150,000 on display over 3 acres.
- Carol Ship Sail-Past viewing at Panorama Park on December 9, 2017 from 7:30pm to 9:00pm. Enjoy a warm and festive evening filled with musical entertainment, roving performers, free craft workshops, a blazing bonfire and beautiful lights.
- Dundarave Festival of lights with free concerts every Saturday in December.
- Dundarave Festival of Lights: Christmas Wassail & Bonfire on December 23, 2017.
Free Christmas Activities in Richmond
- Holly Jolly Holiday at Richmond Olympic Oval on Sunday, December 17, 2017 from 1:00pm to 5:30pm. Free for members (admission rates apply otherwise). Free Richmond Olympic Experience admission with skate admission ticket.
- Steveston Festival of Trees until December 31, 2017 at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. Admission is free for Canada 150!
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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