After being apart for a few holidays, the gift of experiences together with loved ones is more popular than ever. Take a stroll to enjoy a light display, visit a nostalgic attraction, and spend time with those you care about (while not breaking the bank). Here is my 7th annual list of *Free Holiday Activities in Vancouver & The Valley, which will be updated often throughout the season so be sure to bookmark it and check back often.
Free Holiday Activities in Vancouver
- St Paul’s Lights of Hope illuminates for the season on Thursday, November 17, 2022 with a kick-off event with food trucks, music, Santa, and the official countdown and lighting ceremony for the 25th annual Lights of Hope which will be on all season.
- Lumière Festival November 17-27, 2022 expands from the West End to also include Yaletown and Gastown with engaging light and art installations.
- Tree Lighting in Downtown Vancouver on Friday, December 2, 2022 at 6:00pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
- CBC Vancouver Open House & Food Bank Day is Friday, December 2, 2022. Meet your local CBC hosts, get newsroom tours, support a great cause.
- Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink. Free when you bring your own skates. Opening December 2022.
- 29th Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival on Friday, December 21, 2022 on Granville Island, and several other Vancouver neighbourhoods.
- Lighting of the Silber Family Agam Menorah is hosted by Chabad Lubavitch on the first night of Chanukah December 18, 2022 in Downtown Vancouver.
- The JCC Chanukah Carnival on Sunday, December 11, 2022 with live performance, food, music, crafts, and dance. By donation to the Jewish Food Bank.
- Christmas at Canada Place December 2, 2022 to January 2, 2023 with free outdoor displays, lights, the legendary Woodward’s Windows, and more. Miss604 is a proud Media Sponsor.
- Fleurs de Villes December 9 to 18, 2022 floral installations around Downtown Vancouver, festive photo ops abound!
- Honourable Mention: Holiday Pop-Up on the Square, a free outdoor market in Downtown Vancouver December 9-10, 2022.
- Canadian Christmas Festival on Granville Island November 25 to December 24, 2022, open Fridays to Sundays from 12:00pm to 8:00pm. It’s a small, free holiday event with a Canadian theme on the boardwalk in front of The Vancouver Fish Company on Granville Island where you’ll find local artists and craftspeople showcasing their hand-made creations as well as a delicious variety of holiday-themed food and beverages.
- Bright Nights in Stanley Park is by donation in support of the BC Professional Firefighters’ Burn Fund. The 25th Anniversary of Bright Nights will be celebrated with twinkling light displays and live entertainment. While this year’s event looks different with the absence of the vintage trains, it is still certain to be full of family fun and holiday cheer—and all for a good cause!
Free Holiday Activities in Burnaby & New Westminster
- Shine Bright New Westminster December 1, 2022 to January 31, 2022 there will be light displays around Downtown New West along with some free creative and crafty activities for all ages.
- Bright in Burnaby December 2, 2022 is the kick off for the season of Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas November 26, 2022 to January 2, 2023. Free gate admission includes light displays, entertainment, and more in this 10 acre open air museum site. Miss604 is a proud Media Sponsor.
- HollyDaze in the Heights is a free street festival in Austin Heights on November 19, 2022.
Free Holiday Activities in Abbotsford & Chilliwack
- Downtown Abbotsford Winter Jubilee holiday street festival with tree lighting on Saturday, December 3, 2022.
- Harrison Lights by the Lake a festive lake-side light installation November 19, 2022 to January 8, 2023.
Free Holiday Activities in the Tri-Cities
- Lights at Lafarge in Coquitlam kicks-off with a free event November 26, 2022 with live entertainment and more. The lights will be on display all around Town Centre Park until January, 2023.
- Celebrations of Light presented by Coquitlam Heritage is December 17, 2022. Learn about Diwali, Hannukah, Kwanzaa and Winter Solstice as well as how the French community in Maillardville celebrated the Christmas season. Free to attend, register in advance.
- The CP Holiday Train arrives in Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Port Moody, and Port Coquitlam December 17 & 18, 2022 with performances from MacKenzie Porter & Virginia to Vegas. Bring a donation for the local food bank to enjoy these rolling shows.
- Honourable mention: The Port Moody Christmas Craft Fair. Admission is $3 but it will be waived if you bring a donation of a new, unwrapped toy.
Free Holiday Activities on the North Shore
- Dundarave Festival of lights with free concerts by the beach December 3, 10, 17, 2022.
Free Holiday Activities in Richmond
- Christmas in Steveston Village watch Santa arrive by boat on December 4, 2022 and enjoy the Classic cars cruise through the village.
- Honourable mention: The Steveston Christmas Craft Fair, admission by donation, Saturday, November 26, 2022.
Free Christmas Activities in Langley & Fort Langley
- The Magic of Christmas Saturday, December 3 & Sunday, December 4, 2022 at Timms Community Centre (20399 Douglas Crescent). Crafts for kids and adults including ornament and wreath-making workshops, a letter to Santa booth, live ice carving and snow sculptures, a beer garden, food trucks, visits from Santa Claus, and musical acts and performers throughout both days.
- Christmas in Williams Park November 25 to December 18, 2022. Experience the illuminated holiday displays in Williams Park from the comfort of your own vehicle.
- Christmas Tree Lighting in Fort Langley Saturday, December 3, 2022. Santa will arrive by canoe and be escorted by a parade of children to the Fort Langley Community Hall in an evening of music, hot chocolate, candy canes and the magical lighting of the community Christmas tree.
- Aldergrove’s Christmas Light Up Parade runs through downtown Aldergrove Saturday, December 10, 2022.
Free Christmas Activities in Delta & Tsawwassen
- Festival of Lights at Tsawwassen Springs from November 25, 2022 to January 1, 2023 with an opening ceremony event on November 25th.
Free Christmas Activities in Surrey & White Rock
- Surrey Tree Lighting Festival and Holiday Market on Saturday, November 19, 2022 at City Hall Plaza.
- Big Rigs for Kids and Santa Parade on Sunday, December 4, 2022 this lighted parade will drive from Cloverdale to Downtown Surrey.
- Heritage Christmas at Historic Stewart Farm opened weekends December 3 to 18, 2022.
- Christmas on the Peninsula in White Rock on November 26, 2022.
- Honourable mention: Free entry to the Stɑlə̓w̓ Christmas Craft Market at the Museum of Surrey on Saturday, December 3, 2022.
If you have any other free Christmas activities around Vancouver 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.
Subscribe to the Weekly Events Newsletter
If you wish to receive this weekly/weekend event list right to your email inbox, please sign up for the Miss604 Weekly Events Newsletter below. It will be sent once a week, only to those who opt-in.
Follow Miss604Holidays this season for the latest arts and culture activities, attraction and event news »