Free Holiday Activities in Vancouver & The Valley 2023

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Looking for Free Holiday Activities in Vancouver & The Valley? We have put together our 8th annual list right here and it’s growing every day! 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).

Jump to:Richmond
VancouverNorth Shore
Burnaby & New WestminsterDelta
Tri-CitiesLangley & Fort Langley
Surrey & White RockAbbotsford & Chilliwack

This list will be updated often throughout the season so be sure to bookmark it and check back often.

Free Holiday Activities in Vancouver & The Valley

Free* Holiday Activities in Vancouver

  • St Paul’s Lights of Hope illuminates for the season on Thursday, November 23, 2023 with a kick-off event with food trucks, music, Santa, and the official countdown and lighting ceremony for the 26th annual Lights of Hope which will be on all season.
  • Killarney Tree Lighting is Saturday November 25, 2023 at the Killarney Community Centre 6:00pm to 8:00pm.
  • Gastown Thursday Nights over four consecutive Thursdays November 30 to December 21 with free pop-up performances, roaming bands, and delightful displays to add to the festive atmosphere.
  • Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration on December 1, 2023 at 6:00pm at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
  • Bright Nights in Stanley Park has free admission to the site (with a suggested donation to the BC Burn Fund) even if you do not have a ticket for the train. Open November 30, 2023 to January 1, 2024 with dazzling light displays and live entertainment in a festive forest setting.
  • Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink opens December 1, 2023. Free when you bring your own skates otherwise there is a fee for rentals.
  • CandyTown Street Festival in Yaletown is December 2, 2023. Downtown Vancouver’s only free outdoor winter festival, which will transform Yaletown public plazas into a winter wonderland.
  • Christmas at Canada Place December 1, 2023 to January 2, 2024 with free outdoor displays, lights, the legendary Woodward’s Windows, and more. Miss604 is a proud Media Sponsor.
  • Chinatown Holiday Market is a free community day for BC residents (ID required) at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden on December 2, 2023. They’re transforming the gardens into a winter wonderland for guests. RSVP online in advance.
  • Downtown Vancouver Night Market is December 1, 2023 from 6:00pm to 10:00pm at 800 Robson St. It’s also the first night of free Robson Square ice skating.
  • Granville Island Festive Lights until January 3, 2024 with complimentary parking after 6:00pm. Walk the expansive grounds of Granville Island’s almost 40 acres. Highlights include a stunning oversized star in the centre of the Public Market courtyard, the Edison bulbs along Railspur Artisan District, giant musical notes among the trees that surround the theatres, a perfect star looking over Alder Bay in Ron Basford Park, a canopy of lights hidden in a secret location, glowing benches, and more.
  • Light up the Harbour on December 14 with the Vancouver Maritime Museum.
  • Lighting of the Silber Family Agam Menorah at 5:30pm Thursday, December 7 at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
  • Fleurs de Ville NOEL on Robson and Alberni Streets is December 8-17, 2023. It’s a 10-day festive celebration, featuring 40 enchanting floral displays created by Vancouver’s talented florists.
  • NEW this year! A free Festival in Coal Harbour called Liven Up will be on December 1-30 with light installations and plenty of photo ops. Friday and Saturday nights enjoy live music at various spots along the Coal Harbour Seawall.
    • The JCC Chanukah Carnival on Sunday, December 3, 2023 with live performance, food, music, crafts, and dance. By donation to the Jewish Food Bank at the JCC.

Free Holiday Fun in Burnaby & New Westminster

  • Bright in Burnaby December 2, 2023 is the kick off for the season of Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum.
  • Shine Bright New West runs the entire month of December. The Snowflake Spectacular is a free public event features live music and dance, a snow globe display, snowflake crafts, and more. There are two opportunities to enjoy this event, on December 8 and 15 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm.
  • Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas November 25, 2023 to January 5, 2024. Free gate admission includes light displays, entertainment, and more in this 10 acre open air museum site. Miss604 is a proud Media Sponsor.
  • Deck the Heights in Burnaby Heights on December 2, 2023.Participating Heights businesses decorate their windows and compete for Best Overall and People’s Choice Window Display. Santa and Jolly Elf will be visiting the Heights to spread holiday cheer.
  • Edmond’s Festival of Lights on Saturday, November 25, 2023. A visit from Santa, family-friendly crafting, enjoy refreshments served by Burnaby firefighters, and watch the Mayor light the tree.
  • Winter Craft & Bake Sale on Saturday, November 25, 2023 features quilts, crafts, pottery, baking, and more all handmade by Century House Activity Groups and members.

Free Holiday Fun in the Tri-Cities

  • HollyDaze in Austin Heights on Saturday, November 18, 2023 presented by Austin Heights BIA is a free flow-through festival with vendors, food trucks, holiday-themed photo booth, musicians, and fun for everyone.
  • Lights at Lafarge in Coquitlam kicks-off on Friday, November 24, 2023 with live entertainment, food trucks, and more. The lights will be on display all around Town Centre Park until January, 2024.
  • Winter Wonders Community Celebration presented by Coquitlam Heritage on Saturday, December 3, 2023 allows visitors to visit with Santa, make crafts, listen to carols, and more.
  • CPKC Holiday Train arrives in Port Moody, and Port Coquitlam on December 18, 2023 with performances from Tyler Shaw and Kiesza. Please bring a donation for your local food bank.
  • Holiday Cheer at The Pier at Rocky Point Park on November 25, 2023 is a free event with festive activities for all ages.

Free Holiday Fun in Surrey & White Rock

  • Bear Creek Lights from November 3 to 17, 2023. Light display of natural landscapes on a 1 kilometre garden walking loop. Free but tickets are required. Reserve online in advance.
  • Surrey Tree Lighting Festival and Holiday Market on November 25 and 26, 2023. The tree will be on display until January, 2024.
  • Surrey Parade of Lights on Sunday, December 3, 2023. This lighted parade will drive from Cloverdale to Downtown Surrey.
  • Cloverdale Christmas Tree Fest kicks off November 24, 2023. Free indoor display of Christmas trees decorated by local businesses and organisations. Donations of unopened toys and non-perishable food for Cloverdale Community Hampers are accepted and appreciated. Trees will be on display in the Museum of Surrey throughout December.
  • Clayton Holiday Marketplace on December 2, 2023 at the Clayton Community Centre. Admission is free.
  • Heart to Home Market at Surrey Arts Centre November 25 and 26, 2023. Free admission.
  • Christmas on The Peninsula on Saturday, November 25 at the White Rock Community Centre.
  • Bright Walk in White Rock on December 2, 2023 at Memorial Park with live entertainment, photos with Santa, a Festival Holiday Market, crafts, and more.

Free Holiday Fun in Richmond

  • Christmas in Steveston Village starts at 1:00pm on December 3rd. Watch Santa arrive by boat!
  • Richmond Christmas Craft Fair on November 18, 2023 at the South Arm Community Centre.
  • Sparkle Brighter at McArthurGlen from November 16 to 18, 2023 with free crafts, activities, live music. There are some paid experiences available as well, with proceeds going to the Richmond Food Bank.
  • Winter Tram in Steveston has free admission. Climb aboard and explore the history of interurban travel in Richmond. Don’t miss the junior tram conductor dress-up station and strike a pose with the historic tram, all decked-out for the holidays. Open December 1 to 31 (closed Mondays and stat holidays) 12:00 to 4:00pm.

Free Holiday Fun on the North Shore

  • Holiday Alley from November 24 to 26, 2023. Shop for local gifts for the holiday season. Free admission.
  • Made in the 604: Holiday Pop-Up Market on November 18 and 19, December 2 and 3, 2023 at The Pipe Shop. Free admission, pets welcome.
  • Sip & Shop at The Shipyards District on Saturday, December 2, 2023. Free admission. Shop your holiday list, support local, enjoy live entertainment, and sip and savour seasonal beverages.
  • Spirit of The Season Festival on Saturday, December 2, 2023. Free admission. A full day of ice skating, Santa and Mrs. Clause appearances, and live performances.
  • Shipyards Christmas Market on December 16 and 17, 2023. Shop local artisans selling festive Christmas gifts.
  • Dundarave Festival all four Saturdays in December including the largest outdoor displays of Christmas trees in coastal British Columbia!
  • Ferry Building Gallery – Handmade Gifts & Art is an exhibition and sale of unique crafts, fine artwork and distinctive gifts handmade by 37 local artists and artisans. Kick-off event November 24 and the exhibition is on until December 17 with free admission.

Free Holiday Fun in Delta & Tsawwassen

Free Holiday Fun in Langley & Fort Langley

  • First Christmas Experience from December 8 to 10, 2023 is a free-to-attend family-friendly interactive event.
  • Magic of Christmas Festival on Saturday, December 2, 2023. Free admission. Live entertainment, food and beer trucks, activity station, and a holiday artisan market.
  • Aldergrove Christmas Light Up Parade on Saturday, December 16, 2023. Runs through downtown Aldergrove. Free food, hot beverages, and entertainment available at the pre-parade community gathering at 4:30pm.
    • Honourable Mention: Christmas Wish Breakfast on Wednesday, November 29, 2023. Free breakfast with the donation of a new unwrapped toy in support of the Langley Christmas Bureau.

Free Holiday Fun in Maple Ridge & Mission

  • Candlelight Parade in Mission on Saturday, December 2, 2023 at 6:00pm. This is a family-oriented parade where community groups and businesses showcase themselves and use the opportunity to inform residents of Mission about the varied services, activities and opportunities that exist within Mission.
  • Maple Ridge Santa Claus Parade on Saturday, December 2, 2023 at 6:00pm and the annual Christmas Festival from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. Decorations, trees, food trucks, Christmas market and special light displays at Memorial Peace Park.
  • CPKC Holiday Train arrives in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows on December 17, 2023 with performances from Tyler Shaw and Kiesza. Please bring a donation for your local food bank.

Free Holiday Fun in Abbotsford & Chilliwack

*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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See also:
Holiday Hampers and Adopt-A-Family Programs in Metro Vancouver
Where to Donate Warm Clothing in Vancouver

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