Winter in Vancouver is a truly magical time of year. With its stunning natural beauty, vibrant cultural scene, and countless outdoor activities, this picturesque Canadian city has no shortage of things to do and see. If you plan a trip to Vancouver this winter, add these top activities to your itinerary.
Vancouver is home to several ski resorts perfect for winter sports enthusiasts. Grouse Mountain is one of the most popular resorts in the area, offering both skiing and snowboarding. Located just a short drive from the city center, Grouse Mountain features 26 runs ranging from beginner to expert and a terrain park for those looking for more of a challenge.
Cypress Mountain is another popular ski resort located just north of the city. With over 50 runs and a terrain park, there is something for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Mount Seymour is another nearby ski resort that offers a variety of runs, as well as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails.
Check out the holiday lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden or Stanley Park's Bright Nights
During winter, VanDusen Botanical Garden is transformed into a magical holiday wonderland with over one million twinkling lights. The annual Festival of Lights event features a variety of holiday-themed displays, including a light tunnel, a poinsettia tree, and a holiday train garden.
Stanley Park’s Bright Nights is another popular holiday display featuring over three million twinkling lights. The collection includes various themed areas, such as a North Pole village and Candy Cane Lane, as well as a train ride through the park.
A stroll along the seawall at Stanley Park
Stanley Park is a beautiful place to visit any time of year, but it is adorable during winter. The park’s seawall offers breathtaking ocean views and is a great place to stroll and enjoy the fresh winter air. The seawall is a popular spot for runners and walkers, and it is also a great place to take in the stunning winter landscapes of Stanley Park.
Visit the Vancouver Christmas Market
The Vancouver Christmas Market is an annual event at Jack Poole Plaza in downtown Vancouver. The market features a variety of holiday-themed vendors, selling everything from festive decorations and ornaments to handcrafted gifts and food. The market also features live music, holiday entertainment, and a variety of festive foods and drinks.
Hit the slopes
Vancouver is home to some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world. Just a short drive from the city, world-class resorts like Whistler Blackcomb offer over 8,000 acres of skiable terrain and an average snowfall of over 40 feet per year. If you’re new to the sport, plenty of great ski schools and beginner-friendly runs help you get started.
Explore Stanley Park
Stanley Park is one of Vancouver’s most popular attractions and is even more beautiful in winter. The park’s 1,000 acres are filled with towering trees, scenic trails, and breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding mountains. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day exploring the park’s many attractions, including the Vancouver Aquarium, the Malkin Bowl outdoor theatre, and the majestic Lion’s Gate Bridge.
Go ice skating
Vancouver is home to several outdoor ice skating rinks, and there’s nothing quite like gliding across the ice on a crisp winter day. The Robson Square Ice Rink is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, and it’s located right in the heart of downtown. Another great option is the Nat Bailey Stadium, where you can skate under the stars and enjoy hot chocolate or apple cider at the rink-side concession stand.
Take in the holiday lights
Winter in Vancouver is a festive time of year, and the city is decked out in holiday lights and decorations. The Vancouver Christmas Market is a must-see attraction, featuring over 75 artisan vendors, live entertainment, and traditional German food and drinks. Or, stroll down Robson Street and admire the beautiful holiday window displays at the city’s many shops and boutiques.
Enjoy some local cuisine.
Vancouver is known for its diverse and delicious food scene, and there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from during winter. If you’re in the mood for comfort food, try a bowl of the city’s famous seafood chowder, served with fresh, local bread. For something more upscale, check out Vij’s, one of the city’s top Indian restaurants, or Maenam, which serves delicious Thai food in a cozy, intimate setting.
Whether looking for outdoor adventure, cultural experiences, or a relaxing getaway, Vancouver has something for everyone during the winter months. So bundle up, grab a hot drink, and head out to explore all that this beautiful Canadian city has to offer.