Fresh snow on the North Shore mountains means it's time for some winter fun! Find ice skating, snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing and more all around Vancouver

 

Christmas has come and gone, and summer seems a long way away—which leaves us with several months to fill. I usually feel like I live in fake Canada when it comes to winter in Vancouver: while all my friends east of Kelowna are making skating ponds in their backyards or cross-country skiing to work, we wait and see just how early the crocuses can bloom. Fortunately we have the mountains (which, if we’re lucky, will continue to have snow this year) and they offer plenty of great diversions.

 

Here are some of our favourite, inexpensive ways to enjoy winter in Vancouver:

 

Ice skating in Vancouver

Check your local rink for loonie/toonie skates and other special events and enjoy the ice. Robson Square will be open for free skating until February 28 with your own skates, and rentals are just $3.

 

Winter family activities in Vancouver
(Image: Flickr / thelastminute)

 

Snowshoeing near Vancouver

You can rent snowshoes from Mountain Equipment Co-op and head off along the trails of any of our local parks. If you don’t have any experience you can join a guided tour on one of the local mountains.

 

Cross-country skiing on Cypress

Head up to Cypress Mountain for a gorgeous ski through the forest (it’s easier than you think). Afterward we love warming up with a thermos of tea at the classic Hollyburn Lodge.

 

Downhill skiing and snowboarding on the cheap-ish

Great deals can be found through Ski Canada—which offers discounted ticket bundles at the beginning of each year. And if you have school aged kids, don’t forget to check out the snow pass, which offer free ski passes to kids in 4th and 5th grade.

 

Where to buy used winter sporting gear in Vancouver

And if you do end up loving a new winter sport—check for used gear at one of the consignment shops around town, like Sports Junkies, Cheapskates (though word on Twitter is they've downsized on gear), one of the sporting good shops along West 4th Ave east of Burrard, or via Craigslist, Kijiji, UsedVancouver and Surplus Kurby's.