Pose for a photo with Scuba Claus, celebrate the Solstice, enjoy a Christmas carol diner cruise + more
1. Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum — Now until January 3
Burnaby Village Museum & CarouselEnjoy the special atmosphere of festive lights and traditional decorations at Burnaby Village Museum. Wander the Village and take in all the seasonal entertainment, demonstrations and activities, including a 12 Days of Christmas scavenger hunt, children's christmas crafts, carolers, live music and theatre performances.
Deer Lake Park; Gate admission is free & carousel rides are $2.65 each; Details online
2. Soak Up the Season — Now until January 5
Vancouver AquariumSpot Scuba Claus during his daily dives, spreading holiday cheer and magic at the Vancouver Aquarium. Pose for a photo with Scuba Claus, between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. December 20 through 24. Soak up the season while exploring the Vancouver Aquarium decked in holiday décor. Returning holiday favourites include a ‘shocking’ Electric eel-powered Christmas tree (with feedings daily at 11:30 a.m.), a tot-friendly kelp maze, a picture-perfect jelly snow globe and a “mistle-toad” near the ‘Frogs Forever’.
3. 26th Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival — Saturday, December 21
Secret Lantern SocietyLong revered as a special time for the sun, moon and earth, the longest night of the year is celebrated with singing, drumming, music and dancing from around the world. Head to Granville Island for events that bring light to the darkest day with a lantern procession and fire performances. Yaletown and Strathcona also host lantern walks as parts of the festival.
Visit here for schedule; Details online
4. Celebrating Solstice: The Landscape of Our Traditions — Saturday, December 21
Stanley Park Ecology SocietyChestnuts are roasting and holly has been hung, but where do these traditions originate? Explore the history and customs of mid-winter festivals on this two-hour walk with the Stanley Park Ecology Society. See the plants that have played pivotal roles in the traditions and decorations that we associate with the holiday season and hear stories from different cultural traditions surrounding the shortest day of the year.
Stanley Park Nature House on Lost Lagoon; $5 - $10; 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Details online
5. Winter’s Dance on Robson — Saturday, December 21
Small StageWinter’s Dance on Robson is a whimsical, urban ballet combining live and digital dance. This year, Small Stage transforms Bute Robson Plaza into a ‘Snowflake Winter Wonderland’ to create an innovative public space experience complete with projections, virtual reality, a mash-up musical score, as well as a truly unique lighting design by Dotdot Productions (featured at 2019’s Burning Man).
Bute Robson Plaza; Free; 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Details online
6. Festive Christmas Carol Dinner Cruise — Sunday, December 22
Yoho CruisesDig into a traditional Christmas buffet dinner with turkey, ham and all the trimmings. Mike Sheeshka is the musical host for the evening, performing soft rock faves along with holiday Christmas classics. Join in the carol sing-along or just sit back, relax and enjoy the Christmas Spirit. Christmas games and decorating on board, as well as a top 40 dance room in their VIP lounge.
1698 Duranleau St; $89.95 plus service fee & tax (tickets include a glass of mulled wine); Boarding 6 p.m. & sailing 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Book here or call 604 688 662, groups of 10 receive 10% off & 20% off for seniors and kids
7. Orphan’s Holiday Dinner at Fable Diner — Monday, December 23
Fable DinerWhether you happen to be alone this festive season, or want to bring a group of friends with you, Fable Diner has an Orphan’s Holiday Dinner for you to enjoy. Feast on a roast beef dinner with horseradish cream, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, house-made gravy and optional bread rolls and fresh salad to start, then finish with a personal pavlova for $30 per person. Guests can also enjoy 50% off their new cocktail list for the evening.
Book online, call the restaurant 604.563.3463 or email email@example.com
8. Feast of the Seven Fishes — Monday, December 23 & Tuesday, December 24
Cibo TrattoriaGuests can once again enjoy Cibo Trattoria's annual spin on the Italian ‘Feast of the Seven Fishes’ culinary tradition. For those two evenings only, a seven-course menu showcases fresh, local seafood in dishes such as salt cod croquettes (sauce maltaise), caviar capellini (chive crème fraîche), involtini of trout (leek, tomato, celery root purée) and seared octopus (guanciale and chili dressing, caramelized fennel).
$89 per person plus tax & gratuity / $59 per person (++) for wine pairings
9. Christmas Day Dinner Buffet in the Pacific Ballroom — Wednesday, December 25
Fairmont Hotel VancouverCelebrate this special day at the ‘Castle in the City’, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The lavish holiday buffet includes traditional carvery offerings, succulent seafood and decadent festive desserts. Live festive melodies and entertainment, including appearances from Santa and Mrs Claus.
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, 900 West Georgia Street; Adults $199 & Children (6 to 12) $99 (5 & below, free); 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Details online
10. Friday Late Night Movie: Gremlins — Friday, December 27
The Rio TheatreJoe Dante’s Gremlins is one of the Rio Theatre’s most year-round requested titles. Written by Chris Columbus (The Goonies, Home Alone), Gremlins is a hilarious holiday classic that appeals to kids of all ages (especially if they grew up in the 80s!).
Tickets $13 advance & at the door; Doors 10:30 p.m., movie 11:00 p.m.; Details online