Vancouver Adventures: Our Picks for December 13 to 19

This week: Ski like Santa, take a boozy tour of Vancouver's best distilleries, take in the most festive sights in town, and more

The Spirit of Christmas Tour – December 11 to January 4

It can be hard to keep up with all the Christmas events that Vancouver has to offer, but now you can experience them all in one whirlwind excursion. The Spirit of Christmas Tour takes guests on a tour of all the festive highlights of the city with stops at FlyOver Canada, Jack Poole Plaza, Stanley Park and VanDusen Gardens. Plus, it gives guests a chance to see all the best lights displays in between.

Christmas at Canada Place – December 13 to 31

Now in its 27th year, Christmas at Canada Place is all about tradition. They’re bringing back the historic Woodward’s Windows, the displays that used to grace Woodward’s Department store in Vancouver. You can stroll their avenue of Christmas trees, or take part in one of their Christmas crafts, like writing a letter to Santa or making a reindeer headband. As you’re enjoying the fun, don’t forget to give back by making an onsite donation to the food bank.

Dress Like Santa and Ski for Free – December 13

Nowhere captures the magic of the season better than picturesque Whistler Village. The atmosphere extends to the slopes on December 13 with their Dress Like Santa event. The first 100 people to show up at the Garibaldi Lift at the base of Whistler Mountain will receive a free lift ticket. Then all the Santas will board and ski down the mountain together, giving onlookers a very festive photo-op. 

Ugly Christmas Sweater Dash – December 13

Hit up the local thrift store, raid your grandma’s closet, or get knitting because this year’s Ugly Sweater Christmas Dash is almost here! Throw on the cheesiest sweater you can find and then hit the streets for an untimed 5k run to raise money for the Children’s Make a Wish Foundation. The course will have holiday-themed stations, Christmas characters to cheer you on and even some hot chocolate to keep you hydrated. 

Vancouver Distillery Tour – Saturdays (on sale December 13 and 20)

Elevate your drinking game from novice to expert with a tour of some of Vancouver’s best distilleries. The Vancouver Distillery Tour makes stops at three different distilleries: The Liberty Distillery, Yaletown Distillery, and The Odd Society. You’ll get samples at each of handcrafted spirits like vodka, gin, brandy, cassis and more. They’re offering a special deal if you buy tickets for their tours on December 13 or 20, but it runs on Saturdays year-round. 

Famous Chefs Cooking Class – December 14

If you’re looking for something new to serve up for your guests this holiday season, then check out a Famous Chef’s Cooking Class at the Nikkei National Museum Cultural Centre. You can watch award-winning chef Sandy Wei Yu Chen from Le Tigre Food Truck give a demonstration and lecture, and have taste of what she’s serving up. For an extra $5 you can enjoy a glass of wine while you learn all the insider tips and tricks of cooking.

Graze for the Garden – December 16

It’s no secret that Vancouver is a vegetarian foodie’s dream, and Graze Vegetarian restaurant should top the list for anyone who wants to experience the best. They offer up fresh, innovative dishes using local and organic ingredients. You can join them every Tuesday for Giving Back Tuesdays, where 20 per cent of their profit from the evening is donated to a good cause. Their charity of choice this week is World in a Garden, which teaches youth about sustainable food practices.

Wonderful World of Disney Tribute Show – December 17

If you catch yourself humming classic Disney tunes under your breath for no reason at all, then this is the event for you. The Biltmore Cabaret is hosting a magical evening of Disney tunes, The Wonderful World of Disney. Immerse yourself in nostalgia as some of Vancouver’s finest musicians perform their take on their favourite Disney songs. There will be performances by Mother Mother’s Ryan Guldemond, Hey Ocean’s David Beckingham, Dustin Bentall, Colleen Rennison and more.

The Shortest Day Short Film Celebration – December 19, 20 and 21

As the days get shorter and darker, you may be looking for a way to cure the winter blues and celebrate. The Shortest Day Short Film Celebration takes place over three days across Canada leading up to the shortest day of the year (the 21st). Three theatres in Vancouver will be screening short films by Canadian filmmakers in three different categories: kids, family, and comedy. Find venues and schedules online.

Carol Ship Dinner Cruise – Until December 23

See the city all lit up from the comfort of a luxurious dinner cruise. The Carol Ships Dinner Cruise includes a parade of vessels decked out in their Christmas finery. It’s the only time of year that ships are allowed to display outside coloured lights, and they certainly make the most of the opportunity. Book a dinner cruise with Harbour Cruises and Events for a festive night on the water with delicious buffet meal and sing-along Christmas carols.