15 Ways To Celebrate The Holidays In Vancouver!

December 17, 2015
Posted in Study & Work, Working Holiday

30 Ways To Celebrate The Holidays In Vancouver-

We’re now officially in the middle of December and you can definitely feel the holiday cheer in the air in Canada, whether it be on the streets and in the shops of Vancouver, or in our own office at Stepwest! We just wanted to share with you different events to help you celebrate the upcoming new year and the holidays in Vancouver. As well, for those of you who are currently doing your Internships, Working Holidays, or attending an Education program locally, we also wanted to list some holiday events that you can attend during the next couple of weeks if you’re looking for something fun to do with your friends.

Top 10 Traditional Holiday Events


Looking for events that are a little fancier and traditionally Christmas themed? Here is a round up of ballets, Christmas concerts, theatre plays, and traditional Christmas music. Consider this the list for the person who really enjoys celebrating Christmas and is considered a festive season fanatic. Ticket prices are assumed to be standard adult fare, although many places offer student discounts. 

1. The Nutcracker Ballet by Ballet BC – December 29, 2015 – December 31, 2015

Ballet BC presents Alberta Ballet in the classic holiday ballet The Nutcracker at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. It wouldn’t be the holidays in Vancouver without The Nutcracker. Alberta Ballet’s production with choreography by Edmund Stripe and sets and costumes designed by Emmy Award-winning designer Zack Brown. Tickets start at $26.50.

2. The Singing Heart Christmas Concert – December 20, 2015

The Phoenix Chamber Choir presents a Christmas concert featuring new music and old favourites at Ryerson United Church. Tickets start at $25.

3. Festive Cantatas – Praetorius Christmas Vespers – December 20, 2015

Thirteen vocal soloists specializing in seventeenth-century music from all over North America, string band, cornetto and sackbut players, three therobo players, and multiple keybroadists join together to recreate the joyful celebration of Christmas Vespers as it might have been heard under the direction of Michael Praetorius in seventeenth-century Germany. Tickets start at $35.

4. Theatre Replacement Presents Hansel and Gretel: An East Side Panto – Dec 2, 2015 – Jan 3, 2016

An East Van Panto is back! Theatre Replacement steps way off the beaten path for this year’s edition with the weird and wonderful Hansel and Gretel. Complete with an edible house, a butt-kicking brother and sister team, and a cute little cannibal witch, Hansel and Gretel lures you deep into the East Van wilderness to deliver a fantastic holiday treat. Tickets start at $19.05.

5. Arts Club Theatre Company Presents A Christmas Story, the Musical – Now To December 27, 2015

Based on the popular film, this festive musical tells a tale familiar to anyone who has ever been a kid: the dogged pursuit of acquiring a desired toy. It’s the 1940s and for 9-year-old Ralphie nothing under the tree will satisfy—save for an Official Red Ryder carbine-action BB gun. Presented at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. Tickets start at $29.

Top 10 Budget Friendly Events


You don’t need to spend a fortune in order to have an awesome time celebrating the holidays in Vancouver! If you’re looking for events that are a little more relaxed and lighthearted then this is the perfect list for you. Here are a bunch of FREE or low cost events that we highly recommend everybody to check out to experience the festive season without having to break the bank (and don’t we all appreciate that during this time of the year?)

1. Free Ice Skating at Robson Square – December 1, 2015 – February 28, 2016

The Government of British Columbia’s Robson Square Ice Rink, located in downtown Vancouver, is opening on the afternoon of December 1, 2015 and will be open all through the Christmas Holidays, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Skating is free with your own skates, otherwise rentals are available for $4. Helmets and ice cleat rentals are $2. The rink also features a concession stand with snacks and warm drinks.

2. Carol Ships Parade of Light- Fridays & Saturdays, December 4 – 19, 2015

One of Vancouver city’s most unique, festive traditions is the parade of the “Carol Ships”. All the ships are decorated with Christmas lights, making Vancouver’s waterways completely beautiful at nighttime. You will need to pay a fee in order to board any of the Carol Ships. However it’s completely free to watch the ships at any of the shoreside Carol Ship events, including the Carol Shop watching and bonfires located in North Burnaby and West Vancouver’s Dundarave Park.

3. Christmas in Kerrisdale – Saturdays & Sundays, December 5 – 20, 2015

Celebrate the holidays in Kerrisdale, a smaller and quaint community near south of Vancouver. There will be live musicians such as saxophone, tuba, and strolling bass bands, live quartets, and a chance to meet Santa and his elves. As well, there will be free horse carriage rides. The perfect area to shop around, have a coffee, and take in the festive celebrations.

4. Christmas at Canada Place – December 12 – 30, 2015 (no December 24 – 25)

Canada Place goes all out for Christmas in Vancouver! It’s all taking place outdoors along The Canadian Trail (Canada Place west promenade). Come down to this year’s Christmas at Canada Place to enjoy the following: Woodward’s WindowsCapture your Christmas memories in a 15ft snow globeRudolph’s TheatreAvenue of Christmas treesArts and craftsChristmas at FlyOver CanadaAnd more!

5. Winter Solstice Lantern Festival – December 21, 2015

Come celebrate this free community event with a glowing constellation of lanterns shining in four Vancouver neighbourhoods. The event begins at 6:00pm with lantern processions in each neighbourhood followed by multicultural performances and activities in a variety of indoor venues. These include: YaletownGranville Island and Chinatown/Strathcona. All Festival events are free, but donations are requested.

Top 10 Party & New Year’s Eve Events


Looking for a way to party it up to help bring in the new year but unsure of what event to attend in Vancouver? Look no further with these New Year’s Eve parties and events that are currently trending. Here you’ll find events that are a little wilder and fancier, for those who are interested in Vancouver’s nightlife scene. Note that all the events listed below are for ages 19+ except for the Vancouver New Year’s Eve Celebration 2016, which is open to all ages. All events listed below take place on December 31, 2015.

1. Vancouver New Year’s Eve Celebration 2016

Planned to set in Vancouver’s Canada Place, this is the first FREE NYE party in more than a decade! It’s a great event because there is no age restriction so everybody is welcome to attend. There is also the option of purchasing premium viewing lounge tickets, for those who are interested in have VIP passes for the event.

2. Celebrities Playhouse New Year’s Eve 2016

Taking place at Celebrities Nightclub (1022 Davie Street), this NYE event will help you ring in the new year with club hits and house anthems. Featuring dancers, LED wall countdown, some of Vancity’s best DJs, and a champaign toast a midnight. There will also be hors d’oeuvres too! Tickets start at $25.

3. New Year’s Eve Extravaganza Club C

Set to take place in various locations, The Student Tours Vancouver NYE “Extravaganza Club C Club Crawl” is set to be another popular pick for this year. The event is expecting thousands of guests from all across Canada who have gathered with one thing in mind – to ring in the new year together! Tickets start at $30.

4. Butcher & Bullock New Years Eve 2016

Burton Ball’s New Year Eve party taking place at Butcher & Bullock (911 West Pender Street). Dancing Ticket: 9pm-Late Entry for Dancing Portion of the night…Dinner & Dancing Ticket: Seatings Begin at 6pm – 3 Course Meal + 1 Glass of Sparkling & Entry for Dancing Portion of the Night 9pm-Late. Tickets start at $15.

5. New Years Under The Stars 2016

Want to spend NYE admiring the night sky and stars with all your friends? Check our New Years Under The Stars 2016, featuring a night full of the best electronic, hip hop, and pop music. Set on 881 Granville Street with tickets starting at $20.


Thank You Everybody For Another Great Year!

In conclusion, we hope that you found this fun and lighthearted update entertaining and a useful guide for your holiday plans this winter. We want to thank all of you for your support during this past year! As well, we want to give a friendly reminder that since it is the holiday season for us in Canada, our office will be CLOSED for the holidays (Dec 21 – Jan 3) but you may email either a specific placement coordinator or staff member. General inquires about our programs can go to info@stepwest.com. We will return your message as soon as we are back in the office!


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