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snowy mountain backdrop of vancouver in december

Visiting Vancouver in December: Events, Festivals & Things to Do

As winter settles over the picturesque city of Vancouver, a magical atmosphere takes hold.

From festive activities to cultural events, Vancouver December offers a plethora of exciting experiences for visitors during this time of year.

Without further ado, here’s why Vancouver December is considered the ultimate winter escape.

Vancouver in December 2024

  1. Things to do in Vancouver in December
  2. Vancouver December events
  3. December concerts
  4. December weather
  5. What to pack for December
  6. FAQ

Things To Do In Vancouver In December:

Visit the Vancouver Christmas Market

shoppers look at products during the day at the vancouver christmas market

One of the top things to do in Vancouver at Christmas is to visit the Vancouver Christmas Market.

In this market, you’ll be stepping into a bright and vibrant European-inspired holiday market at Jack Poole Plaza.

Indulge in delicious treats, shop for unique gifts, and enjoy live entertainment amidst the festive atmosphere.

From traditional German crafts to warm mulled wine, this market offers a charming experience for all.

? Here for NYE? Check out our list of Vancouver New Year’s Eve Events.

Canyon Lights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge

two individuals walking on the capilano suspension bridge during the canyon lights event

In Vancouver in December the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park transforms into a magical wonderland with their Canyon Lights spectacle.

This iconic suspension bridge becomes adorned with a mesmerizing display of lights, casting an ethereal glow over the surrounding rainforest.

capilano suspension bridge and grouse mountain tour banner for 2024

The Treetops Adventure also takes on a whole new dimension as the walkway and platforms are illuminated, offering a unique perspective of the forest at night

In addition to the illuminated walkways, the event offers live entertainment, carolers, and festive activities.

Go Skiing at Vancouver’s Mountains

skiers racing down the grouse mountain ski hill with the vancouver harbour in the background

With abundant snowfall, breathtaking panoramic views and a variety of terrains, there is skiing for everybody here.

From exhilarating downhill runs to challenging backcountry trails, you can test your skills and enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with this winter sport.

I highly recommend everyone to visit these three local ski mountains:

Visiting with no gear? Don’t worry, full packages to Grouse Mountain are available:

Go Snowshoeing

snowshoers snowshoeing at seymour mountain vancouver bc canada

Experience the true essence of visiting Vancouver in December as you embrace the awesomely stereotypical Canadian activity of snowshoeing.

Here, you’ll strap on snowshoes and discover the captivating beauty of ancient old growth forests and peaceful mountain lakes.

Serenity and solace is the name of the game here.

If you’ve got a car you’ll wanna head up to Seymour Mountain – rated the number one Snowshoeing Resort in North America by Snowshoe Magazine.

Not as mobile? You can book an all-inclusive excursion using the button below:

Go on a Craft Beer Tour

bartender and two individuals in a beer place in vancouver bc canada

Alright, so maybe this is one of my best things to do in December – and it might not appeal to all.

But with the cold of winter abound, I love visiting some of the best Vancouver craft breweries

Whether you’re a beer connoisseur or just looking to mix things up, this tour offers the perfect combination of historical Vancouver info and craft beer tasting.

Here, you’re ensuring a day filled with unforgettable – and educational – moments.

Warm Up By Taking a Vancouver Food Tour

a box of donuts from the vancouver downtown and gastown

The holiday season is a time to gorge – and what better way to do it than learning our city with some of the area’s top local delicacies.

Here’s a list of my top Vancouver food tours:

Not hungry? Try one of Vancouver’s best walking tours instead.

Go On a Snowmobile Adventure

two individuals riding a snow mobile in whistler bc canada

So it’s not exactly Vancouver, but on my list of best things to do in Whistler I’ve got the ultimate thrill ride if you’re looking to take day trips outside of Vancouver.

Here, you get to cross the rugged terrain of Whistler’s Callaghan Valley.

Led by a skilled guide, you’ll traverse the same paths that once witnessed the epic events of the 2010 Winter Olympics. Marvel at the picturesque landscapes of British Columbia, pausing occasionally to immortalize the beauty through photographs.

Afterwards, treat your taste buds to a traditional Yukon breakfast featuring delectable wood stove-prepared eggs and mouthwatering syrupy pancakes.

Vancouver December Events 2024

Christmas Wassail & Bonfire Night

a group of people by the bonfire during the christmas wassail and bonfire night in vancouver bc canada

For generations, the tradition of lighting bonfires on West Vancouver’s beaches has united the community, especially during December in Vancouver.

These fires symbolize warmth, unity, and a shared sense of belonging as we face the longest nights of the year.

vancouver whale tour banner

The Dundarave Festival of Lights, with its grand bonfire presented by the District of West Vancouver, becomes the highlight of the season, reminding us of the enduring power of friendship and community.

Gather at Dundarave Beach with loved ones to witness the sunset and embrace the darkness, confident that light and love will triumph.

This magical celebration ensures inclusivity and sets the stage for a Christmas filled with love and togetherness.

Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

laterns for the annual winter solstice lantern festival in vancouver bc canada

The Secret Lantern Society has been dedicated to celebrating art, culture, beauty, community, and light. As an artist-run and community-driven organization, the mission is to engage spectators and transform them into active participants through vibrant celebrations.

The Winter Solstice Lantern Festival, is a captivating event that revolves around the return of the sun and the reawakening of life, that highlights the interconnectedness of humanity and nature, drawing inspiration from diverse cultural traditions that mark this turning point.

The artistic programming reflects the rich tapestry of cultures, with contributions from local Indigenous groups and communities spanning Chinese, Persian, Southeast Asian, Japanese, African, Middle Eastern, and European origins.

Date: December 21st, 2023.

December Vancouver Concerts

  • Vagabon: December 9, Biltmore Cabaret
  • Devendra Banhart: December 13, Commodore Ballroom
  • Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull, and Ricky Martin: December 10, Rogers Arena

For more information on these December Vancouver concerts check out Ticketmaster.

totem poles at stanley park on the vancouver city sightseeing tour

December Weather in Vancouver

December brings cooler temperatures to Vancouver, with an average high of around 6°C (43°F) and lows dipping to 1°C (34°F). 

Rainfall is common, so be prepared for wet weather.

However, you’ll also experience a dusting of snow, especially in higher elevations. It’s an absolute must to include a waterproof jacket, a snow coat and sturdy winter shoes to stay comfortable while exploring the city.

What to Pack for a Trip to Vancouver in December

In December, Vancouver embraces the holiday spirit with a wide range of activities and events.

So when packing for a trip to Vancouver in December, it’s essential to be prepared for changing weather conditions. Pack a variety of clothing options, including warm sweaters, thermal layers and winter jackets

Don’t forget to include a hat, gloves, and a scarf to protect against rain and snowfall. Sturdy winter shoes that can withstand snow will come in handy when visiting Vancouver in December. 

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures in the snow or want to join in on the festive markets and light displays, you should come prepared for this season.

Visiting Vancouver in December FAQ

Is December a good time to go to Vancouver?

Yes, December can be a wonderful time to visit Vancouver. While the weather may be cooler and rainfall is common, the city embraces the holiday spirit with festive decorations and events. 

You can enjoy activities like exploring Stanley Park adorned with lights, visiting the Vancouver Christmas Market, and experiencing the magical Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge. 

Additionally, December visits to Vancouver offer opportunities for winter sports enthusiasts to enjoy skiing and snowboarding on nearby mountains.

Will there be snow in Vancouver in December?

While the city does experience occasional snowfall, it is more common in higher elevations and mountainous areas surrounding Vancouver. The coastal nature of the city often results in milder temperatures and a higher likelihood of rain instead of snow.

If you’re looking for a snowy experience, you can head to nearby mountains such as Grouse Mountain or Cypress Mountain, where snow sports are available. It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast closer to your visit to get the most accurate information.

Is it worth going to Vancouver in winter?

Yes, visiting Vancouver in winter is definitely worth it. Despite the cooler temperatures, the city offers a unique charm and a range of activities that make it a delightful winter destination. 

You can explore stunning winter landscapes in places like Stanley Park and enjoy scenic walks along the waterfront. The city also hosts festive events such as the Vancouver Christmas Market and Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge, creating a magical atmosphere. 

Furthermore, winter sports enthusiasts can take advantage of nearby mountains for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

Is December rainy in Vancouver?

Yes, December in Vancouver tends to be a rainy month. The city experiences a significant amount of rainfall during the winter season, and December is no exception. It is advisable to come prepared with waterproof clothing and umbrellas when visiting during this time. 

However, the rain often adds to the city’s natural beauty, making the lush greenery and coastal landscapes even more vibrant. Despite the rain, there are still plenty of indoor attractions, events, and cozy cafes to enjoy in Vancouver during December.

Visiting Vancouver in December?

Vancouver December offers a delightful winter experience filled with festive charm, natural beauty, and a range of activities to suit every interest.

I hope my list of top things to do in Vancouver in December has been of help – but if not, please don’t hesitate to write me in the comments below!

Enjoy Vancouver in December 🙂

Ash

I've lived in 5 countries and created content for travel websites like eDreams and Amex Essentials, but here I finally get to work my passion project - my hometown, Vancouver!

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