22 things to do in Vancouver this New Year's long weekend

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After letting loose on New Year’s Eve, you might be looking for something a little bit more low key to do for the long weekend to nurse a nasty hangover.

Or not.

Whatever your wants and needs are, we have you covered. Here are 22 things to do in Vancouver this New Year’s long weekend. For more things happening around town, check out our events calendar.

Grouse Mountain / Vancity Buzz composite

SEE ALSO: 50 things to do in Vancouver in January

Annual Polar Bear Swim

  • What: The Vancouver Polar Bear Swim Club is one of the largest and oldest Polar Bear Clubs in the world. Its initial swim was in 1920 when a small number of hardy swimmers took the plunge into English Bay on New Year’s Day. Led by their founder, Peter Pantages, the swim has grown from around 10 swimmers in that year to the new record of 2,550 official entries set in 2014.
  • Where: English Bay, Vancouver
  • When: January 1, 2016; Registration is from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

New Year’s Free Family Day at the CAG

  • What: On the last Saturday of each month, the CAG invites all ages to drop-in for short exhibition tours and free art making activities that respond to our current exhibitions. Responding to Kim Beom’s book Noonchi, about a dog in search of an owner, you will create your own illustrated story about Noonchi using drawing materials and a small folded paper book.
  • Where: Contemporary Art Gallery – 555 Nelson Street, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, January 2; noon to 4 p.m.

Farmers’ Markets

Nat Bailey Stadium

  • What: Each week you can look forward to finding locally grown vegetables and fruit, meat and seafood from local ranchers and fishermen, artisan cheese and bread, herbs and seasonal nursery items, baked goods, prepared foods and artisanal craft.
  • Where: Nat Bailey Stadium – 4601 Ontario Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, November 7 to Saturday, April 23 (Every Saturday); 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Hastings Park

  • What: After a successful trial season last year, we’re excited to return to Hastings Park for a full winter season! We were welcomed and supported by the local community with dedicated Vancouver Farmers Markets shoppers from all over the Lower Mainland. Located within a thriving community close to the highway and the Second Narrows Bridge, the Hastings Park Farmers Market is a perfect place to stop and shop.
  • Where: Hastings Skate Park – Renfrew Street, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, November 8th to Sunday, May 1st (Closed Dec. 27); 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Granville Island Public Market

  • What: Open year-long, the Public Market at Granville Island is a favourite destination for locals and tourists alike. There are several produce vendors, along with local food and craft artisans, prepared foods, and much more to see and do.
  • Where: 1661 Duranleau Street – Granville Island
  • When: 7 days a week, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Cannery Farmers’ Market

  • What: Held under the Cannery roof in Richmond, this winter farmers’ market acts as a gathering place for the local community and provides an opportunity for farmers and artisans to showcase their products. Visitors to the market can enjoy a rustic atmosphere, fresh produce, and a varied selection of prepared foods.
  • Where: The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site – 12138 Fourth Avenue, Richmond
  • When: October 2015 to April 2016, 1st and 3rd Sundays of every month; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

White Rock Winter Market

  • What: The White Rock Farmers’ Market will run nine winter markets this year, which will feature a range of vendor produced goods, including fresh fruits and veggies, with an en emphasis on locally-grown farm produce. Also available at the market are baked and organic goods, artisan cheeses and breads, condiments and preserves, and fair trade coffee.
  • Where: Elks Hall, 1469 George Street, White Rock
  • When: October 18 to December 18, Sundays; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Royal City Farmers’ Market

  • What: This New Westminster winter market offers attendees farm-fresh produce, plants, quality handmade crafts from local artists and artisans, gourmet prepared foods, live entertainment, and whole stack more.
  • Where: Belmont Street (between 6th and 7th Streets), New Westminster
  • When: November 7 to April 16 (excluding January 2); 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sports

Richmond Olympic Oval Experience

  • What: At the Richmond Olympic Experience, you and your family and friends can compete on over a dozen world-class sport simulators and fun interactive challenges. The ROX is billed as the most interactive sport attraction in North America for a reason.
  • Where: Richmond Olympic Oval –  6111 River Road, Richmond
  • When: Open Tuesdays to Sundays

Resolution Run

  • Distance: 5k
  • When: Friday, January 1, 2016

Vancouver Canucks v.s. Anaheim Ducks

  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, January 1; 7 p.m.

Go tubing or tobogganing

  • What: There are numerous areas around Metro Vancouver to try your hand at snow tubing up on the mountains.
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: Throughout winter months as conditions allow

Go snowshoeing

  • What: Whether you’re a regular or a beginner, snowshoeing is a fun and easy way to get outside in the winter, see some marvelous scenery, and have some exercise.
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: Throughout winter months as conditions allow

Go ice skating

  • What: In the spirit of the True North Strong and Free, Metro Vancouver has literally dozens of ice arenas now open for public skating, including a number of extra-festive outdoor rinks. With special holiday events and regular public skating hours, there are plenty of opportunities to lace up some skates and hit the ice.
  • Where: Over 40 locations across Metro Vancouver
  • When: Times vary

Miscellaneous

Ice Skating at Robson Square

  • What: The rink at Robson Square is operated seasonally by the provincial government when the temperatures begin to dip, running from morning into the late evening hours. Skaters can skate for free if they bring their own skates while those without skates can rent a pair on-site. There is also a concession stand serving snacks and warm drinks.
  • Where: 800 Robson Street, Vancouver (Robson & Howe)
  • When: December 1, 2015 until February 28, 2016; times vary

Bright Nights at Stanley Park

  • What: Over three million dazzling lights decorate acres of the dark forest, reaching as high as the forest canopy for Bright Nights in Stanley Park. The attraction is also accompanied by a train ride, musics, snacks, entertainment, and even visits with Santa and his elves.
  • Where: Miniature railway area at Stanley Park, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, November 26 to January 2, 2016

Dundarave Festival of Lights

  • What: A beloved West Vancouver tradition returns with the Dundarave Festival of Lights.
  • Where: Dundarave Park – 25th Street and Bellevue Avenue, West Vancouver
  • When: Every Saturday from November 28 until January 2; noon to 6 p.m.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge

  • What: The suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and canyon are transformed into a world of festive lights and visual enchantment. See the world’s tallest living Christmas tree (153 feet tall), experience the voice-activated light show, go on a scavenger hunt throughout the park, sing along with the holiday band, take a family photo at the Winter Pavilion, and more.
  • Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge – 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
  • When: Friday, November 27 – Sunday, January 3, 2016; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Spirit of Christmas at Sea to Sky Gondola

  • What: High up in the alpine range lies the Sea to Sky Gondola near Squamish, offering unparalleled views of snow-capped mountains. The Christmas festivities include snowshoeing, tubing, a forest walk, warm and cozy storytime and a brunch with Santa himself. There will also be a Christmas Market at the mountain base and local choirs singing holiday carols, including a special holiday concert.
  • Where: Sea to Sky Gondola – off Highway 99 just before Squamish
  • When: Friday, December 4 to January 3, 2016

Nightlife

Backdoor New Year’s Day

  • What: Vancouver’s legendary pop-up gay warehouse party where anything goes and everyone is welcome boys, girls, gays, straights, daddies and grannies – leave your labels at the door and get your derrier ready to celebrate a new chapter! This is a body-positive / gender-positive space and most importantly this is a safe space. Express yourself!
  • Where: Vancouver Art and Leisure – 1965 Main Street, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, January 1, 2016; 9 p.m.

Taiki Nulight

  • What: Taiki Nulight, or Erka Chinbayer to his friends, has been DJing and Producing for many years in very different circles. Being influenced by UK Garage, House and Electronic Dance Music, he has created a trademark sound which is truly his own.
  • Where: Red Room Ultra Bar – 398 Richards Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, January 2; 10 p.m.

Sonic Sunday Karaoke

  • What: We have a show every Sunday & Monday 9 p.m. – 1:00am with your host Jordan of Vibeology Entertainment. No cover, drink specials, and free pool.
  • Where: The Astoria – 769 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, January 3, 2016; 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
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