21 things to do in Vancouver this weekend

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Chalet Christmas Lights 2014

Christmas is swinging into full gear. In between baking and shopping, head out to any of these Vancouver events to have some fun.

For even more things going on in Vancouver this weekend, December 18 to 20, check out our Vancouver Events Calendar.

Shipyards Christmas Market 2015

  • What: The Shipyards Christmas Market will bring back many of the vendors patrons have come to know and love from the summer night markets, with a festive twist. Over 70 vendors will congregate on December 18 to 20 inside the historic Pipeshop at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue.
  • Where: Pipeshop building – 115 Victory Shipway, North Vancouver
  • When: Friday, December 18; 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday, December 19 and Sunday, December 20; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Keithmas VI in Rickshaw

  • What: Keith Richards turns 72 today, you can be there to celebrate in the company some of the most incredible bands in Vancouver, playing their collective asses off playing the classic, and imbibing superhuman amounts of Jack Daniels.
  • Where: Rickshaw Theatre – 254 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, December 18; 7 p.m.

Graham Clark presents… The Graham Hates Christmas Show

  • What: Funny-man Graham Clark is no fan of Christmas. Join him and his guests as they ridicule holiday films for one night only. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., show 8 p.m.
  • Where: Hot Art Wet City – 2206 Main Street, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, December 18; 8 to 10 p.m.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

  • What: Have fun wrapped in the hideous warmth of an ugly sweater and support the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. Help them raise money to fulfill a favorite wish for children diagnosed life-threatening illness.
  • Where: Commodore Ballroom – 868 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, December 18; 8 p.m.

A Christmas Story

  • What: The Arts Club’s production of A Christmas Story brings the classic film to life, along with a musical soundtrack. If you’re not already familiar with the plot, it’s about a young boy named Ralphie in the 1940s who sets his eye on the Official Red Ryder carbine-action BB gun as his must-have Christmas gift. Problem is, “it’ll shoot your eye out!”
  • Where: Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage – 2750 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • When: Now until December 27; evening and matinee productions

Vancouver Chamber Choir Christmas Concerts

  • What: The Vancouver Chamber Choir is putting on three fabulous Christmas concerts this season, beginning on December 4 with Christmas in the Orpheum, a collection of renaissance, baroque & carols. Next is A Dylan Thomas Christmas, followed by the ever-popular A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  • Where: The Orpheum – 601 Smithe Street, Vancouver & Shaughnessy Heights United Church – 1550 West 33rd Ave, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, December 18, and December 19; 8 p.m.

A Traditional Christmas from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

  • What: The VSO plays its annual Traditional Christmas concert in neighbourhoods around Metro Vancouver, including the North Shore, Burnaby, Surrey, Delta, and Vancouver this holiday season. Experience the delight of Christmas music straight from the city’s most talented musicians.
  • Where: Various locations
  • When: Thursday, December 10 to Sunday, December 20; Nightly

Bah! Humbug!

  • What: “An Eastside musical set on Coast Salish Territories” – that’s what SFU Woodward’s Bah! Humbug! production is described as. Starring Jim Byrnes as Ebenezer Scrooge, the play will weave current issues of the Downtown Eastside into Charles Dicken’s classic A Christmas Carol. “A modern-day, sushi-loving Ebenezer Scrooge owns a pawn shop on Vancouver’s Hastings Street, where he is timing Bob Cratchit’s late arrival to work on his iPhone.”
  • Where: Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts – 149 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • When: Tuesday, December 15 to 19; 7:30 p.m., matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturdays

The Nutcracker (Goh Ballet)

  • What: The Goh Ballet presents their annual production of The Nutcracker for the seventh year in a row. The prestigious ballet is sure to entertain all ages, as the classicly whimsical tale has endured decades as a classic Christmas tradition.
  • Where: The Centre in Vancouver – 777 Homer Street, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, December 17 to Tuesday, December 22; 7:30 p.m., matinees also available

The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain

  • What: Grouse Mountain becomes a holiday mecca during December for the Peak of Christmas, featuring Santa and his elves, live reindeer, sleigh rides, ice skating on the outdoor rink, all in the outdoor alpine beauty.
  • Where: Grouse Mountain – 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver
  • When: Friday, November 27 to January 4, 2016

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

Winter Market at Nat Bailey Stadium

  • What: Now in its 9th year, this weekly market offers visitors locally-grown fruit and vege, 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
  • When: Saturdays, November 7 to April 23, 2016 (excluding December 26); 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Yaletown Kissmas

  • What: ‘Tis the season to catch the Kissmas spirit. With the holidays in full swing, locals can join the Yaletown Business Improvement Association for a one-night Christmas pop-up, in the heart of Yaletown. On Saturday, December 19, head down to Bill Curtis Square for Yaletown Kissmas, an early evening of holiday-themed goodwill as the Yaletown BIA animates the area with a giant mistletoe, music and games.
  • Where: Bill Curtis Square – the corner of Mainland and Davie Street (just behind the Canada Line station), Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, December 19; 4 to 7 p.m.

Christmas in Kerrisdale

  • What: Brass bands, Santa Claus and his merry elves, horse and carriage rides and free ice skating are all part of the annual Christmas in Kerrisdale celebration.
  • Where: Kerrisdale Village – West 41st Avenue between Larch St and Maple St.
  • When: Saturdays and Sundays, December 5, 12, 19, 23; noon to 4 p.m.

Holidays at the Aquarium

  • What: Scuba Claus is back in town for another underwater adventure at the Vancouver Aquarium. Scuba Claus will be making special trips to deliver gifts to the most deserving creatures in the sea while entertaining guests on the other side of the glass. Once that’s done, families can catch a showing of the Polar Express in 4-D.
  • Where: Vancouver Aquarium – 845 Avison Way, Vancouver
  • When: Throughout December

Hastings Park Farmers’ Market

  • What: The farmers’ market, which will be operating for the entire winter season, will feature a diverse selection of local produce, including fish, poultry, meat, dairy and nursery items.
  • Where: Hastings Skatepark – Renfrew Street
  • When: Sundays, November 8 to May 1, 2016 (excluding December 27); 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Vancouver Christmas Market

  • What: Back once again at Queen Elizabeth Plaza, this bustling temporary alpine village will once again boast unique eats, handcrafted goods, and lots of fun for kids young and young-at-heart alike. The Vancouver Christmas Market will run from November 21 to December 24, and will have over 50 vendors selling gift-able treats from holiday ornaments to handmade toys.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Plaza, 650 Hamilton Street
  • When: November 21 to December 24, 2015, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on December 24)

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

Vancouver Winter Wonderland Christmas Festival

  • What: Vancouver Winter Wonderland Festival will be the largest indoor Christmas festival in Canada with 100 vendors, food and drinks, a three-storey walk-through snow globe and more inside the 35,000 sq. ft. PNE Forum. Guests will pay $5 to enter.
  • Where: PNE Forum – 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • When: December 11 to 20, 2015

Santa Land at Metropolis at Metrotown

  • What: Santa Claus will be arriving at Metropolis at Metrotown straight from the North Pole, moving into SantaLand on Friday, November 20th and staying until Christmas Eve. As always, children are encouraged to drop off their letters to Santa at Santa’s mailbox. Just make sure to include a return address and Santa might write back!New this year: Interact with our giant light curtain by choosing your favourite snowflake pattern!
  • Where: Metropolis at Metrotown – 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby
  • When: Santa arrives November 20 unti December 24. Click here for hours.

Karaoke Christmas Trolley Tour

  • What: Head out to VanDusen Garden’s Festival of Lights and Bright Nights at Stanley Park aboard the historical Vancouver Trolley Company’s fleet, all while singing Christmas carols along the way. Trolleys will be decked out with karaoke machines, but unfortunately no liquid courage to get the vocal chords ready.
  • Where: Trips depart from Canada Place – 999 Canada Place, Vancouver
  • When: December 1 to December 30, 2015

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Jill Slattery Jill Slattery was born and raised in Vancouver, where she also earned an Arts degree from UBC in English and Creative Writing. She is an avid TV-watcher and a shameless Taylor Swift fangirl. Jill is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. Contact her at jill@vancitybuzz.com
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