50 things to do in Vancouver in January

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Grouse Mountain / Vancity Buzz composite

The busy holidays may be over, but that doesn’t mean January will be dull. There are dozens of events happening in Vancouver this month, and we’ve rounded down the cream of the crop.

Here are 50 things to do in and around Vancouver in January:

THINGS-TO-DO-THIS-WINTER

SEE ALSO: 50 things to do in Vancouver this winter

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.

No Pants Skytrain Ride 2016

  • What: The No Pants Skytrain Ride is an annual global event started by Improv Everywhere in New York in 2002. The mission is simple: you ride the Skytrain with no pants.
  • Where: TBA
  • When: Sunday, January 10; 2:30 p.m.

Music & entertainment

Opera Warriors

  • What: Direct from the award-winning creative team behind the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics comes Opera Warriors. Indulge your senses this New Year with a thrilling presentation of high-energy and visually stunning Chinese dance theatre with the Canadian premiere of Opera Warriors.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 649 Cambie Street, Vancouver
  • When: Tuesday, January 5 and Wednesday, January 6

Heathers The Musical

  • What: Equal parts social commentary and psycho thriller, Heathers the Musical arrives in Canada next month with guilt-free mayhem. Heathers The Musical is the darkly delicious story of Veronica Sawyer (Christine Quintana), a brainy, teenage misfit who never dreamed of getting in the most popular and cruel clique at high school. But she did. She also never dreamed of dating the dark and mystery new kid at her school. But she did. And she certainly never dream of killing anyone. But she kind of did.
  • Where: The York Theatre – 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • When: Wednesday, January 6 to 17

INFINITE Effect World Tour

  • What: The K-Pop boy band comes to the Queen E as part of their second world tour.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 649 Cambie Street, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, January 7; 8 p.m.

So You Think You Can Dance Live Tour

  • What: Dancing hits a high note with the So You Think You Can Dance Live Tour that hits Vancouver in January. Unbelievable dance moves, reality television stars, and bumping music make for one fun night.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 649 Cambie Street, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, January 8; 8 p.m.

Dirty Dancing

  • What: Broadway Across Canada presents the live theatre production of Dirty Dancing. See Baby and Johnny swing the night away, and face meddling parents and 1980s fashion disasters while they fight for true love. You’ll have the time of your life.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 649 Cambie Street, Vancouver
  • When: Tuesday, January 12 to Sunday, January 17

Vance Joy

  • What: Vance Joy comes to Vancouver for two shows January 12 and 13, as part of the Fire and the Flood Tour, with stops in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, and New Brunswick. Joy has been making the rounds since 2013, recently opening for Taylor Swift on her 1989tour. His first studio release Dream Your Life Away hit the airwaves last year, netting him significant praise in the singer-songwriter community and a huge degree of international fame.
  • Where: The Orpheum Theatre – 601 Smithe Street, Vancouver
  • When: Tuesday, January 12 and Wednesday, January 13

PuSh Festival

  • What: The PuSh Festival expands the horizons of Vancouver artists and audiences with work that is visionary, genre-bending, multi-disciplined, startling and original. The Festival showcases acclaimed international, Canadian and local artists and mixes them together with an alchemy that inspires audiences, rejuvenates artists, stimulates the industry and forges productive relationships around the globe.
  • Where: Various Locations. Check the website for more information.
  • When: Tuesday, January 19 to Sunday, February 7

Bryan Callen at the Comedy Mix

  • What: Callen got his start as an original cast member of MAD TV. He then went on to play numerous roles on the small and big screen including, “Old School” “Bad Santa”, “Sex and the City”, “Entourage,” “Californication”, “7th Heaven,” “King of Queens,” “Stacked,” “Las Vegas,” “West Wing,” “News Radio,” “Significant Others,” “CSI,” “NYPD Blue,” “Suddenly Susan,” and “Frasier.”
  • Where: The Comedy Mix – 1015 Burrard Street, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, January 21 to Saturday, January 23

Blue Rodeo

  • What: Canadian country rock band Blue Rodeo will be stopping by Vancouver for two shows in January to support their latest live album Live at Massey Hall which dropped this year.
  • Where: The Orpheum Theatre – 601 Smithe Street, Vancouver
  • When: Tuesday, January 26 and Wednesday, January 27; 8 p.m.

Debra DiGiovanni at the Comedy Mix

  • What: Comedian Debra DiGiovanni has been awarded the Canadian Comedy Award for best female comic for the third time in 5 years. She’s been called the “Best Comedian to see after a Messy Break Up” and for three years running-she was named her hometown Toronto’s favorite comedian.
  • Where: The Comedy Mix – 1015 Burrard Street, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, January 28 to Saturday, January 30

Food & drink

Purdy’s Truffle Making Class

  • What: If you’re looking to expand your dessert cooking repertoire, why not make a point to drop by Purdy’s South Granville location on January 5 and partake in their Truffle Making Class. Attendees will be able to choose their own flavourings, alcohol and toppings to create unique truffles in a decadent dark chocolate shell. Participants will get to take home sweet memories and a batch of 20 delicious truffles each.
  • Where: South Granville Purdys Chocolatier shop – 2705 Granville Street
  • When: Tuesday, January 5; 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Dine Out Vancouver

  • What: Canada’s largest food and drink festival dishes up unlimited ways to enjoy the flavours of the city. Choose from a 17-day calendar of culinary events and experiences, hundreds of restaurants throughout the city and dozens of hotel options to create delicious dining experiences.
  • Where: Various participating restaurants.
  • When: Friday, January 15 to Sunday, January 31

Gluten Free Expo

  • What: Discover, sample, and save on hundred’s of Gluten Free Products while learning from leading experts. This years Expo is even bigger and better than ever! New products, Pizzas, Pastas, Perogies, Sausages, and more ready and waiting for you. So, don’t forget to get your tickets!
  • Where: Canada Place – 999 Canada Place, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, January 16 to Sunday, January 17; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Street Food City

  • What: Celebrating its fifth anniversary, Street Food City is your opportunity to sample from a collection of Vancouver’s Street Food carts all in one convenient location.
  • Where: North Plaza, Vancouver Art Gallery
  • When: Saturday, January 16 to Sunday, January 24; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays

Hot Chocolate Festival

  • What: The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival is back for its fifth year, and this time, even more chocolate makers have come together to spike their hot chocolate drinks with the wildest, most delicious flavours you can imagine.
  • Where: TBA
  • When: Saturday, January 16 to Sunday, February 14

Vancouver Whisky Festival

  • What: The inaugural Vancouver Whisky Festival will take place on Monday, January 18, at Terminal City Club. In the company of brand ambassadors from Scotland and around world, Whisky enthusiasts will not only taste whisky from Scotland, Ireland, Canada, USA and Japan, but also meet whisky bloggers, writers, connoisseurs and amateurs alike.
  • Where: Terminal City Club – 837 West Hastings Street
  • When: Monday, January 18; 6 p.m.

Taste BC

  • What: Taste BC is one event that you will not want to miss. This memorable tasting promises to inspire a sense of local pride, and most importantly, raise proceeds to benefit BC Children’s Hospital’s Oak Tree Clinic.
  • Where: Pan Pacific Hotel – #300 – 999 Canada Place, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, January 28; 4:30 to 7:30 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.

Vancouver Canucks v.s. Arizona Coyotes

  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • When: Monday, January 4; 7 p.m.

Vancouver Canucks v.s. Carolina Hurricanes

  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • When: Wednesday, January 6; 7 p.m.

Vancouver Canucks v.s. Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, January 9; 7 p.m.

Vancouver Canucks v.s. Florida Panthers

  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • When: Monday, January 11; 7 p.m.

Vancouver Giants v.s. Everett

  • What: Catch a Vancouver Giants hockey game at Pacific Coliseum this month as they play some of the best teams in the AHL.
  • Where: Pacific Coliseum – 100 N. Renfrew Street, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, January 15; 7:30 p.m.

Vancouver Giants v.s. Prince George

  • What: Catch a Vancouver Giants hockey game at Pacific Coliseum this month as they play some of the best teams in the AHL.
  • Where: Pacific Coliseum – 100 N. Renfrew Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, January 16; 7:30 p.m.

Vancouver Giants v.s. Medicine Hat

  • What: Catch a Vancouver Giants hockey game at Pacific Coliseum this month as they play some of the best teams in the AHL.
  • Where: Pacific Coliseum – 100 N. Renfrew Street, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, January 22; 7:30 p.m.

Vancouver Chilly Chase

  • What: Run 5k, 10k, 15k or a half marathon in this chilly race around the Vancouver sea wall and back. Every finisher gets a souvenir participant medal.
  • Where: Ontario Street and Athletes Way, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, January 24; 9 a.m.

Vancouver Canucks v.s. Nashville Predators

  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • When: Tuesday, January 26; 7 p.m.

Vancouver Giants v.s. Lethbridge

  • What: Catch a Vancouver Giants hockey game at Pacific Coliseum this month as they play some of the best teams in the AHL.
  • Where: Pacific Coliseum – 100 N. Renfrew Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, January 30; 7:30 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

Scuba Claus

  • What: That’s right, Scuba Claus is coming to town. From now until December 24 Scuba Claus will dive daily at the Vancouver Aquarium’s Arctic exhibit, sharing the tank with beluga whales Aurora and Qila, and visit the Strait of Georgia Exhibit as well.
  • Where: Vancouver Aquarium – 845 Avison Way, Vancouver
  • When: Runs until January 3. Click here for more.

Christmas at FlyOver Canada

  • What: FlyOver Canada will transform into a magical winter wonderland this Christmas season. Guests will have fun helping Santa Claus search for his missing elves during an exhilarating flight across Canada and on to the North Pole. An extended holiday edition of FlyOver Canada that leads guests on to Santa’s workshop in the North Pole is also included.
  • Where: FlyOver Canada – 201 – 999 Canada Place, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, November 27 to January 5, 2016 – daily 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

After Hours at Vancouver Aquarium

  • What: Ever wondered what it would be like to wander around the Vancouver Aquarium after dark? Now is your chance to do so. The Vancouver Aquarium is hosting an adults-only After Hours event, where attendees can grab a beer or glass of wine and enjoy access to all the galleries while exploring the Aquarium after dark.
  • Where: Vancouver Aquarium – 845 Avison Way
  • When: Thursday, January 21

Vancouver International Boat Show

  • What: Think you might need a bigger boat? Whether you have one or not, head to the Vancouver Boat Show at BC Place to tour some of the finest watercraft on the market and think about sailing away to somewhere warmer.
  • Where: BC Place – 777 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
  • When: Wednesday, January 20 to Sunday, January 22

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About the author

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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
@jillslattery

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