free Christmas events

50 Free Christmas Events in Metro Vancouver 2018

Angela Community, Family Adventures Leave a Comment

Looking for low-cost or free Christmas events in Metro Vancouver?

Below you’ll find lots of low-cost, by donation, or free Christmas events & attractions across Metro Vancouver listed by city so you will know what to travel for and what is close to home. 

We’ve got you covered for Aldergrove, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Fort Langley, Langley, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Port Coquitlam, Squamish, Surrey, Vancouver, West Vancouver and White Rock. We wish you and your families a magic Christmas together! 

 

ALDERGROVE

Aldergrove’s Annual Christmas Light Parade and After Party
When & Where: Dec 8th at 6:00 pm, Downtown Aldergrove
Details: Enjoy the parade, refreshments, carol singing and lighting of Aldergrove’s Official Christmas tree. Rain or Shine, free.

BURNABY

Ugly Christmas Sweater Toonie Skate
When & Where: Dec 22 from 12:30 – 3:00 pm, Bill Copeland Sports Centre
Details: $2.00 per person, skates and helmet included. All ages.

Bright in Burnaby
When & Where: Dec 1 from 5:00 – 9:00 pm, Burnaby Village Museum
Details: Tree Lighting Ceremony & light refreshments at 6pm. Proceeds from carousel ride tickets purchased between 5-9 pm will be donated to the Burnaby Christmas Bureau.  

Edmonds Festival of Lights
When & Where: Nov 24 from 2:30 – 5:30 pm
Details: Tree lighting, Santa visit, hot chocolate, hot dogs, entertainment and activities. Free admission for all ages.

Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum
When & Where: Nov 24-Jan 4, times vary, consult the website for details.
Details: Wreaths, cedar swags and vintage-themed displays. Create your own holiday light show – the lights change colour with sound. Free Gate Admission. Optional carousel rides are $2.65.

Light and Dark: A Seasonal Art Experience
When & Where: Dec 15 from 3:00 – 8:00 pm, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts
Details: Enjoy interactive art activities, family entertainment, and a labyrinth of light. Free admission, all ages.

COQUITLAM

Winter Lights Display at Lafarge Lake
When & Where: Nov 24 – Jan 20, Lafarge Lake, Town Centre Park, 1299 Pinetree Way
Details: Come check out hundreds of thousands of lights wrapping their way around the lake in multiple themed zones.

Winter Lights Display – Theme Night with Sparky
When & Where: Nov 30 from 6:00-8:00 pm, Lafarge Lake, Town Centre Park, 1299 Pinetree Way
Details: Sparky the Firefly leads a parade around the lake. Glow sticks and candy canes will be handed out, while quantities last. Free, all ages.

Winter Lights Display – Ugly Sweater Night
When & Where: Dec 1 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Lafarge Lake, Town Centre Park, 1299 Pinetree Way
Details: Wear your ugly Christmas sweater and go for a walk around the lake – prizes will be given out. Free, all ages.

Winter Lights Display – Seasonal Snaps
When & Where: Dec 2 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Lafarge Lake, Town Centre Park, 1299 Pinetree Way
Details: Create memorable photos using props provided and your own camera. Free, all ages.

Winter Lights Display – Jingle Bells Night
When & Where: Dec 21 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm, Lafarge Lake, Town Centre Park, 1299 Pinetree Way
Details: Carolling around the lake, with a mass sing-a-long of Jingle Bells at 7:30 pm. Free, all ages, rain or shine.

Celebration of Diversity
When & Where: Dec 9 from 2:00 – 5:00 pm, 1120 Brunette Avenue
Details: Free Admission, all ages. Make your own lanterns, lantern ceremony, live performances, a multi-cultural tea salon, heritage activities at Mackin House and more!

Gingerbread Open House at Springfree Trampoline
When & Where: Dec 15 from 11 – 3 pm, 1300 Woolridge Street #7
Details: Bring your family & imagination down to the Coquitlam Springfree store for an afternoon of FREE Holiday Fun. They will be supplying everything you need to decorate your own Gingerbread House! RSVP online – limited spots available – one gingerbread house per family.

FORT LANGLEY

A Fort Langley Christmas
When & Where: December 21-23, 27-30, Fort Langley, 23433 Mavis Ave
Details: Free admission. Hear stories, roast chestnuts over the fire, take a guided tour. Regular admission rates apply.

LANGLEY

Magic of Christmas
When & Where: Dec 2 from 4:00 – 7:30pm, McBurney Plaza and Fraser Highway
Details: Entertainment and crafts, a parade and Santa, and tree lighting and caroling.

Caroling in McBurney Plaza
When & Where: Dec 8, 14, & 22, various times, consult website for details, McBurney Plaza, 20518 Fraser Highway
Details: Sing-along with carolers in the plaza.

Holiday Chaos
When & Where: Dec 21 from 5:00pm – 8:00pm, Timms Community Centre, 20399 DOuglas Crescent
Details: Bouncy Castles, slides, obstacle course, holiday themed crafts, games and more.

MAPLE RIDGE

Christmas in the Park and Parade Event
When & Where: Dec 1 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm, 11900-22498 Haney Place
Details: Santa Claus Parade & Christmas in the Park. Santa visit, crafts, decorated trees to see, cookies, popcorn & hot chocolate (bring your own mug). Mail Santa letters here!  

NEW WESTMINSTER

Santa Parade
When & Where: December 16 at 11:00 am, Columbia Street, Downtown New Westminster

NORTH VANCOUVER

Story Time With Santa & Cookie Decorating With Mrs. Claus
When & Where: Dec 8 from 11 – 3:00 pm, Lonsdale Quay
Details: Poses for selfies with Santa, and listen in as he reads them Holiday themed stories. Mrs. Claus will also be making an appearance where kids get to decorate sugar cookies from El Dorado Pies & Treats with icing and sprinkles. Storytime with Santa: 11:00am – 12:00pm, Cookie Decorating with Mrs. Claus: 12:00pm – 1:00pm *while supplies last, Selfies with Santa: 12:00pm – 3:00pm.

Kids Holiday Crafts at the Market
When & Where: Dec 2, 9, 16 from 12 – 4:00 pm, Lonsdale Quay
Details: Make fun, festive crafts, all for free.

North Vancouver Christmas Festival
When & Where: Dec 1 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm, Shipbuilders’ Square, Wallace Mews Road, North Vancouver
Details: Pony rides, Ornament/lantern making, tree lighting, gingerbread decorating, storytime tent, face painting, balloon creations, a visit from Mrs. Claus, Burrard Yacht Club sail by, free warm coffee, tea and hot chocolate and Christmas carols. On stage entertainment includes performances by Magician Joel Eddington, Windsor Senior Chamber Choir and Seymour Dance School. All activities are free but donations are welcome. All proceeds will go to local charities.

Park & Tilford Hi-Light Festival
When & Where: Nov 30 – Dec 31 (Nov 30 opening night 7 – 10:00 pm; Family Friday Nights Nov 30, Dec 7, 14, 21 open 5:30 – 9:00 pm; regular hours are 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm daily) Park & Tilford Gardens, 333 Brooksbank Ave, North Vancouver
Details: Majestic festival of lights with over 150,000 lights on display over 3 acres. On opening night, enjoy hot chocolate, live entertainment and a Light Up countdown, entry by donation. Enjoy family entertainment on Family Friday Nights

Kids Holiday Sugar Cookie Decorating
When & Where: Dec 9 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm, El Dorado Pie & Treat at Lonsdale Quay Market
Details: Kids will love the opportunity to decorate their very own holiday sugar cookie with glitter, sprinkles and icing at El Dorado Pie and Treat’s cookie decorating workshop! Join them for all the festive fun on the Retail level at Lonsdale Quay Market, next to Perform Art Studios.

Carol Ships Shoreside Celebration
When & Where: Dec 15 from 7:30 – 9:00 pm, Panorama Park, Deep Cove
Details: Visit the shores of beautiful Deep Cove this holiday season where the community will be gathering in Panorama Park to watch the Carol Ships sail by.  Enjoy a warm and festive evening filled with musical entertainment, roving performers, free craft workshops, a blazing bonfire and beautiful lights. Santa himself may even stop by! In support of the Harvest Project and Family Services, please bring donations of food or unwrapped gifts if you’re able to.

Perform Art Studios Holiday Dance Performance
When & Where: Dec 1 from 2:30 – 3:00 pm, Retail Level Bridge, Lonsdale Quay Market
Details: Get in the holiday spirit with a bit of dancing! Perform Art Studios will be performing an exciting dance show to a festive medley of music!

PORT COQUITLAM

CP Holiday Train
When & Where: Dec 18 at 7:00 pm – Port Coquitlam West Coast Express Station, 2125 Kingsway Ave
Details: Watch the Holiday Train roll in and listen to Collage.  Please bring a donation for the SHARE food and toy drive.

Skate with Santa
When & Where: Dec 16 from 1:15 – 3:45 pm, 2150 Wilson Ave (PoCo Rec Complex)
Details: Regular admission applies.

Christmas Eve Day skate
When & Where: Dec 24 from 10:00 am – 11:30 am (4-12 years) and 11:45 – 1:15 pm, 2150 Wilson Ave, PoCo Rec Complex
Details: Regular admission applies.

Holiday Turkey Dinner
When & Where: Dec 14 from 6-8 pm, 2150 Wilson Avenue (Wilson Centre)
Details: All-ages, admission $3/youth and $5/adults. Register at experienceit.ca or 604-927-7529

SQUAMISH

Squamish Santa Claus Parade
When & Where: Dec 1 at 7:00 pm, Cleveland Avenue, Downtown Squamish
Details: Annual Santa Claus parade can be viewed on Cleveland Avenue from 7:00 pm onward.

SURREY

Holiday Craft Night
When & Where: Nov 30, 5:30 – 7:30pm, 13458 107A Avenue (Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre)
Details: Free event aimed at ages 6 to 12, but everyone is welcome to enjoy cookie decorating, holiday crafts, games, treats, sports challenges, a photo station and more. Love free Christmas events like this!

8th Annual Indoor Tree Lighting Celebration
When & Where: Dec 1 3:30 – 5:30pm, 16824 32 Ave (Kensington Prairie Community Centre)
Details: Free event. Tree lighting, family dance, holiday activities and fun. Bring donations for the food bank. Pre-registration required.  

Surrey Santa Parade of Lights
When & Where: Dec 2 at 5:00 pm, Cloverdale Town Centre, Surrey
Details: Charitable donations will be collected for Surrey Food Bank and the Surrey Christmas Bureau. See website for parade route.

Holiday Movie Night
When & Where: December 7, 5:30-7:30 pm 13458 107A Avenue (Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre)
Details: Come in your pjs, bring a stuffy, settle in for a Christmas movie. Popcorn and other treats will be offered, admission is free. Family activities will be set up before the show.

Very Vintage Christmas
When & Where: Dec 8, 1:00 – 4:00pm, Museum of Surrey, 17710 56a Ave, Surrey
Details: Play old school games, make vintage decorations, visit Santa and Mrs. Claus, drink hot chocolate, explore Dinosaurs on Earth and the TD Explore Zone, free.

Heritage Christmas
When & Where: December 1, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30 12 – 3:00pm, Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Rd, Surrey.
Details: Enjoy treats, string popcorn, and make crafts. Free.

Christmas Open House
When & Where: December 8, 11:00am – 3:00pm, Historic Stewart Farm, 13723 Crescent Rd, Surrey.
Details: Enjoy live music, crafts, treats, visit Santa and take photos with him. Free.

Skate WIth Santa
When & Where: December 8-16, Various arenas, various times (see website for details)
Details: Skate with Santa! Rentals available for a small fee. Regular admission rates apply.

Winter Festival
When & Where: Dec 15, 10 am – 1:00 pm, Guildford Recreation Centre, Surrey
Details: Cookie decorating, crafts and seasonal games, free.

Holiday Movie Night
When & Where: December 21, 6:30-8:30pm, 15996 84 Ave (Fleetwood Community Centre),
Details: Come in your pjs, bring a stuffy, settle in for a Christmas movie. Concession will be available for popcorn and treats, admission is free.

Winter Ice Palace
When & Where: Dec 21 – Jan 6 at various times (see website for details), 6090 – 176 Street (Cloverdale Arena)
Details: Experience a winter wonderland at Cloverdale Arena and enjoy this fun, seasonal event with your friends and family.

Christmas Break Holiday swims
When & Where: December 27, 2018 to January 4, 2019, 1:30-3:30pm, All indoor pools (see website for details)
Details: Holiday swims with games and prizes. Regular admission rates apply.

VANCOUVER

Christmas at Canada Place
When & Where: Dec 7, 2018 – Jan 3, 2019, Downtown Vancouver
Details: Experience the nostalgic tradition of the Woodward’s Windows, magical holiday light display, the Sails of Light, and the festive Avenue of Christmas Trees.

Santa Claus Parade
When & Where: Dec 2 at 12:00 noon (start), Downtown Vancouver
Details: The parade will start at West Georgia and Broughton (at 12:00 pm), travel east along West Georgia, turn south on Howe and finish at Howe and Davie. Family entertainment at Christmas Square prior to the parade. Donations are being collected for the food bank.

Christmas in Kerrisdale
When & Where: Dec 8, 15, 22, 23 from 12:00 – 4:00 pm in Kerrisdale Village, Free Skate on Kerrisdale Arena Dec 16
Details: Strolling brass brands, trio of tubas, holiday horse and carriage rides and Christmas quartets

Free Ice Skating at Robson Square
When & Where: Dec 1 to end of February, 800 Robson Street, Downtown Vancouver
Details: Lace up for skating family fun from December 1 to the end of February. Free admission, bring your own skates or pay to rent.

Yule Duel
When & Where: Dec 6 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm, on Water Street in Gastown
Details: Watch dozens of choirs carol for a cause. Enjoy sing-offs and Christmas music in the open air & donate to support great causes.

Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting
When & Where: Nov 30 from 6 to 7:00 pm, 750 Hornby Street, Downtown Vancouver
Details: This free family-friendly event features live entertainment and music from Side One, free cookies and hot chocolate, local food trucks and fun activities for kids!  Come experience holiday magic at its best! Complete your night with a visit with Santa! Come experience this festive Vancouver tradition!

24th Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival
When & Where: Dec 21, various times & locations.
Details: Come celebrate this free community event with a glowing constellation of lanterns shining in various Vancouver neighbourhoods (including Granville Island, Yaletown, Strathcona & Chinatown). Wherever you wind up, you will feel connected to your community and to the universal spirit of celebration! This festival features fire performances, a procession, Labyrinth of Light, indoor activities and lantern displays. Free family event, with some ticketed venues. Suggested donation of $5/person gratefully accepted.

WEST VANCOUVER

 

Free Pancake Breakfast with Santa!
When & Where: Dec 8 from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon, West Vancouver Community Centre Atrium
Details: Everyone is invited to a free pancake breakfast! Santa will stop by for photos and they’ll have crafts for the kids.

Dundarave Christmas Fair
When & Where: Dec 1 from 12:00 noon to dusk, Dundarave Park
Details: Take in free concerts in the Festival of Light’s longhouse and the Dundarave Nativity Pavilion and watch the Christmas tree lighting

Dundarave Nativity & Paddle Songs
When & Where: Dec 8 from 12:00 noon to dusk, Dundarave Park
Details: Enjoy paddle songs and Christmas carols from Festival of Light’s longhouse and the Dundarave Nativity Pavilion.

World Christmas
When & Where: Dec 15 from 12:00 noon to dusk, Dundarave Park
Details: Enjoy another great free multicultural concert.

Christmas Wassail & Bonfire Night
When & Where: Dec 22 from 12:00 noon to dusk, Dundarave Park
Details: Come to a beach bonfire celebrating Christmas as part of the Dundarave Festival of Lights.

Community Lantern-Making Festival
When & Where: Dec 22 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm, West Vancouver Community Centre
Details: Celebrate the holidays with your friendly community by making winter solstice lanterns together, decorating gingerbread cookies, and listening to live festive music while you sip on a delicious hot drink.  A professional artist will be facilitating a lantern making craft table. At 4:30 pm everyone is invited to join the walk to the Dundarave Festival of Lights (located right by the Beach House Restaurant). This festival is intergenerational, for friends, families, children to seniors and all across the board. Love free Christmas events like this!

WHITE ROCK

Annual Boat Light Parade

When & Where: Dec 1 at 5:30 pm, White Rock Pier

Details: The International Yacht Club of BC brings their Annual Light Boat Parade with two passes by the White Rock Pier.

Friends of the White Rock Library Christmas Open House
When & Where: Dec 8 from 1:30 – 4:00 PM, White Rock Library, 15342 Buena Vista Ave.
Details: The Naked Stage: a reader’s theatre group presents The Velveteen Rabbit at 2 pm. Refreshments & door prizes.

Holiday Break Skates
When & Where: Dec 22 to January 6, various times, 14600 North Bluff Road (Centennial Arena)
Details: Skate to a new theme every day this holiday break. Admission rates vary.

If you know of any other free or low-cost Christmas events across the Lower Mainland, please leave details in the comments below!

And be sure to check out our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide and 2018 Metro Vancouver Holiday Events Guide for lots more festive holiday fun!

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