Winter in Vancouver can be gloomy, dark, and wet, as you’ve undoubtedly heard. True, the days are short in December and the city sees a lot of rain, but there’s something to be said for sipping a cup of coffee and watching the rain fall from the warmth of a nice café. In reality, there are many indoor things to enjoy in Vancouver, and a rainy day is sometimes the ideal excuse to step indoors and visit one of the museums or galleries listed below. There’s a lot to like about visiting Vancouver, BC in the winter; for one, it’s a fantastic time to see many of the city’s finest tourist sites without the crowds.
Winter in Vancouver is milder than the rest of Canada, so you may still enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. In the winter, there’s enough to keep you amused in Vancouver, including the must-do activities we’ve highlighted below. That isn’t to suggest that a little rain shouldn’t keep you from enjoying the outdoors. Vancouverites never allow a little rain stop them from spending time outside, as shown by the residents who can be seen bicycling, running, and walking their dogs in all weather situations. Winter days in Vancouver are very beautiful. Do you have a strong desire for snow? We’ve got your back. Although there isn’t much of the white, fluffy stuff in Vancouver, you won’t have to travel far to ski or snowboard in the winter. With our list of the greatest places to visit in Vancouver during the winter, you can learn about the finest locations to go.
Now Coming to Top Things to do in Vancouver in Winters
1. Tour Granville Island
The experience begins with the journey to the island: while you may drive there, the Aquabus mini-ferry from one of its piers along False Creek is a more adventurous alternative. The boat is a wonderful way to see Vancouver even when it’s raining. Once you’ve arrived on Granville Island, have a look around the Public Market, which is open seven days a week. You’ll want to leave plenty of time to browse the stalls and speak with the merchants at the indoor market, which includes fresh cuisine, unique products, and funny souvenirs. Granville Island is a great place to spend a day or evening.
Throughout the island, there are numerous galleries to visit that feature the work of many extremely skilled people. If you’re travelling with children, make a point of stopping by the Kids Market, which features kid-friendly stores, a multi-level indoor play zone, bumper cars, and other kid-approved activities. When you are hungry, you may either eat something in the market or go outside and eat at one of Granville Island’s restaurants. After a lunch, head to the Arts Club Theatre Company for a live performance to round up a fun day.
2. Visit Vancouver Christmas Market
The Vancouver Christmas Market takes place from late November to Christmas, and it throws the city into the festive mood. It’s the ideal location to find one-of-a-kind presents for everyone on your list, and there’s enough of food and drink to keep you warm and satisfied. The German-inspired market is held at Jack Poole Plaza, where you can also see the 2010 Winter Olympic Games Cauldron, which is a piece of Vancouver history. Between the goodies and stores, there will be singers, live Christmas-themed entertainers, and perhaps even a visit from Santa himself!
3. Ice-Skate at Robson Square
To strap on a pair of skates and glide over the ice at an outdoor skating rink, you don’t need any snow. Robson Square changes into an al fresco ice rink each winter in the centre of downtown Vancouver, where you can skate, twirl, spin, or just awkwardly teeter your way around the rink. You may hire a pair of ice skates (cash only) and skate on the rink from early December to late February, or skate for free if you have your own. Even better, you won’t have to wait for ideal weather to enjoy this sport because the rink is neatly covered to keep you dry.
4. Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery
Do you want to avoid the awful weather? Simply visit the Vancouver Art Gallery, which is located indoors. The rich collections and temporary exhibits of the Vancouver Art Gallery, which has been open since 1931, will keep you amused for hours. The exhibition has stunning displays of First Nations art as well as art from the Asia Pacific area. Alberto Giacometti, Emily Carr, and Claude Monet, to mention a few, have all been featured in previous highlighted exhibitions. Visit see the most recent exhibitions and exhibits, go to their website.
5. Ride the Bright Nights Train at Stanley Park
Bright Nights at Stanley Park is the ideal way to experience the festive holiday mood if you’re visiting Vancouver around Christmas time. This is where Stanley Park in Vancouver comes alive with millions of twinkling lights, creating a really wonderful Christmas experience. The Christmas Train, Bright Nights, takes you on a picturesque tour of the park. It’s a fun pastime for all ages that also serves as a fundraiser for the Burn Fund, and it runs from late November until the Christmas season. You may end the evening with photographs with Santa and a cup of hot chocolate to keep you warm.
Even if you missed the Christmas season, Stanley Park is worth a visit in the winter. Zip up your rain jacket and explore the trails without the throngs of summer – it’s a peaceful experience and a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
6. Explore the Museum of Anthropology
The University of British Columbia is one of Canada’s most beautiful campuses, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the huge Pacific Spirit Park. It also houses the Arthur Erikson-designed Museum of Anthropology, a magnificent museum that studies British Columbia’s civilizations, with a focus on indigenous populations. The structure, which was completed in 1976, is a sight to behold, holding over 50,000 distinct pieces. Take your time browsing through the museum or take an hour-long guided tour to get a comprehensive overview of the museum’s displays and exhibits.
7. Visit the Vancouver Aquarium
When it’s a bit drizzly outside, why not embrace the water like a fish? The Vancouver Aquarium is a wonderful location to visit in the winter because many of the 30+ exhibits are indoors, however the outdoor pavilions beneath one of the covered viewing areas are also worth checking out. If you’re missing summer, stop by the Amazon rainforest exhibit for a dose of sunshine.
Adults may be interested in checking out the aquarium’s roster of special events, which include everything from after-hours seminars with guest speakers to learning about sustainable seafood to a joyful, open-to-the-public Christmas gala that takes place every winter.
8. Skiing at Grouse Mountain
If you were wanting to experience a genuine Canadian winter, complete with snow, you might be surprised to hear that Vancouver’s winters are generally wet and snowless. However, the good news is that you won’t have to travel far to get snow. You can ski and snowboard at all three North Shore mountains: Grouse Mountain, Seymour Mountain, and Cypress Mountain, which are all just a bridge away from downtown Vancouver.
Whistler Blackcomb is one of Canada’s best ski resorts if you’re willing to go a bit further. Whistler Blackcomb, about two hours from Vancouver, has more than 200 courses spread across 8,171 acres of terrain. Anyone who like skiing or snowboarding should take this side excursion.
9. Walk the Seawall
Exploring Vancouver’s seawall is a popular summer activity, but it’s as worthwhile in the winter. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch Vancouver on a bright winter day, but even on a dreary, dismal day, it’s great to come outside and breathe fresh air. A walk down the seawall, away from the summer throng, is a great way to clear your mind. While visitors flock to the section of the paved ocean-side route that runs around the edge of Stanley Park, we recommend exploring other sections of the seawall, such as the length over the Burrard Bridge from Kitsilano Beach or along Jericho Park.
Kitsilano and Jericho both have long stretches of sandy beach, which are especially tranquil during the winter months. The secret to appreciating the sea wall is to dress appropriately for the weather. A decent pair of waterproof shoes and a rain jacket with a hood are your best bets. An umbrella can do the work, but on a windy day, when the rain may pour sideways and turn umbrellas inside out, it may not be the greatest option.
10. Explore Science World
Take the SkyTrain to the TELUS World of Science, often known as Science World, for an informative break from the cold and rain. The interactive exhibits are both amusing and educational, covering a wide range of themes from the human body to the natural world to engineering. The play-based approach of Science World will appeal to children, while adults will enjoy releasing their inner kid. In addition to the main scientific centre, Science World has an OMNIMAX cinema with a rotating selection of films that may be seen alone or as an add-on to the main science centre.
We’re confident you’ll find one to add to your list among the over ten tourist attractions in Vancouver in winter on our list. What is your go-to attractions in Vancouver in winter? Let us know in the comments section.