Get into the holiday spirit: Things to explore around Vancouver for December.

By Yuda Shih, Gage Residence Advisor

December has finally arrived and so have the festivities. The ambiance around Vancouver is filled with holiday spirits. Set aside some time from your studying and exams to de-stress and enjoy the many holiday themed festivities Vancouver has to offer.

  • 14th Annual Bright Nights at Stanley Park

The Vancouver Parks Board and the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund have for the past 13 years transformed the forests of Stanley Park into a winter wonderland for the month of December. Take a ride on the mile long train through the forests of Stanley Park after it’s been illuminated with over 2 million twinkling lights. The animated lighting displays are sensational and after the ride, enjoy some hot chocolate, popcorn or roasted chestnuts.
The plaza is open December 2 – January 2 with the exception of Christmas Day. It is open Sunday – Thursday from 3pm – 10pm and on Fridays and Saturdays from 3pm – 11pm.
Entry into the plaza is by donation to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. The cost of the train ride is $9 for adults. It’s definitely something worth checking out.

  • Robson Square Outdoor Skating Rink

Re-opened in 2009, the Robson Square Ice Rink (now called the GE Ice plaza), is the city of Vancouver’s only public outdoor and open-aired ice rink. It is located in the heart of the downtown core on Robson Street between Howe Street and Granville Street.
The rink provides fun entertainment for all ages where people can bring their own skates to enjoy some free skating. If you don’t own a pair of skates, there’s nothing to worry about, as skate rentals are available for only $3. Concession stands selling warm drinks and snacks are also available at the rink.
The rink opens on December 1st and will remain open through February, weather permitting. It is open Sunday – Thursday from 9am-9pm and 9am-11pm on Friday and Saturday.

  • Vancouver Christmas Market

The Vancouver Christmas Market provides the experience of an authentic German Christmas Market. Browse through the festively decorated Christmas village where illuminated wooden huts offer hand-made crafts that are perfect for gift ideas and a wide variety of food and drink. The Christmas Market also provides cultural activities and entertainment including trumpeters and carolers.

The Vancouver Christmas Market is located at the Queen Elizabeth Plaza in Downtown Vancouver on Georgia Street between Hamilton Street and Cambie Street. It is open daily from 11am-9pm from November 24 until December 24.

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