What to do in snowy (rainy) Vancouver
By Natalie Serafini, Assistant Editor
Confession: I hate planning dates. The time and effort involved in trying to figure out what will be fun, cheap, and convenient feels like the biggest chore. More often than not, plans devolve into snuggling up on the couch to drink and watch a movie—not the worst, but there’s so much to do around Vancouver that “Planning’s a chore” is really no excuse. Solution: I’ve found a series of fun things going on around Vancouver throughout the winter, and you lucky ducks are get to ride on my coat tails with this shortlist.
Dates where you share an experience together can be some of the most fun and memorable times. When it comes to skating, you get to get your workout on, do something cheap, and, should you get tired of slipping and falling, there’s always a post-skate hot chocolate. Robson Square is a popular option and the place to be if you want a romantic atmosphere. The rink is open now until February 28, with skate rentals for $4 and free entry if you bring your own skates. To avoid crowds of children cramping your date style, go later at night: the rink is open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Alternatively, if you want to beat the crowds altogether, you can look to local ice rinks, though you might have to plan your time around their schedule.
Maybe you don’t like physical exertion. Like drinking? Like movies? Like doing both outside of your usual environs? The Rio Theatre shows classics and favourites every Friday at 11 p.m., with tickets for just $8 at the door and $6 in advance (or for those brave souls who show up in costume). Curl up with a drink in hand and enjoy, with Scrooged on December 6, Hook on December 13, Elf on December 20, and Die Hard on December 27.
If you’re a foodie or a Christmas lover, the annual Vancouver Christmas Market is a great opportunity to sample scads of scrumptious treats and wander around a market that is the epitome of Christmas. The stalls of food will satisfy most any appetite, and if you have any Christmas shopping to do, there’s a variety of different trinkets to peruse. The Vancouver Christmas Market runs until December 24 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day (except on December 24, when the hours run until 6 p.m.) at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza.
For an “elfin good time,” check out The Santaland Diaries, a play from David Sedaris playing at the Revue Stage in Granville Island. This adult Christmas tale of Sedaris’ experience working as an elf at Macy’s Santaland is described as a “sardonic comedy” that’s “more naughty than nice.” The play runs until December 21, and tickets start from $29.
If you’re looking to impress someone with how cultured you are, you can escape the slush and explore Vancouver indoors with the Museum of Vancouver’s An Evolutionary Look into Vancouver Street Photography. The exhibit features four contemporary photographers, including Lincoln Clarkes, Brian Howell, Angela Fama, and John Goldsmith. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Thursdays until 8 p.m.), and adult tickets run $12. You can catch the exhibit until January 26.
There are a lot of light festivals that happen around Christmas, and even suburban streets are their own lights show; few are more creative, though, than the Vancouver Aquarium’s Luminescence: A Celebration of Aquatic Light. It’s an aquatic light show displaying fluorescent and bioluminescent ocean light. You’ll likely learn something scientific, so if that isn’t your jam you might want to skip this one. Otherwise, Luminescence runs until January 22, with tickets running $25 for adults.
Whatever you decide to do for date night this holiday season, make it memorable by sharing an experience with your sweetie. Whether it’s low-cost skating and hot chocolate, or a mad attempt to experience everything on this list in one day, get outside and enjoy what Vancouver has to offer for the holiday season!