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Discover Winter in Metro Vancouver

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The days are shorter and the wind is biting, meaning it can be harder to find fun activities to do without feeling like you’ve been battered by the weather. Luckily, there is no shortage of activities both at home and outdoors that can fill you with joy this winter—here are 14 ideas you can try:

Immerse in timeless works

1. Read a classic

An old book gives a cozy and enchanting feeling while bringing out winter’s haunting, harsh, and stony reality. Here are our top picks:

  • Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol centres on mean Ebenezer Scrooge, who learns to appreciate the family and friendships around him. A great reminder for when our hearts are as cold as the weather. 
  • Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre stars Jane, a girl with strong morals who battles a cruel family, school, and a grim love life. Struggles you may recognize from today, even if they were set over 150 years ago. 
  • Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is an enchanting coming-of-age novel about the four March sisters from childhood to womanhood.
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula is told through narratives, letters, newspaper content, and diary entries. Dracula is an ideal old-fashioned scary vampire story that doesn’t feel right on a warm night. 

2. Watch Die Hard
Yippee-ki-yay! Die Hard, the 80s action film that sets off on Christmas Eve, stars Bruce Willis as New York policeman John McClane. Hans Gruber, a terrorist, crashes the party and takes everyone hostage, and John discovers he is their only hope. You can enjoy this classic on a frigid evening, keeping an ear out for winter favourites like “Winter Wonderland” and “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”.

3. Enjoy a family movie

While hibernating under warm blankets, relive the magic of childhood with some classic winter-themed movies such as: 

  • 101 Dalmatians, a classic with an animation style so beautiful you will want to leave this playing on repeat all winter. With cute puppies, the love you dream of, and one of the best (or worst) villains in Disney classics, I promise this movie holds up!
  • The Polar Express, a beautifully animated movie with several characters voiced by Tom Hanks. So, you can join all his characters in the magical winter wonderland as the kids visit the North Pole on Christmas Eve.  
  • Elf, a Will Ferrell classic that observes the journey of Buddy (a human raised by elves) as he searches for his estranged father, who is on *gasp* the Naughty List. This movie—a necessary Christmas movie—will fill you with spirit, cheer, and song. 

4. Make a winter playlist

Soundtrack your life with a winter-themed playlist that is same-parts magical, blistery, and cold. I suggest adding some songs from Taylor Swift’s albums Speak NowEvermore, and Midnights and some from Kate Bush’s album 50 Words for Snow

Act on your cravings

5. Taste the cranberry ginger ale

’Tis the season for the best Canadian drink that should be on shelves all year long. While cranberry harvesting season is in September and October, this drink lasts all winter. Spicy and tart, lacking caffeine, and with the perfect sugar balance, this soda can be enjoyed at any hour.

6. Make pancakes

You can make the best Canadian breakfast from the box or follow this quick recipe.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp melted butter


  1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Separately combine the remaining ingredients. Combine the two mixtures, forming the batter. Add more milk if the batter looks too dry.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled or buttered frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour ¼ cup of the batter onto the pan for each pancake. Remember to flip your pancakes! Serve hot and lightly browned.

7. Eat KFC For Christmas

Plates filled with salads, cakes, and tons of fried chicken! Every year in Japan, families eat KFC for Christmas dinner. Why not bring this tradition to Canada? Make good use of KFC’s Specialty Double Buckets, which includes chicken pieces, chicken tenders & popcorn chicken, fries, sides, dips, and—since we are Canadian—a whole lot of gravy!

Get moving

8. Skate (outdoors)

One of the most Canadian activities you can participate in includes strapping blades onto your feet and gliding around on a sheet of ice. And honestly, it is so much more fun outdoors! Luckily for us, it gets cold enough here to do that safely.

Skate rentals are usually pretty cheap, and it is a free activity if you have your own skates! Here are some locations to check out:

  • Robson Square, Vancouver
  • Shipyard Commons, North Vancouver
  • Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver
  • Starlight Skating Rink, Harrison Hot Springs
  • Olympic Plaza, Whistler

9. Go diving

On January 1st, join Canadians in the tradition of a polar bear/penguin plunge. It is a free or by-donation event depending on where you take the dip. You are encouraged to dress in a costume, bring friends, and not stay in the water for too long! Find an event near you below:

  • Port Moody Penguin Plunge
  • Deep Cove Penguin Plunge
  • White Rock Polar Bear Swim
  • English Bay Polar Bear Swim
  • Delta Polar Bear Swim
  • Fort Langley Polar Bear Swim

10. Practice yoga

There are many benefits to keeping your body moving on days you just want to burrow! Winter yoga helps boost circulation, increase energy, and warm up your body on days that seem to be getting colder.

11. Build a snowman

While we may still be waiting for snow, the mountains are already full of it. Head there to find wet, powdery snow and start rolling two or three balls to stack. Maybe it’ll turn into a friend who wakes up to lead you on an adventure (results vary). If you haven’t had the chance to do this childhood tradition, treat yourself to it this winter.

Try a fun tradition

12. Hide the Pickle

A *commonly-thought-of-as-made-up* German tradition is widespread throughout North America. You hide a pickle-shaped glass ornament on your Christmas tree, and the first person to find it on Christmas morning gets an extra present! While this was probably made famous by a big corporation looking to sell pickle ornaments, it is an added fun Christmas morning.

13. Jolabokaflod

An Icelandic tradition of buying and giving books on Christmas Eve translates to “Christmas book flood.” Have your friends join and exchange books this winter and then snuggle into your favourite reading nook with your new book (for recommendations, return to idea #1 from earlier).

14. Krampusnacht

This tradition in some European countries takes place in early December. It’s where adults dress up as Krampus (a horned goat-like creature), imbibe without inhibition, and scare children. There are groups across Vancouver trying to create a yearly celebration where drinks and music follow a short parade.