It’s a new month and a whole new year, hello January 2018! Even though the holidays are over, there is still tons of fun to be had. Go for a spin around an ice rink, zoom down a snowy hill on an inner tube, or watch professionals triple Salchow. There’s a ton of great exhibits at venues around Vancouver, like a feature on Emily Carr, on fishing vessels, and math fun. Hit up a winter farmers’ market, or head to a fun family-friendly play or concert. Take a look at our roundup and start planning some memorable family fun. If you like learning about great family-friendly activities happening in Metro Vancouver, make sure you sign up to receive our weekly emails.

Looking for some fun activities for the Winter School Break? Check out our list. And make sure you check out our roundup of 50 free and low-cost winter activities in Metro Vancouver. Lots of inexpensive family fun to be had

Winter Activities

Robson Square Ice Skating
Open until February 28th, see website for hours, Robson Square, Vancouver
This winter, renew a classic Vancouver tradition and enjoy some old-fashioned fun. Robson Square’s outdoor skating rink is open, so celebrate winter in style with skating in the heart of downtown Vancouver. It’s a magical place to enjoy the holidays with your friends, family and loved ones. 

Snow Tubing at Mount Seymour
Open until January 7th, Mount Seymour, 1700 Mt Seymour Road, North Vancouver, hours of operation subject to weather conditions, visit website for details
The Snow Tube Park at Mount Seymour guarantees fun and laughter with your friends and family. Besides the thrill of sliding down a hill in one of their specially designed tubes, you’re sure to enjoy the easy ride back up on the custom tube tow. Take a break and warm up in the brand new Enquist Lodge before hitting the slopes again!

Sliding Zone at Grouse Mountain
Hours of operation subject to weather conditions, visit the website for details
Head to Grouse Mountain’s Sliding Zone for slip-sliding fun for the child in all of us! Located just west of the Skating Pond at the Chalet level, there are two designated lanes of groomed terrain. Head to the Sliding Den or the Fireside Hut to rent your snow carpet (required) and then hit the hill for a fun family day on the mountain!

Winter Ice Palace
Friday, December 22nd – Sunday, January 7th, Cloverdale Ice Arena, 6090 176th Street, Surrey
It’s time for the 20th Annual Winter Ice Palace! Experience a winter wonderland at Cloverdale Arena and enjoy this fun, seasonal event with your friends and family. Visit the website for skating days and times.

2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships
January 8th – January 14th, Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, 6066 Thunderbird Blvd, Vancouver
The pre-eminent all-Canadian sporting event will feature approximately 250 skaters in the men, women, pair, and ice dance disciplines, competing in three levels: senior, junior, and novice. Athletes will vie for places on the Skate Canada National Team and the Canadian teams that will compete at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. This year Canada has exceptional talent vying for these spots. Look to see Patrick Chan and Kevin Reynolds, Virtue and Moir, Keatlyn Osmond and more.

Festivals & Celebrations

Chinese Lantern Festival
On until January 21st, The PNE, 2901 E Hastings Street, Vancouver
Experience Vancouver in a whole new light in this 5-week celebration of Chinese culture featuring massive lanterns, amazing performances, storytelling, food trucks, and a marketplace. This festival is the largest festival of its kind in Canada. It features 35 illuminated displays with more than 1300 individual lanterns, transforming over 14 acres of Hastings Park into an explosion of light and colours.

8th Annual Hot Chocolate Festival
January 20th – February 14th, Various locations in Vancouver
The annual Hot Chocolate Festival is back for its eighth year, and this time, even more chocolate makers have come together to spike their hot chocolate drinks with the wildest, most delicious flavours you can imagine. This Festival is a fundraiser for the Downtown Eastside women’s job training program of the PHS Community Services Society and East Van Roasters.

Vive les Voyageurs
Saturday, January 20th – Sunday, January 21st, Fort Langley National Historic Site, 23433 Mavis Road, Fort Langley
Shake off the winter blues and kick up your heels at our 9th annual French-Canadian winter festival! Enjoy interactive cultural experiences from Métis dancers to maple taffy and so much more. Join us to celebrate the importance of trappers, interpreters – and yes, voyageurs! – who helped shape the history of this site. We invite you to learn more about les cultures canadiennes-françaises at Vive les Voyageurs!

Plays, Shows & Concerts

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
November 25th – January 6th, Carousel Theatre for Young People, Granville Island, Vancouver
C.S Lewis’ first installment of the epic Chronicles of Narnia series bounds on to the CTYP stage this holiday season. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy discover an old wardrobe that leads to an enchanted land, Narnia, full of mythical creatures, talking animals, quests and secrets. In one of the greatest battles between Good and Evil in children’s literature, the fate of the four children unfolds in a grand, otherworldly adventure. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is recommended for ages 5+.

East Van Panto: Snow White & the Seven Dwarves
November 29th – January 6th, York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
The Panto is back with an outrageous take on Snow White. In this East Van telling, our hero flees the Queen of North Vancouver across the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge and straight into the madness of the PNE, where she dances with Superdogs, takes a ride on the Coaster, and befriends washed up 80s rock stars “The Seven Dwarves.” Pure Panto hilarity ensues as they do everything they can to escape the Queen’s wicked clutches.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
December 7th – January 13th, Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, 2750 Granville Street, Vancouver
“Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme.” Can Belle teach the Beast to love, before it is too late? Discover the magic behind the castle walls in this brilliant adaptation of the Academy Award–winning animated film. This beloved fairy-tale spectacle will thrill you with its show-stopping musical numbers, astonishing sets, and lavish costumes.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra: Classical Kids – Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage
Sunday, January 7th, 2 pm, Orpheum Theatre, 800 block Granville Street, Vancouver
This concert features Mozart’s young son, Karl, who longs to be taken from his boarding school to spend more time with his famous father. An old travelling trunk serves as a magic chest that reveals an incredible journey back in time to Mozart’s childhood and into the fantastic world of Mozart’s great opera The Magic Flute. Along the way, Karl comes to understand Mozart’s extraordinary life as a travelling prodigy, his pressures from family and fame, his passion for composing, and the common bonds they both share.

Cinema In Concert
Friday, January 12th, 8 pm, Orpheum Theatre, 601 Smithe Street, Vancouver
Cinema in Concert with China Broadcasting Film Symphony Orchestra. Relive the magic of the movies with live orchestral accompaniment at Cinema in Concert, featuring Beijing’s 80-member China Broadcasting Film Symphony Orchestra (CBFSO). Led by acclaimed conductor Pang Ka Pang, the internationally-renowned CBFSO will perform dramatic themes from everyone’s favorite Oscar-winning masterpieces while the iconic film scenes play on screen. Witness one of China’s finest symphony orchestras – known to sell out concert halls around the globe – as they bring new life to soundtracks from Braveheart, Casablanca, Jurassic World, Legends of the Fall, Pirates of the Caribbean, classics from the Chinese Movie Music Collection, and much more.

It’s Dark Outside – PuSh Festival
January 24th – 28th, Waterfront Theatre, 1412 Cartwright Street, Granville Island, Vancouver
An all-ages delight, It’s Dark Outside turns the Western genre on its head and recasts the lone hero as a solitary old man up against dementia. Through puppetry, animation, shadow play, and live performances emerge an adventurous world. This show is presented in partnership with the International Children’s Festival.


Science World: Math Moves!
On until January 7th, 2018, Telus World of Science, 1455 Quebec Street
Put your calculator away! The feature exhibition, Math Moves! uses hands-on activities to make experimenting with mathematical concepts memorable and fun. Visitors of all ages can work together in a playful, full-body exploration of ratios, proportions and other fundamental concepts. Drawing on the power of teamwork, Math Moves! uses partner activity and conversation to advance understanding. So, put down your pencils and flex your mathlete muscles at Science World!

Space Centre: Cosmic Yearbook Holiday Week
December 26th – January 7th, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver
Whether it was the solar eclipse in August or the end of the Saturn Cassini mission, we had a lot to celebrate in 2017. During the holiday week, the Space Centre will feature a special craft every day, and shows will highlight some amazing events from the past year. You will also get to look ahead to some exciting cosmic events on the horizon for 2018!

Vancouver Art Gallery: Emily Carr – Into the Forest
Ongoing until March 4th, 2018, Vancouver Art Gallery, 650 Hornby Street, Vancouver
The Vancouver Art Gallery is home to the finest collection of Emily Carr works in the world. While we are fortunate to have major works from throughout her career, the Gallery’s collection is particularly rich in her forest paintings from the 1930s. These include both her canvases and oil on paper works, a medium she began using during that period. Supplemented with a generous loan of three key early works completed during 1913-1918, and the remarkable Grey, both from private collections, this exhibition highlights her continued explorations of the natural environment—from the formative days of her career to the final stages of her life.

Vancouver Maritime Museum: The Lost Fleet
Ongoing until May 27th, 2018, Vancouver Maritime Museum, 1905 Ogden Avenue, Vancouver
This unique exhibition will showcase a series of photographs as well as several models of Japanese-Canadian-built fishing vessels in its collection, made by the late model shipbuilder, Doug Allen. The beautifully crafted models replicate some of the fishing boats seized during the war that have since been lost to history. Visitors will see replicas of the registry created in order to redistribute the seized boats. The display will also include shell fragment from Estevan Point lighthouse. In June 1942, a Japanese Imperial submarine fired shells at the lighthouse, just shortly after it had attacked a US merchant vessel in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This artifact highlights the little-known fact that enemy fire did land on Canadian soil during WWII, and adds a level of reality to the threat that was feared by many in BC.

Museum of Anthropology: Amazonia – The Rights of Nature
Ongoing until January 28th, Museum of Anthropology at UBC, 6393 North West Marine Drive, Vancouver
The exhibition features Amazonian basketry, textiles, carvings, featherworks, and ceramics both of every day and of ceremonial use, representing Indigenous, Maroon and white settler communities. Today, these groups confront threats caused by political violence, mining, oil and gas exploration, industrial agriculture, forest fires, and hydroelectric plants. Challenging visitors to examine their own notions towards holistic well-being, the exhibition covers more than 100 years of unsuspected relationships between Vancouver and Amazonian peoples, ideas, and their struggles.

We hope this big giant list has inspired you and your family to get out and enjoy everything Metro Vancouver has to offer in January! For more great family fun make sure to join our mailing list to receive weekly Metro Vancouver events right in your inbox.

By: Michelle Hughes

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