January Guide: Events and Activities in Vancouver

Published Dec 30, 2018 | Updated Oct 28, 2019

Check out our guide to all the best events and fun family friendly activities here in Vancouver!

Now that the holidays are coming to an end, it might seem harder to know what there is to do with kids around Vancouver.

Fear not, we have compiled a list of all the best things to do with your family! There are also still some festive activities happening for the first week of January in case you are not quite ready to give up the holiday spirit.

1. Free Ice Skating at Robson Square

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 free skating in the heart of downtown Vancouver. It’s a magical place to enjoy the holidays with your friends, family and loved ones.

When: Open till February 28th
Where: Robson Square

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2. Admission by Donation at Vancouver Art Gallery

Every Tuesday evening you can experience the Vancouver Art Gallery and pay only what you can (by donation)! At the Vancouver Art Gallery you'll always see major exhibitions of works by the world's leading contemporary artists and history's greatest masters.

When: Every Tuesday evening from 5pm - 9pm
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery

3. Take in Beauty and the Beat by Arts Club Theatre

This beloved fairy-tale spectacle will thrill you with its show-stopping musical numbers, stunning sets, and lavish costumes. The show has been playing since the beginning of December, see it before it's gone! "Tale as old time..."

When: Showtimes until January 6th
Where: Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage
More Information & Get Tickets

4. Play Away at The Adventure Zone

This adventure playground is amazing, and right in the heart of one of Vancouver's main attractions. With a multi-level playground where kids can finish off racing down slides, ball pits, and a huge arcade area with fun prizes to be won- there's no end to the ways to keep the kids happy. Their newer features iWall and iFloor are really cool, they are interactive virtual games, and a huge hit for something new and exciting to add.

Where: Granville Island, 2nd Floor of Kids Market
When: Open play from 10am- 6pm daily

5. PuSh Festival

PuSh International Performing Arts Festival brings groundbreaking work in theatre, dance, multimedia, music + film. The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival showcases pioneering theatre, dance, multimedia, music & film from across Canada and around the globe.

Where: 110-750 Hamilton Street
When: Various times daily from January 17 - February 3
More Information

6. Visit Circus Play Cafe

Geared towards a younger audience, Circus is a wonderful place to play for 0-5 year olds. Their goal was a purposefully designed play space where children and their families can connect, learn and grow through play and imagination. In my opinion, they achieved just that! I love the design of the area, and it is accompanied with great coffee. They do offer classes and workshops on top of the open play.

Where: 1650 East 12th Ave
When: Open play from 9am- 5pm on weekdays and 9am- 12pm on weekends

7. Try a New Spot for Dine Out Vancouver Festival

Canada's largest annual dining celebration, attracting tens of thousands of local and visiting food enthusiasts to experience the city's exceptionally diverse culinary scene. Festival gives diners the opportunity to select from over 250 restaurants, each offering unique three (or more) course prix-fixe meals at $20, $30 or $40 per person, many complemented by pairings with Wines of British Columbia, craft beer and cocktails.

Where: Various restaurants in Vancouver
When: January 18th to February 3rd
See Menu Options

8. Visit Kidtropolis

This unique spin on "playground" is so cool. Kidtropolis is a actually a mini city so that your kids can have a realistic environment to do what comes naturally to them: role playing! Children can use their imaginations to run each of the businesses, whether it be making pizza in the parlour, delivering the mail, being a newscaster, or performing on their very own stage.

There is a great cafe with delicious food, and small play areas around the seating. It can be a little on the pricier side for some families, but adult entry is free and you can stay as long as you'd like. It's worth checking out at least once!

Where: Unit 110-5940 No. 2 Road, Richmond
When: Open play Tuesday to Thursday 10am- 5pm, and Friday to Sunday 10am - 6pm

9. Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival

The sweetest event of the year! If you have a family of chocolate lovers then this is the event for you. The 9th annual Hot Chocolate Festival will run from January 19th to February 14th for 2019 and the list of participating venues (along with their creations for you to try) is still waiting to be announced.

Where: Various venues (TBD)
When: January 19th - February 14th

10. Bearfoot Play Center

Bearfoot’s interior is designed with one thing in mind: your comfort and enjoyment. The staff has spent endless hours pouring over every little nook and cranny. From the spacious family-friendly bathrooms and changing rooms to the toddler and preschool area, Bearfoot Play Center wants to make sure you and your little ones can truly enjoy every part of BearFoot and take comfort in knowing that the safety and enjoyment of your family is paramount.

Where: Unit 155, 1233 Lynn Valley Rd, North Vancouver
When: Open daily from 9am-6pm

11. Science World at TELUS World of Science

Science World at TELUS World of Science awaits you with popular, hands-on, interactive displays, inspirational feature exhibitions and awesome shows. Watch a giant-screen film in our OMNIMAX® Theatre, or engage in a live science demonstration. Spark your imagination in galleries that feature nature, physics and life sciences. When the weather is nice, explore the outdoor Ken Spencer Science Park.

In addition to the amazing False Creek facility, they offer outreach programs, teen and adult evenings, special presentations and resources for both teachers and parents.

Planning is well under way for the development of Wonder, the early-learner’s gallery dedicated to the youngest guests. The gallery will be filled with fun, tactile and interactive experiences to foster early development. Parents will be able to learn about their child’s development, by exploring research-based exhibits alongside their children.

Where: 1455 Quebec Street
When: Open daily from 10am-6pm

12. Jungle Jac's

Come on down, or swing on by Jungle Jac's very own, adventure jungle for hours of fun and excitement. Whether it be sliding down the 21 ft. water effect slides, shooting your friends in the banana splat ball pit, climbing up through tubes into the huge tree house, or swinging off ropes on the fantastic pirate boat deck, you’re sure to have one great time…..

And don’t forget to try their glow in the dark Laser Tag and mini golf arena. Jungle Jac's even has a great café, to suit all taste buds!!

Where: 589 Nicola Ave, Port Coquitlam
When: 10am – 7pm Mon-Thurs, 10am – 9pm Fri-Sat, 10am – 8pm Sunday

13. 6Pack Indoor Beach Centre

6Pack Indoor Beach Centre is the only indoor beach facility in Western Canada. Within this 18,000 Sqft facility there is over 700 metric tons of sand covering an area with 5 full sized volleyball courts. It initially started as a beach volleyball facility but over the last 3 years the range programs offered have expanded making this facility a truly multi-purpose space. From Birthday Parties for kids to Corporate events for adults there is always something for everyone.

Amenities include full showers, a foot wash station, meeting room,  BBQ grills, HDTV with 50inch screen, 15 dynamic range stereo system with dual subs, free WiFi, a ping pong table and decorative themed lighting.  6Pack Beach offers some of the best indoor sand activities including Archery Tag, beach soccer, beach tennis and beach volleyball. Enjoy summer activities all year round rain-free, guaranteed.

Where: 115-13180 Mitchell Rd., Richmond
When: Daily from 10am-1am

14. Fun 4 Kids - Park Royal Mall

Fun4Kidz Play Centre in Park Royal Shopping Mall is a Clean, Safe and Fun interactive, fun and safe indoor playground.

They offer a wide variety of challenging activities for kids of all ages that expands their learning process with physical activity. Fun4kidz Play Centre takes kids of all ages on an exciting adventure with challenging obstacle courses and they even have a toddler area for the little ones that are 3 years old and younger.

The main play area has a Ballocity Arena with air guns and Nerf balls, a large ball room, a suspension bridge, a web climb, an interactive obstacle course, and 2 large two storey high slides, and a 2 storey maze.  They have a second location in Richmond as well.

Where: Park Royal Mall
10am-7pm Sundays, 11am-7pm Monday-Wednesday, 11am-9pm Thursday, Friday, 10am-9pm  Saturdays

For anyone who is still feeling festive, there are a number of Christmas holiday activities for families continuing to happen during the first week of January:

15. Holiday Traditions At Vancouver Aquarium

This festive season, immerse yourself in a mesmerizing display of lights, bubbles, movements and sounds inside our new interactive experience. And to complete the holiday occasion, enjoy the eel-lit tree, the jelly snow globe, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: A 4-D Experience® and our always-popular Scuba Claus.

When: November 23rd to January 6th
Where: Vancouver Aquarium

16. Christmas at FlyOver Canada

Fly with Santa and his elves on a magical flight across Canada and on to the North Pole! After meeting some of Santa's elves, Chestnut and Pinecone, you'll join them as they take flight across Canada looking for their fellow elves. You may even get a sneak peek of Santa's Workshop as you soar over the North Pole. 
Christmas experience lasts between 20 - 25 minutes and includes:

  • Winter Wonderland themed pre-show
  • FlyOver Canada, a thrilling 8-minute flight ride experience across Canada
  • An extended, animated final scene over Santa's magical North Pole!

When: Nov 22 - Jan 6
Where: FlyOver Canada

17. Canyon Lights

Celebrate Canyon Lights, re-capture the feeling of wonder and excitement of the holiday season and be amazed by the hundreds of thousands of lights throughout the park. The suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and canyon are transformed into a world of festive lights and visual enchantment.

This year the 30-ton Douglas firs of Treetops Adventure receive star treatment. Treetops Adventure is a series of seven suspension bridges attached to eight 250 years old Douglas-firs with viewing platforms, reaching up to 110 feet above the forest floor. These magnificent Douglas firs will be lit above and below the collars, making these trees the eight tallest Christmas trees in the world!

Back by popular demand, go on a Snowy Owl Prowl, decorate gingerbread cookies (by donation)  and sing-along carols with the holiday band.  Two new children’s activities this year include decorating wooden ornaments and make your own holiday badge (by donation) in the Winter Craft Tent.

When: Nov 22 to Jan 27
Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

18. Festival of Lights at Van Dusen Botanical Garden

Experience VanDusen Festival of Lights, sponsored by Vancouver International Airport and Air France. A magical winter wonderland with over one million lights will decorate 15 acres of VanDusen Botanical Garden. All tickets include a free ride on the Air France Carousel!

Stroll with friends and family through interactive themed areas, watch the famous dancing lights show on Livingstone Lake, sing along to your favourite holiday classics at the Festival Stage, listen to stories and take a selfie with Santa, light a candle at the Make-A-Wish candle grotto, warm up with a specialty beverage at our new licensed fireside lounge, savour tasty treats and much more.

Where: Dec 1 to Jan 6
When: VanDusen Botanical Garden

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We hope you find some great activities to experience this January in Vancouver. For a complete list of all events happening for your family to enjoy, click here

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