January Guide: Events and Activities in Vancouver

Published Jan 2, 2020 | Updated Feb 19, 2020

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. Skate rental is $5 per pair.

When: Open till February 29
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 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery

3. 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 with the kids.

Where: Granville Island, 2nd Floor of Kids Market
When: Open play from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily

4. PuSh Festival

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

Where: Multiple venues
When: Various times daily from January 21 to February 9
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5. Visit Circus Play Cafe

Geared towards a younger audience, Circus is a wonderful place to play for newborns to 5 year olds. Their goal was to create 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: Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

6. 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. The 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 from British Columbia, craft beer, and cocktails.

Where: Various restaurants in Vancouver
When: January 17 to February 2

7. Visit Kidtropolis

This unique spin on "playground" is so cool. Kidtropolis is a actually a mini city where 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 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

8. 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 the 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.

Where: 1455 Quebec Street
When: Open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

9. 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-foot 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 Jungle Jac's glow in the dark laser tag and mini golf arena. Jungle Jac's even has a great café that suits all taste buds!!

Where: 589 Nicola Ave, Port Coquitlam
When: Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday to Saturday 10 a.m. to  9 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

10. 6Pack Indoor Beach Centre

6Pack Indoor Beach Centre is the only indoor beach facility in Western Canada. Within this 18,000-square-foot facility, there is over 700 metric tons of sand covering an area with five full-sized volleyball courts. It initially started as a beach volleyball facility but over the last three years, the range of programs offered has 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, an HD TV with a 50-inch 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: Hours vary each day

11. Fun 4 Kids

Fun4Kidz Play Centre, located in the Aberdeen Centre in Richmond, is a safe and fun interactive indoor playground. Kids can engage in variety of challenging activities and obstacle courses that expand their learning process and increase their physical activity. There is also a toddler area for the little ones that are three years old or younger.

Where: Aberdeen Centre, Richmond
When:  Sunday 
10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

12. Attend Discovery Day by the Association for Mineral Exploration

Visit the Vancouver Convention Centre East to learn about the importance of minerals and metals in our day-to-day lives. This family event is packed with exhibitors and displays on geology and the mineral exploration industry. For the kids, there will be face painting and balloon twisters, as well as a visit from Spike, the Whitecaps mascot.

Where: Vancouver Convention Centre East
When: January 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

13. Take Part in the LunarFest Activities

Celebrate the Year of the Rat by watching and participating in dozens of family-friendly events at venues around Vancouver. LunarFest showcases Asian Arts and culture, and invites all Canadians to take part in Canada's diversity. LunarFest is running many programs, including arts and crafts workshops, concerts, and food events.

Where: Various locations around Vancouver
When: January 16 to February 10

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 and later.

14. 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. 
This experience lasts between 20 to 25 minutes and includes the following:

  • 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: Until January 5 
Where: FlyOver Canada

15. 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: Until Jan 26
Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

16. 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: Until Jan 5
When: VanDusen Botanical Garden

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17. Lights at Lafarge

Until January 20, go and see Vancouver's largest free outdoor light display. The display circles the 1.2 kilometre Lafarge Lake loop and turns on at dusk (approximately 4:30 p.m.). Plus, each week there are free activities, such as scavenger hunts and light up frisbee and badminton. 

Where: Lafarge Lake
When: Until January 20

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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