Free Carol Sing-Along at Trout Lake Community Centre
Where: Trout Lake Community Centre, Victoria Dr. & 19th (map)
What: Enjoy festive music by the Christmas Crackers Trio from 6:00 – 6:30pm, then stay for a carol sing-along with the Crow City Singers. You can also taste some complimentary homemade cookies to get you in the holiday spirit. The event is free, but please pre-register by calling 604 257-6955. To see other holiday events at Trout Lake, view the holiday program guide. Note: This event is free, but other events are more than $5! Unfortunately the Breakfast with Santa on Dec 9th is already sold out. Call to be put on the waitlist.
Christmas activities at Canada Place
When: Starting on Saturday Dec 8th (on til Dec 30), Activities from 10am – 8pm daily, “Christmas Workshop” from 1 – 6pm daily
Where: Canada Place downtown (map)
What: This is the 25th annual Christmas celebration at Canada Place and they have a host of different activities for kids. There is a “Christmas trail” of decorated trees, several of the classic “Woodward’s Windows” to visually entertain your baby/tot with toys and Christmas decorations (the others are scattered around the city on display). The “Christmas Workshop” activities include SantaGram, a life-sized photowall for taking pictures with Santa, christmas crafts, facepainting (1 – 4pm), storytelling (half hour sessions starting at 3:00, 3:45, 4:45 and 5:30) and complimentary hot chocolate. Admission by donation for the Strathcona Community Centre’s Food Security for Children Program. Details and schedule here.
Free Chanukah Celebration with Menorah lighting and festivities
Where: Celebration begins at the Vancouver Art Gallery at 7pm, then continues at Chabad Lubavitch, 5750 Oak St. (at 41st) (map)
What: Begin with the lighting of a menorah in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery, then continue to celebrate at Chabad Lubavitch with Chanukah delicacies by Chef Menajem, live music, dreidel contest, and more. Fun for the whole family. See more details at the Lubavitch Centre.
Free Science Show for Kids (UBC Outreach Program)
When: Sunday, December 9, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Where: UBC Campus, UBC Hebb Theatre, 2045 East Mall (detailed location and map)
What: If you’re tired of Holiday events already, take in a little science. Designed for children, this science “lecture” is presented by UBC faculty and students. Themes include “actions and reactions”, chemical magic tricks, how planets and moons react to gravity and nuclear power. This show is for “children of all ages, and even adults who are young at heart!” While it is probably best for older kids, the demonstrations are bound to be interesting to look at, even for tots who don’t quite grasp the physics behind it. See photos and videos from last year for an idea of the event. Note: Hebb Theatre has limited capacity (375 people), so come early! Free event, but please bring a donation from the Greater Vancouver Food Bank!
More Free concerts/celebrations for families
There are several other free concerts to check out if you happen to be in the neighbourhood.
Mount Pleasant’s O Christmas Tree celebration includes caroling by “Kids Sing” and Caminando Carolers, free hot chocolate and candy canes and a visit from Santa. Food bank donations gratefully accepted.
- The Italian Cultural Centre is hosting a free Christmas Market (starting at 5pm) and Concert (7pm) on December 6, call 604-430-3337 for more information.
- Christmas in Kerrisdale includes roving musicians, string quartets and visits from Santa and his elf on weekends in December starting Dec. 8.
- Merry Market Melodies is in Granville Island on weekends in December up til Dec 22.
- You can also catch free holiday performances from local groups at Tom Lee Music (see map) downtown every Saturday in December at 2pm.
- There are many enertainment options at the Vancouver Chirstmas Market, which is also continuing this week… see more details in my post What’s On for under 5: Nov 26 – Dec 2.
More ongoing holiday events
Gingerbread Lane – Vote in your favourite gingerbread house on display at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 655 Burrard St.
- Festival of Trees Take in a great Christmas tree display and view the prize winners at the Four Seasons Hotel & Pacific Centre Mall.
- Carol Ships – Watch a parade of ships decorated with lights float by on False Creek, Inner Harbour, West Van or Port Moody.
- There are many craft shows this time of year as well, including a large one at The Croatian Cultural Centre on Dec 8 and 9. See my Calendar for more details!
A little futher afield…
Free Activities and Shows at the Seasonal Celebration – Shadbolt Centre for the Arts
When: Thursday Dec 6, 5:30 – 8:30pm
Where: 6450 Deer Lake Park, Burnaby (map) Note: Although this event is outside of Vancouver, it looked too good not to post! It might be worth the trek to Burnaby…
What: It’s a full evening of free activities for kids, theatre performances, and concerts. Activities include: Cornucopia Making, Festive Face Painting, Holiday Airbrush Tattoos, Holiday Card Making (Suitable for ages 2 & up), Winter Clay Land (Suitable for all ages) Seasonal Stained Glass Art (Suitable for ages 4 & up), Holiday Door Swags, Gingerbread Cookie Decorating, and Winter Birdfeeders with the Wildlife Rescue Association (Suitable for ages 2 & up). Theatre performances and concerts include: a Monster Theatre Performance of A Christmas Carol, dance performances, and a flute/violin concert. Free tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Box Office one hour before each show on event day while they last. See the full event listing.