Our Fall Session is coming to a close and the holiday season has officially arrived! Are you thinking about marshmallows, (un)wrapping presents, and watching the fire on the TV? This time of year also means that kids of all ages across Metro Vancouver are sharing in the festivities on stage—at school and in theatres—with year-end performances. Whether your child is pattering away as a mouse in The Nutcracker, singing carols with their choir, or showcasing artwork at a school market, December is a time for cheer. Celebrate with family and friends at these festivals or arts events throughout the month!


Mixed Nuts

Dec 8-10
Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton St, Vancouver

Arts Umbrella Mixed Nuts

Arts Umbrella Dance Company presents Mixed Nuts—a classic holiday performance reinvented with a twist. Families and kids of all ages can enjoy this modern and engaging retelling of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker.” This year features old favourites and new pieces, choreographed by leading Vancouver and Canadian dancers including Ballet BC and Kidd Pivot company members. Be sure to check out the festive photo booth before the show, and view the talents of our Visual Arts students in the lobby exhibit


Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Traditional Christmas

Dec 8-17
Various locations across the Lower Mainland

VSO Traditional Christmas

VSO is celebrating 25 years of the Lower Mainland’s most beloved Christmas music tradition. Kick off your holiday season on the perfect note, with a VSO Traditional Christmas concert. Shows at St. Andrew’s Wesley Church, South Delta Baptist Church, Kay Meek Centre, Centennial Theatre, Bell Performing Arts Centre, and the Michael J. Fox Theatre


Labyrinth of Light

Dec 21, 6:00-10:00 pm
Performance Works on Granville Island; Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown; Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden in Chinatown

Labyrinth of Light

The labyrinth has long been used for meditation, prayer, and sites of ritual in cultures around the world. Created with over 600 pure beeswax candles, the winter solstice labyrinth invites you to warm yourself in a self-guided ceremony intended to help release old attachments and envision new possibilities as the darkest night of the year births a new season


Exhibition on Screen: I, Claude Monet

Dec 22, 3:30 pm
Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St, Vancouver

VIFF: I, Claude Monet

Monet’s life is a gripping tale about a man who, behind his sun-dazzled canvases, suffered from feelings of depression, loneliness, even suicide. However, as his art developed and his love of gardening led to the glories of his Giverny garden, his humour, insight, and love of life are revealed. Told through Monet’s own words and shot on location at the very spots he painted, the film features his most loved paintings in an unforgettable, immersive art experience


Vancouver TheatreSports League Christmas Queen 4

Nov 22-Dec 23, 7:30-9:00 pm; Sunday matinee 2:00-3:30 pm
The Improv Centre, 1502 Duranleau Street

Confusion and hijinks ensue when the Queen and Santa exchange bodies in a Freaky Friday-style magical sleight-of-hand. What happens to the Workshop’s Toy Factory with The Queen (as Santa) in charge? Will there be presents? Will everyone receive a lump of coal? How will the experience of inhabiting the Queen’s body affect Santa? The answers are revealed as VTSL’s ever-resourceful ensemble players take audience suggestions and turn them into 90 minutes of holiday hilarity. No two shows are ever the same, thanks to the unpredictable nature of the suggestions and the creative talents of the players*
*Mature content


A Christmas Carol

Dec 7-24, 8:00 pm; weekend matinees at 2:00 pm
Gateway Theatre, 6500 Gilbert Rd, Richmond

Ebenezer Scrooge is a greedy miser who despises Christmas. One Christmas Eve, he’s visited by the ghost of a deceased business partner and the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Scrooge is given the opportunity to reflect upon his life, examine his heart, and be transformed by the spirit of the season. Adapted by Michael Shamata and directed by Rachel Peake, this Charles Dickens classic is a fun-filled spectacle for the whole family


Vancouver Christmas Market

Nov 22-Dec 24, 11 am-9 pm
Jack Poole Plaza, 1055 Canada Place

A beloved holiday tradition for locals and visitors alike, the Vancouver Christmas Market features more than 75 huts of authentic German sweets, treats, and treasures. The signature yuletide celebration returns to its expansive seaside site at Jack Poole Plaza—home of the Olympic Cauldron—in 2017. Grab a bite to eat, go for a ride on the carousel, and visit the Kinderhut for free arts and crafts


Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village

Nov 25-Jan 5, 1:00-9:00 pm
Burnaby Village, 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby

Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum

Stroll through the streets of the Village to see wreaths, cedar swags, and vintage-themed displays. At the bandstand, visitors can create their own magical holiday show with lights that change colours by sound. Special entertainment is scheduled throughout the season, including theatre performances, community choirs, street characters, and musicians. Many family-favourite activities are back, including children’s crafts, baking in the Farmhouse and, of course, visits with Father Christmas —More Info


Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain

Nov 24-Jan 7
Grouse Mountain, 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver

The Peak of Christmas

Enjoy the natural beauty of Blue Grouse Lake, lit by breathtaking light installations. Stroll through the light tunnel and marvel at new additions including a magnificent lit deer. Experience the tranquil beauty of skating on an 8,000-square-foot mountaintop Ice Skating Pond, surrounded by snow-topped trees. Visit the Theatre in the Sky to enjoy Christmas movies on the big screen. Or visit Elf Headquarters and create your very own Christmas craft, write a letter to Santa, or see how you measure up to an Elf —More Info


VanDusen Festival of Lights

Dec 1-Jan 7, 4:30-9:00 pm
VanDusen Botanical Garden, 5151 Oak St, Vancouver

VanDusen Botanical Garden Festival of Lights

Experience VanDusen Festival of Lights, a magical winter wonderland with over one million lights decorating VanDusen Botanical Garden, open from December 1, 2017 to January 7, 2018. All tickets include a free ride on the carousel! Sing along to your favourite festive classics with a warm beverage in hand, then laugh along with the Vancouver Puppet Theatre (Dec 26-Jan 7) —More Info


Chinese Lantern Festival

Dec 15-Jan 21, 5:00-10:00 pm
PNE, 2901 E Hastings St, Vancouver

Chinese Lantern Festival

Experience Vancouver in a whole new light at this five-week celebration of Chinese culture featuring massive lanterns, amazing performances, storytelling, food trucks, and a marketplace. Tuck in to some dim sum and beaver tails, before taking in a show on the mainstage and weaving your way through giant lanterns —More Info

Robson Square Ice Rink

Dec 1-Feb 28, 9:00 am-9: pm
Robson Square, 800 Robson St, Vancouver

Robson Square Ice Rink

This winter, renew a classic Vancouver tradition and enjoy some old-fashioned fun. Robson Square’s outdoor skating rink will open to the public at 2:00 pm on December 1, 2017. Come and 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 —More Info