This time of year is absolutely buzzing with cheer and spirit, so we tend to fill our calendars with a ton of fun family “to-dos” but we all end up a little shocked by the accumulating costs. You drop $100 for a play, $90 for that thing, plus another $150 for some other must-see event. Ka-ching. Don’t fret, though, because getting into the holiday cheer does not mean having to break the bank. We put together some super fun ways to get into the holiday spirit, all for free (or almost free)!
St. Paul’s Lights of Hope
St. Paul’s Hospital, 1081 Burrard Street
Annually, the massive lights at St. Paul’s Hospital are lit and a always crowd pleaser. This spectacular eye-catching scene never disappoints. There’s no fee (except for optional donations you can give to support the hospital) and it’s on all season long.
Ice Skating at Robson Square
Robson Square Ice Rink
Dec 1 – Feb 14 (from 9am to 9pm, and 11pm on weekends)
Free skating (with a $4 fee for skate rentals if you need them)! This is a fantastic and magical place to enjoy with the family. Skating in the square surrounded by lights and in the heart of downtown. It’s awesome.
Bright Nights at Stanley Park
Nov 28 – Jan 1 (see website for train times)
During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park Train Plaza sparkle with three million twinkling lights. There is music and fun through the route and plaza. Though it’s not free, the matinee train is only $6 for all ages and great for kids!
The Balloon Winter Wonderland
Dec 3 – Dec 18 (from 10am – 8pm)
What kid doesn’t love balloons? Walk around a yuletide balloon display and tonnes of holiday cheer made completely from balloons. Best of all, it’s completely free.
Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum
6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
Dec 10 – Jan 2 (1pm – 9pm)
Heritage holiday fun with lots of displays, lights, décor, sing-a-longs, crafts, and even special event performances scheduled throughout the season. Admission is free at the gate, with only a $2.60 fee for carousel rides.