Free and cheap New Year's events in Metro Vancouver
Credit: Jane Nunnikhoven

Free and cheap New Year’s events in Metro Vancouver 2018/19


Want to ring in the new year without wringing out your wallet?

The financial pressure of having a picture perfect New Year’s Eve can make the occasion lose its sparkle. Between tickets to a fancy event, and the expensive food and drinks that you might be planning on consuming, things can add up quickly.

Luckily for you (and well, us), here are some New Year’s events happening in Metro Vancouver that cost little or no money.


Winterfest at 8 Rinks

Monday, December 31, 2018 from 1:30 to 2:45 pm and 3 to 4 pm
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 from 2:15 to 3:45 pm and 4 to 5:30 pm

Celebrate the holidays with the family at 8 Rinks – a skating rink turned dazzling Winterfest – featuring twinkling lights, holiday tunes and hot chocolate. Admission is $7 for teens and adults over 16, $4 for children ages 3 to 15, and $4 for seniors. Skating is included in admission – bring your skates or rent them for $4.

New Year’s Eve Toonie Skate

Monday, December 31, 2018 from 1:45 to 4:45 pm

For an afternoon of ice skating, face painting and crafts with the family, head over to Kensington Recreation Complex. The best part? The $2 admission includes the helmet and skate rental.

Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum

Monday, December 31, 2018 and Tuesday, January 1, 2019 from 1 to 9 pm

Take a stroll through the streets of the Village and enjoy the holiday décor, cheerful music, crafts, baking and other festive activities. Admission is free, and a ride on the carousel only costs $2.65!



New Year’s Walk

Tuesday, January 1, 2019 from 1 to 2 pm

Meet your family and friends at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve for a refreshing walk to start off the new year. Grab a hot chocolate and see if you can spot any creatures along the way. The free guided walk starts at 1 pm at the entrance to the Rotary Interpretive Centre.



Lights at Lafarge Lake

Monday, December 31, 2018 from dusk until midnight
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 from dusk until 11 pm

Take a stroll along the water’s edge at Lafarge Lake to get your fill of festive holiday cheer. Along the path, you’ll see spectacular light installations, flowers made of recycled material and whimsical creatures peeking out from the trees. No need to fuss over tickets and registration – this event is free!



Winter Wonderland Skates

Monday, December 31, 2018 from 10 am to 3 pm
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 from 1:30 to 4 pm

The North and South Delta Recreation Centres have been transformed into winter wonderlands for you and the family to enjoy! Admission is $7 for adults ages 25 to 59, $5.50 for young adults ages 19 to 24, $5 for youth ages 13 to 18 and $4.25 for children ages 2 to 12.


North Vancouver

Hi-Light Festival

Monday, December 31, 2018 from 5 to 9 pm

The Hi-Light Festival at Park & Tilford Shops and Gardens is open to everyone by donation with proceeds benefiting the North Vancouver firefighters. This annual event features a majestic festival of lights with over 150,000 on display over 3 acres.



New Year’s Day 5 km Parkrun

Tuesday, January 1, 2019 from 10:30 am to 12 pm

If you’re setting some fitness goals for yourself in 2019, you can get a head start on them at the New Year’s Day 5 km Parkrun! This free run follows the Fraser River Dyke trail which isn’t too far from the Aberdeen SkyTrain. Come on your own and beat your last time, or catch up with a friend and walk the 5 km. Either way, make sure to register ahead of time.



Winter Ice Palace

Monday, December 31, 2018 from 10 am to 3:30 pm
Tuesday, January 1, 2019 from 12 to 4 pm

Lace up those skates and glide your way through a winter wonderland at Cloverdale Ice Arena. Admission is $4.50 a person, and skate rentals are $3.25.



Bright Nights in Stanley Park

Monday, December 31, 2018 from 10 am to 11 pm

Ring in 2019 on a magical train ride through Stanley Park with the family, with a portion of the ticket sales going to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund. To keep costs on the lower end, we recommend taking a ride on the matinee train which costs only $6 per ticket. If you’re in the mood to see the forest of magical holiday displays twinkling at night, tickets will cost $12 for adults ages 19 and above, $9 for youth ages 13 to 18, and $8 for children 12 to 3 (children under 2 years old are free). Make sure to book your tickets early. You can also just check out the amazing light displays with a donation at the front gate.

Concord’s Free New Year’s Eve Street Party

Monday, December 31, 2018 from 7 pm to 12:15 am

What says NYE more than a massive, outdoor street party at Jack Poole Plaza? The free event features a main stage, DJs, colourful roving performers, 12-foot-tall puppets, marching bands, comedic performers and more. And if you need to get away from the noise for a moment – you can always wander over to the water and take in Vancouver’s beautiful city and mountain views. Don’t forget to catch the fireworks displays at 9 pm and midnight!

Skate at Robson Square

Monday, December 31 from 9 am to 11 pm
Tuesday, January 1 from 9 am to 9 pm

Enjoy a free skate at Robson Square to glide into the new year with ease. If you don’t have skates of your own, you can rent a pair for only $5 cash.


Various locations

Polar bear swims

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