Looking for New Year’s events in Metro Vancouver that won’t add to your holiday spending?
New Year’s Eve can be quite costly. Eating out and special events can add up, as many establishments jack up their food, drink and cover prices for New Year’s Eve. Consider more low-key entertaining alternatives, such as a potluck dinner or open house. Co-hosting with friends makes it easier and less costly than preparing the event yourself.
Here are some local New Year’s events to enjoy that cost little or no money.
Bright Nights in Stanley Park
December 31, 2017 from 10 am to 10 pm
A great light display that is open to all and is by donation, with money going to the Burn Fund. With some luck, we may even get some snow to add to the spectacle. There’s also a train that takes you through the wonderland, but you have to buy tickets. To keep your costs low for the train, try afternoon matinees when the price is significantly less.
Concord’s New Year’s Eve Free Street Party
December 31, 2017 from 7 pm to 12:15 am
Attend one of Canada’s largest New Year’s Eve parties at Canada Place Way and Jack Poole Plaza. This free street party will feature a main stage, live countdown broadcast and 20 of Vancouver’s top food trucks. Roving performers, neon robots, fire dancers and visuals will entertain thousands, while overlooking the city’s beautiful water and mountain views with an incredible fireworks display.
Skate at Robson Square
December 31, 2017 from 9 am to 11 pm
January 1, 2018 from 9 am to 9 pm
You can take in free skating at Robson Square during the holidays. Bring your own or rent skates for a small charge. On New Year’s Eve, Rumba Calzada play a mix of Salsa, Latin and Afro-Cuban tunes from 6:30 to 9:30 pm.
St. Paul’s Labyrinth
January 1, 2018 from 10 am to 2 pm
If a busy holiday season has you longing for something more tranquil, start 2018 off with a meditative walk at St. Paul’s Anglican Church – in silence or to the deep, resonant sounds of the didgeridoo played by David Yates with heart and soul. Walk and reflect or sit and contemplate. Walking in sacred silence from 10 am to 12 pm, or with musical accompaniment from 12 pm to 2 pm. Soup and fellowship provided by St Paul’s in the downstairs hall. Free to attend.
New Year’s Eve Toonie Skate
December 31, 2017 from 10:30 am to 2 pm
Enjoy a day of ice skating, face painting and crafts on New Year’s Eve at Kensington Recreation Complex. Cost is $2, includes helmet and skate rental.
Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum
December 31, 2017 from 1 to 9 pm
Festivities include theatre performances, choirs, street characters and musicians, along with crafts, baking in the farmhouse and visits with Father Christmas. Free admission.
New Year’s Walk
January 1, 2018 from 1 to 2 pm
Join friends and family for a free guided walk at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve, where you’ll see plenty of waterfowl and other creatures. Dress for the weather and enjoy hot chocolate afterwards. Meet at the entrance to the Rotary Interpretive Centre.
Lights at Lafarge
January 1, 2018 from dusk to after midnight
Billed as the largest free outdoor lights display in the Lower Mainland, Lafarge Park offers another bright lights option for free! This year’s event is bigger and brighter, with hundreds of thousands of lights wrapping their way around the lake in multiple themed zones. The lights will stay on until after midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Winter Wonderland Skates
December 31, 2017 from 10 am to 12 pm and 1:30 to 4 pm
January 1, 2018 from 1:30 to 5 pm
The North and South Delta Recreation Centre ice arenas are transformed into a twinkling winter wonderland for skating and holiday cheer with friends and family. Regular drop-in fees apply.
January 1, 2018 from 12 to 4 pm
A chance to skate to festive music surrounded by thousands of sparkling lights, real snow banks, decorated holiday trees and more at Minoru Arenas. Regular admission rates.
Scottish New Years – Hogmanay
December 31, 2017 from 3 to 5 pm
Scottish New Year’s (or Hogmanay) is celebrated around the world as First Night in Edinburgh, Scotland and throughout Britain. Be at the Whalley Legion at 4 pm to hear the pipes and drums of the Cedar Hills Caledonian Pipe Band. Free.
Winter Ice Palace
December 31, 2017 from 10 am to 3:30 pm
January 1, 2018 from 12 to 4 pm
Experience a winter wonderland at Cloverdale Arena and enjoy this fun, seasonal event with your friends and family. $4.50 per person, plus skate and helmet rentals.
Polar Bear swims
If the financial stress of the holidays gives you the urge to “chill,” then there is always the swim option – a free, refreshing dip with other brave souls at one of the New Year’s Day Polar Bear swims across Metro Vancouver. Various times and locations to take the plunge: