As a coastal city next to the mountains, Vancouver is a collection of micro-climates situated in a temperate rain forest. The summers are usually warm and dry with long sunny days, and winter are mild and balmy with lots of moisture. While rain is common in the city, snowfall is rare - a draw for those seeking mild wintertime temperatures. Here is our list of winter activities to take advantage of Vancouver's balmy winters!

Bright Lights

Mild winters make for comfortable outdoor strolls amongst Vancouver's fabulous holiday light displays. Check out VanDusen Botanical Garden's Festival of Lights or the Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge

Festivals & Events

Some of the city's most popular events and festivals take place during the winter months. The outdoor Christmas Market at Jack Poole Plaza brings German holiday tradition to Vancouver's waterfront in December. Dine Out Vancouver Festival, a celebration of all things food and drink, offers a range of culinary events as well as prix fixe menus at hundreds of restaurants throughout the city in January and February. The city also celebrates Lunar New Year in January or February each year with a stellar lineup of cultural events.

Tour the City

Walking around the city is a lot easier without slippery ice and snow! Explore Vancouver's indigenous history with interpretive tours from Talaysay Tours; taste your way through town on a culinary walking food tour with Vancouver Foodie Tours; experience the city's sordid past with Forbidden Vancouver walking tours; or enjoy a tour of popular filming locations in "Hollywood North" with Fans of Vancouver Tours

Try a New Activity

Vancouver is known as an health-conscious city, and we have many indoor activities to keep you active through the winter months. Try your hand at the trapeze with the Vancouver Circus School; investigate the barre trend with Barre Fitness; or stretch, breath and sweat at one of Vancouver's 1,000+ yoga classes a week. Namaste!

Hit the Slopes

While Vancouver sees little snowfall downtown, the mountainous terrain beyond the city is a snowy playground in winter. Both Grouse and Cypress Mountains, located 30 minutes from downtown, offer skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, tubing and scenic winter views. Or journey up the Sea to Sky highway to Whistler Blackcomb, a world-renowned ski resort located an hour and half's drive from the city.