“So, what are you doing on New Year’s Eve?” is the dreaded question that everyone must face as the end of 2015 approaches. There are tons of events and parties happening around town that ensure that you can have a very fun night. But, if you don’t want to spend the extra money that going to a big party requires, there are also quite a few fun and free (or almost free) events happening around town.
Whether you’re looking for a fun party, a family-friendly event, or just a good time to ring in the new year, here’s a list of 5 things to do this New Year’s Eve in Vancouver that won’t break the bank.
1. Free Ice Skating at Robson Square
There are a few family-friendly NYE events in Vancouver happening at local mountains that offer lots of fun things to do. (Think: Grouse Mountain’s Family New Year’s Eve Celebration). But, if you’d rather keep it low-key this New Year’s Eve, the Robson Square ice skating rink will be open until 11:00pm with free skating for everyone. If you don’t have a pair of skates, you can rent some for $4 as well as ice cleats for $2 for kids.
2. Free Fireworks Show in Downtown Vancouver
This event will get you the most bang for your buck. For the first time, Downtown Vancouver is hosting a huge, free New Year’s Eve party downtown near Canada Place. You can expect live music, entertainment, food trucks, and lots of other fun stuff. Best of all, there will be a big fireworks show at midnight to celebrate the new year. Festivities on December 31 kick off at 6 p.m.
3. The Cheapest Adults-Only Party in Town
Tickets to clubs in Vancouver on New Year’s Eve can be a bit shocking, especially since you’re basically getting the same thing as usual but with a bit more champagne and balloons. There are a lot of parties that are around $15 for entry, but one of the cheapest (and most interesting sounding) festivity is at The Astoria on Hastings Street. The Rent Cheque NYE Party will be a righteously messy and wonderful gong-show party. Music, DJs, stripping, bad Santa holiday booth pics, $1500+ in prizes, and lots of surprises.. Best of all, entry is only $10.
4. Ride Free Transit All Night
Want to discover our city a bit better to start off the New Year? All forms of transit will be free to ride on New Year’s Eve starting at 5 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2015, and going until 5 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2016. Take a “harbour cruise” on the Seabus… Take the train to the suburbs or see what’s happening around town on the skytrain or Canada Line. Full details about the extended transit service are available on the Translink website. You can also use the Trip Planner tool to find the best route for your travels on New Year’s Eve.
5. Party at home to prepare for the Polar Bear Swim
Forget the parties at night, the best party to kick off the New Year is at English Bay on January 1st. The annual Polar Bear Swim is free to participate in, you’ll just have to register at English Bay between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on the day of the swim. But, you’ll get a free, commemorative button! Start your new year off shivering, freezing cold, but energized and ready to tackle those New Year’s resolutions that you’ve made for yourself!
Got any other ideas for free things to do on New Year’s Eve in Vancouver? Let us know in the comment section below!