Plunge into 2019 at the Vancouver Polar Bear Swim

Plunge into 2019 by taking an invigorating dip in English Bay at Vancouver’s Polar Bear Swim on January 1st! One of Vancouver’s most beloved holiday season traditions, the Polar Bear Swim Club is in its 99th year, and is a fun (and free!) way to ring in the New Year.

Whether it’s your 57th time participating or you’re keen to cross this off your bucket list, join your fellow “polar bears” in English Bay on Tuesday, January 1, 2019 at 2:30pm.

  • Dress-up in fancy costume
  • Compete in the Peter Pantages Memorial 100 yard swim race
  • Come out to watch and delight in the spectacle!

Polar Bear Swim Top Tips

  • If you have a heart problem – just watch!
  • Children must swim and stay with an adult.
  • Please leave your dog at home.
  • Do not drink – alcohol does not warm you up – it accelerates hypothermia.
  • Do not stay in the water longer than 15 minutes. Body heat is lost 25 times faster in water than in air.
  • Do not remove your clothing until swim time. The swim will be started by a flag and siren.
  • Entrants in the 100 yard race – meet in the front line on the north side (Stanley Park side) of the enclosure.
  • First 3 swimmers to touch the marker buoy by the lifeguard boat – give your names to the lifeguard.
  • After you swim, pick up your commemorative button at the large polar bear or at the registration table.
  • Warm up with coffee or hot chocolate.

2019 Vancouver Polar Bear Swim

When: Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

Time: 2:30 to 3:30 pm. Arrive early for registration.

Where: English Bay Bathhouse – 1700 Beach Avenue, Vancouver

Admission: Free. Participants should register online. The Greater Vancouver Food Bank will be accepting donations of non-perishable food or cash – please be generous!

For more info, click here. Fun facts on the history of the race can be found here.


Share your #VeryVancouver #VanPolarBearSwim experience with us by tagging us @inside_vancouver on Instagram!

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