Where to find some zen in the city this winter

Vancouver spa retreats

Settle in for a pedicure at CHI, The Spa at the Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver. Photo: Corey Stovin

It’s been a difficult year, but the Vancouverite spirit is strong. As temperatures cool down and we follow government guidelines, it’s important to remember that our beautiful city is full of safe places and ways to relax this winter. From pedicures to holiday lights and walking in the rain, it’s time to find some zen.


Until February 5, 2021, in line with the public health order issued on November 20, non-essential travel into and out of BC is not recommended. BC residents let’s do our part by continuing to stay local and support local, with your immediate household or bubble, in accordance with the latest guidelines


Here some places and ways to find some zen in our scenic city this winter:

Capilano Canyon Lights in North Vancouver

Photo: Capilano Canyon Lights

Spark joy with a walk amid the holiday lights

From mid-November to the beginning of January, the city’s gardens and several outdoor attractions are lit up with holiday lights. Book a reservation to see the lights at Capilano Canyon, PNE WinterLights or any of the light walks offering safe outdoor holiday experiences. Take an outing with your core bubble or immediate household, or maybe just on your own.

Revolver Coffee in Vancouver

Photo Credit: Angela Pavuk

Visit your favourite coffee shop

More than ever, our favourite eateries and cafes need support from locals. And, really, it’s SO nice to have someone make the perfect London Fog or espresso for you. (It’s just not the same at home, no matter how fancy the new coffee machine you bought is.) Pop in to enjoy sipping inside or on-the-go. Be sure to also leave an even better tip than you normally would.

A hiker walks through fall leaves

Photo: Fidel Fernando on Unsplash

Take a walk or hike in the rain

Locals have so many places to safely stroll or hike in and around Vancouver — including beautiful gardens located all over the city like VanDusen Botanical Garden and the UBC Botanical Garden. Yes, it’s rainy season, but a walk or a hike can give the mind a chance to chill out or better gather your thoughts. And there are incredible health benefits to walking in the rain.

Robes hanging at The Spa at the Wedgewood in Vancouver

Photo: Wedgewood Hotel

Go to the spa

Did you know that many of Vancouver’s spas have registered massage therapists (RMTs) on staff? Now is the time of year to make sure you use up your extended health benefits and most plans offer coverage for RMT appointments. Yep, you can go to the spa and get reimbursed for some of it. It’s a win-win. (As is the pedicure you might treat yourself to!)

Yoga at home online classes in Vancouver

Image via Canva

Roll out your mat at home

If you aren’t comfortable leaving home or if you miss your studio class, most Vancouver wellness studios have streamed classes and events online. And thought the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is currently closed to the public, they continue to offer online programming, which includes Yoga, Tai Chi and meditation.



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