Vancouver Winter Inspiration: The Ultimate Guide

Winter may be the coldest season, but that gives us an excuse to layer-up! Whether those layers include outdoor gear for snow adventures or chic knits and cosy hoodies for downtown escapades, here’s some winter inspiration to help you enjoy the best of winter in Vancouver.


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


Outdoor Adventure
Fun in the Snow
Winter Dining and Foodie Happenings
Soul-Warming Wellness


Hiking and the Outdoors

Hiking is an essential part of enjoying winter in Vancouver. The trails are quieter, the air is crisper, and it makes the most of daylight hours!

For low-elevation trails that are ice and snow-free for most of the winter, check out these 9 snow-free hikes.

Don’t let the winter rain spoil your fun! Grab your rain gear, head out for a hike, and enjoy the fresh scents of rainforest unleashed by the rain. Here are 10 fun rainy day hikes.

When the temperate drops some our magnificent waterfalls freeze over! Here’s a list of frozen waterfalls near Vancouver you can hike or snowshoe to.


Fun in the Snow


Skating is a quintessentially Canadian winter activity. With Vancouver’s mild winters, it doesn’t usually get cold enough in the city to skate on frozen ponds. However, thanks to modern technology, you can still skate outdoors on man-made rinks. Here are some spots you can skate outdoors in Vancouver. 

Skating at the Whistler Olympic Plaza outdoor skating rink


Hit the snowshoe trails with a guide this winter. Vancouver’s North Shore mountains are offering guided snowshoe experiences, one of these unique Vancouver snowshoe tours is sure to land on your winter bucket list.

Get out into the snow with your dog this winter. Here are our picks for the best dog-friendly places to snowshoe near Vancouver, plus some tips to make sure you and your dog have fun and stay safe.

Many of the local snowshoe trails take you high into the mountains to lookout points where you can gaze down to the city or deep into the snow-covered wilderness. Check out our picks for the best snowshoe trails near Vancouver with incredible views.

Snowshoeing on Grouse Mountain

Snowshoeing on Grouse Mountain. Photo: Tourism Vancouver/Rishad Daroowala

Sledding and Tubing

Kids love sliding down a snowy slope on a sled, and adults will love unleashing their inner child to join in on the fun. Enjoy sliding down these local snowy spots.

snow tubing cypress mountain

Image courtesy of Cypress Mountain |

Ski and Snowboarding

Feel the swish of snow beneath your feet and the cold wind in your face: ski season is almost here! Snow season will be different this season, but Vancouver’s local resorts are committed to safety and have put measures in place to ensure you can ski and ride this winter. This is everything you need to know about how to ski in Vancouver this winter at six local ski resorts.

Challenge yourself to get some air under your skis or snowboard this winter with a visit to one of Vancouver’s 13 terrain parks.

Hitting the slopes with your kids this winter? All three of Vancouver’s ski hills have family-friendly features that will make your day at the resort a blast. We’ve got the details on kid-friendly ski runs, lessons, and ticket prices at Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain, and Mount Seymour so you can plan a family ski day.

Ski season isn’t just about enjoying the chairlift ride up the mountain or feeling the rush of wind on your way down a ski hill. Après-ski plays a big part in Vancouver’s mountain sports scene. Get the low-down on activities for pre and post snow fun.


Winter Dining and Foodie Happenings

Curries, with their rich and multi-spiced flavour profiles, are the ideal cold-weather antidote. Experience curries from around the world right here in Vancouver.

For many Vancouverites, winter means a trip to Mexico for a spot of sunshine and carefree margarita sipping. With international borders remaining closed, staying local this winter might not include warmer weather, but it can definitely include tasty tacos from the city’s Mexican culinary scene.

This winter is about enjoying the little things. One thing we can celebrate is the city’s craft beer scene. Beer enthusiasts definitely have an abundance of tasty options for beer and small bite stops.

Winter is the season of cozy, and what is cozier than a hot chocolate? For 2021, Hot Chocolate Vancouver welcomes 39 vendors and a massive 87 delicious flavours to try between the festival dates, January 16 – February 14.

A great thing about Vancouver is the many restaurants with year-round patios that can be enjoyed even in the deepest of winter. If you prefer things on the cozier side, then you’ll know about the super hygge feeling of sitting near a fire. Here’s where to warm up by fireplaces in the city.

Photo via Monte Cristo Magazine

Soul-Warming Wellness


Learn something new or pick up a new hobby this winter. Join VanDusen Gardens for their winter events, which cover botany, ecology, gardening, design, and art. You can also join North Van Arts winter programming of art, drama and music classes.


Many Vancouver yoga and wellness studios are bringing class to us… online! So roll out your mat to flow, tone and meditate from home with these digital class offerings.

With cold weather in full swing, treat yourself to a spa retreat! Several spas at Vancouver hotels have reopened with COVID-19 protocols in place to offer modified treatments and services to Vancouverites and BC visitors.

Sometimes, all we need is a little stroll to perk ourselves up. This winter, add some art to your walk with the Vancouver Mural Festival. They are transforming Vancouver’s core into an interactive, open-air gallery featuring Augmented Reality (AR) art by local and international artists.


Have you heard of forest bathing? It’s a great way to relieve stress and improve your health by spending time in nature. Read our first-time forest bather tips and our picks for the best places to try forest bathing around Vancouver.

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