7 Free and Cheap Winter Adventures Around Vancouver

Skating at the Starlight Rink in Harrison Hot Springs

Skating at the Starlight Rink at Harrison Hot Springs. Photo: Tourism Harrison

Going on a winter adventure doesn’t have to break the bank. From sledding to snowshoeing, here are seven free and cheap outdoor things to do in winter around Vancouver.

 

Tobogganing at Mount Seymour

Head up to Mount Seymour for some budget-friendly fun in the snow. Passes for the toboggan park are just $10 per person if you bring your own sled, toboggan or sliding mat (no inflatables). They have sliding mats for purchase for $10-15 too.

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Enjoy Outdoor Holiday Lights

Bundle up for a magical walk through thousands of twinkling holiday lights. There are lots of free places to admire Christmas lights around Vancouver including Canada Place, Granville Island, St. Paul’s Hospital, Dundarave, Lafarge Lake, and the Burnaby Village Museum. Get the details in our guide to holiday lights around Vancouver.

Lights at Lafarge in Coquitlam

Lights at Lafarge in Coquitlam. Photo: Tourism Coquitlam

 

Go for a Hike

While the tops of the mountains are blanketed in snow, the forest is still green closer to the ocean. Vancouverites love to hike all year and thankfully, it’s free. Use our list of snow-free Vancouver hikes to plan your winter hiking trip.

The dock at Whyte Lake in West Vancouver, an easy hike

Whyte Lake. Photo: Taryn Eyton/HappiestOutdoors.ca

 

Skate Outdoors

Channel your inner figure skater or hockey player and you glide across the ice. The Vancouver area has several outdoor rinks to choose from. They all have free or cheap admission and skate rentals (less than $10 per person). Our guide to outdoor ice skating has more info.

Ice skating at night at Whistler Olympic Plaza

Ice skating at Whistler Olympic Plaza. Photo: Tourism Whistler/Justa Jeskova

 

Watch for Eagles

Did you know that Squamish is home to one of the world’s largest populations of wintering bald eagles? There is no charge to walk along the river to see how many eagles you can spot. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars!

Eagle in flight in the fog.

Photo: Phillipp Pilz/Unsplash

 

Go Snowshoeing

If you have your own snowshoes, you can snowshoe for free at Dog Mountain in Mount Seymour Provincial Park and Bowen Lookout in Cypress Provincial Park. (You will need a free day pass for Mount Seymour.) If you need snowshoes, you can rent them at Sports Junkies, The Destination, and Yes Cycle. Mount Seymour and Cypress Mountain resorts also have snowshoe rentals that you can use on their paid trails. Our guide to beginner-friendly snowshoeing can help you get started.

Two people snowshoeing at Cypress Mountain

Snowshoeing at Cypress Mountain. Photo: Vancouver’s North Shore/@thepursuitofshine

 

Try Cross-Country Skiing

If you want to save money on skiing, try cross-country skiing. It’s a fraction of the price of downhill skiing and will give you a full-body workout as you explore the snowy forest. Cypress Mountain, Whistler Olympic Park, Whistler’s Lost Lake Park, and Manning Park all have reasonably priced trail tickets and rentals. Check out our guide to cross-country skiing for all the info.

Cross-country skiing at Cypress Mountain

Cross-country skiing at Cypress Mountain. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Kindred & Scout

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