10 things to do this holiday season in and around SFU

Staying in the city this December? Here’s a list of events you should check out this holiday season

Image courtesy of 604now

By: Michelle Gomez

Winter Warm-up (Vancouver, Surrey, and Burnaby campus)

Take a break from studying and de-stress with SFU’s annual Winter Warm-Up. It will feature the usual: festive craft-making, games, fire pits, and holiday snacks. For students at Burnaby campus, there will be musical performances from fellow students, whereas if you’ll be at Harbour Centre, there will even be dog therapy!

Nov. 28 (Burnaby and Harbour) and Dec. 3 (Surrey)

12 p.m. – 2 p.m. | Convocation Mall/Harbour Centre Concourse/Surrey Mezzanine | Free


SFU FASS Gingerbread House Contest (Burnaby)

Celebrate the last day of classes with the Faculty of Arts and Social Science’s annual gingerbread house competition contest! Teams of five will each build and decorate a gingerbread house, with prizes awarded to the winning teams. Teams can either be a departmental student union or walk-ins that will be put into groups. It is free, but make sure to register online before.

Dec. 3

4 p.m. – 6 p.m. | SFU Burnaby AQ 3020 Arts Central | Free


Ascension 2018 (Vancouver)

Come support your artsy SFU peers at Ascension 2018! Ascension is a yearly production put on by SFU School for Contemporary Arts that is entirely produced by undergraduate students. It is an interdisciplinary show that includes students from the music, dance, production and design, and film programs.

Dec. 6 – 8

8 p.m. | SFU Goldcorp Center for the Arts, Studio T | $7 for students


Vancouver Christmas Market

Vancouver’s annual Christmas market is back in Jack Poole Plaza at Coal Harbour. It is modelled after traditional German Christmas markets featuring German food, drinks, and gifts, all from local vendors. In addition, there will be a carousel and a variety of entertainment performing on the stage.


Nov. 21 – Dec. 24

11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. | Jack Poole Plaza 1055 Canada Place | $10 online, $12 at gate


Capilano Suspension Bridge Canyon Lights (Vancouver)

One of Vancouver’s most popular tourist attractions transforms into a light festival every winter. Enjoy walking along the lit suspension bridge, treetop adventure, rainforest, and cliff walk. Be sure to try the beaver balls, and don’t forget to bring your camera!

Nov. 22 – Jan 27

11 a.m. – 9 p.m. | Capilano Suspension Bridge | $35 for students (includes annual pass)


Grouse Mountain Peak of Christmas  (Vancouver)

No December is complete without a trip up the Skyride to the peak of Vancouver. Even if you don’t ski or snowboard, you can spend the day skating on the outdoor ice pond, strolling through the Light Walk, and taking a sleigh ride. Not only does Grouse have the most stunning views of Vancouver from the top, but they also have beavertails (a.k.a. the real reason you want to go).

Nov. 23 – Jan. 6

9 a.m. – 10 p.m. | Grouse Mountain | $56 for mountain admission


VanDusen Festival of Lights (Vancouver)

Every year, the beautiful VanDusen Botanical Garden transforms into a Christmas scene straight out of the Nutcracker. If you love Christmas lights, mulled wine, and/or carousel rides, then the Festival of Lights is a must-see. The park also features a variety of food options and a dancing lights light show every hour. When leaving the garden, be on the lookout for the person handing out free tickets for Holiday Heights, which is yet another light display at the nearby Bloedel Conservatory.

Dec. 1 – 24

4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. (until 10 p.m. Dec. 21–24) | VanDusen Botanical Garden | $18.50 online, $20 at gate


Little Dickens: The Daisy Theatre (Surrey)

Calling all theatre-lovers! Get your Christmas on with a raunchy marionette version of the classic A Christmas Carol. Toronto-based puppeteer Ronnie Burkett is back with another show of music, improvisation, and audience participation. The show will feature washed-out diva Esmé Massengill as Scrooge among other returning characters, and it’s sure to be a fun time!

Dec. 4 – 22

8 p.m. | Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables St. | $24 – 69 (depending where you sit)


Chanukah Celebration at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Celebrate Chanukah this year at the Vancouver Art Gallery with the lighting of Canada’s tallest menorah! Enjoy family friendly entertainment such as live music, fire juggling, and a gelt drop while you munch on latkes, hot cocoa, and donuts.

Dec. 6

5:00 – 6:30 p.m. | Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby St. | Free


The Nutcracker

Get into the Christmas spirit with the Royal City Youth Ballet’s rendition of The Nutcracker. Following 7 p.m. evening show on December 7, there will be two daily shows at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on December 8 and 9. Featuring stunning choreography, amazing young talent, and Tchaikovsky’s brilliant scores, the Nutcracker is a beloved Christmas classic that never gets old.

Dec. 7 – 9

Showtimes vary| Main Stage at Surrey Arts Center | $28 for students, $42 for adults