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We’re seeing a lot more visitors heading to Vancouver for work, a little escape, to catch a show, and of course, a spot of Holiday shopping too! Lots of our favourite festive rituals and events make a comeback this year (like the Vancouver Christmas Market, above) and we are 100% here for all of the cookies, all of the nog, and all of the twinkly lights! But of course, December is not just about the Holidays, so we’ve put together a list of our favourite non-Christmassy things to do in Vancouver this month.

Boarder X at Museum of Vancouver
Through October 2022
A travelling exhibition on loan from the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Boarder X features work by contemporary artists from Indigenous nations across Canada. Drawing parallels between the borders put up restricting skateboarders in urban settings, snowboarders on ski slopes, and even surfers, this show examines contested space, occupied territories and cultural landscapes.

OG Punk and Steven Shearer Exhibitions at Polygon Gallery
Through January 2 / February 13, 2022
If one killer exhibition at the Polygon wasn’t enough to get you over to North Vancouver while you’re in the city, these two should do the trick! We’re big fans of Dina Goldstein (you’ll find her photographic art in The Burrard’s guestrooms and lobby), and her OG Punk show takes a current-day look at some of the stalwarts of Vancouver and Victoria’s punk scene from back in the 1980s and 90s. And while you’re there, don’t miss the Steven Shearer exhibition, a solo show profiling two decades of the Vancouver artist’s work spanning sculpture, prints, drawing and painting.

Skating at Robson Square
Starting December 2
There’s not much that’s more Canadian than strapping on some skates for an open-air spin around an ice rink! The city centre Robson Square rink is opening for the season on December 2, meaning you can easily combine some winter shopping or a visit to the neighbouring Vancouver Art Gallery with a skate. Over on the North Shore, the Shipyards skating plaza, right next to Lonsdale Quay, is also slated to open in early December. Of course, further up the road, Grouse Mountain’s outdoor skating pond offers the ultimate open-air experience.

Contact Winter Music Festival
December 29 & 30
At the end of December, the city’s biggest electronic dance music festival is back for its 10th anniversary. The two-day Contact Winter Music Festival is an all-ages event (with a 19+ bar area inside) taking place at Vancouver Convention Centre in the middle of that lost week between Christmas and New Year. This year’s headliners are Excision (Day 1) and Eric Prydz (Day 2), with other acts including Slander and Loud Luxury.

Planning a visit to Vancouver this December? Search our site for some great rates!

Photo Credits:
Feature Image: Vancouver Christmas Market – Destination Vancouver/Vancouver Christmas Market
Launch Ramp by Bracken Hanuse Corlett – Museum of Vancouver website
Geometric Mechanotherapy Cell for Harmonic Alignment of Movements and Relations by Steven Shearer – Polygon Gallery website
Ice skates – Thomas Laukat via Pexels
DJ – David Bartus via Pexels