You don't need money to have a great time in Vancouver this time of year. There are a number of free fun activities going on. Here are just a few:
Metro Vancouver is studded with lights, starting with downtown's dramatic St. Paul's Hospital Lights of Hope display, or the Holiday Lights Walking Tour. You could also hop across to West Vancouver's Dundarave Festival of Lights.
LIGHTS IN THE BURBS:
Hop on SkyTrain's Evergreen Extension to Lafarge Lake Douglas Station, where you are only steps from Coquitlam's Lights at Lafarge and if you still have space available on your camera, catch the sight of the CP Holiday Train travelling through the region over the Christmas season.
There are many more ways to pick up your festive spirit without breaking the bank. Stroll pier-like Canada Place to view the antique Woodward's Christmas windows alongside a host of decorated Christmas trees and a nice light display, complete with a giant moose, celebrating Canada's North.
If you need to warm up, hit the Four Seasons Hotel for the Festival of Trees which is in full swing, or the neary Hyatt Regency's Gingerbread Lane which is back with tons of candy-studded miniature constructions.
If it's time to stretch you legs outside, head to Robson Square Ice Rink. It's free with your own skates or you can rent skates for a small fee. Here you will find live music on many nights. Just a short walk away you will find Vancouver's towering official Christmas tree, and while you are in the vicinity, pop into the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver's lobby to spot a Salvador Dali drooping clock-sculpture framed by sparkling decorations.
If you are looking for a seasonal walk, head to Christmas in Kerrisdale, which is a reminder a time when Christmas shoppers strolled around with parcels and carol singing. On pre-Christmas Saturdays, there's a brass band, wandering Santa and free horse carriage rides.
Burnaby Village Museum is a wonderland of antique buildings brightly decorated or as part of Canada 150 celebrations,entry is free at festively decorated Fort Langley, and Steveston's Gulf of Georgia Cannery, which is hosting its own Festival of Trees.