January is right in the middle of winter in Vancouver and the perfect time to take in all that winter has to offer in Vancouver. While the skies are mostly grey, locals take advantage of those crisp sunny days that do occur in Vancouver in January. While a typically rainy time of year, there are still plenty of things to do in Vancouver in January, whether indoors or outdoors.
Things to do in Vancouver in January
Jan 1st Polar Bear Swim
Icy swims in the ocean take place at various locations throughout Metro Vancouver each year on January 1st. Her are some locations: English Bay Beach in Vancouver, Deep Cove, Rocky Point Park, Boundary Bay Regional Park, White Rock, Squamish.
Skate at Robson Square
Since 2010, Robson Square ice rink has been open each January for locals and visitors to skate! It is located between Howe and Hornby streets behind the Vancouver Art Gallery and is one of the most popular ice skating rinks in Vancouver. The ice skating rink is in the middle of the square. The rink is open-air, but also covered and partly underground.
Location: 800 Robson Street, Vancouver, V6Z 2E7
More Info: Robson Square Ice rink
Beyond King Tut
With nine galleries to explore, wind through the story of a young boy whose name still looms
large, and how he changed the ancient – and modern – world. Meet Ancient Egyptian gods like
Ra and Anubis before descending into King Tut’s burial chamber and joining his quest for
immortality. Relive one of the greatest discoveries of all time – the king’s tomb with all his
treasures waiting inside, reclaimed from the desert sand after 3,000 years.
Tickets are timed and dated, and advance purchase is strongly encouraged with sellouts
expected. Prices start at $31.99 for adults and $23.99 for children ages 5-15 (plus ticketing fees).
Package rates for families, seniors (on Tuesdays) and groups are available, as well as VIP Tickets,
which include a flex ticket for entry, merchandise and entry to the award-winning
“Tutankhamun: Enter the Tomb” VR companion experience voiced by lauded English actor Hugh
Location: 999 Canada Place, Vancouver
Prices: Adults $31.99 Children $23.99
Dates: Jan 2-8th 2023
Ski at The Local Mountains
A Vancouverite pastime, skiing on the local mountains is what so many adults remember about growing up in Vancouver. It is probably the most popular suggestion when you ask someone what to do in Vancouver in January.
Grouse Mountain features 33 Ski and Snowboard runs, 15 night runs, 4 chairlifts and 6 terrain parks. Single Lift Tickets include access to the Skyride, chairlifts and mountaintop activities. Lift Ticket valid for one uphill and downhill ride on the Skyride in the same day.
Mount Seymour is the closest to downtown Vancouver. has 4 chair lifts, 5 terrain parks, a tube park, snowshoeing and toboggan area. It has 40 marked runs, about half of which are available for nigth skiing.
Cypress is the biggest of the local mountains and has cross country skiing in addition to downhill skiing and snowboarding. there is also snow tubing and snowshoeing.
RELATED: Best snowshoeing in Vancouver
Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge
Named one of the most spectacular holiday lights displays in the world, Canyon Lights is set to dazzle and amaze, high above the forest floor. The suspension bridge, rainforest and Capilano River are ablaze with lights, making it a perfect spot for photos. Treetops Adventure (the eight tallest Christmas trees in the world) is lit from top to bottom, the “Arc de Lumina” light tunnel mesmerizes on Cliffwalk, while the Snowy Owl Prowl scavenger hunt entertains the whole family.
A tradition for many Vancouver families, Canyon Lights looks forward to welcoming back guests. While normally one of the things to do in Vancouver in December, Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge will again be open to visitors on November 19th 2022. Tickets are available November 3rd!
Dates for Canyon Lights: Until January 22, 2023
Location: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Important Notes: Strollers are not allowed. Dress for the outdoors.
Lights on the Lake at Harrison Hot Springs
While this event gained a ton of online press for being mis-marketed as a Whoville, it is a beautiful display of lights in Harrison on Harrison lake. Whether you visit for the day or make it a weekend getaway from Vancouver, it is a great outdoor event is very popular each holiday season.
Dates: until Sunday January 8th, 2023
Read More: things to do in Harrison Hot Springs
Fly Over Canada’s Original Production
If you have never seen Fly Over Canada, then you are in for a treat in January in Vancouver. During the Ultimate Flying Ride, you will see numerous cities and vistas across the country. The production team for FlyOver Canada were able to select 18 scenes from over 100 hours of footage to represent Canada in the ride film. There are no subtitles or voice-overs during the experience, as the designers did not want to detract from the flying sensation. Fly Over Canada is rated near the top of things to do in Vancouver at any time of year!
Tickets: Book your tickets online in advance here for the lowest price and to ensure availability.
Dates: Offered Year Round and can be combined with seasonal productions.
Location: 201 – 999 Canada Place Vancouver, BC
Important Notes: The queue is partially exposed to the elements. Ensure you wear proper attire. It is recommended to buy tickets online in advance.
Watch a Canucks Game
The Canucks are back! Across Canada in winter, Canadians cheer for their favorite hockey team. Ask anyone about hockey and you will always have something to talk about.
Where to Stay in Vancouver in January
BOUTIQUE: Blue Horizon Hotel
MIDRANGE: Sandman Suites on Davie
The good thing about booking hotels in January is that it is low season. It is one of the cheapest times to be staying in the city. If you are a local looking for a staycation, check out this article on the best hotels in Vancouver with pools! Look for the ones with indoor pools if you want to enjoy a soak!
Is January a Good Time to Visit Vancouver?
January is considered the off-season to visit much of British Columbia unless you plan on hitting the ski hills. Atop Whistler, the mountain is full of fresh powder and is a winter wonderland! The summer months are the peak season to visit Vancouver and take in the city activities, but if you want to visit without crowds or are not flexible about when you are visiting then, January is a good time to come into the city.
It rains on average about 50% of the days of the month, so make sure you plan for rain. While the city does not see much snow, the wet can be very uncomfortably cold, so ensure you have the right clothing.
Read More: 99 things to do in British Columbia
Does it snow in Vancouver in January?
As you will read below, snow is a rare sight in Vancouver and is usually only seen on higher elevations. With that being said, flakes do fall in the city on occasion in January. If you are coming to Vancouver for snow, you will have to head to the mountains nearby or travel north into the snowy parts of British Columbia.
Weather in Vancouver in January
Vancouver has a moderate climate for most of the year. It does not get the cold snowy weather that you will find in much of the rest of Canada, but it is important to plan for the elements just in case. There is almost always a chance of snow in higher elevations in Metro Vancouver in January, and you are pretty much guaranteed to see fresh snow on the mountains around the city after every rainy day, that’s if the sun comes out!
Snow on the mountains likely means rain in the city. When planning a trip to Vancouver in January, ensure you are prepped for rain with a decent waterproof jacket and appropriate footwear. You will also want layers.
January in Vancouver: What to Pack
As mentioned above, it does not get extremely cold, but expect wet and cool weather, usually just above freezing and it feels very wet. You will want to ensure you have warm, waterproof clothing including sweaters, hoodies, and a heavier jacket. Bring closed-toed shoes and some type of waterproof footwear. You will probably want a light pair of gloves and a hat. If you do not have a packable umbrella, I suggest you buy one. If you do not like the cold and wet, grab yourself some of these Canadian-made reusable hand warmers. They are perfect from fall to spring!
More Monthly Events in Vancouver:
Lindsay Nieminen is the creator of UncoveringBC.com. She grew up and still lives in the suburbs of Vancouver with her family. She aims to inspire inform, and educate others about traveling in her home province of British Columbia. She is also the creator of carpediemourway.com which aims to show parents how to seek out adventure at home or abroad, with their children in tow!