Events and Entertainment Around Town – December Edition

Can you believe that 2015 is almost over?! The year has just flown by, non?

For many, the last month of the year is a time for celebration and reflection. It’s a time for feasting and gathering, taking time to appreciate the special people in our life.  But maybe the year-end has snuck up on you and you’re not sure what there is to do – with out of town family and all – we’ve got you covered.

We’ve made a list (and checked it twice, naturally) of the all the big-time entertainment, as well as, the low-key happenings this month, including concerts, theater and seasonal things to do.

Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out – Science World
Event dates: October 3-March 28
Animal Inside Out features over 100 preserved animal specimens ranging from the common pigeon to an expertly dissected camel. Visitors will be able to check out what’s under the skin of some spectacular animals and determine what makes us the same – and different.

Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza – Concord Pacific Place
Event date: October 30-December 27 | Various times
An adrenaline rush of acrobatics in a zany kingdom.

A Christmas Story: The Musical – Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage
Event dates: November 5-December 27 | Various times
The musical adventures of a boy with a dream, that preserves the movie’s cheerfully anarchic spirit.

29th Festival of Trees – Four Seasons Hotel
Event dates: November 13-January 5
For the past 29 years, the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver has been transformed into a forest of beautifully decorated trees, all in support of BC Children’s Hospital.

It’s a Wonderful Life – Granville Island Stage
Event dates: November 13-December 26 | Various times
The holiday heart-warmer returns!

Lights of Hope – St. Paul’s Hospital
Event dates: November 19-January 4
An annual fundraising campaign to support St. Paul’s Hospital. This spectacular display features more than 200 shining stars and 10km of twinkling lights all built by volunteers using donated materials.

Free Ice Skating at Robson Square – Robson Square
Event dates: November 29-February 28
Times: Sun-Thurs: 9am-9pm, Fri-Sat: 9am-11pm and 9am-5pm on Christmas Day

Social Studies – Firehall Arts Centre
Event dates: November 21-December 5 | Various times
A new Canadian play by Trish Cooper about a South Sudanese “lost boy” adopted by a well-intentioned Winnipeg family. This rich comedy takes on Canadian values and cultural differences, yielding hilarious results.

2015 Vancouver Christmas Market – Queen Elizabeth Plaza
Event dates: November 21-December 24 | Time: 11am-9pm
Discover an array of terrific food, drink and Christmas gifts – in the spirit of Germany’s Christmas Market. Closes at 6pm on December 24.

Book of Love – Roundhouse Performance Centre
Event dates: November 25-December 5 | Various times
Performed by Kokoro Dance. Barbara Bourget, Jay Hirabayashi, Molly McDermott and Billy Marchenski perform Book of Love with Standing Wave.

Dark Sisters – Vancouver Playhouse
Event dates: November 26-December 12
In a renegade Mormon community of the American southwest, brave Eliza attempts to escape her life as one of five “sister wives” in a polygamous marriage and save her daughter from the same fate.

Christmas Queen 2 – You Better Watch Out! – Vancouver Theatre Sports League
Event dates: November 26-December 19
This year’s version in the continuing Christmas Queen saga, Christmas Queen 2 is set at the North Pole and Santa’s Workshop. VTSL’s popular improvised fairytale sees the larger-than-life, blue-haired Christmas Queen drop in on Ol’ Saint Nick and create a little chaos in the week leading up to the big day.

Peter and the Starcatcher – West First Theatre (Olympic Village)
Event dates: November 26-December 27 | Various times
The Peter Pan prequel for all of us who never grew up.

2015 Bright Night Christmas Train – Stanley Park Miniature Train
Event dates: November 26-January 2 | Various times
During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park Train Plaza sparkle with three million twinkling lights.

Holidays at Vancouver Aquarium – Vancouver Aquarium
Event dates: November 26-January 4 | Time:10am-5pm
Home to everyone’s favourite holiday guest: Scuba Claus! Come marvel at the holiday tree, its glimmering lights powered by the resident electric eel. Leave more about the North Pole and Arctic waters through snowy displays and festive programming.

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge – Capilano Suspension Bridge
Event dates: November 27-January 3 | Time: 4pm-9pm
The suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and canyon are transformed into a world of festive lights and visual enchantment.

Peak of Christmas – Grouse Mountain
Event dates: November 27-January 4 | Time: 9am-10pm
Have breakfast with Santa, visit his workshop, meet real reindeer, watch Christmas movies in the Theatre in the Sky or listen to joyful Christmas carols.

Vancouver Trolley Karaoke Christmas Lights Tour – Canada Place
Event dates: December 1-30 | Time: 630pm
Guests will sing their way past the city lights of downtown before arriving at Bright Nights at Stanley Park. After being given some time to walk through the light display and take in Stanley Park’s holiday magic, the tour will continue through local light displays on the way to the second stop of the evening, at Van Dusen Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights. A donation to the Burn Fund is included in each ticket.

Festival of Lights – Van Dusen Botanical Garden
Event dates: December 1-31
Experience the Festival of Lights, a magical winter wonderland with over one million lights decorating Van Dusen Garden.

Vancouver Canucks vs Dallas Stars – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 3 | Time: 7pm

Christmas in the Orpheum – Orpheum Theatre
Event date: December 4
Nothing says Christmas more than choirs and the city’s finest will sing the glorious voice-and-brass music of Gabrieli and Pinkham, holiday moods with harp, an audience singing carol singalong. With Brass Ensemble, Pacifica Singers, Vancouver Youth Choir and Jon Washburn as conductor.

Carol Ships 2015 – Various starting points
Event dates: December 4-23
On peak evenings, this holiday tradition has grown to more than 50 decorated boats, with in excess of 100,000 lights, and carries over 30,000 people during the month of December.

Get Snow Globed – Harbour Centre
Event dates: December 4-24
This Christmas, Harbour Centre, the Vancouver Lookout and the Kettle Society are inviting you to climb inside a giant snow globe and scatter snow – all while raising funds for people living with mental illness.

Gingerbread Lane – Hyatt Regency Vancouver
Event dates: December 4-27
Display of approximately 40 gingerbread creations from professional and amateur culinary enthusiasts and secondary schools from Vancouver and the Tri-cities.

Vancouver Winter Wonderland Christmas Festival – PNE
Event dates: December 4-27
Display of approximately 40 gingerbread creations from professional and amateur culinary enthusiasts and secondary schools from Vancouver and the Tri-cities.

All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Event date: December 5 | Times: 3pm and 8pm
The Western Front, 1914. Out of the violence comes a silence, then a song. A German soldier steps into No Man’s Land while singing Stille Nacht, and begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music, and peace.

Vancouver Canucks vs Boston Bruins – Rogers Arena
Event date: December 5 | Time 7pm

Concord Pacific Horse Drawn Carriage Rides – Roundhouse Community Centre
Event date: December 5-6 | Time: 12pm-430pm
Bring your family out for the exciting horse-drawn carriage rides benefitting the Roundhouse and Elsie Roy after school programming. Dress warmly. Enjoy some hot chocolate while you wait for your ride. AFter the ride, take a photo with Santa or decorate a cookie in the Exhibition Hall.

Sarah Chang Plays Dvorak – Orpheum Theatre
Event dates: December 5-7 | Time: 8pm
The VSO welcomes back to the Orpheum stage one of the most exciting violinists on the scene today, the incomparable Sarah Chang. Sarah plays Dvorak’s beautiful Violin Concerto, and renowned conductor Pietari Inkinen leads the orchestra in a performance of one of the most famous symphonies ever written, Tchaikovsky’s epic Symphony No. 4.

Sunday Tea and Tour – Roedde House 1145 Barclay Street
Event dates: December 6-27 | Time: 1pm-3pm
Take a tour of a fully restored Victoria home, followed by tea and cookies. The house will be dressed in its festive finest.

SGI Canada: Read Me a Story – The Roundhouse
Event dates: December 8-16
Read folk tales from around the world at the third international showing of ‘Read Me a Story’ showcasing 1,200 children’s books from 120 countries and panoramic murals illustrating folk tales.

A Traditional Christmas – St Andrews Wesley United Church
Event dates: December 10-13
Metro Vancouver’s most beloved holiday music tradition plays to sold out houses in Burnaby, North Shore, Surrey, Delta and downtown Vancouver.

Christmas at Flyover Canada – Canada Place
Event dates: December 10-January 5 | Time: 10am-9pm
Christmas hours: 10am-6pm December 24. Closed December 25
FlyOver Canada will transform into a magical winter wonderland this Christmas season. Guests will help Santa search for his missing elves during an exhilarating flight across Canada and on to the North Pole.

Handel’s Messiah – The Opheum
Event date: December 12 | Time: 8pm
Spirits soar to the divine harmonies, resounding orchestrations, and sublime arias of Handel’s treasured oratorio. An ensemble of celebrated Canadian soloists join the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver Bach Choir to infuse brilliant new light and life into this magnificent gem – featuring the iconic, immortal Hallelujah chorus.

Christmas at Canada Place – Canada Place
Event dates: December 12-30
All taking place outdoors on the Canadian Trail, West Promenade of Canada Place. Featuring Avenue of Trees, Woodward’s Window Display, Rudolph’s Theatre, arts and crafts and more!

Woodward’s Holiday Window Display – Canada Place’s West Promenade
Event dates: December 12-30
The Woodward’s Windows are a treasured part of Vancouver’s history. Originally displayed in the popular Woodward’s department store, the windows featured classic holiday scenes with animated characters and elaborate decor.

Tale of Christmas Past – Roedde House
Event date: December 13 | Time: 3pm
Tales of Christmas Past classical concert featuring Vancouver Viols and guests.

Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen – Firehall Arts Centre
Event dates: December 15-January 9
A special holiday run of the Firehall’s smash hit musical! Leonard Cohen’s powerful and inspiration music is the heartbeat of Chelsea Hotel: The Songs of Leonard Cohen, as six performers play seventeen different instruments in a rollicking tribute to the remarkable writer.

Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker – The Centre in Vancouver
Event dates: December 17-22 | Time: 2pm, 3pm and 730pm
A traditional rendition of a Classical Masterpiece. Experience Clara’s dream come to life as she embarks on a magical journey through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets where she is greeted by the enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy. An unforgettable adventure awaits as her gallant Nutcracker battles the evil Mouse King and his army of mischievous mice.

Christmas with Chor Leoni – St Andrew’s Wesley United Church
Event date: December 18 | Time: 430pm and 8pm
Capturing all the joy and beauty of the festive season, Christmas with Chor Leoni takes favourite carols, Renaissance motets, and sing-a-longs, adds a dash of doo-wop and barbershop and wraps it all in Chor Leoni’s glorious sound.

Christmas Grand Service – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Event dates: December 19-20
Join Coastal Church at its special worship services featuring sounds of both contemporary and classic Christmas carols.

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