If you’re a Vancouverite, you know December in this city looks like something out of the film Blade Runner – a blanket of grey and nonstop down-pours. The weather alone is enough to make anyone feel a little sad and lonely, and it’s only heightened around the holidays, if you’re far from loved ones or fabulously single.
Born and raised in Raincouver, I know just the trick to survive a ‘blue blue Christmas!’ I’ve mapped out 20 activities you can do this holiday season whether your with friends or flying solo!
1) Weekend getaway to Whistler: Only an hour and thirty minute drive from Vancouver, this winter wonderland is the perfect place to relax and unwind or party like a rock-star. It all depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, Scandinave Spa is the place to be. If you’re hoping to meet new people and experience the nightlife in Whistler, round up some friends and have a brew at The Amsterdam Pub and dance the night away at Buffalo Bills.
2) Foster a Pet at SPCA: I say foster because adopting a pet comes with a lot of responsibility especially as a single fur parent, so a great alternative is to foster for a shorter term. An animal can provide great stability in your schedule and the perfect winter cuddle buddy!
3) Learn a New Skill: Have you ever had a desire to take singing lessons (I have!), or learn how to make your own pasta? Your holiday vacation is the perfect down time to learn something entirely new. The options are really quite endless!
4) Volunteer at Covenant House: I can’t think of a better way to spend free time than to give back to the community through volunteering! Every year, I’ve had the opportunity to support a local charity in Vancouver, and I’ve met so many awesome people along the way. There are quite a few shelters and different charities to choose from in the Lower Mainland so you can find one that you’re most passionate about.
5) Hit a Karaoke Bar: It’s not really the holidays until someone grabs a mic and sings their best cover of Wham’s! Last Christmas. Pub 340 hosts karaoke nights every Tuesday and Thursday from 9pm-1am for those looking to belt it like Celine Dion.
6) Spa Day at Willow Stream Spa: The definition of ‘treat yoself’! The Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont, is one of the best spa experiences I’ve had in my entire life and I highly recommend you gift yourself a day at the spa this year.
7) Friend’s Xmas: Friends Xmas is kind of like a Friendsgiving, you gather all your friends who don’t have family in the city and host a dinner party of sorts. You can easily make it potluck style so everyone who attends brings their very own food dish.
8) Take a Photo with Santa: Because, you can! Remember when you were a kid and taking a photo with Santa was better than Christmas morning itself. Wear your best ugly Christmas sweater and take a selfie with mall Santa.
9) Travel Abroad: A pricier option but nonetheless one of the best. Escaping the rain and travelling across the world to learn about a new culture can shift your perspective. You will most likely come back to Vancouver feeling refreshed and ready to take on the new year.
10) Shopping Spree on Robson Street: You definitely need the Aritizia Super Puff jacket this season. It’s a piece of clothing that somehow still looks cool while closely resembling the Michelin Man. Robson Street has some great shops and even better deals come boxing day.
12) Get Outside: Vancouver is best known for it’s beautiful mountains and ocean views! If you’re looking for something a little strenuous, hike up the Grouse Grind, also known as “Mother Nature’s Star Master” and “The Bane of My Existence.” A great way to burn off the holiday feast. If torturing yourself on a 2.9km uphill grind isn’t your thing, you can take the gondola up to Grouse Mountain and try snowboarding or skiing!
13) Vancouver Christmas Market + Light Displays: Eat, drink and be merry at Jack Poole Plaza’s Annual Christmas Market 2018! The market is filled with little shops and hand-crafted gifties for last minute shoppers. If you want to avoid the crowds at the market, check out some of Vancouver’s best light displays!
14) Gingerbread House Competition: Get competitive this holiday season and host your very own gingerbread house building competition. Need inspo? Head over to Gingerbread Lane at the Hyatt Vancouver.
15) Bake Cookies and Gift Them to Neighbors: If you’re a baker like me, who loves to bake, but doesn’t want to eat two dozen cookies to yourself, spread some holiday cheer and gift them to your neighbors this year.
16) Send Christmas Cards: A classic tradition that seems to be fading all too quickly nowadays with e-cards. This year, take the time to sit down and write well wishes and season’s greetings to all your loved ones.
17) A DIY Crafting Night: Are you lacking some festive decor? How about invite some of your craftiest friends over for a fun filled night of DIY. A perfect time to bust out Justin Bieber’s Christmas album and hot chocolate and Baileys!
18) Bucket List for the New Year: Oh. My. Gosh…it’s 2019 in 13 days! Do you know what you’d like to accomplish in the year ahead? Now is a great time to write down some epic goals for the future.
19) Write a Short Story: Have a knack for writing? Write a short essay every Christmas and add to your collection annually to make a book of short stories.
20) Join POF: Why not check out what other singles are doing for the holidays in your area and sign up for Plenty of Fish!