Fairy lights twinkle in parks, ice skating becomes the thing to do after work and ski slopes are a short jaunt away. With all this activity going on, menus are adjusted to provide satisfying, warming food that goes down perfectly with a craft beer or a wine from Okanagan Valley.
Snowshoe and fondue
If you love snow, but not from a skier's point of view, there are other ways to celebrate the white stuff. A favourite is the Grouse Mountain snowshoe and fondue experience. It starts with a ride up to the peak of Grouse Mountain via scenic gondola, then rolls into a spectacular one-hour snowshoe tour, taking in some of the most picturesque winter landscapes and city views imaginable. To finish there's a three-course fondue dinner, enjoyed fireside at Altitudes Bistro in the cosy mountaintop chalet. À votre santé !
Winter is also when Vancouver turns on the lights, lots of lights. Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and the VanDusen Botanical Garden's Festival of Lights will captivate you with their magical sparkle. That's two of Vancouver's most beautiful landmarks turned into illuminated works of art.
Stop off for a free ice skating session at the Robson Square outdoor ice skating rink. It costs just a few dollars to rent skates.
Cheering on the Vancouver Canucks at a home game will win you points with the locals faster than anything else. The Canucks play their games at Roger's Arena, but you will need to play close attention to NHL game schedules to make sure you get your timing right.
Shopping and skating
Explore Vancouver's main shopping district in the heart of the city, along Robson Street, where you'll find North America's best known stores alongside independent boutiques, cafés and souvenir stops.
For more options amble into some of the areas nearby, such as Alberni and Granville streets. While you're there, why not take a little break from shopping and stop off for a free ice skating session at the Robson Square outdoor ice skating rink. It costs just a few dollars to rent skates.
Get a taste of the city
Dine Out Vancouver Festival, Canada's largest food and drink event, takes place in January and February each year. It's a 17-day smorgasbord of culinary events and experiences that involves hundreds of restaurants. Timing your holiday to catch this festival is a sure fire way to get a taste of the city.
If you need something to drink after all of that gastronomy, stick around for the Vancouver International Wine Festival. Running from late February to early March, it's one of the oldest and biggest wine events in the world. Wineries from 16 countries participate in this salute to the grape.