Dec Free Events, 2015

to Jan 3  Festival of Trees, Four Seasons Hotel, downtown Vancouver.  Open 24 hrs.  Whimsical Xmas trees located in the lobby of the hotel and downstairs.  Usually overflow into Pacific Centre Mall section facing entry into Four Seasons.
Nov 21 – Jan 1 Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby

Free admission, $2.55 carousel rides. Illuminated displays all over the village, theatre and marionette performances, live music, crafts, storytelling, baking, visits with Father Christmas, and Twelve Days of Christmas Scavenger Hunt!  Closed Dec 24/25.

Nov 26 – Jan 2 Bright Lights at Stanley Park  3-10 pm, closed Dec 25.  By Miniature Train Ride.  Admission by donation to the Fire Fighters Burn Fund.
Nov 28 – Dec 19 Dundarave Festival of Lights, West Vancouver. Four Saturdays of free concerts: noon to dusk. Nov. 28–Christmas Fair; Dec 5–Dundarave Nativity and Paddle Songs; Dec 12–World Christmas: Dec 19–Christmas Wassail and Bonfire Night.

Dec 1 – Feb 28, 2016, Free Ice Skating at Robson Square Bring own skates or rentals $4. For hours:
Dec 3 Yule Duel, Water Street, Gastown, 6-9pm.  Choirs across Vancouver have a sing off to benefit May’s Place, a Downtown Eastside Hospice.
Dec 3 – 23 Carol Ships Parade of Lights  More than 80 Vancouver boats decorate themselves with twinkling lights and parade around the waterfront, accompanied by live or pre-recorded Christmas carols.  Free to watch the parade.  If you want to be on a carol ship, book now!!  Check out site for best shoreside viewing nights:
Dec 4, Fri, 29th Annual CBC Open House & Food Bank Day 8am-5pm, 700 Hamilton Street, Vancouver. Tour the facilities and see how CBC makes radio, TV, and digital programming. (Rats!  I have to work!)
DecIDF Diabetes Open Day, Vancouver Convention Centre, 1055 Canada Place, 1:30-6pm.  For the 1st time, the International Diabetes Federation is opening the last day of the World Diabetes Congress to the public.
Dec 4 – 27 Hyatt Hotel’s 25th Annual Gingerbread Lane. More than 30 gingerbread creations in the lobby of Hyatt, 655 Burrard. Open 24 hrs.
Dec 5, Sat, Santa Claus Parade & Tree Lighting; 11:00AM-4:00PM @ Columbia St, downtown New Westminster. Food donation to New Westminster Food Bank appreciated. Photos with Santa, arts and crafts, story time, live entertainment, Royal City Farmers Holiday Market, and tree lighting ceremony at Hyack Square at 4PM!
DecVanArts 20th Anniversary Open House, 1-4 pm, 570 Dunsmuir St., Vancouver.  Vancouver Institute of Media Arts is ranked #1 in Western Canada and 11th in the world for animation, gaming, and design.  Freeregistration:
Dec 5, Christmas Festival, 5-8pm The Shipyards (At the Foot of Lonsdale), Wallace Mews Road, North Vancouver. Ornament and lantern making, gingerbread decorating, Santa, Christmas sing-a-long, 6pm lighting of Xmas tree, ~7:30-8:30pm viewing of passing carol ships, etc.
Dec 6, Sun, Vancouver Santa Claus Parade, 1:00pm Family festivities begin at 10:30am at square in front of Vancouver Art Gallery.  1.8 kilometre parade route starts at Georgia and Broughton, travels east on Georgia to Howe, turns south on Howe, and finishes at Howe and Davie. Then join Santa at the Robson Square Ice Rink.
Dec 6, Sun, Surrey Santa Claus Parade Starts at 5:00pm. Everyone is encouraged to bring either a non-perishable food item or a children’s toy that will get picked up by one of the members of the Surrey Food Bank and the Surrey Christmas Bureau.
Dec 6  Christmas at Burnaby Lake Nature House, 11am-2pm 4519 Piper Avenue (off Winston Street), Burnaby.  Learn about Burnaby Lake and its history, go for a guided wildlife/winter tour along forested trails, and enjoy complimentary refreshments.
Dec 8 – 16 Read Me a Story Exhibition, Roundhouse Community Centre, 183 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver, 10am-2pm? Multicultural showcase of 1,200 folktales and fairy tales from 120 countries “with gigantic murals illustrating timeless folktales” comes to Vancouver:
Dec 11 – 12 Lumière Festival, West End, Vancouver 4:30-8:30pm  Festival of Lights.
Dec 12  Old-fashioned Christmas at the Historic Stewart Farm, noon-4pm, 13723 Crescent Rd., Surrey.  Admission by donation.
Dec 12 – 30 Christmas at Canada Place Noon to 6pm. Closed Dec 24-25
Dec 13  Annual Faraday Science Show (Physics in Movies and Reality!), 2-3:30pm UBC Hebb Theatre, 2045 East Mall, Vancouver.  Dept of Physics and Astronomy’s staff and students present this science show for children of all ages!! Bring donation for Food Bank.
Dec 19 Guided Birding Walks at Hawthorne Rotary Park, 9am-11pm, 10503 – 144 Street, Surrey.  Meet in the playground parking lot north of 104A Avenue. Wear boots.  Rain or shine.
Dec 31 New Year’s Eve Vancouver, 6pm-midnight. Canada Place Way between Howe and Burrard Streets. “…free musical entertainment on the Main Stage, sponsor exhibitions, food trucks, live on-site broadcasts, and a midnight countdown with spectacular fireworks over Coal Harbour…Families with children can celebrate Early Eve at the 102.7 The Peak Stage, which includes a short burst of fireworks from the offshore barge in the middle of Coal Harbour beginning at 9 p.m.” to coincide with the East Coast midnight countdown.
Jan 1 Polar Bear Swims
Metro Vancouver Christmas Markets and Holiday Craft Fairs Free and paid admission.
Free Geek Vancouver: Open Help Night, Wednesdays, 6-9pm. 1820 Pandora St, Vancouver.  Freedrop-in tech-support workshops…Entry via back door. Indoor bike parking. ..Assistance by donation” 
Other:   VPL, SFU, UBC, Langara College, Emily Carr University, Vancouver Board of Education, etc. have jointly created a new online site for free learning events