Welcome 2016 in this waterfront city without denting your wallet. Our list of admission-free things to do.
It's a challenge finding ways to ring in the New Year without spending money. But don't despair, because it is possible in Vancouver. Here are several free activities that will ensure you don't miss out when it comes to celebrating this New Year's Eve.
Take part in a Vancouver tradition by lacing up for ice skating at the Robson Square Ice Rink, which is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on New Year's Eve. It's free if you bring your own skates; otherwise, rental skates and ice cleats are available for a small fee. You can glide under a big skylight dome and take snack breaks at the concession stand on site.
Whistler, a famed mountain resort town about an hour-and-a-half drive from Vancouver, will put on its Fire and Ice show on New Year's Eve, and you don't need a ticket to catch it. Normally performed on Sunday nights during winter, the special New Year's Eve show at Skiers Plaza will feature the mountain town's best skiers and snowboarders performing acrobatic moves through a ring of fire. Fire spinners and a DJ will complement the main attraction. Plus, a fireworks show will go off at midnight.
There's a lot of anticipation this year about NYE Vancouver, a new annual tradition for the city that kicks off December 31 at 6 p.m. It will be the only waterfront New Year's Eve celebration downtown, with the scene of the action at Canada Place Way. The festivities will include live music and food trucks. If you'd like to ring in the new year early with your kids, there will be a short fireworks display at 9 p.m. to coincide with the midnight countdown on the East Coast. The full-on fireworks show at midnight will be launched from a barge in Coal Harbour, synchronized to music.
Aileen Torres-Bennett covers the Vancouver beat for Travel + Leisure. Follow her blog at: abttorres.wordpress.com.