British Columbia

It's Christmas Day ... now what? What's open on one of the quietest days of the year

With all the hustle required over the holidays to buy gifts and prepare food, some people get to Christmas Day and find themselves in a vacuum, with everything done and not much to do. But there is plenty to do if you feel like moving.

You could lie on the couch watching TV, but there are places to ski, skate and swim

Emma Peterson's cat Marley loves climbing into the Christmas tree to pass the time, but there are plenty of other things to do around B.C. on Christmas Day. (Emma Peterson)

With all the hustle required over the holidays to buy gifts and prepare food, some people get to Christmas Day and find themselves in a vacuum, with everything done and not much to do.

While some people may be happy to finally have a listless day, several businesses, restaurants, attractions and amenities around the province have regular hours.

There is plenty to do if you feel like moving.

On the Lower Mainland, all local ski hills — Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain and Mount Seymour — are open for skiing and other snow activities on Christmas Day as are many other mountains around the province such as Whistler Blackcomb, Big White and Sun Peaks.

If you are looking to go skating in Vancouver, Robson Square Ice Rink is open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m while Trout Lake Rink is open 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Hillcrest rink is open 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and the Kerrisdale Cyclone Taylor Arena  is open from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

In Kelowna, Stuart Park with its outdoor skating rink is open, although rentals are not available on Christmas Day. Check out images on this page from a live camera to see how busy the rink is.

The ice rink at Kelowna's Stuart Park is popular on Christmas day. (City of Kelowna)

In Surrey the Winter Ice Palace at the Cloverdale Ice Arena is open Christmas Day from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Some community centres are open in Vancouver on Christmas Day such as Trout Lake, Mt. Pleasant, Kerrisdale, and Champlain as are several fitness centres.

An honourable mention goes to Prince George's Caledonia Ramblers, which hosts an annual 5-kilometre snowshoe hike on Christmas Day up Pilot Mountain.


An unwritten tradition in Victoria is to jump on the Victoria Golf Course for free on Christmas Day.

Since the course is on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, there is rarely frost on the course, which is one of the nicest in all of B.C.

Check out the club's webcams to see how busy it is. 

All of Vancouver's three public golf courses are closed on Christmas Day.

Take the plunge at Hillcrest

Vancouver's Hillcrest Aquatic Centre is the only pool open in Vancouver on Christmas Day. It's open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and often the reason for numerous calls to Vancouver's 311 call centre on Christmas Day.

Victoria's Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre is closed on Christmas Day. The Commonwealth Pool in Saanich is also closed Christmas Day as are all indoor pools in Surrey.

Other fun stuff

Christmas at Canada Place in Vancouver is open on Christmas Day if you still need a nostalgic hit of the season.

And if you're out for a walk in downtown Vancouver, the St. Paul's Lights of Hope display on Burrard Street is worth checking out.

The Vancouver Aquarium is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Most movie theatres are open on Christmas Day, which some families visit as a holiday tradition.

Food, Drink, Shopping

While B.C. Liquor Stores are closed, many private liquor stores have hours on Christmas Day.

Whitespot's Kingsway locations at Knight Street and at Richmond Centre are open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and for the 18th consecutive year all tips from the two locations will go to local charities.

In Prince George, the White Goose Bistro holds a free Christmas Day lunch to host people who may be alone on Christmas Day, while in Tofino L'il Ronnie's Beachsdie BBQ is open for a Christmas Day dinner.

There are several other restaurants in Metro Vancouver and Victoria that open on Christmas Day for special holiday meals. The online restaurant-reservation service OpenTable has a listing.

Most Shoppers' Drug Mart locations are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. across the province. To see if your local store is open, check here.


Vancouver's city hall is closed from Dec. 25 until Jan. 1, when it will reopen at 8:30 a.m.

Other than its Winter Ice Palace, all other Surrey recreation facilities are closed on Christmas Day, as well as libraries, the transfer station, and the animal resource centre. City hall closes on Dec. 25 and reopens on Jan. 2, 2020.

In Victoria, as in most other major municipalities, police, fire, and emergency streets and utility services are on call 24/7.

Meanwhile, city hall, public works and maintenance yards are closed on Christmas Day. Parking downtown at on-street meters, and at City of Victoria parkades is free on Christmas Day.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.