Best 2022 Winter Activities in Nanaimo

If you missed our last post on 5 Activities To Try Around Nanaimo This Fall, it’s probably too late to go for a hayride through a pumpkin patch. But you’re just in time for another roundup of activities to add to your bucket list for winter. As a Nanaimo-based advertising agency, we’re embracing the change of season with our favorite local Nanaimo experiences. Read on to see what winter activities made our list.

Lace up your skates and try a glow-in-the-dark or a starlight skate.

While Nanaimo winters are relatively mild, it does get rainy. You can escape the rain with this popular indoor winter activity. The Frank Crane Arena offers glow in the dark skating the first Tuesday of every month where they dim lights around the rink, add special effects, and offer glow sticks for purchase. Or if you’re looking for something a little more magical, try a starlight skate at Nanaimo Ice Centre. Held once a month on Sunday afternoons, the arena is decorated with soft light stars and passive LEDs.

Catch a holiday show at Port Theatre.

With winter weather comes holiday specials. Port Theatre, Nanaimo’s local venue for performing arts, has a great lineup of holiday shows from now until the end of December. If you’re into symphonies, the Vancouver Island Symphony kicks the season off with Christmas Memories, a night of classic carols and songs. Kirkwood Academy Productions will perform Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker and the Yellowpoint Christmas Spectacular returns for their 14th annual performance filled with lights, dancing, and holiday magic. If you’re looking for something truly unique, check out A Wonderheads Christmas Carol. Featuring larger-than-life puppets and a reimagining of Charles Dickens’s famous story, this performance will captivate you from beginning to end.

Snag a unique gift at local winter markets.

Even though summer farmer’s markets are long gone for 2022, winter markets are here to carry us through the season. The Island Roots Market at Beban Park still offers farm-fresh products and features a winter lineup of local businesses with delicious treats and handmade gifts. The Nanaimo Art Gallery also expands its gift shop for a three-day Winter Weekend Market with unique gifts from local artists. If you find yourself at Woodgrove Centre, check out Woodgrove’s Winter Marketplace. In partnership with the Mom Market Vancouver Island, featuring local vendors, prizes, and Christmas cocktails/mocktails, you’ll be sure to find something unique for yourself or a loved one.

Get crafty and your local pub. 

Getting crafty isn’t just about drinking craft beers (although Nanaimo’s local breweries have great winter beers to try). You can have a pint and make holiday crafts too. Hosted by the Lost Arts Club, you can join a holiday craft night at Pipers Pub or Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighbourhood Pub. From felted holiday trees to macrame gnomes, and Christmas ornaments, be sure to check out their events calendar to join in the fun. If that’s not really your thing (but you still really like art), head downtown for Nanaimo’s Artwalk on the first weekend of December and drop by White Sails Brewing for a tasty craft beer instead.

Pick your own holiday tree from Gogo’s Christmas Tree Farm.

Since 1929, Gogo’s Christmas Tree Farm has been growing a wide variety of holiday trees for the surrounding community. You can visit the 162 hectares farm and tour their collection of Balsams, Noble Firs, Douglas Firs, Norway Spruces, and much more. If you find a tree you like, you’re welcome to grab a saw and take one home to decorate for the season.

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