If you missed our last post on 5 Must-Try Activities 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 things to do in Nanaimo, BC, 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 skating.
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 on 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. You can find more details in Nanaimo’s Winter Activity Guide.
Catch a holiday show and tour a holiday light display.
With winter weather comes holiday specials and events. Port Theatre, Nanaimo’s local venue for performing arts, has a great lineup of holiday shows from now until the end of December. From the 15th annual Yellow Point Christmas Spectacular to Malaspina Choir’s The Really Big Sing-Along Messiah, you and your loved ones are guaranteed a celebration of music, dance, and decorations to get you in the holiday spirit. Looking to spend some time outdoors? Check out Milner Gardens & Woodlands Christmas Magic 2023. Featuring thousands of twinkling lights and festive window displays, you can grab a hot cup of cocoa and put on a pair of holographic lenses (available on-site) that magically transform Christmas lights into figures.
Snag a unique gift at local winter markets.
Even though summer farmer’s markets are long gone for 2023, 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 their gift shop for a three-day Winter Weekend Market with unique gifts from local artists. If you find yourself at Nanaimo North Town Centre, check out The Holiday Market. In partnership with the Mom Market Vancouver Island, featuring local vendors, prizes, and food trucks, 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 Wolf Brewing Company. From felted gnomes to sea glass Christmas trees, 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 brew 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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