Vancouver in December Weather and Event Guide

Vancouver skyline with mountains
Photography by Harry Traeger / Getty Images


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December Weather in Vancouver

Vancouver tends to have more predictable weather than many other parts of Canada.  Temperatures are milder and rain is plentiful. If it isn't smack gob gorgeous out, it's probably grey and damp.

Snowfall is rare in winter, with rain being the norm - especially in November and December, Vancouver's rainiest months. Surprise snowstorms are extremely rare, and, overall, the amount of snowfall has been dwindling in Vancouver and the lower BC mainland.

(Remember when crews had to transport snow in for the 2010 Winter Olympics?)

Christmas Day stands about a 10% chance of being white with snow. 

  • Average December temperature: 3ºC / 37ºF
  • December average high: 7ºC / 45ºF
  • December average low: 1ºC / 34ºF

Be prepared for rain on any given day in Vancouver in December; but don't let the rain discourage you - there's plenty to do in Vancouver on a rainy day.

What to Pack for Vancouver in December:

  • Warm, waterproof clothing; sweaters, hoodies, light jackets, heavier jacket
  • Closed-toe shoes; boots
  • Gloves, hat
  • Umbrella

Vancouver in December Perks:

Vancouver in December Cons:

  • Rain

Good to Know about Vancouver in December:

  • December 26 is not a statutory holiday in Vancouver or British Columbia; however, many people take holidays at this time. December 26, or Boxing Day, is the day when stores offer the biggest sales of the year. See more about shopping in Vancouver.

Vancouver in December Highlights:

  • Christmas at Canada Place , mid-December: Located outdoors on the West Promenade of Canada Place: highlights include giant Gingerbread Men, our 35-foot high Christmas Tree, animated Woodward’s Window characters, Dickens carolers and Santa Claus himself. Arts & crafts and letter-writing to Santa available for the kids.
  • Bright Nights in Stanley Park, December to January: Nights of magic and illumination in the middle of wondrous Stanley Park. Ride a train through the enchanted, illuminated woods past Santa's workshop.
  • Winter Solstice Lantern Festival, some time between December 20 and December 23: A celebration of Dong zhi at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.
  • Christmas Carol Ship Parade, beginning of December to before Christmas: Peak evenings see more than 80 ships decked out in festive lights cruise around the waters of Vancouver Harbour.
  • Festival of Lights, mid to end of December: The Festival of Lights creates a wonderland illuminated by more than 1.4 million lights spread over 15 acres of the VanDusen Botanical Gardens.