Given the size of Canada, it's no wonder that there are significant climate differences across the country. If you know what it's like Montreal in the winter, don't expect the same conditions in Vancouver. February can be a wet month in the city but the good news is that it brings snow to the nearby North Shore mountains and the ski slopes will be in full swing.
Rainy days in the city can inspire a visit to one of the many museums and galleries in the city, or couples can cuddle up over a romantic dinner in time for Valentine's Day. Hotels are generally quieter outside of the February 14 weekend and Family Day, which is the second Monday in February.
Vancouver Weather in February
Vancouver weather in February is warming up - and especially mild compared to the rest of Canada. You may even see some early blossoms. February continues to have a fair amount of precipitation, so be sure to dress for the weather. The average rainfall in February is 5.23 inches (13.28 cm) so an umbrella is advisable.
Be prepared for rain on any given day in Vancouver in February, but don't let the rain discourage you - there's plenty to do in Vancouver on a rainy day.
You don't have to contend with snow in Vancouver. It rarely snows. Rain? Now, that's another story. Though snow is rare in Vancouver, the surrounding region is bursting with snow. Whistler / Blackcomb is two hours away, but much closer are Grouse Mountain and Cypress Ski Resort. February ski conditions, especially in Whistler are pretty reliably great.
Towards the end of February, tulips will be poking through the ground and other signs of spring. Average temperatures in February are a high of 7ºC / 45ºF and a February average low of 1ºC / 34ºF.
What to Pack
Pack layers! Warm, waterproof clothing is essential, so make sure you bring sweaters, hoodies, light jackets, and a heavier jacket. If you're visiting any mountain attractions then you'll want to wrap up warm, so pack a hat, scarf, mittens or gloves. Closed-toe shoes and waterproof boots or other footwear are a good idea and an umbrella is absolutely essential at this time of the year. Be optimistic and throw in some sunglasses - especially if you're planning on hitting the slopes as you may get a perfect bluebird day.
February Events in Vancouver
Despite February rain, there's plenty of things to do in Vancouver on a rainy day. If you're planning to ski or hit other attractions, February can be busy, especially on Presidents' Day and Family Day, which is celebrated on different days in B.C. and in the rest of the country but means busy slopes on both weekends. In addition, Canadian universities often have their reading week break towards the end of the month. Major events in February include:
- Dine Out Vancouver, end of January / February: Participating restaurants offer special three-course dinner menus, giving visitors a chance to sample the best of local cuisine at an exceptional price.
- PuSh International Performing Arts Festival: Each January / February, the Festival showcases contemporary work that is visionary, genre-bending, and original.
- Do something for Valentine's Day
- Hot Chocolate Festival
- Ice Skate at Robson Square
- The second Monday of February is Family Day in BC
- Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden offers a host of Chinese New Year celebrations.
- Chinese New Year parade, Held on the first Sunday of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Vancouver's Chinatown.
- Talking Stick Festival, a celebration of Aboriginal performance and art.
- Chutzpah Festival, an International showcase of Jewish performing arts.
Of course, Valentine's Day is on February 14 and there are plenty of romantic ways to spend your vacation in Vancouver.
Hotels to suit a wide range of budgets are available by the thousands in Metro Vancouver. The downtown core offers most of the major hotel chains. February is not as busy as the summer months, but booking ahead is smart, especially on weekend of Family Day or Valentine's Day weekend - here are the Best Romantic Hotels in Vancouver to get you started.
A great option for families is Rosellen Suites, which is beside Stanley Park and has apartment-style accommodation, with an eat-in kitchen. There is no pool but guests receive a free pass to the Vancouver Aquatic Centre.