Vancouver’s Winter Festivities to Enjoy With Your Dog

Vancouver’s Winter Festivities to Enjoy With Your Dog


Fur-la-la-la… ‘Tis the season to be jolly, rolling in the snow and making doggy snow angels. 


Yes, it’s true most lucky dogs of Vancouver will get to experience and enjoy fresh powder right at their front doors. 


As pet parents, what better feeling can you experience like this in the winter season?


In fact, once you’ve seen the slightest bit of excitement from your canine, you might already be racking your brain to see where else you can take them to experience Christmas.


Therefore to save you time asking your friends and browsing for hours online, we’ve come up with 9 top suggestions where you and your entire fur family can enjoy and create memories this winter season. 



Vancouver Winter Farmer’s Market at Nat Bailey Stadium

  • What: Local produce, gourmet and artisan gifts, all local! Fuel up on tasty noshes from Vancouver’s unique food trucks on site.
  • Where: 4601 Ontario St, in the parking lot of Nat Bailey Stadium, adjacent to Hillcrest Centre.
  • When: Saturdays 10 am – 2 pm (except Dec 24 & 31)
  • Bark tip: Howlellujah, dogs welcome! On short leash and under control, keeping away from stalls as not to disturb vendor business. Marketspace is cozy, and parking can be dicey, but Riley Park is a neighborhood blessed with lots of green space. Take a breather around Hillcrest Park or cross the street and head to Queen Elizabeth Park. At the end of the day, stop by Three Dog Bakery (4348 Main St) for a special treat.


Vancouver Winter Farmer’s Market at Hastings Park

  • What: Like its sibling at Nat Bailey, but with a bit more foot room for your dog to roam.
  • Where: Hastings Park – Centre grounds
  • When: Sundays 10 am – 2 pm (except Dec 25 & Jan 1)
  • Bark tip: Get your weekly grocery shopping and holiday gifting done with your dog by your side. The ideal Vancouver life!


Cannery Farmer’s Market in Steveston, Richmond

  • What: deliciously local! The Steveston Festival of Trees is also taking place inside the cannery, showcasing uniquely decorated trees by local groups and merchants.
  • Where: 12138 Fourth Avenue, Richmond, at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site
  • When: Sundays (December 4, 11, 18, January 29, 10 am to 3 pm) Tree display is daily 10 am to 5 pm; Dec. 24 & 31 Open 10 am to 2 pm; closed Dec. 25 & 26, Jan. 1
  • Bark tip: While the indoor festivities are reserved for humans, your dog will love the walk around Garry Point Park. Unleash your inner athlete by challenging the West dyke trail on foot or bike with your dog on a leash.


Photo with Santa at Pet Food and More

  • What: Who’s Santa’s lapdog? Naughty or nice, get your photos taken and earn dog karma points with donations benefiting Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind.
  • Where: Pet Food and More stores around the Greater Vancouver Area
  • When: follow Santa’s paw prints and catch him here.


Christmas in Kerrisdale

  • What: Your family will be charmed by the relaxing and unique atmosphere of Kerrisdale. Yes, it’s got Starbucks and McDonald’s and Gap, but you are more likely to find hidden treasures in the various thrift stores and character shops. Kids can enjoy horse carriage rides on Saturdays. Your dog will love you if you guys check out Quichena dog park nearby and walk the newly paved Arbutus Greenway Trail (work in progress, but one day will take you from False Creek down to Fraser River!)
  • Where: Kerrisdale, Vancouver
  • When: Dec 3rd, 2016 to Dec 23rd; 12 pm – 4 pm
  • Bark Notes: Be sure to grab a bite before you leave; you will not be disappointed, and let’s not forget your fur kid – check out True Carnivores at W. Blvd and 44th!


McArthur Glenn Outlet Mall

  • What: For the fashion-conscious and deal lovers, no more kissing your dog goodbye as you head out to find the best deals. This outdoor shopping mall is complete with a children’s playground and walking paths that welcome canine chaperones. You can also drop off the shopaholics in your family and head to McDonald dog beach or Iona park just minutes away from the mall- both are fantastic dog heavens and a sanctuary from the material, motorized world!
  • Where: 7899 Templeton Station Rd #1000, Richmond (Canada line Templeton station if you want to take public transit)
  • When: Monday – Saturday 10 am – 9 pm; Sunday and Holidays 10 am – 7 pm
  • Bark Notes: Straight from their website:


“Pet Friendly – We love our pets too; McArthurGlen Vancouver is happy to welcome dogs to the Designer Outlet. Be sure to clean up after your dog and keep them on a leash at all times. Dog entry into individual stores is at the discretion of the retailer. We apologize for any inconvenience!”


Carol Ship Parade of Lights (Click for shore-front viewing guide)

  • What: Bring your binoculars and head down to the sea wall to see the Carol Ships and their holiday themed decorations. Alternatively, book yourself a dinner cruise or, even better, commission a private charter for your friends and family, which can include Fido on board! (For public cruise, check-in with management as it is case by case.)
  • Where: From North Vancouver through English Bay to False Creek, pick your point!
  • When: Dec 2 to Dec 23.
  • Bark Notes: The false Creek area is magical during winter time! Following the seawall, be sure to stop by Granville Island and the Olympic Village area. Even though the market and the Enchant light maze under Cambie Bridge are off-limits to dogs, the surrounding area is dog friendly. Catch some warmth bypassing the many heated outdoor patios of restaurants (some dog-friendly) all the way to Yaletown and beyond.

Bright Nights at Stanley Park

  • What: Three million twinkling lights, operated and installed by eight hundred firefighters, eight thousand hours hard work, with proceeds benefiting burn victims. Needless to say, touring Bright Nights should be a rite of passage for all Vancouverites, 4-legged ones included. Many holiday festivities to be enjoyed at the Plaza, including a photo op with Santa!
  • Where: Miniature railway area at Stanley Park, Vancouver
  • When: Daily until Jan 1. Click the link above for hours.
  • Bark Notes: While dogs are not allowed on the train rides, they are welcomed in the park grounds. Sip hot chocolate and toss a few freshly buttered popcorn for fido while the food police in your family is too busy looking at the lights.


Canyon Lights

  • What: Adventure by day, enchantment by night. The suspension bridge, Treetop Adventure, Cliff Walk, the rain forest, and canyon are transformed by lights into winter wonderland. Find the world’s tallest living Christmas tree and check out the fireflies- the coolest interactive light display. Kindle a wave of tiny “fireflies” with the magical flashlight and dazzle your dog! More holiday fun and music to be enjoyed at the Winter Pavilion. This is worth the traffic nightmare crossing Lion’s Gate!
  • Where: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, 3735 Capilano Rd., North Van
  • When: Daily 11 am – 9 pm, holiday activities start at 4 pm and run until Jan 8th.
  • Bark Notes: Dogs are welcomed! (Leashed for their own safety) Paws up to our friends at the Capilano Bridge!


Where are dogs allowed in Vancouver?

If you’re a new pet owner or just want more options of where to take your pupper in Vancouver, then you’ll be please to know that this city is incredibly pet friendly. If you’re thinking to yourself, what can I do with my dog in Vancouver? Then don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 


 For starters, there’s a wide variety of dog friendly parks to let your canine exercise while you walk around and warm up with a nice cup of coffee. 


Some of the best dog parks include Andy Livingstone Park, New Brighton Park, Charleston Park, New Brighton Park, Pandora Park, King Crest Park, Fraser Park, and more. In addition to this, there’s also dog friendly dining places like Yolks restaurant, Caffe Roma, The Reef Restaurant, and Reunion Island Coffee Shops. 


Moreover, if you wish to take your canine and chill on a patio under an electric outdoor heater, then you might want to check out The Wicklow Pub, Mahony & Sons False Creek, Tap & Barrel, and Bridges Restaurant.


Final thoughts

Regardless of where you choose to visit in Vancouver, remember that your dog is the safest at the end of your leash. While this epic city might boast a lot of pet friendly venues, as a dog owner, it’s important that you make sure your dog is on its best behavior at all times. 


After all, dogs can easily become distracted by large crowds, other animals, and loud music. Moreover, since your dog can’t speak, you have to be extra attentive to notice when they’re stressed. 


Typical signs of a dog being stressed include cowering, tucking their tail, shaking, or even more discrete signs. Try and look out for small signs like yawning, avoiding eye contact, licking lips, and lifting paws off the ground. 


These signs just mentioned are clear tell tale signs that your dog might be uncomfortable and stressed. Therefore, if you notice your dog doing this, be wary of the places you take them this winter season!




What dogs are banned in British Columbia?

If you’re a dog owner in BC or Vancouver, then you don’t really need to worry; British Columbia has not banned any dog breed. On the contrary, though, if your dog is unmuzzled and aggressive, you could be fined up to $500. 


Where are dogs allowed in Vancouver?

There’s a lot of places you can take your dog to in Vancouver! In fact, you can take your dog to most of the parks as long as they’re kept on a dog leash and unless they’re in a designated off leash area.


Are dogs allowed on Skytrain Vancouver?

If you don’t have a car, traveling with a dog in Vancouver may seem like a difficult or expensive task in a taxi, but sometimes it needs to be done. Fear not, the Skytrain does allow a range of pets, including dogs, to travel on journeys. 


However, if you plan on taking your dog on the sky train, you must make sure they’re in a close handheld cage, and the cage sits on your lap or on the floor. Do note if your dog’s cage is situated on another seat or a table, you could face a penalty charge. 


Are dogs allowed on patios in Vancouver?

Dogs being allowed on patios in Vancouver can be somewhat of a questionable subject. If you want to go into technical details, the city does not really allow many dogs or pets on patios when food is served. This is mainly due to health regulations.


On the contrary, though, these patios often have a lot of space where you can easily tie your dog up while you eat. Some places even provide water, treats, and food for your dogs while you dine. 


Is Capilano Bridge pet friendly?

If you want to visit Capilano Bridge with your pupper, then that’s fine to do so. But, there is a condition, your dog must be on a leash while it’s in the park. Note that it’s forbidden to take your dog in the Raptors Ridge area, Cliff House Restaurant, and the gift store. 


Are dogs allowed in Vancouver restaurants?

Dogs being in Vancouver restaurants can be a controversial topic. Part of this reason is that a provincial law stops dogs from being in places where food is prepared and served. This means that some restaurants can technically refuse to stop dogs dining there, but there are a lot of restaurants that don’t abide by this rule and do allow dogs.

Looking for some fun games to play with your dog? Click here.


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