If your New Year’s Eve was a little too wild then there’s no better way to shake off the hang over with a quick dip in the frigid waters of English Bay for the Polar Bear Swim. You’ll find yourself in good company - last year saw over 2,550 Vancouverites taking the plunge! The event begins at 2:30 in the afternoon, and you can register for the swim at the English Bay Bathhouse starting at 12:30. Be sure to show up in style because costumes are definitely encouraged.
You can drop by Hawksworth on New Year’s Eve for a special tasting menu, or pop in the next morning for a meal that you’ll be thinking about for the rest of the year. On New Year’s Day, Hawksworth Restaurant will be serving up their famous brunch, and it’s the only weekday of the year that you can get it. Enjoy a selection of brunch classics with a gourmet twist, like the Arnold Bennett Omelette with sablefish, asparagus, and gruyere, or try the Brioche French Toast.
Yaletown’s West Oak is offering up two different luxurious ways to dine on New Year’s Eve. If you’re just looking to grab a bite before heading elsewhere to party, then stop by early for their 6 p.m. a la carte menu. Of course, a place like West Oak is glamorous enough to spend the who night at, so come at 9 p.m. for a five-course menu and champagne at midnight.
Everyone loves pizza, which means Rocky Mountain Flatbread is the perfect place for the whole family to ring in the New Year. Their Kitsilano location will have entertainment provided by ventriloquist Kellie Haines and face painting from The Doodle Girls. At the Main St. location they’ll also have face painting, and some live music. And, of course, both locations will be serving up their delicious artisanal pizzas with a special design-your-own option for kids.
Location: Kitsilano - 1876 W 1st Ave, Vancouver BC; Main St. - 4186 Main Street, Vancouver BC
Price: Kitsilano (food included) - $22 per adult, $18 per child; Main - $6 cover charge
If you’re looking for a truly wild night, then heading to Wildebeest seems to be the obvious choice. This Gastown eatery will be serving up a five-course menu filled with one-time-only special features, and some of their most popular dishes from the past. You can check out the stunning gourmet menu and make reservations online. They’ll be open until 1 a.m. so you can countdown to the new year right there.
You don’t have to go far to find the most adventurous New Year’s Eve event – just catch the next gondola to the top of Grouse Mountain! The night will kick off with an hour of snowshoeing under the stars (with one of their guides, of course). You can warm up afterwards and regain some of your energy in their Altitudes Bistro with cheese, broth, and chocolate fondue. The Skyride gondola, snowshoe equipment rentals, and the fondue are all included in the ticket price.
Start your night in the heart of Gastown at trendy L’Abattoir. You can enjoy the night in two different ways: with cocktails and their standard menu in the main dining area, or with a special five course dinner in one of their private dining rooms. The set menu dinner includes a champagne cocktail and wine pairings, as well as an array of elegant and luxurious dishes. Be sure to make a reservation because seats at this exclusive dinner will go fast!
You can’t start the new year right without surrounding yourself with all of the people you love, and Family First Night at Mt. Seymour is the perfect place for kids and parents alike to celebrate. There’s no shortage of things to do: tubing, tobogganing, magic shows, and more. You can warm up with hot apple cider and s’mores, or embark on a forest chocolate fondue tour. And don’t worry about getting the kids home for bed! They’re throwing their New Year’s Eve countdown and fireworks spectacle at 9 p.m., so even the little ones can stay awake for the magic.
Location: Mt. Seymour
Price: $15 per person, $20 for Chocolate Fondue Tour
Blacktail Florist claims to be offering up the “unicorn of all New Year’s Eve Celebrations: a no-nonsense evening.” By no nonsense, they mean simple fun with delicious food. They’ll be serving their everyday dinner menu, as well as a special seven-course menu, complete with a glass of champagne at midnight. What no-nonsense doesn’t have to mean, however, is an early bedtime since their lounge will be open until 2 a.m.
Location: 200-332 Water Street, Gastown, Vancouver
Start off 2015 with a taste of old Italy at Nicli Antica Pizzeria. This is not your average pizza joint, and they’ll be making that abundantly clear with a five-course dinner that’ll transport you right across the world and a Prosecco cocktail to wash it down. There will be three seatings, each beginning at a different time and lasting two hours (except for the last one, which has the restaurant to ring in midnight). Buy your tickets in advance to make sure you get a spot.
Celebrate night and day - kick off 2015 with one of these fun-filled New Year's events
Whether you’re looking for glitz and glamour or wholesome family fun, Vancouver is full of places to start off the new year exactly how you’d like. There are restaurants pulling out all the stops with their culinary creations, once-a-year events and even outdoor activities. What they all have in common is that they’re sure to make your last moments of 2014, and your first of 2015, truly special.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Kirsty is currently studying Creative Writing at the University of Victoria. When she’s not studying (which is more often than it should be), she can be found discovering new music or planning her next trip.