With cooler temperatures settling across the region, it’s tempting to stay indoors and nibble on the last of the holiday leftovers. But the best way to tackle your Christmas over-indulgence is to dress warmly and stretch your legs with a few off-the-couch excursions.

Chinese New Year at Aberdeen Centre - Photo: Tourism Richmond
Celebrate Chinese New Year in Richmond. | Photo: Tourism Richmond

Luckily, there’s a diverse array of activities happening in Richmond this January, ranging from outdoor walks to indoor ice-skating to a full menu of Chinese New Year festivities to welcome in the Year of the Rat.

Winter Wonderland Skating at Minoru Arenas

Daily until January 5
Regular admission rates apply

The perfect way to extend the magic of the festive season for a little while longer, this all-ages activity is ideal for those who love nothing better than ice skating in winter. Luckily it’s indoors and the venue is fully decorated for the holidays, with sparkling Christmas trees, plenty of twinkling lights, and real snow banks to make you feel like you’re zipping across a lake in an ice-draped wonderland. Best of all, your skate is accompanied by a soundtrack of holiday music to keep you in the Yuletide mood.

Walk Richmond at King George Park

January 4 (10:00am to 11:00am)
Free

If it’s time to walk-off that humungous turkey belly, drop in (there’s no need to register) and join Walk Richmond for the first of three January strolls in the city. Meeting at the Cambie Community Centre’s main entrance, you’ll walk at your own pace through this 30-acre East Richmond park, while visions of roasted potatoes and mince pies dissolve before your eyes (just kidding). Keen to continue your fitness drive? There’s also a January 11 Garry Point Park-to-West Dyke walk and a January 25 Minoru Park walk—plus additional strolls at least twice a month for the rest of the year.

Herring Sale at Garry Point Park

January 11 (8:00am to 3:30pm)
Free admission

Forget all about turkey—and support a great cause at the same time—by joining this tasty fundraiser for ACT (Autism Community Training). Head to the parking area in Steveston’s Garry Point Park and pick-up an order of locally-caught herring at a bargain price: $12 buys you to 10lbs (4.5kg) and $20 buys you 20lbs (9kg). Last year, this volunteer-driven initiative sold over 20,000lbs (9,000kg) of fish. And don't worry about carrying your catch to your car: the friendly volunteers will even do that for you, which means there’s no excuse for not buying as much as possible while you’re there!

Chinese New Year Market Place at Bodhi Meditation

January 18 & 19 (11:00am to 4:00pm)
Free

Richmond’s Bodhi Meditation is hosting a two-day market to celebrate the incoming Chinese New Year. Expect a colourful, festive atmosphere with multicultural performances, delicious vegetarian food, and even a traditional teahouse. A family-friendly event, there will also be children’s activities, a photography studio, and those all-important oracle readings so you can find out what the year ahead might bring. While you’re here, why not learn about the centre’s meditation program—complete with free drop-in classes for newbies.

Chinese New Year Flower and Gift Fair at Aberdeen Centre

January 18 to 26 (11:00am to 9:00pm), extended hours on January 24
Free

Chinese New Year is on January 25 in 2020, but the festivities kick off early at Aberdeen Centre with this colourful annual Flower and Gift Fair—now in its 31st year. A red-and-gold-hued New Year bazaar with dozens of stalls selling everything from fragrant flowers and symbolic fruits to shiny toys and shimmering decorations—not to mention traditional snacks and treats that symbolize the special season—it’s a cultural spectacle that locals and visitors love to check out. And be sure to make a return visit on the big day for Aberdeen Centre’s high-energy January 25 Golden Dragon and Lion Dance ceremony.

Aberdeen Centre's Flower & Gift Fair - Photo: Aberdeen Centre
Don't miss the Chinese New Year Flower and Gift Fair at Aberdeen Centre. | Photo: Aberdeen Centre

Chinese New Year Countdown at the International Buddhist Temple

January 24 (10:00pm to midnight)
Free

One of Richmond’s most evocative cultural attractions, the tile-topped walls and elaborate pavilions of this grand temple complex provide the perfect setting for an immersive Countdown to the Chinese New Year. Expect festive crowds, plenty of colourful decorations, and an ambiance suffused with the aroma of fragrant incense. Consider visiting after the sun has gone down: the temple site will be glowing in the dark as the excitement builds towards the evening’s ceremonial countdown—from 10:30pm to midnight, it’s especially exciting.

International Buddhist Temple
The International Buddhist Temple is hosting a New Year countdown celebration. | Photo: John Lee

Lunar New Year Celebration at CF Richmond Centre

January 26 (11:00am to 2:00pm)
Free

The Year of the Rat will also be joyously inaugurated over at CF Richmond Centre, where visitors will be beelining straight to the mall’s glass-ceilinged Main Atrium. There, they’ll find colourful, kinetic performances from the God of Fortune and his sinuous Lions Dancers. But that’s not all: an important part of the ceremony, the extravagantly eye-lashed lion will also sashay through the complex blessing businesses en route—expect the lettuce leaves to fly.

Macarons Class at Sinfully the Best

January 26 (1:00pm to 3:30pm)
$75

If you didn’t make quite enough treats to cover all the parties you were hosting over the holidays, why not add another string to your culinary bow via this engaging class at Steveston’s Sinfully the Best? The fun, hands-on workshop will furnish you with everything you need to know to make deliciously delicate chocolate, blackberry, and passion fruit macarons. Can’t make January 26? There are plenty of additional workshops coming up as well. Book your spot now!