Beat the cold: stay warm and entertained with these winter activities in Nanaimo
While we’re certainly not heralded as snow destination, the Harbour City gets its fair share of cold weather. Luckily, there is an abundance of winter activities in Nanaimo to keep you busy and entertained during the more dreary months.

There are many benefits to travelling during the off-season. Reap the benefits of less crowded areas. Enjoy a stunning fog that rolls over the city and year-round hikes. The city’s weather is mild in comparison to other parts of Canada, but we still like to bundle up from time to time and hide away from the frost! Here are a few winter activities for your stay in #ExploreNanaimo.

Shop Local

Nanaimo’s downtown streets fan out from the center with windows to the storefront homes of some of the best local shopping you’ll find on the Island. The proud owners of these gems curate the best in everything from vintage finds to carefully crafted goods. Whether you’re looking for a souvenir or simply eyeing the artistry of local makers while strolling, both the downtown core and the Old City Quarter are must-stops on a chillier day. Just about every shopping complex in the city is home to a local vendor, so don’t discount these stops either! Simply bundle up, pop into each shop, and warm up with a smile from a Nanaimo vendor.

Learn more about shopping in Nanaimo

Take A Hike

A getaway to Nanaimo on a colder weekend can still be filled with outdoor adventure. Don’t be intimidated by the weather—rain, snow, fog or mist, all you need is the proper gear. Some of our favourite winter hikes are Westwood Lake, where the fog rolls over the water and the heavily treed path shields you from the rain; Ammonite Falls, where the falls rush heavily during the offseason; and the waterfront, where the cement path makes for an easy stroll along the harbour.
Learn more about outdoor adventure in Nanaimo

Wine & Dine

Who says your winter layers can’t come in the form of comfort food? From fine dining to late-night snacks, Nanaimo’s restaurants and take out joints will add a little heat to your travels. Some of our favourites include The Vault, where you can expect a heavenly pesto mac and cheese, and Javawocky, the waterfront café that serves up hot bevvies for your stroll around the city center. You could also opt to check off as many stops on the Nanaimo Bar Trail as your sweet tooth can handle. One thing’s for sure, many of the winter activities in Nanaimo indulge all your senses.
Learn more about the Nanaimo Bar Trail

Explore Local History

When it’s really cold, put the outside world on the back burner and set aside a few hours at a local museum. The Nanaimo Museum’s exhibits on town and regional history share stories of local heroes, early pioneers, and current artists. Just down the street, the Vancouver Island Military Museum has an impressive collection of artifacts from the past 200 years. Friendly volunteers will give you a tour and tell you the stories of the people who fought valiantly and contributed on the homefront.
Learn more about culture & museums in Nanaimo


Seek Indoor Adventures

There’s nothing wrong with having some indoor winter activities, and fortunately, Nanaimo has plenty of options to keep you busy! Reach new heights at the Romper Room climbing gym and the Airhouse sports facility, or try your hand at axe throwing at Axe & Grind downtown. Test your puzzle-solving skills in one of Nanaimo’s three escape room experiences.