Still racing to put together those last-minute New Year’s Eve plans? Maybe you’re seeking a spot to extend your holiday a couple extra days? Or perhaps you need to block off a few days to decompress from the holiday hustle and bustle?

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Whether you’re in search of a family getaway, a change of scenery for some remote working, a NYE weekend date escape or some much-needed solo serenity, Victoria’s vibe delivers on revitalizing the soul this time of year. To help kick off 2023 right, we rounded up 9 things to do in Victoria this January.

1. Embark on a Winter Wellness Getaway 

Credit: @oakbaybeachhotel

Melt away the winter blues and unwind after a hectic holiday season with a quick getaway to Victoria and a stay in some luxe lodging with great deals throughout the early season of 2023!

After a 2-hour and 45-minute ride into in the heart of BC’s capital, check into one of our favorite spa forward hotels – the Parkside Hotel and Spa, the stunning Oak Bay Beach Hotel or the iconic Fairmont Empress – for two nights of pure bliss. It’s hard to imagine a better way to start the new year!

2. New Year’s Eve at Hotel Grand Pacific – December 31 / January 1

Spend the last evening of 2022 at Hotel Grand Pacific for what’s sure to be a fabulous evening of gourmet appetizers, divine wines, live entertainment and champagne toasts. Don’t forget to wear your dancing shoes, as partygoers will be treated to the musical stylings of local crooners Mostly Motown, accompanied this year by a 7-piece band as well as a DJ. With lively music, fine wine and carefully crafted small bites, we can’t think of a better way to say “Happy New Year!”  Book this hotel with FRS Clipper, learn more.

3. New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim – January 1

Credit: @PeninsulaCelebrations

Frigophobia (noun) – a phobia pertaining to the fear of becoming too cold. For those without this affliction, head over to Glass Beach for Victoria’s annual Polar Bear Swim. At noon, gutsy swimmers brave the water in a feat of true Northwest resilience. Just watching them makes us shiver!

4. Victoria Symphony New Year’s Day Celebration – January 1

Credit: @vicsymphony

If you’re looking for something less extreme but equally entertaining, start the year off with an afternoon of music as effervescent as the previous night’s champagne at the Victoria Symphony’s New Year’s Day Celebration at the Royal Theatre. At the direction of conductor Giuseppe Pietraroia, you can also expect some all-star guests to drop by and perform highlights from favorite operas, operettas and musicals, making this event the perfect way to ring in the new year with utter elegance.

5. Holiday Events at The Fairmont Empress – Now – January 2

Credit: @fairmontempress

If you’re searching for a festive season enrobed in classic glamour, no one strikes that tone quite like The Fairmont Empress. Join the historic hotel for an array of wintry events that are sure to become long-standing traditions!

Want to start the new year feeling like royal-tea? Add an extra dash of class to your traditional Afternoon Tea with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, paired with a special seasonal spread of finger foods and classic desserts.

Or if a flashy night out is more your speed, you may prefer to dance in the new year at the Fairmont’s annual black-tie Gala bash. Don your best black tie duds, grab an impeccably-made cocktail, and twirl the night away in the hotel’s iconic Crystal Ballroom. It’s sure to be a New Year’s Eve you won’t soon forget!  Book this hotel with FRS Clipper, learn more.

6. Speakeasy Featuring the Flying Saucers – January 10

Credit: @tourismvictoriabc

Cozy into the Victoria Events Centre for a swingin’ evening of live jazz, vintage vibes, and Prohibition-Era cocktails at their ongoing speakeasy series. Plan your visit for January 10th to catch the musical stylings of local swing, ragtime, and blues band The Flying Saucers.

7. Spring Prelude at The Butchart Gardens – Jan 15 – March 17

Credit: @thebutchartgardens

Itchin’ for spring to start? Head over to The Butchart Gardens to get your floral fix. During their Spring Prelude display, you can stroll along The Gardens’ indoor flagstone paths and breathe in the subtle scents of flowering bulbs, bushes and blooms. In a month that can be a little gray, the bright pops of color in this indoor oasis will be a welcome sight!

8. Moss Street Market – Every Saturday 10 – 1

Credit: @ncrites_painlosssolutions

Though a farmers’ market may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re looking for things to do in January, Vancouver Island has one notable exception. Just east of Beacon Hill Park (and, thankfully, indoors), the Moss Street Winter Market offers up a mid-winter bounty of locally-produced goods – from handmade crafts and artisan clothing to organic produce and baked goods!

9. Celebrate Chinese New Year – January

Credit: @tourismvictoriabc

Ring in the Year of the Rat with a visit to Canada’s oldest Chinatown! Learn more about the rich history of Victoria’s Chinese population? Join the experts at Discover the Past Walking Tours for an in-depth cultural adventure through this historic neighborhood. Book this tour with FRS Clipper, learn more.

As you’re making your plans for January, be sure to save time to stroll around and explore the city. Victoria’s moderate winter climate and small footprint makes it a perfect city to explore on foot. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back afternoon browsing the farmers’ market or want to cross an invigorating Polar Bear Swim off of your bucket list, you can do it all in Victoria next month!



Feature Photo: Roven Images