Updated December 12, 2019

Still racing to put together those last-minute New Year’s Eve plans? Feeling the pinch with all your favorite restaurants in Seattle booked up? Or perhaps you need to block off a few days to decompress from the holiday hustle and bustle?

Whether you’re in search of a family getaway, an 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 2020 right, we rounded up 11 things to do in Victoria this January.

1. Winter Wellness 2-Night Victoria Getaway – Starting January 3

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 our brand new Winter Wellness package (Book by Feb. 20)! The relaxation starts right away with a complimentary upgrade to Vista Class seating aboard the Victoria Clipper as you cruise right out of downtown Seattle.

After a 2-hour and 45-minute ride into in the heart of BC’s capital, check into one of the specially-selected hotel options – the waterfront Delta Hotels by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort, 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 2019 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 Lust Life Jazz Band, accompanied this year by a 10-piece Latin ensemble.

With lively music, fine wine and carefully crafted small bites, we can’t think of a better way to say “Happy New Year!” (Want to start the celebrations a little earlier in the evening? Join them for an elegant three-course meal before the party begins!) Book this hotel with 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. Viennese New Years – January 1

Credit: @vicsymphony

If you’re looking for something less extreme, but equally entertaining, start things off next month with an afternoon of dance, music and song at the Royal Theatre’s Viennese New Years. The lively and nostalgic music of Johann Strauss is complimented by dancing from Ballet Victoria, 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.

Credit: @fairmonthotels

After dancing in the new year at the Fairmont’s annual black-tie Gala bash, it’s crucial you treat yourself to a substantial brunch. Gather up some friends to rehash the night’s events and talk over plans for 2020 at the hotel’s Resolution Brunch. Book this hotel with Clipper, learn more.

6. Seedy Saturday – January 11

Credit: @haliburton_farm

If your new year’s to-do list includes making your thumb a little greener, then you’ll need to add Saanich’s Seedy Saturday to your calendar. Hosted by Haliburton Community Organic Farm, the gardening gathering will include a plant sale, community seed swap, kids’ table and a talk by Salt Spring SeedsDan Jason. Get your hands dirty and learn how to ensure your garden will flourish in 2020!

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. Victoria Whisky Festival – January 16 – 19

Credit: @whiskyangels

Spend a spirited weekend celebrating everyone’s favorite malted marvel! Pay a visit to the waterfront Hotel Grand Pacific for the 15th annual Victoria Whisky Festival, where you’ll have the opportunity to sip on whiskey from around the globe and chat with the distillers. You’re sure to leave with a greater understanding and deeper appreciation for this revered beverage!

9. International Guitar Night – January 26

Credit: @samuelitomusic

Stopping through Victoria on its annual tour for 20 years, International Guitar Night has grown from a small crowd to a full auditorium of fans! Renowned for introducing attending ears to the best of what the contemporary guitarist community has to offer, the event’s world-class talent hails from as far as Turkey, Hawaii and Finland.

10. 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!

11. 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 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