(Photo by Doug Clement Photography)

It’s a brand new year, which means time to try new things!

Get outdoors, try a new restaurant, check out a store you haven’t been to before. 

Whether you’ve lived here your entire life, you’ve just arrived or you are visiting, Victoria is ready for you to explore. 

Here are 14 things to do in and around Victoria this New Year’s long weekend, January 1st – 2nd: 

Kick off the New Year with a polar bear swim

Time to clean up the holiday decorations and start planning for a new year ahead! 

And there’s no better, more invigorating way to start 2022 fresh than with an icy polar bear swim!

You can learn more about two polar bear swims happening in the West Shore area here

Get your tree chipped

Another Christmas season has come and gone. 

Depending on when you like to pack up your decorations and take the tree down, you may be trying to figure out where you can get this year’s tree chipped!

Before recycling, don’t forget to remove all screws, nails, lights and ornaments from the tree. These items may be potentially hazardous if passed through chipping equipment.

You can see our list of 22 places to get your tree chipped here

Skate at Uptown

The Rink at Uptown is ready to invite eager skaters in!

This holiday, guests will be able to skate for $5 per person and $2 skate rentals. Guests can book their 40 minute time spot online for groups up to 6 people. 

Waivers and masks are required in order to participate, so guests are asked to arrive five minutes prior to check-in to sign in and get laced up!

The festive fun is also for a good cause! 50% of proceeds from The Rink will be donated to 1UP Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre, in support of their Christmas Hamper Program.

  • Where: Uptown Boulevard, 3440 Saanich Road
  • When: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday

30th Annual Festival of Trees

This is your last chance to visit the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s 30th annual Festival of Trees at the Bay Centre! 

Stroll through over 70 Christmas trees decorated by local businesses in support of mental health programs at BC Children’s Hospital.

  • When: November 18th – January 4th, regular shopping hours
  • Where: The Bay Centre, 1150 Douglas Street
  • Admission: Free – vote by donation!

See a movie at the drive in!

No, you haven’t been transported back in time, this is real! Legacy Drive-In has announced showtimes for their outdoor theatre at Westshore Motorsports Park!

This weekend, enjoy a movie from the comfort of your car as you enjoy food by Westshore Burger Co. 

Tickets must be purchased in advance and it is recommended patrons arrive 30 minutes before showtime to ensure they get the best spot. 

  • Where: Westshore Motorsports Park (formerly Western Speedway) 2207 Millstream Road
  • When: Paddington 2: 5 p.m., Sunday January 2nd
  • Price: $30/car. Tickets can be purchased here.

Try a new restaurant that opened in Victoria in 2021

Victoria is well-known for its incredible food, a variety of options, and locally-owned favourites. 

Although restaurants around town had a difficult year, we did see locals flocking back to support their favourites as soon as they could. 

We even saw some brand new restaurants open their doors, eager to welcome us in!

You can see our list here. 

Try Victoria’s first Popeyes Chicken

You can now enjoy the taste of New Orleans with the grand opening of Vancouver Island’s very first Popeyes Louisiana Chicken – and it’s right here in Victoria.

The new location is in Tuscany Village in Saanich, and will bring a whole new world of flavour to the city. 

Popeyes Canada hopes to open as many as five more franchises on Vancouver Island, with hopes of having their second location in Nanaimo completed by Christmas.

So stop in for their famous chicken sandwich, spicy chicken, chicken tenders, fried shrimp and more!

Try Tim Hortons new ‘Timbiebs’

Justin Bieber is helping bring three fresh flavours of Timbits in what both him and Tim Hortons are calling Timbiebs.

The pride of London, Ontario, teased the collaboration two days ago in an Instagram post and had fans wondering what was going on.

Now he’s helping bring three Timbiebs flavours – Chocolate White Fudge, Sour Cream Chocolate Chip, and Birthday Cake Waffle – to stores across North America.

Enjoy an eggnog latte

It’s no secret everyone was disappointed when Starbucks announced their fan favourite eggnog latte would be excluded from their holiday menu this year. 

However, this doesn’t mean you will go without this year!

Coffee shops across Victoria are now announcing their very own eggnog lattes and other holiday drink menus. This means you can still live your eggnog latte dreams while supporting local businesses. You can see our list here

Enjoy a charcuterie night out

Now that we are able to go out and catch up with friends over dinner again, we want it to be special. We want to go all out!

Getting dressed up, ordering a glass of wine and sharing a charcuterie board at a local restaurant can make you feel fancy and sophisticated.

Charcuterie boards give you a little bit of everything, meat, cheeses, pickled sides. It’s the perfect sharing dish to have while you discuss everything you’ve missed with your friends. 

You can view our list here!

Check out Victoria’s new British Shop

A brand new shop specializing in British treats has opened in Victoria and we’re buzzing with excitement!

Limey, the British Shop, opened as a single, family-run location in Kelowna. Now, they’re overjoyed as they expand to, in their words “the most British city in all of Canada”.

This fun and funky shop specializes in all things British, from sweets and crisps, to bangers, black pudding and Marmite.

  • Location: #101, 515 Chatham Street
  • Hours:
    • Monday to Saturday – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Sunday – 11 a.m to 4 p.m
  • Contact: (778) 432-4620

Try one of Victoria’s best crispy chicken sandwiches

Victoria is full of restaurants putting their own creative spin on the crispy chicken sandwich!

Reddit user u/beesmadehoney78 has been on the hunt, asking for the public’s help in finding Victoria’s best fried chicken sandwich.

Click here to see the list!

Try some of Victoria’s best cocktails

Reddit user u/westcoastwanderer has been on the hunt, asking for the public’s recommendations of the best cocktails in the city.

From this list, along with recommendations from industry professionals, we have created a quick guide to some local favourites. 

You can see the list here!

Get bubble tea!

What is your go to Bubble Tea order?

Milk tea, fresh fruit tea, or slush? Do you get tapioca pearls or coconut jellies? 

The possibilities are endless and, in Victoria, so are the options to get your favourite tea drink.

Not sure where to go? You can view our list of best bubble tea places to satisfy your craving here.

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