There’s plenty of ways to celebrate the first day of 2020 in Greater Victoria. (Unsplash)

10 ways to spend New Year’s Day 2020 in Greater Victoria

Everything from swimming to live music and a levee on Jan. 1, 2020

There are plenty of ways to spend the first day of the new year in Greater Victoria, including getting a head start on those exercise-related resolutions and taking in some live music.

Start the year off at the Lieutenant Governor of B.C.’s New Year’s Day Levee at Government House (1401 Rockland Ave.) with light refreshments and entertainment. They will be accepting donations for the Cridge Centre for the Family, cash preferred. Doors open at 10 a.m., music and remarks will begin around 11 a.m., and the event wraps up at noon.

READ ALSO: BC Transit offers free bus service for New Year’s

The City of Victoria will also be holding a levee from 10 a.m. to noon at Victoria City Hall. Complimentary refreshments will be provided by Chef David Roger of Songhees Seafood & Steam, and musical entertainment will be performed by Hal Fraser on piano. Parking will be free downtown at city parkades and on-street meters on New Year’s Day.

The Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre, located at 2775 Quadra St., is offering free admission on Jan. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The facility invites you to start the new year off with some fitness from noon to 1 p.m. with Fitness on the First, a full-body workout for anyone 13 years of age and older. The fitness centre will also host an Everyone Welcome Fun Swim from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

If you prefer your swims to be of the polar variety, Polar Bear swims are being held at Esquimalt Lagoon in Colwood at 11:30 a.m., Whiffin Spit Park in Sooke at 11:30 a.m., Glass Beach near the end of Beacon Avenue at noon, Banfield Park in Victoria at noon, and Taylor Beach in Metchosin at 2 p.m.

READ ALSO: 5 places where you can do a polar bear swim in Greater Victoria

In Oak Bay, enjoy a four-kilometre community walk with the Oak Bay mayor and council from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The procession will be leaving the Oak Bay Recreation Centre lobby at 12:30 p.m., with coffee and tea provided in the Upstairs Lounge from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Also at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre, locals can enjoy free fitness sessions including jazzercise class from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on the indoor sports field, fitness studio orientations, 15-minute private tennis lessons from 1 to 3:30 p.m., an Everyone Welcome skate from 12:30 to 2 p.m., and pool access from noon to 4:30 p.m. Donations will be collected for Kid’s Sport on New Year’s Day.

For a green option, the Greater Victoria Greenbelt Society is hosting a gathering at Mary Lake Nature Sanctuary and Nature House at 1772 Millstream Rd. A guided nature walk starts at 1 p.m., followed by a 20-minute presentation on what’s happening at the sanctuary, and Stories from the Land from 3 to 4 p.m. Mulled cider, herbal teas, and gourmet popcorn will be available. This event is free for members and children, and otherwise by donation.

Victoria Orienteering is holding the first race of the year in Beacon Hill Park from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Orienteering is a sport where participants find various checkpoints with only a map and compass. Membership is required for this event, so arrive early to fill out any paperwork. The cost is $8 per map, but only $5 for returning members and free for first-timers. For more information go to the New Year’s Day Orienteering Levee Facebook page.

READ ALSO: Animals, house parties, manhunts: Top 10 most read stories across B.C. in 2019

For something more classical, consider having A Viennese New Year with Ballet Victoria and Victoria Symphony at the Farquhar at the University of Victoria. Singers join dancers for an afternoon of music and dance featuring the work of Johann Strauss. Tickets are $50 to $70 and can be found at victoriasymphony.ca.

For a quiet start to the new year, join Lanny Pollet on the flutes and recorders, and Denis Donnelly on the Irish harp and guitar at the First Unitarian Church of Victoria. Join them at at 5575 West Saanich Rd. from 2 to 3:30 p.m. to enjoy traditional acoustic music from many cultures with no announcements and no applause. Admission by donation.


Like us on Facebook and follow @yrlocaljourno

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Legendary Reggae guitarist Al Anderson to hit the stage in Sidney

Member of Bob Marley’s band the Wailers will be at Mary Winspear Centre Jan. 30

Camosun student shares story of overcoming struggles to inspire others

Provincial Tuition Waiver Program helps former youths in care attend post-secondary institutions

Local Monarchist says Saanich Peninsula would be a ‘great place’ for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Bruce Hallsor also expects the couple’s professional opportunities to lie outside Greater Victoria

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

Most Read