12/19/2014 11:07 EST | Updated 02/18/2015 05:59 EST

5 weekend events in the Lower Mainland, December 19-21

Christmas is almost here — and the winter solstice is upon us — so start the party early this weekend with everything from bonfires to blues in B.C.'s Lower Mainland.

1) Dundarave Festival of Lights

Come celebrate the season with a bonfire on the beach with the North Shore community. There'll be music and feasting and much more entertainment for the family.

- December 20

- Dundarave Beach, Vancouver's North Shore

2) 29th Annual Blues for Christmas at the Commodore

This year, blues musicians gather in honour of Drew Burns, who helped start the annual blues event at the fantastic Commodore venue.

Performers include Jim Byrnes, Joani Bye & the Homewreckers, Billy Dixon & Soul Train Express and Dalannah Gail Bowen. Proceeds will go toward the Drew Burns Commodore Musicians Fund.

- December 21

- Commodore Ballroom, downtown Vancouver

3) Short Film Festival

​To celebrate the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, a worldwide initiative started in France features the best of short films for all ages.

There's a children's program, a comedy program, and a series of films geared toward older audiences — and it's free!

- December 21

- Pacific Cinematheque, downtown Vancouver

4) Winter Ice Palace at Surrey Cloverdale Arena

Get your skates, mitts and some change for hot chocolate. The Cloverdale Arena is being transformed into a winter wonderland, including an old-fashioned ice pond. If you don't have skates, you can rent them!

- December 20 to January 4

- Cloverdale Arena, Surrey

5) Winter Solstice Lantern Festival - around Vancouver

The lantern festival is an annual event that lights up the night with very creative and cool lanterns. Bring your family out to celebrate the winter solstice in various locations, from Yaletown to Granville Island, to Chinatown.

The festival organizers are also holding some last-minute lantern-making workshops, so if you want to learn how, you can get a few tips from the experts. 

- December 21 

- Various venues in Vancouver