Holidays in residence guide

"Happy Holidays" text on snowy aerial photograph of UBC

Winter break at UBC can be magical, with campus feeling like your own special place for a few weeks and lots of opportunities to explore the city with your residence neighbours and friends. And who knows, there might even be snow!

To help you make the most of your winter break, scroll down to find out about:

Residence amenities

Upper year residence front desks

Remember, upper year residence front desks are open and here to help. Please visit your residence front desk or contact the Overnight Mobile Team if you need any assistance over the break.

Upper year residence: all residence amenities remain open and operational.

First year residence: Place Vanier, Totem Park and Orchard Commons are closed December 23, 2023 (12 pm noon)–January 7, 2024 (12 pm noon). Ritsumeikan-UBC House remains open throughout the break and Rits residents can access amenities and front desk services at Marine Drive.

Residence events and activities

Lots of great events and activities will be planned for you to participate in during the winter break. Check out the Residence Events Calendar or check in with your RA for more details.

Don't miss your holidays in residence self-care guide!

Check out great tips, resources, ideas and more—gift-wrapped just for you.


FRF Procedures during winter break

If you would like to have a gathering in your unit, please make sure you complete the following steps as soon as possible:

  • You may pick up forms in person at your residence Front Desk during winter break.
  • As always, you will need to fill out the FRF after seeking approval and signatures from those roommates who are present (should you live in a shared unit).
  • Once you have filled out the form please return it to Front Desk at least 48 hours prior to the function date. Please ask Front Desk to date-stamp your form when you return it to them.
  • Please ensure you print your name and unit number clearly, as you will then be contacted by a Residence Life staff member to follow-up on your request.
  • The function may only proceed once you have received confirmation of approval from the Residence Life Manager and/or Residence Advisor (most likely by email, so please check your junk mail folder).
  • The FRF process will return to regular procedures at the start of Term 2.

What’s happening on-campus and in Vancouver?

There’s a lot happening on campus at UBC and around Vancouver during the winter break. Here’s a roundup of what to do and where to find more.

Explore campus

How do I access student services and supports over the holidays?

Find holiday hours for student services, along with 24/7 crisis support and self-help resources in Student supports over the holidays on UBC’s Student Services website.

Looking for religious or spiritual resources?

Visit UBC’s religion and spirituality page to learn more about UBC Chaplains, on-campus multifaith prayer rooms, and more.

Explore Vancouver

Getting around Vancouver

Getting off-campus is a cinch!  Check out Translink’s website to explore bus and Skytrain routes, including ways to get to our local mountains! For more info on getting around or off-campus, visit UBC Campus + Community Planning. Remember, masks are mandatory on public transit.


Stanley Park (Free)—walk the seawall or check out the forest trails.

Lighthouse Park (Free)—a fun, seaside hike on the North Shore.

Vancouver Public Library (Free)—the Central Library downtown is a pretty cool piece of architecture.

Deep Cove (Free)—a great daytrip, just a transit ride away.

Capilano Suspension Bridge—a classic Vancouver attraction.

Vancouver Art Gallery—incredible local and global art exhibitions. Plus, they offer student discounts!

VanDusen Botanical Garden—beautiful botanical garden in the heart of the city.

Bloedel Conservatory—gorgeous tropical plant conservatory at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park.

Science World—BC’s premier science attraction at the edge of downtown Vancouver.

Vancouver Aquatic Centre—great indoor swimming pool just across the Burrard bridge.

Food and drink

Eating on campus

Campus is much quieter over the winter break and some Food Service locations close during this period. For the most up-to-date information about what is open, please visit the Feed Me Now webpage. If you don’t want to wait in line at Mercante or The Point, order online first.

On holiday’s like Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day food options on campus are limited. Harvest Market remains open on these days.

Eating off campus

The winter break is a fantastic time to explore Vancouver with your residence friends and neighbours. Our city has an amazing food scene. Check out this Vancouver food bucket list article by Noms Magazine for inspiration. Some restaurants will be closed for dine-in or take-out on statutory holidays, so it’s always best to call ahead and ask if they take reservations.


Meal Delivery

If you want to order meals in, popular delivery services include Skip the Dishes, Uber Eats, Door Dash, Fantuan, Yogi’s Kitchen. Please consider ordering food from nearby locations to reduce the sustainability impact of having meals delivered to campus.

Grocery Deliveries

If you plan on making your own meals, consider ordering groceries online for delivery to your door. Popular and near-by options include Stongs, Spud, and Save-On-Foods (select “Vancouver” and “UBC” when ordering). We recommend you order well in advance of your preferred delivery date.

Meal Kits

Popular Meal Kit delivery services include Chef’s Plate, Fresh Prep, Hello Fresh, and Good Food.

Not sure which one to choose? Check out this comparison of Vancouver’s most popular meal-kit delivery services.