Author: Stacey Klyne
Join together in the Spirit of Giving for Vancouver 13th Annual Rogers Santa Claus Parade. Beginning at 10:00am, the festivities start off with two hours of family entertainment located at Coast Capital Savings Christmas Square. Christmas Square includes an entertainment stage with live music and dance performances, face painting, letters to Santa station and a gingerbread decorating station.
The Parade itself starts off at 12:00pm at the corner of Broughton and Georgia finishing of Howe Street next to Christmas Square. The Parade is also one of the largest food and fund raising events for the Food Bank. Since starting in 2004, the Parade has collected $151,200 and more than 76,400 lbs. of food for hungry families in the Lower Mainland, allowing us all to spread that Christmas joy a little further in the Spirit of Giving.
Date: Sunday, December 4th
Time: Parade starts at 12:00
Visit their website for more information.
Is the gloomy weather dampening your festive spirit? Are you longingly waiting for the holidays to start? Have no fear, the Vancouver Christmas Market is returning for its 7th year! Back and better than ever, this year the market has moved to a larger venue at the Jack Poole Plaza, site of the Olympic cauldron and conveniently situated near the Waterfront area. With even more space that means that there will be even more vendors and activities to browse through and enjoy! Where else would you find authentic Hungarian Chimney Cakes, Steins (traditional German beer mugs made out of stoneware), artisanal crafts, and even a Christmas carousel?
German Christmas markets have existed for centuries and are also known as Christkindlmarkts, this is your chance to experience tradition and culture. As a time for celebration, food, drinks and gifts, this is the perfect holiday getaway right here in our beautiful city. If you’re looking for some holiday fun, a sweet date night or an opportunity to create new family memories head down to the Vancouver Christmas Market to bathe in Christmas cheer – and maybe even meet Santa!
While planning your excursion to the market, we do recommend purchasing tickets online to save some time. Besides the regular admission rates for adults, seniors, and youths, there are also 3 packages to choose from if you wish. Their packages range from $20-$50 and include carousel rides, treats, and collectors mugs! Click here for more information on the Vancouver Christmas Market.
Open Daily: November 26th to December 31st from 11am – 9pm (Closed at 6:00pm on December 24th. Closed December 25th)
There are studies that suggest the best way to stay warm and cozy during the winter months is to indulge in feelings of nostalgia and to fondly recall memories of a different time. This holiday season you can do just that at Burnaby Village Museum’s Heritage Christmas!
The Burnaby Village Museum is where history comes to life — here you will find a combination of both heritage and replica buildings meant to represent a typical British Columbian tram-stop community of the 1920’s. The museum is also home to a beautifully restored 1912 vintage carousel, available to ride for a fee of $2.60. The delight it gives to both children and adults alike is sure to create warm memories for all!
Heritage Christmas will allow you to experience some old fashioned fun as you stroll down the streets of the Village to see the dazzling lights, freshly cut wreaths, and vintage-themed displays. With special entertainment scheduled throughout November and December be sure to anticipate community choirs singing their carols, street characters wandering in their period costumes, and street musicians playing their tunes. Family activities include a crafts station for the children and of course a visit with Father Christmas.
For an even more interactive experience challenge the Twelve Days of Christmas scavenger hunt which will send you searching for clues all throughout the site. Free scavenger hunt cards can be found at the gates and at the Ice Cream Parlour.
Where: 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby
When: November 19th, 2016 – January 2nd, 2017 – Hours vary, please check the website for more details.
Rates: Free gate admission, Carousel rides are $2.60
Not into the Christmas spirit yet? CandyTown will definitely change that!
On November 26, the 5th annual free outdoor Christmas festival in Vancouver is returning to Yaletown for another big year. CandyTown is one of the most popular holiday events in Vancouver and is definitely worth a visit this holiday season.
By walking down the “All I want for Christmas” market, you will find unique presents for your friends and family, while being entertained by local artisans, street performers, and live music.
There will be loads of holiday-themed activities, like free horse-drawn carriages rides, ice carving demonstrations, and Christmas tree lots. CandyTown also offers plenty of activities for all kids to enjoy. They will be able to get a photo with Santa Claus or the Ice Queen, learn how to twist balloon animals, or make their own candy.
New this year is the Pokémon Holiday Tour, which brings to life everyone’s favourite characters. Adults can enjoy the themed cocktails (try the Candycane martini!) and a meal from many different food trucks.
Date: November 26
Venue: 1152 Mainland Street
That’s right! The world’s biggest Christmas light maze is coming to Vancouver on November 25th. Enchant 2016 is a combination of 55, 000 square feet of amazing illuminated sculptures, a unique Christmas market, live performances, holiday drinks, outdoor fire pit, and much more!
Located on 1st and Crowe Street, guests will not only be able to experience the wonder of Enchant, but can also feel the magic of supporting various charities such as Variety – The Children’s Charity, Canuck Place, Ronald McDonald House BC and Yukon, Music Heals and Backpack Buddies.
The light maze features 23-foot tall-reindeers, snowy caves, complex structures, and a 64-foot-tall tree, all spectacularly lit up with hundreds of thousands of lights thanks to SHINE. Guests get to feel the adventure of helping Santa Claus find his missing reindeer, all lost in the maze, by exploring the seven worlds of light in order to save Christmas. The mission should take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete.
Afterwards, guests can enjoy the Enchant Christmas market that includes a diverse range of local vendors and artisans for a unique holiday shopping experience. The market will also feature 12 food trucks where delicious seasonal treats will be served. Guests-of-age can take delight in the licensed, covered and cozy eating area with their favourite spiked holiday drink.
There’s no doubt that Enchant 2016 will be the #1 holiday event for Vancouver. Tickets can be bought at the door or online. To pre-reserve tickets or for more information about Enchant 2016, you can visit their website.
When: November 25th – New Year’s Eve
Where: 1st and Crowe Street, in between the Cambie Street Bridge and Olympic Village
Maze and Market:
Adults 16+: $20
Children (6-15): $15
5 and under: Free
Family (2 adults, 2 children): $60
Kids and adults (6+): $5
5 and under: Free
Did you sleep in? Are you hungry, but it’s too early for lunch? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with this helpful list of places to grab brunch. These restaurants are all located in, or very close to, Downtown Vancouver so they’re very easy and convenient to get to.
Jam Cafe is an all-day breakfast and lunch joint that has everyone’s mouths watering. Established in Victoria, their success has brought them over to Vancouver. They are located on Beatty street, about a block away from Stadium-Chinatown Skytrain Station. They have something to satisfy every craving, from sweet treats like Triple Stack Pancakes, Red Velvet Pancakes to savory delights like Green Eggs and Ham and Huevos Rancheros. Served by welcoming staff, Jam Cafe is a great family-owned, rustic cafe.
Where: 556 Beatty Street
Hours: Monday to Friday (including holidays) 8:00am to 3:00pm
The Red Wagon is a wonderful neighbourhood joint located on the corner of East Hastings and Garden drive. The Red Wagon not only boasts about its magnificent all-day breakfast and lunch menu, it is also proud of its wide selection of wines on tap and local craft beers. Not only that, they also offer jaw dropping pies by The Pie Shoppe. Feel free to drop by and try out their Pulled Pork Pancakes or their Supertrucke; featuring 22 buttermilk pancakes, pulled pork, crisp pork belly, homefries and toast!
Where: 2296 East Hastings Street
Hours: Monday-Tuesday: 8:00am to 3:00pm. Wednesday through Friday: 8:00am until midnight. Saturday- Sunday: 9:00am until midnight.
Catch 122 offers all their brunch items for $13; served 7 days a week until 4:00pm. Come try out items such as the gastown classic, dirty breakfast and the catch 122! All of these are guaranteed to make your mouth water. Catch 122’s tasty food can be accompanied by any of their brunch cocktails; pretend its 5 o’clock and sip on a mimosa, a bourbon bellini or a espressotini! Yum! Don’t miss out on this great grub+drink combination and go to their location on West Hastings and Abbott street.
Where: 122 West Hastings Street
Hours: Monday: 8:00am to 4:00 pm; Tuesday – Thursday: 8:00am to 10:00pm; Friday: 8:00am to 10:30pm; Saturday: 9:00am to 10:30pm; Sundays: 9:00am to 4:00pm.
Bottomless mimosas. period.
Also featuring incredible Eggs Benny, comfy couches and a cozy, cute atmosphere. Located in Yaletown, close to Mainland and Helmcken street, it is very easy to get to. Go for the Hangouver Cure which is Fettuccine Alfredo, bacon, a poached egg and a vodka shot. Then stay for the bottomless mimosas.
Where: 1131 Mainland St
Specific Brunch Hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 10:00am to 3:00am
Twisted Fork offers fantastic brunch options for $15.50 each. Favourites include the Eggs Benny and the Banana stuffed brioche French Toast. Same as Catch 122, Twisted Fork has a variety of brunch cocktails and mocktails that will complement your food quite well such as the Absinthe Pie and the Grandaddy Mimosa. And since waiting in line for a table in the rain is not pleasant, you can check how long the wait is right here.
Where: 1147 Granville Street
Hours: 7 days a week from 8:00am to 3:00pm
Fall is the best time of the year to buy local, artisan and handmade goods in Greater Vancouver. With so many good markets and fairs to choose from, we’ve compiled a list of 3 popular ones taking place this November!
The annual Circle Craft Market is the perfect place to do some early holiday shopping. With goods ranging from handmade ceramics, hand knit scarves, jewelry, toys, candles, and soaps there’s something for everyone at this large artisan market.
Whether you want to just enjoy the festivity and have a look at the items, or do your Christmas shopping, this craft market is fun for the whole family!
When: Nov 9-13
Where: Vancouver Convention Center West, 1055 Canada Place
Admission: $13 (Adults), $12 (Students and Seniors)
To get away from the big crowds around the holiday season, this smaller craft fair is the perfect place to go and relax while enjoying the festivities. The Deer Lake Craft Festival is a tradition that the Burnaby Arts Council has sponsored since 1971.
This year there will be over BC 55 artisans and their work selling everything from glassworks, sculpture, pottery, wood, fashion and jewelry.
As a special treat, there are door prizes and raffle draws as well as live music and entertainment.
When: November 18, 19, 20
Where: Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, 6450 Deer Lake Avenue
Another great and long running craft fair is the 34th Annual Dunbar Holiday Craft Fair. This year there will be over 140 exhibitors and the attendance is expected to be over 2000! This craft fair is a single day event, which means a concentrated and full day of festivities, shopping, and fun!
When: Saturday November 26 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Where: The Dunbar Community Center, 4747 Dunbar Street
Admission: $5 at the door, $4 online
There is nothing better than a crisp, fall day. Our city is especially gorgeous at this time of year, with all the glorious fall colours out in full force. Why not spend your next (and rain-free!) day off exploring our city and checking out the fall leaves. Grab yourself a pumpkin spiced latte (see our previous blog on best places to grab em’ here), bundle up in a warm scarf, and get ready for a great new Instagram picture. Here are the best places to check out some fall foliage in Vancouver!
We obviously had to kick off this list with Stanley Park. Named the “best park in the world” by Trip Advisor, Stanley Park has over 1000 acres of beauty to explore. In the fall, the park is bursting with red, yellow and orange leaves. Talk a walk or bike around the iconic sea wall, and get those cameras ready.
University of British Columbia & Pacific Spirit Park
The gorgeous University of British Columbia (UBC) campus is surrounded by Pacific Spirit Park. Both the park, as well as the campus itself, is a great place to see some fall leaves. Walk one of the many trails through the park, or simply take a walk around the beautiful campus that is home to over 50,000 students and is one of the top 3 schools in the country.
Queen Elizabeth Park
This gorgeous park is the highest point in Vancouver, giving stunning views of our downtown core and the North Shore mountains. At this time of year the park is a great place for a fall picnic or walk through the gardens. You can also visit the Bloedel Floral Conservatory while you’re there! Located within the park, the conservatory is a wonderful place to escape the cold air for a little bit and checkout a wide variety of tropical plants and birds.
Our observation deck offers stunning 360 degree views of the city. Come see the fall colours from above during the day, and then come back in the evening for a beautiful fall sunset and the city’s night lights. Tickets are valid for the entire day! We are open 7 days a week from 9 am to 9 pm. See you soon!
The leaves have changed colour, Halloween is just around the corner and the rain has set in; fall has arrived in Vancouver! It’s the season for sweaters, cute scarves and everyone’s favorite seasonal drink: Pumpkin Spice Lattes. If you’re getting tired of Starbucks or you want to try a PSL with a twist, check out any of the below locations for an amazing variation of this fall staple.
2565 Alma Street (Broadway & Alma)
Conveniently located only 10 minutes away from the University of British Columbia, Grounds for Coffee serves up a cozy Pumpkin Pie Latte. This café also serves up arguably the best cinnamon buns in the city – pair it with your Pumpkin Pie Latte for a match made in fall heaven.
595 Burrard Street (Bentall Centre)
4500 Oak Street (Oak & W29th)
Second Cup’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes are made with real white chocolate, espresso forte and pumpkin pie syrup. They are also garnished with pumpkin pie spice – perfect for those fall Instagram shots. You can find them in the Bentall Centre downtown or on Oak Street, just a block away from the beautiful VanDusen Botanical Gardens.
901 Homer Street (Homer & Smithe)
The Buzz Café and Espresso Bar serves up an array of fall themed drinks – including a traditional Pumpkin Spice Latte and a Canadian twist on the classic, a Maple Pumpkin Latte. And if pumpkin is not your thing, try their Ginger Banana Bread Latte, it will surely warm you up and get you in the fall spirit. This café is located in central downtown in Vancouver’s oldest retail art gallery, Harrison Galleries.
The Canadian answer to Starbucks offer up their own spin on a PSL, a Pumpkin Pie Caramel Macchiato – topped with caramel and graham crackers for that extra seasonal goodness. This time of year you can also find the Toffee Nut Latte on their menu if you wish to veer off the pumpkin path.
If you want pumpkin, just not in your coffee, head over to Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House. Trees are known for their amazing cheesecakes, and this fall they’re serving up slices of pumpkin spice cheesecake. Of course, they also serve up PSLs if you want to pair your pumpkin cheesecake with a pumpkin drink. Downtown, you can find them in Gastown, Yaletown, and just two blocks over from the Lookout at Granville and West Hastings.
Calling all you lovers out there, our city’s new art installation is for you!
A sculpture dedicated to eternal love opened in Queen Elizabeth Park recently. Couples can attach locks to the structure, located near the park’s Bloedel Conservatory. Designed by local artist Bruce Voyce, it features a set of four sculptures huddled together under umbrellas.
“This art project celebrates the shelter that love brings and the union that it forms,” reads the Park Board’s description. “Love has no boundaries and therefore the human forms in the sculpture have been left both ageless and genderless, locked together in an everlasting embrace.”
Voyce’s project differs from other love lock installations around the world. In many cities, couples are known to hang locks on popular bridges; most notably the Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris, as well as the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. This however, comes with some public safety concerns. Recently, officials in Paris had to remove hundreds of locks from a portion of the bridge that was collapsing. In Brooklyn, officials had to remove many locks over safety concerns for the vehicles below. Voyce’s installation also features a drop box for the keys, instead of throwing them into the trash. These keys will be collected and used for future art projects in the city.
The ‘Love in the Rain’ Sculpture is located in Queen Elizabeth Park (4600 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC).