SCOUT LIST: 10 Things That You Should Absolutely Do Between Now & Next Week

by Michelle Sproule | The main objective of this website is to scout out and promote the things that make Vancouver such a sweet place to be. We do this with an emphasis on the city’s independent spirit to foster a sense of connectedness within and between our communities, and to introduce our readers to the people who grow and cook our food, play the raddest tunes in our better venues, create our most interesting art, and design everything from what we wear to the spaces we inhabit. The Scout List is our carefully considered, first rate agenda of super awesome things that we’re either doing, wishing that we could do, or conspiring to do this week. From our calendar to yours…

RELAX |It’s Christmas. Give up on those last minute panic trips to the shops.  Slow down, focus on the real stuff like decorating your christmas tree, listening to Bing Crosby on the radio, the smells of Grand Fir sap and Cedar incense from Old Faithful – all the things that awaken in us the indelible Christmas Spirit.  Meet some friends for a pint. Toast Santa with whiskies. Take a load off. The Mayans were wrong.

SNOW | If you were hoping for a white Christmas, you’re going to have to climb a little higher to get it. Try Grouse Mountain for a sleigh ride through a snowy forest or lace up some skates for a turn on the mountain’s outdoor rink (both activities come free with admission to the mountain). Other free activities include snowshoeing, Theatre Under the Sky, and real reindeer. | DETAILS

HOCKEY | Don Cherry says the NHL will resume play in mid-January, but he’s a Boston fan so what does he know? Either way, the World Juniors kick-off on Boxing Day. Canada plays Germany (mwa-ha-ha) on the 26th. Puck grop is at 1am PT but everyone will watch the repeat broadcast at 9am (no spoilers on Twitter, ok?).
Wednesday, December 26th | 1am & 9am | Canada versus Germany | DETAILS

LEARN | If you’re lucky enough to have a few days off this week, take an afternoon to explore one of the many Vancouver museums and galleries that you’ve been meaning to get to. Out at UBC, the Museum of Anthropology and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum offer beautiful architectural settings with carefully considered and compelling collections that will teach you lots about the cultural and ecological history of the region. The Museum of Vancouver is exhibiting the works of Tobias Wong in Object(ing) and The Vancouver Art Gallery is showing Ian Wallace: At the Intersection of Painting and Photography.
Museum of Anthropology | December, 26-30 | 10am – 5pm | $16.75 | DETAILS
Beaty Biodiversity Museum (2212 Main Mall, UBC) | Dec, 26-30 | 10am to 5pm | $12 | DETAILS
Museum of Vancouver (1100 Chestnut St) | December, 26-30 | 10am-5pm | $12 | DETAILS
Vancouver Art Gallery (750 Hornby St) | December, 26-30 | 10am-5pm | $17.50 | DETAILS

BRUNCH | The Parker – brought to us by Steve Da Cruz (ex-Waldorf) and Jason Leizert (ex-Boneta), will be open for brunch all through Boxing Week. The well-reviewed Strathcona/Chinatown restaurant is one of a trio of awesome vegetarian eateries to have landed in Vancouver this past year (see also Heirloom and Acorn). It’s well worth checking out.
Boxing Week | 237 Union St just off Main | 604-77-3804 | DETAILS

LEE MATASI BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION | In the skateboarding community, Lee Matasi is the namesake founder of ‘Leeside’, a DIY skatepark in the tunnel under the Hastings and Cassiar connector in East Vancouver. The artist, skater, son and friend was shot to death outside the Red Room Nightclub in downtown Vancouver on December 3, 2005. In honour of what would have been his 31st Birthday, there’s a party going on at Fortune Night Club on Boxing Day. DJs Rhek, Cherchez, Relly Rel$, Seko & Dr. Seiz will be playing tunes. Suggested entry is $5 but throw in a few more bucks, because proceeds go to Leeside!
Wednesday, December 26 | 9pm | Fortune Nightclub (147 E Pender) | DETAILS

CHIP | If you just can’t wait to get rid of your Christmas tree, you can drive it out to the UBC Botanical Garden and have it chipped up starting on Boxing Day. Rest assured, tree recycling goes on until January 9th (for those of you who like to be a bit more leisurely about these kind of things). The suggested donation is $5 and all the bits are turned into mulch and used on garden trails. It’s the circle of life, Simba.
December 26 – January 9 | 9am – 5pm | UBC Botanical Garden (6804 SW Marine Dr) | $5 | DETAILS

SHOP | You’ve shopped for everyone else, so now it’s time to focus on you. Boxing week sales can be busy, draining and picked over, so skip the mall and head to The Chinatown Experiment. It’s a storefront dedicated to providing would-be entrepreneurs with a place to test out their ideas in an affordable, temporary space that allows them to get feel for how the larger community responds – a cool little box where “ideas turn into pop ups and pop ups turn into businesses.” This week, Shaoppalu settles in to the space. It’s a collaborative effort that brings together Vancouver fashion bloggers (think String Magazine) and vintage mavens (Duchesse), Shaoppalu will offer a nice selection of retro clothing as well as new brands (including Tiger of Sweden, Velvet, Graham & Spencer, Press, Matiko, One Teaspoon and Kersh) selling for at least 50% off.
December 27 – 30 | 5pm-11pm | The Chinatown Experiment (434 Columbia St.) | DETAILS 

HOLDEN CAULFIELD |  This is the ideal time of year for an idle cocktail in a proper hotel lounge. Maybe it’s a Catcher In The Rye thing, I don’t know…there’s just something magical about a late afternoon drink in the grandness of an old hotel with it’s large expanses, high ceilings, luxurious furnishings, and all the international guests transporting you somewhere quite removed from real life. It’s a smokeless bowl, a place to forget the hustle and pressure of the season and focus on the cheer. Our pick is Yew at the Four Seasons Hotel. Enter through the forest of decorated trees filling the lobby and make your way to the softly lit lounge for a holiday-themed cocktail like Hot Apple Cider (Sailor Jerry rum, apple, pimento honey, lemon) or a classic Vancouver (Plymouth Gin, Punt e Mes, Dom Benedictine, orange bitters). Mmm. Red hunting caps not required.
Yew at the Four Seasons (791 West Georgia) | DETAILS

FEAST | Did you know that Vancouver cheese shop Les Amis Du Formage will lend you a fondue set for free when you buy cheese for said set? Supplies are limited, but if you call ahead to reserve a set and order your cheese (they even grate it for you), all you have to do is pick up some bread and wine and you’re ready to go. Scout tip: take an invigorating walk around Lost Lagoon or hit a serene winter beach for a stroll before your feast. Once your cheeks are rosy and your stomach starts to growl, the timing for a fondue is bang on.
Les Amis has two locations, 1752 West 2nd Avenue and 843 East Hastings Street | DETAILS

Check the Globe & Mail every Thursday for our Special Weekend Edition of the Scout List


late-may-2009-169Michelle Sproule grew up in Kitsilano and attended University in Australia and the University of Victoria before receiving her graduate degree in Library Sciences from The University of Toronto. She lives in beautiful Strathcona and enjoys wandering aimlessly through the city’s shops and streets with her best friend – a beat up, sticky, grimy, and uncooperative camera.


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