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. You can also check it out in the Globe & Mail, from our calendar to yours…

MAKE | Looking for a fantastic last minute and super thoughtful (read: handmade) gift? Lucky for you, local artist Aja Rose Bond is leading a Creative Bookbinding workshop this week that will guide you from beginning through to finished product and send you home with a handmade book to use (or give as a gift) in journal, sketchbook, or planner form. This workshop is brought to you by the creative and enthusiastic folks behind Tin Can Studio and goes down at The Dunlvey Snackbar in Strathcona – so you’re pretty much guaranteed a good time. The evening will run you $75, but that’ll get you all the supplies you need, send you home with a finished book in one hand, and put a cocktail in the other.
Wed, Dec 18 | 7-10pm | Tin Can Studio (Parked at 433 Dunlevy) | $75 | DETAILS

CHEER | Along with Tchaikovsky, Bing Crosby and repeated viewings of It’s A Wonderful Life, nothing catapults one into a mood for Christmas faster than walking – well-scarved, of course – around the magically transformed and twinkling gardens of VanDusen with friends and family. Easy access to freshly made waffles, hot chocolate and apple cider are tasty convincers.
Until Jan 4 | 4:30pm–9pm | VanDusen Botanical Garden (5251 Oak) | $14.25 (kids $7.75) | DETAILS

SHOP | Solstice Community Collective is a ‘Scandinavian inspired’ holiday pop-up shop happening over the next week that aims to outfit you with all manner of last minute gift solutions – fantastically designed with that hint of Scandinavian-style simplicity everyone appreciates. The thoughtfully curated gathering of artists, artisans, crafters and makers will line the shelves and tables at The Chinatown Experiment with everything from small batch handmade candles and soaps to beautiful cutting boards and stunning jewellery. Items will be accessibly priced and ready to be wrapped (Sarita Mann will have her gorgeous papers and cards on site). Opening night is on Thursday. Expect the added excitement of tarot card and palm readings as well as some festive beers from 33 Acres and Brassneck Brewery, plus a few ‘holiday drinks’ thrown in for good measure.
Dec 19 -23 | 10am – 7pm | 434 Columbia St. | DETAILS 

KICK BACK | Forget the hustle and pressure of the season and focus on the cheer. This is the ideal time of year for an idle cocktail in a proper hotel lounge. 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.  Try The Hotel Georgia, Bacchus at the Wedgewood Hotel or Yew at the Four Seasons (just follow the forest of decorated trees from the street entrance / lobby up to softly lit lounge for a holiday-themed cocktail).
Every Day  | Yew at the Four Seasons (791 West Georgia) | DETAILS

THE SHORTEST DAY | Saturday actually has the least amount of daylight of any other day on the calendar. A day like that has got to have some extra perks, right? How about a one-day celebration of short film? From Pacific Cinematheque: “Initiated in France in 2011 as a way to bring short films to a wider audience, Canada is participating for the first time this year, and has prepared a lineup of award-winning international and homegrown shorts divided into four programs: one suitable for kids under 8; one for families; one made up of comedies; and one made of acclaimed festival features.” Perfect. Hideout in a theatre seat, munch on popcorn and lose yourself in film. When you come out, summer will be inching closer. That’s pretty excellent, but it gets better. The movies are free. Seriously.
Sat, Dec 21 | Various times | Pacific Cinematheque (1131 Howe St) | Free | DETAILS

BLACKHAWKS | There are two teams in the NHL that just don’t gel with Vancouver: the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks. In recent years they’ve been our dream crushers, eliminating our Canucks from the Stanley Cup Playoffs (resulting in either riots or tears). Hockey games seldom crack the Scout List, but we’ll make an exception in this case. We spanked the Bruins when they were in town the other night (6-2), and Friday it’s the Blackhawks’ turn. Coconuts go.
Fri, Dec. 20 | 5pm | TSN | DETAILS

SOLSTICE | If Saturday is the shortest day of the year, that means Sunday will be just a little bit longer, and Monday, longer still.  So get yourself out there and join in the celebrating by taking part in on one of several winter solstice processions happening Saturday evening. The Secret Lantern Society has once again organized several individual festivals around the city (Yaletown, Granville Island, East Side, Strathcona /Chinatown and West End/Coal Harbour). This is the 20th year that the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival has been going on. To mark the milestone of two decades of grass-roots community fun, this year’s festival will include a new Labyrinth of Light on Granville Island, the first ever Winter Solstice Dance (at Astorino’s Hall), an anniversary Solstice Exhibit at the Roundhouse Community Centre and a limited edition Solstice Calendar. If you haven’t had time to pull together a lantern, don’t fret – you can attend one of the last-minute lantern-making workshops. Skip over to the Secret Lantern Society website for event details.
Sat, Dec 21 | Various Locations | DETAILS

BONFIRE | This Saturday is a good night to head over to Dundarave Pier in West Vancouver. Take a stroll through the local shops and then bundle up tight and make your way down to the beach where there will be a giant bonfire roaring (lit at sunset) with live music, hot chocolate and a forest of decorated Christmas trees for you to wander through. Plus there’s a beach. Remember those?
Sat, Dec 21 | 2pm to 9:30pm | Dundarave Beach | West Van | Free | DETAILS 

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 In the Sky, and breakfast with Sanata. | DETAILS

BUILD |  The Britannia Community Centre on Commercial Drive is hosting a family gingerbread (style) house building workshop this Sunday. Roll up your sleeves and get building. You will be armed with graham crackers, candies and frosting (you’re also invited to bring along your own goodies for extra embellishment) and be set free to build yourself a gingerbread house. Children under 12 must have a parent or guardian present (because that shit can get out-of-hand quickly and a room full of unattended sticky sugar-jacked children is nobody’s idea of a good time).
Sun, Dec 22 | 1-3pm | Britannia Community Centre | $6 / family | 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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