From our calendar to yours comes this carefully considered agenda of cool things we are doing, wishing we could do, or conspiring to do in Vancouver from December 20 to December 26, 2017. Please note that you can now get the Scout List – with a few extra pieces of intel included – sent to your inbox every Thursday. Sign up for your subscription in the sidebar.
MOVIES | ‘Tis the season for totally vegging out in a movie theatre. Obviously, you’re going to want to catch The Last Jedi. After that, jumpstart your holiday spirit at The Rio Theatre with a screening of Christmas classics like Love Actually (Thursday night), Die Hard (Friday late show kicks off at 11:45pm), Elf (4pm Sunday) and It’s a Wonderful Life (Sunday 6:30pm). Find out more.
TURNING POINT | Right now Vancouver is seeing the sun come up at 8am and setting again at about 4:15pm – that’s not a lot of daylight, folks! In fact, this week we’ve seen the shortest days of the year. The good news is that after this Thursday, our days get longer. Little by little we’re headed toward those beautiful mid-summer 9pm sunsets, the memory of which we all cling to during these winter months. So in a roundabout way, it’s a time to celebrate. Raise a glass to summer – it’s coming, and this is the turning point. Solstice 2017 will be at 8:28am on Thursday morning. Bundle up and hit Jericho Beach for a reflective moment.
SKATE | Sitting on the couch watching the fire log channel is a noble holiday pursuit, but don’t let it go on for too long. Get up and keep your blood flowing by hitting Robson Square for a lap or twelve around the ice rink. Keep in mind that one or two other people might be thinking the holidays would be a lovely time for a twirl too, so plan ahead and expect a crowd. Bring your thermal mug, some nice thick gloves and some cash (although skating is free, equipment rentals are ‘cash only’ – skates $4, helmets $2). Robson Square Ice Rink is open for business, Christmas Eve (9am – 9pm), Christmas Day (12pm–5pm), Boxing Day (9am–9pm) and then back to regular hours on the weekend (9am-11pm).
ENGAGE | There’s nothing quite as magical as joining a procession of strangers to meander the streets with handmade lanterns on a chilly night. The Secret Lantern Society has once again organized a Winter Solstice Lantern Festival to fill the streets of Yaletown, Chinatown (ending at the stunningly beautiful and serene Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Gardens), and Granville Island this Thursday night. Get yourself out there and participate. Find out more.
MAKE | Mark solstice by getting productive. Take a trip down to Stanley Park for the Traditional Medicine-Making Workshop and get busy crafting your own cures. Participants in the 2 hour ($25) class will make Devil’s Club Salves using almond oil infused with healing plants such as cedar, calendula and red clover. Learn about native plants and their medicinal properties and leave with your own handmade concoctions. Extra bonus: vegan friendly! Find out more.
ESCAPE | Love the idea of twinkling lights, carols and hot chocolate but wimp out when it comes to cold weather? Problem solved: hit Holiday Heights at the McMillan Bloedel Conservatory where the “Arctic Oasis” delivers a healthy dose of holiday cheer inside a protected bubble of awesome tropical temperatures. Wander the garden, enjoy the birds, pretend you’re in the tropics. Find out more.
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 sundown). Live music, hot chocolate and a forest of decorated Christmas trees make this a solidly festive Saturday night. Plus there’s a beach, the sound of waves and the delightful smell of the ocean in the air. Bonus: the Beach House is right there. Find out more.
NARNIA | The Carousel Theatre’s adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has been held over until January 6th. Make your way down to Granville Island for an afternoon of magic, C.S. Lewis style. From Carousel Theatre: “Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy discover an old wardrobe that leads to an enchanted land, Narnia, full of mythical creatures, talking animals, quests and secrets. In one of the greatest battles between Good and Evil in children’s literature, the fate of the four children unfolds in a grand, otherworldly adventure.” This production is recommended for ages 5+, tickets are $12.50 – $35 depending on how old you are. Find out more.
EAT LOCAL | There is a special winter Farmers Market at Nat Bailey this Saturday. Expect all the usual awesomeness that farmers bring to town, as well as live carolling, Santa, hot cocoa, apple cider and a kids craft station. Timing is perfect to load up locally produced goodies to see you through the holidays…think root vegetables, brussels sprouts, fresh kale, beets, fennel, artisan breads, dried fruits, preserves, cheeses, and much, much more. Take an extra bag and get provisions to last you through to 2018!
CHEER | If you happen to find yourself downtown running errands this week and feel you need to take a break from line-ups to fill up on some holiday cheer, scoot over to the lobby of the Hyatt Regency for a wander through Gingerbread Lane. Each one of the over 30 gingerbread houses (and castles and towers and cities) on display has its own character and slowing down to appreciate the work and enthusiasm that has gone in to each has a way of restoring the holiday spirit that those slow moving retail checkout lines can deplete.