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 18 to December 25, 2019. 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.
FINAL BATTLE | Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is officially released into the universe this week. I’d wager some of you probably have your tickets already. If you haven’t had the day marked on your calendar since June and are thinking you might casually drop into a theatre to catch the latest (and final) chapter of the Skywalker saga this week, you might find that seats are scarce. Still, good luck, and may the force be with you. Find out more.
CLASSICAL | The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performs Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons at the Chan Centre this Friday and Saturday. This weekend’s performance will be made all the richer by the presence of Italian conductor, historicist and composer Federico Maria Sardelli. From the Chan Centre: “Let Federico Maria Sardelli, a unique musical personality and one of the world’s leading authorities on Vivaldi, take you back in time to hear the Venetian master in a whole new light.” One of the world’s leading authorities on Vivaldi? Sounds like a sweet situation to me. Tickets are going fast so be sure to get sorted now! Find out more.
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. Every one of the gingerbread houses on display has its own character and slowing down to appreciate the work and enthusiasm that has gone into each has a way of restoring the holiday spirit (that those slow moving retail checkout lines can so easily deplete).
SOLSTICE | Right now Vancouver is seeing the sun come up at around 8am and setting again at about 4:15pm – that’s not a lot of daylight, folks! In fact, this week boasts the shortest days of the year. The good news is that after this weekend, our days start getting longer. Little by little we’re headed toward those beautiful mid-summer, late evening sunsets, the memory of which we all cling to during these winter months. So in a roundabout way, it’s z time to celebrate! Raise a glass to summer, people. Because it’s for damn sure coming, and this is the turning point. If you want to get more involved than just a toast, The Secret Lantern Society has once again organized a Winter Solstice Lantern Festival. Put on your warmest coat, fill your travel mug with some hot chocolate, and hustle your way over to one of three procession locations (Strathcona, Yaletown or Granville Island) to celebrate Solstice in style. Don’t have a lantern? There are still a few lantern-making workshops between now and Saturday. Check the Secret Lantern Society webpage for details here. Find out more.
BONFIRE | This Saturday evening is a good time 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 5pm). Live music, hot chocolate and a forest of decorated Christmas trees make this a solidly festive Saturday night. Plus there’s a beach, the sounds of waves and the delightful smell of the ocean. Find out more.
TRADITION | This week the Goh Ballet rallies their troops to perform Tchaikovsky’s classic, The Nutcracker. Behold as scores of local dancers take the stage in gorgeous costumes against stunning sets. Tickets are selling out, and they ain’t cheap (expect to lay down somewhere in the neighbourhood of $50-$175 per person), but this gig is sure to jumpstart even the most reluctant of holiday spirits. Can you really put a price on that? Sugarplum Fairy it up on December 20-22 — seats at matinee and evening performances are still available! Find out more.
SLOW DOWN | Traffic, social engagements, shopping…this is a busy week. Check out of the chaos for a little rebalancing by way of nature. Everything is going to be soggy — don’t try to avoid the rain, embrace it! Put on your rain boots, a waterproof slicker and a hat to protect your ears from the wind and head out to fill your lungs with December air. My pick this week? English Bay. The beaches are empty, and the water is clear – plus I like having close proximity to a “Canadian Coffee” at The Bayside Lounge after a cold walk on the seawall.
LAUGH | Well, son of a nutcracker, this Sunday is movie night at Bells & Whistles and Elf is on the big screen. Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, full audio, free popcorn, and a stellar beer list (plus late night happy hour from 10-close). Don’t be a cotton-headed ninny muggins, grab a few pals and head in for a chuckle and a brew. Find out more.
OPEN | Looking for somewhere new to break bread with friends? Commercial Drive just landed a delicious option in the form of Oca. This sweet little 22-seater squeezes into a mid-block space across the street from Grandview Park with some serious pasta players at the helm. This will be one of the restaurants everyone will be talking about in 2020, so get in there before everyone else does!
CHEERS | Stop shopping. Stop working. Now is the time to catch up with friends over beer. Can’t decide where to go? The Craft Beer Atlas plots local tastings rooms, restaurants with extensive tap lists, craft beer-friendly liquor stores, and fascinating, brew-centric points of interest on a zoomable map aimed at making it easy for you to match your desire for beer with your present location in order to land yourself a tasty pint in short order. Find out more.