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Kids Vancouver

First-Ever Vancouver International Bird Festival Takes Wing

By CHLOË LAI

Photo ©Aquamarine4/Dreamstime.com

To Aug. 26, 2018 “Everybody knows that the bird is the word!” The Trashmen’s catchy tune is especially apt this month, when the first-ever Vancouver International Bird Festival swoops into town. Aviary-themed activities include a Coast Salish canoe journey that explores shoreline restoration efforts for feathered friends, stilt walkers in bird costumes, world-class wildlife art exhibitions, scavenger hunts for kids and more. Whether you’re a fledgling nature lover or an aspiring ornithologist, it’s sure to be a real hoot.

Splash into Summer: Making the Most of Vancouver’s Ocean Playground

In this seaside city, there’s more than one way to hit the water

By CHLOË LAI

Ecomarine Paddlesport Centres’ kayaks provide the perfect vantage point for stunning souvenir snaps (Photo by KK Law)

Power Up Your Paddle

Truth is, the best seat in the house isn’t in the house at all: it’s out on the water. Set out on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard from Ecomarine Paddlesport Centres and glide through False Creek to soak up prime views of the city. Say hello to herons and seals as you navigate between the daydream-inspiring yachts and sailboats—as well as the occasional pirate ship—that cruise around Granville Island. For more peaceful paddling, join one of Ecomarine’s sunset tours, or head up to Deep Cove Kayak Centre to explore the tree-lined Indian Arm fjord. (more…)

Seaside Social: Vancouver Folk Music Festival

By CHLOË LAI

Sun, sea and sweet, sweet music at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival at Jericho Beach Park (Photo by Erik Price)

Jul. 13 to 15, 2018 Whether you’re inspired by indie rock or blown away by bluegrass, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival’s eclectic line-up will sweep you off your dancing feet. Jericho Beach Park comes alive with the sweet sounds of more than 50 world-class acts, including JUNO Award–winners The Dead South and Quantum Tangle, Canadian siren Neko Case of The New Pornographers, and Australian folk legend Archie Roach. Take a break from all the action to explore the artisan market, or go for a dip in the nearby ocean. The beach is so close, you can still hear the music. It’s true: there ain’t no party like a West Coast party.

Explore Science World’s Pixar Exhibit

By SHERI RADFORD

Find out how Pixar’s popular animations come to life, at Science World

To Jan. 6, 2018 If you’ve ever wondered how characters such as Buzz Lightyear and Elastigirl were brought to life, then this is the exhibit for you. The Science Behind Pixar explores the science, technology and math that go into making Pixar’s computer-animated films. Learn about concept art, lighting, modelling, rendering and more, at Science World. “To infinity and beyond!”

Sounds of Summer: TD Vancouver International Jazz Fest

By CHLOË LAI

Crowds gather to enjoy free concerts at David Lam Park, one of the festival venues (Photo by Jon Benjamin Photography)

Jun. 22-Jul. 1, 2018 For 10 days and nights, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival puts a swing in the city’s step, with more than 1,800 musicians playing 300 concerts—150 of which are free. Get down to the legendary sounds of heavy hitters like Robert Plant (Jun. 29), Macy Gray (Jun. 28) and the undeniably sax-y Kamasi Washington (Jun. 24), or fall head-over-dancin’-feet for one of the many hot up-and-comers. Groove on.

Seaside Stage: Bard on the Beach

By SHERI RADFORD

Photo by David Cooper

Jun. 6-Sep. 28, 2018 If the last time you experienced Shakespeare was while dozing through a high school English class, then it’s time to give his plays another try. Every summer, the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival breathes new life into classics such as Macbeth and As You Like It (pictured), this year’s two mainstage productions, by incorporating music and costumes from different eras. As You Like It has been transported to 1960s Vancouver, complete with more than 20 classic Beatles tunes. This just might be the summer of love.

Douglas Coupland Makes Waves at the Vancouver Aquarium

BY CHLOË LAI 

Douglas Coupland’s “Vortex” is on display at the Vancouver Aquarium until spring 2019 (Photo courtesy Vancouver Aquarium)

To spring 2019 Decades ago, when Vancouver-based artist Douglas Coupland first started working with plastic, the material seemed “eternal, shiny and happy.” That changed when Coupland discovered plastic bottles from Tokyo washed up on the remote beaches of Haida Gwaii. His newest exhibit, Vortex, uses plastic marine debris collected along BC’s coast to reimagine the Pacific Trash Vortex—also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—in a series of playful, thought-provoking installations. The centrepiece, a small Japanese fishing boat set adrift in the 2011 tsunami, is now home to four figures, including a tweed-jacketed Andy Warhol. In a tank nearby, tiny fish dart through a multi-coloured LEGO “reef.” Across the room, blue blubber jellyfish and yellow-capped plastic bottles bob and drift in perfect harmony. Long shelves showcase assorted flotsam and jetsam, such as a plastic Snapple bottle cap emblazoned with the company’s slogan: “Made From the Best Stuff on Earth.” Intrigued? Dive into this thought-provoking exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium.

 

Royal Canadian Family Circus Spectac! Comes to Metro Vancouver

By CHLOË LAI

The S. Caleb Carinci Asch equestrian acrobats are, quite literally, lit.

May 17 to Jun. 10, 2018 It takes a certain kind of human—the word “super” comes to mind—to leap through a flaming hoop onto a galloping horse, juggle a world-record-breaking number of ping-pong balls with their mouths, or contort themselves into human pretzels. The incredible performers at Royal Canadian Family Circus Spectac! do all that and more, led by a larger-than-life ringmaster who’s headlined every circus show from Cirque du Soleil to the Ringling Brothers. Don’t miss crowd favourites Duo Guerrero, internationally acclaimed high-wire walkers who perform their death-defying balancing act while wife Aura sings to her husband, Werner—sometimes while doing the splits. Talk about going above and beyond.

Show dates and locations:

May 17 to 21: Guildford Town Centre, 10355-152 St., Surrey.

May 25 to 27: Tsawwassen Mills, 5000 Canoe Place Way, Tsawwassen.

May 31 to Jun 3: Lansdowne Centre, 5300 No. 3 Rd, Richmond.

Jun 7-10: Tradex, 1190 Cornell St., Abbotsford.

Stars on Ice Skates Into Vancouver

By CHLOË LAI

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir photo by Julie Larochelle

May 17, 2018 Summer’s nearly here but Vancouver is as cool as ever, thanks to Investors Group Stars on Ice presented by Lindt. This national tour features a star-studded cast of Canada’s most-decorated figure skaters, including three-time world champion Elvis Stojko. It’s also the perfect opportunity to gaze adoringly at Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (pictured), whose steamy ice dance routine won the gold medal at the 2018 Olympics just a few months ago—and melted hearts across the country. Feel the magic in person at Rogers Arena. 

Cirque du Soleil Hits the Ice

By CHLOË LAI

Photo by Matt Beard, costumes by Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt. Courtesy Cirque du Soleil

Apr. 11-15, 2018 For the first time ever, Cirque du Soleil is taking their gravity-defying show to a whole new level: the ice. Awe-inspiring acrobats are joined by skaters—coached by four-time world champion figure skater Kurt Browning—for Crystal, a groundbreaking ice show packed with synchronized skating, aerial trapeze, and ramp-jumping, back-flipping hockey players. It’s a new frontier for fearless fun.

Singin’ in the Rain: Springtime Activities

Put up your hood and open your umbrella for 20 activities that can be enjoyed rain or shine

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Mar. 2018

The seawall is scenic in every weather. (Photo by KK Law)

1. Stroll through Stanley Park. The city’s 400-hectare (1,000-acre) forested oasis is a can’t-miss activity. On a drizzly day, skip the seawall and head into the park’s interior for extra protection from the green canopy above. (more…)

Cute Creatures at the Vancouver Aquarium

By JILL VON SPRECKEN
Feb. 2018

Hardy, one of the Vancouver Aquarium’s rescued sea otter pups, strikes an adorable pose. (Photos courtesy Vancouver Aquarium)

You don’t have to deep-sea dive to discover the wonders of the ocean—simply ride the tides to the Vancouver Aquarium. Inside, find 50,000 incredible animals ranging from sloths to sea otters. Roll up your sleeve and pet a stingray, pop over to Penguin Point, tour the tropics, and discover all the life flourishing right here on BC’s coast. And don’t just bring home memories—the gift shop carries an array of souvenirs such as jewellery, Inuit art, plush toys, local cookbooks and upcycled glass sea stars that are worth the suitcase space. Bonus: gift-shop purchases fund aquarium programs that keep oceans wonderful. Now that’s deep.