BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for December 10-16

This week in BC: See the Nutcracker, The Peak of Christmas, Mount Seymour, and more

The Nutcracker plays at The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts December 15-18

What to do in BC this week

Cheer on the Vancouver Giants – December 10
Cue the cheering. The Vancouver Giants hockey team is scoring a victory this season for hungry families across the Lower Mainland. On December 10, the team’s facing off against the Lethbridge Hurricanes, but their biggest goal of the night will be to stock the shelves of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Game-goers are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food donation to Fill the Rink on Renfrew, a “giant” initiative to help feed hungry families this holiday season. Game time is 7 p.m. at the Pacific Coliseum.

Pay Tribute to the Rat Pack – December 10
The Rat Pack is back. Sort of. On December 10, Boulevard Casino’s Red Robinson Show Theatre (2080 United Blvd, Coquitlam) pays tribute to Sin City’s most famous players, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr., with the help of a trio of top-notch impersonators. They’ll channel the group’s trademark tomfoolery while delivering an evening full of toe-tapping tunes, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $34.50 to $44.50.

Head to Mount Seymour – December 10, 11, 17 and 18
No need to book passage aboard the Polar Express to spot Santa this holiday season. Just head up to Mount Seymour, where kids can meet, greet and get a free picture snapped with St. Nick himself. Just bring a non-perishable donation for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, and your generosity will be rewarded with a free gift, apple cider and Christmas cookies. Swing by Santa’s workshop at Enquist Lodge from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Enjoy the Peak of Christmas
 – December 14 – 24
When it comes to winter recreation, Grouse Mountain is a guaranteed go-to destination. That’s especially true right now, when visitors are making merry on the mountaintop for The Peak of Christmas, a seasonal celebration featuring everything from alpine sleigh rides and outdoor ice-skating to costumed carolers and real-live reindeer. What’s more, you can even sit down for a Breakfast With Santa, a bountiful buffet at Lupins Café.

See The Nutcracker at the Centre – December 15 – 18
Did you know that when The Nutcracker debuted back in 1892 it bombed at the box office? In fact, a prominent critic of the day deemed the ballet “quite amateurish.” But maybe the Victorians were just too uptight to appreciate the fantastical world of Sugar Plum Fairies because the production, backed by Tchaikovsky’s most famous score, has been a Christmas classic for over 60 years. Enjoy the magic all over again with Goh Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts (777 Homer).

Shop the Craft Council of British Columbia Gallery – December 18
Forget eBay. Some of the best buys are up for grabs this month at the Craft Council of British Columbia Gallery (1386 Cartwright St, Granville Island, Vancouver). Swing by to check out the dozens of contemporary crafts available for auction — everything from paintings to pendants and décor to dolls. One thing’s for sure: You’ll find everything you need to bid buh-bye to your gift list fast. Place your bids online or by phone at 604-687-7270 no later than noon.

Try the Bel Café – anytime
EnRoute magazine recently recognized Hawksworth Restaurant as the best new dining spot in Vancouver. And now it’s spawned a sister stop called Bel Café that’s every bit as buzz-worthy. Located in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia (801 W. Georgia St, Vancouver), this European-style eatery serves up fresh baked pastries, gourmet sandwiches, nourishing soups and custom-blend beverages, for either sit-down service or dining on the run. Tip: Word has it the jewel-toned macaroons are melt-in-your-mouth exquisite.

Get a Passport to Christmas – December 22
Going on a winter stay-cation? Then you’ll need to apply for a passport — a Passport to Christmas, that is. And unlike the conventional kind, there’s no red tape required for this passport, which leads you on a treasure trek to some of the top shops in Abbotsford and the Fraser Valley, where you’ll find everything from candy and collectibles to wreaths and wine. Pick up a map at Abbotsford Visitor Centre (34561 Delair Rd) then get your passport stamped at participating vendors for a chance to win a grand-prize weekend getaway.

Have a Heritage Christmas at the Burnaby Village Museum – until January 1
Recreating yuletides of yore is a specialty of Burnaby Village Museum (6501 Deer Lake Ave), a replica turn-of-the-century town in the heart of the city. It’ll be making spirits bright with a Heritage Christmas, featuring Victorian-style storefronts, costumed carolers, live theatre, appearances by Father Christmas and loads of storybook-inspired decorations. P.S. Admission is free!

Take a Hip Hop Workshop – Sundays
On dance floors everywhere, nothing is more happening than hip hop. Why? As one person put it: “From the Bronx to Beirut, Kazakhstan to Cali, Hokkaido to Harare, it’s the sound of a disaffected global youth culture.” Learn more at Beaumont Studios (316 W. 5th Ave, Vancouver) hip-hop workshops, held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. by local rap veteran Emotionz, alongside a rotating roster of guest performers and speakers.

Take the Empress’ Christmas Past and Present Tour – Saturdays in December
What’s so great about the Fairmont Empress Hotel (721 Government St, Victoria)? Lots — as you’ll discover during the Christmas Past and Present Tour, held on Saturdays throughout December. A guide in period costume will lead you through the century-old landmark, where you’ll be regaled with 90 minutes of tales about the hotel’s illustrious history, famous guests and notable happenings. Reserve your ticket for the 11 a.m. tour, priced at $10 per person, by calling 250-389-2727.

Head to a WildPlay Adventure Park – anytime
Want a bird’s eye view of the backcountry? Buckle up on a soaring excursion through the trees on a Zoom Zip Line, suspended high above the breathtaking beauty of Cougar Mountain and the Whistler Valley. And that’s only one of the many outdoor activities in store at WildPlay Adventure Parks, located in Whistler Victoria, Nanaimo and Maple Ridge, including Tarzan-size swings and a circus-worthy tightrope elevated six metres above ground.

Originally published in TVW. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.