BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for December 15-21

This week in BC: Enjoy the Vancouver Bach Choir, Winter Solstice Lantern Festival, Drew McCreadie's Hotel Bethlehem, and more

Credit: David Cooper

Bah! Humbug! — Dec. 15

When it comes to Christmas, if you identify more with Scrooge than with Santa, you’re the perfect candidate to see Bah! Humbug!, a musical reading of A Christmas Carol featuring performances by Jay Brazeau, Margo Kane and Jim Byrnes. Better hurry up and book, though, because this limited-run show is holding just two performances, on December 15 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre in Vancouver. Tickets are $20, with proceeds benefiting the local arts community. (Pictured: Jay Brazeau as Ebenezer Scrooge).

El Niño (The Infant) by the Vancouver Bach Choir — Dec. 15

We’ve all heard the story of Christ’s birth, but you’ve probably never heard it so wondrously told as in composer John Adams’ nativity oratorio El Niño (The Infant), performed for the first time in Canada by the Vancouver Bach Choir at the Orpheum on December 15 at 8 p.m. Why go? Because this poetic retelling of the so-called virgin birth by one of the world’s most vital living composers has been called “a Messiah for the modern age.” Buy tickets online from $25.

Credit: Flickr / Tristen.Pelton

Spot Santa on Seymour — Dec. 15, 16, 22 and 23

Forget SpongeBob, Superman and Spidey. For kids, the only real superhero this season is Santa. So good thing he’s not holing up for the holidays at the North Pole; instead, you can Spot Santa on Seymour on December 15, 16, 22 and 23 riding the new Mystery Peak express chairlift, shushing down the slopes and posing for pics in the Winter Wonderland at SnowPlay Park. Check online for all the details.

Credit: Tim Matheson

Hotel Bethlehem — Dec. 18-23

When it comes to the nativity tale, the bible might not be telling the real story. That’s according to award-winning Vancouver playwright Drew McCreadie, whose Hotel Bethlehem invites audiences to consider another interpretation of what happened on that fateful silent night. Have you ever wondered why the inn was full? Or who would turn away a woman about to give birth? McCreadie offers answers to these mysterious questions from December 18 to 23 at Vancouver’s Firehall Arts Centre. Call 604-689-0926 for tickets. (Pictured: John Murphy as Joshua).

Credit: Flickr / ItzaFineDay

Winter Solstice Lantern Festival – Dec. 21

Better wax the snowboards and sharpen up the skates ’cause December 21 marks the official arrival of winter. And one way to celebrate the start of snow season is at the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival, lighting up the night with a lantern procession wending through six Vancouver neighbourhoods, including Yaletown, False Creek, Granville Island, Chinatown, Strathcona and the Downtown Eastside. Check it out on December 21 starting at 6 p.m., with admission by donation.

End of the World — Until Dec. 21

So what if the Mayan calendar mysteriously ends on December 21, 2012. If the apocalypse is imminent, at least the folks at Vancouver’s H.R. MacMillan Space Centre have kept their sense of humour about it. Instead of battening down the hatches, they’re swinging open the doors for an End of the World celebration, featuring a screening of the doomsday disaster film 2012 starring John Cusack and Amanda Peet, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.75 at the door.

The Magic of Santa! — Dec. 21-22

And you thought you were busy these days? It’s nothing compared to St. Nick’s social schedule — not only is he stationed in every shopping mall in town, he’s also the star attraction in The Magic of Santa!, held at Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum on December 21 and 22. This holiday musical guarantees to warm the cockles of every kid’s heart, thanks to dancing Christmas trees, rockin’ reindeer and a singing snow queen. Tickets on-line are $22.50, plus service charges.

Holiday Rumble — Until Dec. 22

Vancouver TheatreSports League can always be counted on to deliver a top-notch seasonal show, and this year it’s Holiday Rumble, a winner-take-all grudge match that on any given night might feature Santa, Jack Frost, the Ghost of Bing Crosby, Brenda the Atheist or a street-smart rabbi. Facing off in classic improv games, these holiday icons will go head to head in cutthroat comedy combat until only one them is left standing. See it on Thursday through Saturday nights until December 22 at the Improv Centre on Granville Island, with tickets available online. (Pictured: Pearce Visser).

Magnolia Hotel’s Ultimate Victorian Christmas Package — Dec. 24 to Jan. 6

Vacationing in Victoria this holiday season? You can’t beat Magnolia Hotel’s Ultimate Victorian Christmas Package, which includes a $50-per-day voucher for Prime Steakhouse or Magnolia Spa, wine and cheese receptions, deluxe continental breakfasts, free valet parking and your choice of hot chocolate or hot rum toddy at turn-down. And if you’re still hungry, you can help yourself to free seasonal snacks in the lobby, including mulled apple cider and hot chocolate. Book by December 24 for stays through to January 6.

The Polar Express 4D Experience — Until Jan. 6

If you spot a bunch of kids parading around in pajamas, it’s not because they’re sleepwalking. They’re just arriving in costume for a screening of The Polar Express 4D Experience, running until January 6 at the Vancouver Aquarium. And even if you’ve already seen this 2004 fantasy directed by Robert Zemeckis, you can rest assured you haven’t seen it quite like this before, complete with high-tech special effects to stimulate all of your senses.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.