BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for December 24-30

This week in BC: Have lunch with Santa, take a carriage lights tour, make a vision board and more

Victoria’s Craigdarroch Castle is rolling out old-time English Christmas entertainment

What to do in BC this week

See Christmas on the Coast – December 19 – January 2
Not spending the holidays in Hawaii? At least you can still swing by H.R. MacMillan Space Centre (1100 Chestnut St, Vancouver) for a screening of Christmas on the Coast, a holiday classic featuring images of a West Coast winter backed by a seasonal soundtrack. Drop by from December 19 to January 2, excluding December 25, and while you’re there, why not honour the light of your life with a stellar gift by dedicating a star in his or her name?

Hear the Sounds of Christmas at Sinclair Centre – until December 24

If you’re the last-minute type, head to the one-stop Sinclair Centre (757 W. Hastings, Vancouver), where you’ll find all you need to tick off your gift list in style. All week long before Christmas Eve, enjoy the “Sounds of Christmas” from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and take advantage of free giftwrapping on December 21 during the same hours. Plus, enter by December 22 for a chance to win a $500 travel voucher.

Have Christmas Lunch at Grouse Mountain – until December 24

If you’re dreaming of a day without dishes, your wish can be a reality at Grouse Mountain’s Christmas Lunch in The Observatory. Santa’s made a list and checked it twice to guarantee diners will enjoy this three-course festive feast, taking place from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. through December 24. Got kids? Why not spring for Breakfast With Santa, held daily from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., also only until December 24. Call 604-980-9311 to reserve.

Enjoy the Pan Pacific’s Night Before Christmas Buffet – December 24

If you want to do more this Christmas Eve than just scan the skies for Santa sightings, check out the Pan Pacific Hotel’s ’Twas the Night Before Christmas buffet at Café Pacifica and Cascades Lounge (999 Canada Place, Vancouver). The upscale eatery will be serving up everything from soup and nuts to salad and seafood on December 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. And instead of a cacophony of clinking cutlery, you’ll hear Christmas classics courtesy of the Goby Catt Trio.

Catch a Year in Review Comedy 
- December 27 -31
If 2011 zoomed by at warp speed, Vancouver TheatreSports League will help refresh your memory. From December 27 to 31, Year in Review hightails it through the headlines to replay the best moments of 2011, including a rundown on what was hot and what was not. Put the year in perspective, while enjoying big laughs at nightly shows — including a special New Year’s Eve edition — at The Improv Centre (1502 Duranleau St, Granville Island, Vancouver).

See Waiting for Godot – December 27 – January 21

Brilliant? Absurd? A lot of meaningless nonsense? Blackbird Theatre presents that play — Samuel Beckett’s harrowing, funny and endlessly elusive masterpiece Waiting for Godot from December 27 to January 21 at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre (1895 Venables St). “People love it. People hate it. But Godot is unstoppable,” says John Wright, Blackbird Theatre’s artistic director. “After almost 60 years of continuous performances around the world it still commands the stage.”

Take a Victoria Carriage Christmas Lights Tour – December 29

Sure, you could always cruise Victoria’s Christmas lights by car, but why not up the fun factor by seeing the sights aboard a horse-drawn trolley instead? This month, Victoria Carriage Tours is offering narrated Christmas-themed excursions that clip-clop along quaint streets as costumed guides reminisce about yuletides of yore. The 45-minute tours, operating on selected dates until December 29, cost $20 per person, $15 for students/seniors and $10 for kids under 12.

Make a Vision Board for 2012 – December 28
Change your thoughts, change your life. That’s the theory behind the runaway bestseller The Secret, and it’s also the root of a new vision board workshop at Shine (950 12th St, New Westminster). What’s that, you ask? It’s a simple yet powerful tool that activates the universal law of attraction to help manifest your dreams into reality. Join Alison Boons, registered yoga teacher, on December 28, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., to learn why it works and how to create your own vision board. Admission is by a recommended $10 donation.

Experience a Victorian-style Christmas – December
The best place in B.C. to experience a Victorian-style Christmas? You guessed it: Victoria! A relic from the 19th century, Craigdarroch Castle (1050 Joan Crescent) is rolling out old-time English entertainment like a mummers play in the dance hall, cider and cookies in the pantry and one-man performances of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Plus, on Family Nights, you can catch guided tours by costumed maids, traditional children’s performers and Christmas trees trimmed with original period pieces. (Closed December 25, 26 and January 1.)

Visit Butchart Gardens’ Winter Wonders
 – until January 6
The season’s rain, snow and slush can be a downer, but leave it to the folks at The Butchart Gardens (800 Benvenuto Avenue, Brentwood Bay) to put the wonder back in winter. Visitors can wander through the world-famous garden, festooned with twinkling lights, evergreen swags and wreaths of holly, and enjoy outdoor ice skating, Christmas carolers and seasonal displays daily until January 6.

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