BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for December 31 – January 6

This week in BC: Check out Dal Richards, sail to Pender Island for the Lantern Festival, enjoy a Chocolate High Tea and more

Ring in the New Year with Dawn Chubai and Dal Richards

What to do in BC this week

See Dal Richards at the River Rock Casino – December 31
Dick Clark, host of ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve for almost 40 years, has got nothing on Dal Richards. The 93-year-old king of swing is still going strong, celebrating his 77th New Year’s Eve performance at River Rock Casino Resort’s Whistler Ballroom (8811 River Rd, Richmond). He’ll deliver the best of big-band beats backed by a full orchestra and Dal’s Gals, a cute quartet that includes jazz vocalist Dawn Chubai, better known as TVW contributor and host of Citytv’s Breakfast Television. Check it out starting at 7 p.m.

Light up the Lantern Festival
 – December 31
How does a Hollywood star celebrate New Year’s Eve? If your name is Bruce Greenwood or Evangeline Lilly, you head down to Pender Island’s Lantern Festival, held every December 31 on the shores of Magic Lake. The B.C.-based celebs, who have holiday homes in the area, have been known to turn out for this free community celebration that features an evening parade, live music and performances by stilt walkers, fire dancers and 
a kayak ballet, all starting at 
4:30 p.m.

Pamper Yourself at the Kingfisher Resort – anytime
Who couldn’t use a holiday after the holidays? If all the Christmas chaos has left you feeling frazzled, Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa (4330 Island Hwy S., Courtenay) invites you to unwind with a two-night Spa Escape. Get ready to dial those digits ’cause this primo package includes $200 in dining and spa credits, along with a Pacific Mist Hydropath treatment and a free yoga class. Rates are $400 per person until June 30, with details at 1-800-663-7929.

Have Chocolate High Tea at Schokolade Café – anytime
How good is Chocolate High Tea at Schokolade Café (2263 E. Hastings St, Vancouver)? Let’s just say it’s worth every belly bulge. The $26.25-per-person spread includes a selection of savouries and sweets, including mini quiches, pot pies, finger sandwiches and herb scones, along with petit fours, artisan chocolates and a tuxedo-dipped strawberry. Sip it down with coffee, tea or — our fave! — ancient Aztec hot chocolate, Tuesdays to Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.

Celebrate New Year’s on a Boat
 – December 31
Celebrate 2012 with a splash! Pride of Vancouver Charters invites you to spend December 31 on a five-hour cruise nibbling at a gourmet buffet, sipping bubbly, then showcasing your moves on the dance floor. Now throw in the romance of the ocean, a spectacular skyline and twinkling city lights, and it’s definitely worth the $114.50-per-person price. Board at 450 Denman St, Vancouver, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Get Perspective on the New Year at Grouse Mountain
 – December 31
New Year’s Eve is a perfect time to put the year into perspective. And there’s no place in town that offers a more wide-ranging perspective — literally speaking — than atop the snow-capped peak of Grouse Mountain. Enjoy the view from The Observatory, an upscale eatery hosting two New Year’s Eve dinners — a three-course menu for early birds at 5:30 p.m. and a six-courser starting from 8:45 p.m. Call 604-998-5045 for reservations.

Bring on the Bubbly at YEW Restaurant
 – December 31
Bring on the bubbly! The last night of the year deserves a suitable send-off, and YEW Restaurant (791 W. Georgia St, Vancouver) is up to the challenge. Executive chef Ned Bell has been slaving behind the stove to create a delicious and decadent six-course dinner that’s worth every penny of the $95-per-person price. The fancy feast, made from the finest, freshest fare, ends on a sweet note with your choice of Baked Alaska or a “Gold” Chocolate Tart. And if you’re up early enough, check out the New Year’s Day brunch, too!

Book a New Year’s Eve Table at Federico’s – December 31
Italians are known for embracing la dolce vita — translation: “the good life” — an expression derived from their eagerness to eat, drink and be merry. New Year’s Eve is no exception, and Federico’s Supper Club (1728 Commercial Dr, Vancouver) proves the point, hosting a night of dinner, live music and dancing, starting at 7 p.m. and continuing into the wee hours. Tickets are $150 per person, and include a tasty five-course menu prepared by chef Romy Prasad, a sparkling glass of Prosecco, plus tax and gratuity. Call 604-251-3473 to book your table.

Ring in the New Year at the River Rock Casino – December 31
From the prairies of Saskatchewan to the world stage, Colin James’ 23-year, 13-album career includes six Juno Awards and a well-earned rep as a “musician’s musician.” Catch him in action at Party 2012, a New Year’s Eve concert at the River Rock Casino Resort (8811 River Rd, Richmond), starting at 11 p.m. Tickets for balcony seats are $109.50 per person, and include a champagne toast and party favours at midnight.

Have a Gala Gourmet Dinner at Diva at the Met – December 31
No one likes a diva. The only exception? When you’re talking about Diva at the Met, a world-class dining destination housed in Vancouver’s tony Metropolitan Hotel (645 Howe St), presided over by executive chef Hamid Salimian (shown). For New Year’s Eve, check out one of two gala gourmet dinners — a four-course menu for $70 per person, or a seven-course spread for $135. Details at 604-602-7788.

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