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This week in BC: Have New Year's brunch, start bootcamp, see an ABBA tribute, pamper yourself and more
Salute to Vienna is an authentic Viennese New Year tradition, and it’s at the Orpheum
Have New Year’s Brunch – January 1 & 2
Let’s face it, most New Year’s Eve revelers are too busy fighting off hangovers to head out for brunch the next morning. That could be the reason why Newlands Golf and Country Club (21025 48th Avenue, Langley) is hosting its New Year’s Brunch on January 2 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This festive feast features all your favourite eats, with enough variety and volume to persuade you to postpone any diet resolutions for an extra day. For reservations, call 604-533-3288 for further information. Another option? Check out a Mediterranean-style New Year’s Day Brunch at Nu (1661 Granville Street, Vancouver), one of the only downtown restaurants offering free parking. Book by calling 604-646-4668.
See Salute to Vienna – January 2
If you’ve resolved to up your culture quotient this year, you can get off to a great start by checking out Salute to Vienna on January 2 at the Orpheum Theatre (884 Granville Street, Vancouver), starting at 2:30 p.m. The only genuine re-creation of Austria’s famed Neujahrskonzert, the concert is officially recognized by the mayor of Vienna as an authentic Viennese New Year’s tradition. This version features the Strauss Symphony of Canada and members of Ballet St. Pölten performing “a glorious bouquet of favourite polkas and famous operetta excerpts” by Johann Strauss Jr. Tickets start at $57 and are available at ticketmaster.ca or by calling 604-280-4444.
Start Your New Year Bootcamp – January 3 and 31
“We kick butt — yours!” That’s the motto of Survivor Bootcamp, which puts you on the fitness fast-track with an award-winning, results-oriented, no-excuses workout regimen. Sign up for an upcoming session, kicking off on January 3 and 31 in Burnaby, Richmond, Coquitlam and New Westminster for three- or five-day weekly workouts starting at $225 and $275, respectively. This month-long program, suitable for all fitness levels, provides total body conditioning through a range of outdoor activities such as strength training, agility drills, calisthenics, obstacle courses and circuit training. And, yes, it’s intense, but isn’t a bootcamp bod worth it? P.S. You can also lick any New Year’s weight-reduction resolutions on a 21-Day Weight Loss Challenge, starting January 3 for $249 per person. For info, visit or call 1-877-266-8267.
Catch the #1 ABBA Tribute Band – January 5
What makes Arrival from Sweden the No. 1
ABBA tribute band in the world? We’re guessing it might have something to do with the fact that the band includes original ABBA musician Mike Watson among its members. And as the only imitators given exclusive rights to use the ABBA name, costumes and original music, it’s about as close to the real thing as you can get. Interested? Catch Arrival from Sweden playing “The Music of ABBA” live on stage with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on January 5 at the Orpheum Theatre, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 to $65 per person, with senior, student and subscriber discounts available, or by calling VSO customer service at 604-876-3434.
Book the Moda Hotel’s Winterlicious Package – until February 28
Glow on, you deserve it — take a well-earned break from the January blahs with the Moda Hotel (900 Seymour Street, Vancouver) Winterlicious package. The ultimate in chic downtown style and value, the pet-friendly boutique hotel is housed in a heritage building in the heart of Vancouver’s vibrant entertainment district. So whether you’re craving a relaxing respite or a cheerful post-holiday pick-me-up, the package includes a complimentary upgrade to a deluxe suite, a facial at Skoah Spa, an Italian-inspired dinner à deux at the hotel’s Cibo Trattoria, plus late check-out privileges and free parking. To book this offer, available until February 28 and priced from $389 based on double occupancy, call 1-877-683-5522.
Take a Dive – anytime
For centuries, the secrets of the sea have been such a subject of speculation that eventually someone got the idea to strap on an oxygen tank, wetsuit and flippers to find out what’s actually going on down there. If you’re keen to take the plunge, you’re living in the right locale because B.C. boasts some of the world’s best dive sites. As proof, Rodale’s Scuba Diver Readers’ Choice Awards labelled our coast as having some of “the best fish life, best animals and healthiest marine environment in the world.” See for yourself by going for a dip in the deeps with Sea Dragon Charters, one of the top dive operators in town.
Take a Trolley Ride through Vancouver – this winter
If you’re a visitor to Vancouver, sorry, but you picked the worst time of year to play tourist. You could take a walking tour along downtown city streets, but if you’d rather not brave an umbrella-bumping obstacle course, you can always see the sights in comfort via the Vancouver Trolley Company. A ticket to ride one of these San Francisco-style streetcars is all you need to get a glimpse of the city’s most spectacular attractions — everything from gardens and parks to galleries and restaurants. Call 604-801-5515 for tickets, priced at $38 for adults, $35 for seniors and students and $20 for children, with a printable discount coupon available online.
Have a Post-Christmas Girls’ Getaway – anytime
Christmas is for children. But now that the shopping, cooking, cleaning and decorating are all over, it’s high time that harried moms enjoyed a little me time. One idea? Grab your girlfriends and escape to the Fairmont Empress Hotel (721 Government Street, Victoria) for an ultimate girls’ getaway that includes a complimentary room upgrade and welcome amenity, 60-minute spa service, signature cocktails in the Bengal Lounge and a free Willow Stream Spa bathrobe. The Victorian Girlfriends’ Great Escape package is available year-round, subject to availability, starting from $479 per night, based on double occupancy. For more details, call 1-866-540-4429.
Kick off the New Year at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort – January
Why not kick off 2011 on a high note — atop the towering slopes of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort (1500 Kicking Horse Trail) in Golden, overlooking B.C.’s Columbia River Valley. It’s an ear-popping 12-minute gondola ride up to the peak of the Dogtooth Range, site of 85 inbound chutes where you can ski, snowboard and hike alpine terrain that typically boasts 275 inches of perfect powder. If your mountaineering skills are modest, don’t worry; you’ll find plenty of runs to suit novices, along with a family-friendly tube park and skating rink. And when hunger hits, there are lots of places to apres ski, too, including the Eagle’s Eye, Canada’s highest elevation restaurant, situated 7,705 feet (2,350 metres) above ground. For more details, call 250-439-5425.
Pamper Yourself –
Celebrating a milestone birthday? You could always host a birthday bash at a restaurant — fun, but kind of ho-hum — or you could gather your favourite group of gals for a pampering party at Absolute Spa (various Lower Mainland locations, including 1015 Burrard Street in Vancouver’s Century Plaza Hotel). For $85 per person, partygoers will enjoy two 45-minute spa treatments, a light lunch or snack, free mineral makeup and a thank-you gift for the party organizer. You can customize your own party, too, for groups of friends, family or co-workers numbering from five to 200. For more details, call 604-684-2772.
Hit the Go-Kart Track –
Just because the weather outside is frightful doesn’t mean you have to hibernate at home till spring. Keep yourself and the kids from coming down with cabin fever by letting off steam at Richmond Go-Kart Track (6631 Sidaway Road). With no traffic cops around to ticket you, drivers can abandon the rules of the road by putting pedal to the metal and burning along a half-mile racetrack full of curves, hairpins and straight-aways, for a road-warrior experience that beats the Wii any day. Check it out Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m., with further information at 604-278-6184.
Retreat to the Shuswap – anytime
Thanks to the hustle and bustle of Christmas, it’s after the holidays that most of us need a holiday. For a restful retreat, you could always head to Shuswap Lake, the so-called “houseboat capital of Canada.” You’ll find lots of lakeside spots to unwind — everything from hotels, resorts and B&Bs — but if you really want something off the beaten path, you may want to rent a houseboat. There are hundreds of them available, and most are equipped with kitchens, full bathrooms, plenty of sleeping space and, in some cases, even hot tubs. For more information, go to houseboating.org or call 888-454-8825.
Originally published in TV Week. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TV Week e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.