BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for January 7-13

This week in BC: Take a chocolate fondue snowshoe tour, see The Swell Season, go prowling for owls and more

Mount Seymour’s chocolate fondue snowshoe tours are held every Saturday

What to do in BC this week

Go on an Owl Prowl – January 7
If your New Year’s resolution was to take a more active interest in the outdoors, grab your coat and set off on an Owl Prowl through the forested trails of Mill Hill Regional Park (490 Atkins Rd, Victoria) on January 7.  Led by naturalist David Allinson, this guided nighttime trek gives guests a rare chance to ogle owls in their natural habitat. Cost for the tour, taking place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., is $7. Call 250-478-3344 to register. Another option? Check out the Thetis Lake Loop, a free guided walk for adventurers aged 8 and over on January 8 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Catch the Candy Girl Cabaret – January 7 & 14
If all the sugary-sweet sentiment of the holidays has started to give you cavities, we think a little bit of edge might be in order. Fitting the bill is the Candy Girl Cabaret, a Broadway-calibre song-and-dance revue performing at Maxine’s Hideaway (1215 Bidwell St, Vancouver) on January 7 and 14. The gals, former back-up dancers for Madonna, will break out beats ranging from Broadway and jazz to pop and country, starting at 8 p.m.

Plan Your Wedding at the Wedding Fair – January 7-8
Did you know that more people pop the question during the Christmas holidays than at any other time of year? So how perfect is the timing of the 33rd annual Wedding Fair, held January 7 and 8 at Vancouver’s Westin Bayshore Hotel. Expect a fashion show featuring wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses and honeymoon lingerie, along with 150 exhibitors specializing in everything from invites and cakes to photos and wedding destinations.

See The Swell Season – January 10
What’s a film fan if not a bit of a voyeur? And cinephiles are guaranteed to get that fly-on-the-wall feeling at The Swell Season, an “extraordinary documentary” described by the L.A. Times as “so intimate and so natural, you feel as if you’ve stumbled into the room by mistake.” This story about a real-life relationship on the rocks is part of DOXA Documentary Film Festival’s Motion Pictures Series, unspooling January 10 at Kay Meek Centre (1700 Mathers Ave, West Vancouver), starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 per person by calling 604-646-3200.

Learn to Cook at Mission Hill Family Estate Winery – January 10
If your New Year’s resolution was to upgrade your cooking skills, 
you’re in luck: Mission Hill Family Estate Winery in Kelowna is rolling out a winter’s worth of culinary workshops, including this week’s offering of Cucina Italiana. Held on January 10 at 6:30 p.m., the class sees chef Jan Dobbener prepare five authentic dishes to demonstrate the “rich gastronomic heritage of regional Italian cooking.” To reserve a space, call 250-768-6483.

Take an Ecotour – anytime
Want to step away from the everyday? It’s easy to take a walk on the wild side with the help of Ecotours BC, an outdoor adventure company based in Williams Lake. Whether your trip involves alpine mule trekking, bird watching or winter wildlife viewing, you’ll have the added enjoyment of soaking up the stunning scenery of the Cariboo Mountains. Packages include accommodation at a comfy riverside lodge, all meals, guides and ground transport.

Get a Reading at the Granville Island Psychic Studio – anytime
We all know the saying, “The future is in your hands.” But the concept takes on a literal tone when you book a palm reading from one of our city’s many mystics. What’s in store for 2012? Dozens of self-described seers would be happy to give you a low-down, either in person, online or by phone, using tools of the trade like tea leaves, crystal balls or tarot cards. Check out Granville Island Psychic Studio (1526 Duranleau St, Vancouver) at 604-734-3354.

Go Storm Watching in Tofino – this winter
When hurricane-force winds start howling, storm chasers forge headlong into the fray. Their destination of choice? Tofino, of course — considered the storm-watching capital of Canada. Word is, you can enjoy some of the best views of wild waves at the Wickaninnish Inn, a seaside resort offering special “storm season” rates until February 28. Another five-star spot is Clayoquot Wilderness Resort & Spa, an eco-friendly outpost tucked deep in a coastal rainforest.

Take a Tour of Victoria’s Parliament Buildings – weekdays
If you didn’t squeeze in enough bonding with your brood over the holidays, you can always make up for it by taking off on a family-friendly field trip. One spot to try: Victoria’s Parliament Buildings, offering free guided tours through B.C.’s very own “corridors of power,” home to the premier’s office, legislative assembly and parliamentary press gallery. Tours operate on weekdays between 
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Chocolate Fondue Snowshoe Tours
 – every Saturday
So what if your New Year’s resolution was to shun sweets, you just may want to make an exception for Mount Seymour’s Chocolate Fondue Snowshoe Tours. Held every Saturday starting at 7 p.m., 
this frosty foray leads you on a 
2.5-hour trek through forested alpine trails before ending on a sweet note with a Belgian chocolate fondue. Tours are $56 per person, and include an interpretive guide, snowshoe rentals and trail pass. 

Discover Ladysmith’s Hidden Treasure – anytime
Not just the birthplace of Pamela Anderson, Ladysmith has another claim to fame these days: Page Point Bistro (4760 Brenton Page Rd). While most small towns are typically short on world-class restaurants, this oceanside eatery — described as “Ladysmith’s hidden treasure” — exceeds expectations, serving up locally sourced, fresh-made fare that delivers gourmet quality at a reasonable price. Our pick? Mussels in curry sauce, wild mushroom linguine and a lemon tart topped with blackberry gelato, all washed down with Czech beer and Italian wine. Delish! For reservations, call 250-924-1110.

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