BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for March 31 – April 6

This week in BC: Turn off the lights to combat climate change, run a half-marathon, celebrate spring blossoms, and more

Rising star Ali Milner is one of many musicians taking part in Motown Meltdown

What to do in BC this week

Rock the House at Motown Meltdown – March 31
Does anyone really need an excuse to break out their best dance moves? Here’s one anyway: On March 31, Motown Meltdown will see dozens of acclaimed musicians rock the house in a fundraising fete to support direct service AIDS agencies. Held at the Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville), this shindig for the Shooting Stars Foundation features local luminaries like Ali Milner, David Sinclair, Oliver Conway and Jane Mortifee, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 by phone at 1-855-985-5000.

Turn off the Lights to Combat Climate Change – March 31
Are you in the dark about Earth Hour? Good! Last year more than 10 million Canadians switched off their lights for this iconic initiative, and it’s time to beat those numbers this year at the sixth annual Earth Hour on March 31. Just turn off your lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and you’ll be among the billion people worldwide who’ll be helping to combat climate change. Tip: Go online for family-friendly ideas on how to make this no-power hour fun.

Take a Dip in the Dark – March 31
What’s there to do in the dark once you dim your lights for Earth Hour on March 31? Plenty: You could host a candlelit dinner, camp out in the backyard, scan the sky for stars, or – if you’re in Kamloops – grab your bathing suit and go for a Dim Swim at Canada Games Pool (910 McGill Rd). Who cares if your bod is still winter white —you’ll be taking a dip in the dark while enjoying poolside giveaways and free prizes! Check it out from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., with details at 250- 828-3655.

Go on an April Fool’s Day Scavenger Hunt – March 31-April 1
Family fun awaits this weekend at Royal BC Museum (675 Belleville St, Victoria), site of an April Fools’ Scavenger Hunt on March 31 and April 1. Unusual objects have been placed among the exhibits, and it’s up to you to identify the ones that don’t belong. HInt: Did that Ford Model T always have a pair of fuzzy dice hanging from the rear-view mirror? Drop by from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with info at 250-356-7226.

Run a Half-Marathon at the Sunshine Coast April Fool’s Day Run – April 1
It’s no joke: the best thing about the 35th BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool’s Day Run is that it’s all downhill. And, after you run, walk or relay the scenic 21.1- km route from Gibsons to Sechelt, participants can kick back for free, post-race refreshments, live music and an awards ceremony. Check it out on April 1, starting at 9 a.m. PS: You can gear up for this grueling half-marathon at a special stretch class for runners at Yoga by the Sea in Roberts Creek Village on March 31.

Burst into Bloom at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival – April 1-30
Did you know that the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, taking place from April 1 to 30, is one of the entries in Patricia Schultz’s best-selling travel tome 1,000 Places to See Before You Die? That means you’ll only have 999 more to go once you swing by this floral fete, where you’ll enjoy such pastoral pleasures as a windmill garden, bargains on bulbs and rides through acres of fragrant tulip fields in the heart of Washington State.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road – April 2
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Follow the yellow brick road to the Orpheum Theatre (884 Granville St, Vancouver) on April 2 to catch The Wizard of Oz, the Oscar-winning 1939 film backed by a live score from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Dress up as your favourite character and join Dorothy and the gang on their journey over the rainbow, starting at 8 p.m. For tickets, priced from $22.50, call 604-876-3434.

Explore Cars at the Vancouver International Auto Show – April 3-8
Seems we’re a city that’s crazy about cars. Why else would the Vancouver International Auto Show be such a big hit year after year? This 92nd annual auto exhibition, rolling into BC Place Stadium (777 Pacific Blvd, Vancouver) from April 3 to 8, features over 450 new makes and models, special feature vehicles and all the latest in automotive accessories. Buy tickets at the door for $15, or $10 for seniors and students.

See Pink at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival – April 5
Here in Vancouver we don’t need Wiarton Willie to tell us how many weeks we’ve got left of winter. Not when a plethora of pink from our city’s 37,000 cherry trees gives us proof positive that spring has finally sprung. The short-lived sight of these pastel-pink petals is the inspiration behind the sixth annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, which kicks off with a free outdoor concert on April 5 at Burrard SkyTrain Station, starting at 11 a.m.

Book a Wilderness Resort Retreat – now
Let’s face it: When it comes to answering the call of the wild, not everyone likes the idea of roughing it in the bush. Those refined folk are guaranteed to have their upscale appetites satisfied by Sonora Resort, voted the No. 1 Luxury Hotel in Canada by Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice 2011 Awards. This wilderness resort on Sonora Island combines five-star style with action-packed outdoor adventures, including everything from eco-boat tours and white-water rafting to grizzly sightings and glacier viewing. For details, call 1-888-576-6672.

Try Italian with a Twist – now
“Twisted Italian” is how Cento Notti at the world-famous OPUS Hotel (350 Davie St, Vancouver) describes both its eats and its ambience. Serving up an irreverent mash-up of Italian-influenced pop art and comfort food, it delivers a “glittering, gold-dipped taste of la dolce vita” that’s “unapologetically over-the-top.” Case in point: the naked-mannequin decor and, even cheekier, the statue of Michelangelo’s David in drag.

Go on a Fashion Hunt  – now
Frugal fashionistas, take note: You’ll never miss a “fashion find” or a one-of-a-kind store on Vancouver’s Shopabout Tours. Led by an expert guide, you’ll visit artisan studios, boutiques and designer shops in the trendiest neighbourhoods while receiving exclusive discounts along the way. Shop while you walk on one of four existing tours, or create a personalized one that fits the needs of your group, starting at $40 per person. Call 604-375-1228 to book.

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.