Vancouver Adventures: Our picks for December 6 to 12

This week: take your taste buds on a trip to the far east at the Shangri-La Hotel, celebrate as Santa comes to town, drink wine and be merry at Big White, and more

Flavours of the East at the Shangri-La – December 1 to January 2

The Shangri-La Hotel is celebrating its 30th anniversary of having hotels in China, and you’re invited to take part in the festivities here in the West. They’ll be hosting a special Emperor’s Afternoon Tea in their Xi Shi Lounge with Asian inspired treats like mango pudding and BBQ duck steam buns (see the full tea menu. They’ll also be offering a lunchtime dim sum meal, complete with dumplings, spring rolls, buns and more.

Spoon and Shovel Long Table Dinner – December 6

Satisfy your appetite for unique dining at the Spoon and Shovel Long Table Dinner. The goal of the event is to celebrate local food, and this time the spotlight is shining on Burnaby farm Urban Digs. They’ll be making the Mexican pork stew, Pozole, which has its roots in Aztec ceremonies. To add to the fun, there’ll be a homemade piñata and DJs spinning funk music from around the world. 

Rogers Santa Claus Parade – December 7

One of Vancouver’s biggest Christmas events has come to town: The Rogers Santa Claus Parade. They’ll be going big with over 65 floats, choirs and marching bands. Make sure to drop by early so that you have time to check out the Coast Capital Savings Christmas Square. The Square will have activities like writing letters to Santa, gingerbread decorating, face painting and live entertainment.

Big Reds at Big White – December 5-6

A visit to Big White promises perfect powder, but now you can get even more out of your trip with a classy wine tasting at Village Centre Mall. For two nights some of the most famous wineries in B.C. will be serving up samples of their new red wines. You can chat with the winemakers and learn what to bring to your next holiday party, and what to gift your favourite wine lovers.

Giants Teddy Bear Toss – December 6

The good ol’ hockey game gets even better when you throw in some gift giving. The Giants Teddy Bear Toss is a holiday tradition with a good cause: collecting toys for kids in need. Fans can bring a new stuffed bear to the game (or buy one there, if you forget) and then when the Giants score their first goal, all the bears will be thrown on to the ice. From there the bears will be collected and donated to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau.

Credit: Flickr/Anna

Sideshow: Musical Improv – December 7

Prepare yourself for a night of music, laughs, and unpredictability at Sideshow. This annual comedy event features a 100-per-cent-improvised musical by Off Key Improv at the Pacific Theatre. The talented actors will use audience suggestions and influences from the theatre’s past plays to put together a spontaneous family-friendly spectacle. You can buy tickets for their matinee showing on the Pacific Theatre website. Move fast so they don’t sell out. 

The Santaland Diaries – December 9-13

Anyone who can appreciate a sarcastic account of the holiday season should not miss seeing Santaland. Based off a “merrily subversive” essay by humour writer David Sedaris, the play follows a struggling writer who takes a job at Macy’s as one of Santa’s elves. You can grab tickets for the show at Coal Harbour’s PAL Theatre online, or at the door. 

Festival of Lights Photography Workshop – December 11

VanDusen Garden is all decked out in its most twinkly lights, and wants to show you how you can capture all the magic on film. Attend their Festival of Lights Photography Workshop to learn all the essentials of nighttime photography so that you can make the memories last all year long. The evening starts with an indoor presentation, before moving the class outside and giving you lots of time to hone your skills.

Mistletoe Tea at the Fairmont – All of December

The Fairmont Vancouver Airport offers up classy high tea all year round, but they still manage to make Christmas special with their month-long Mistletoe Tea. For all of December it will be serving up delicious and dainty seasonal treats along with piping hot tea. For $49 per person you’ll get a selection of scones, sandwiches, desserts and a welcome drink, all presented with style.

Credit: Flickr/Larry

Granville Island Private Holiday Foodie Tour

If you’ve become bored of the typical Christmas party, why not try something new? Take your guests on a whirlwind Granville Island Private Holiday Foodie Tour, and experience all the tastiest bites the market has to offer. The award-winning guides will teach you about the local fare and tell you the stories behind the local vendors. With delicious food and plenty of fun facts, it’s sure to be a party that your guests will talk about all year.