Vancouver Adventures: Our Picks for May 16 to 22

This week: Indulge at the spot prawn festival, come along for the rides at Playland, witness the high-flying acts of Cirque du Soleil, prepare to laugh at a Game of Thrones improv show + more

Shipyards Night Market – Now until September 25

Hop on the SeaBus and catch a ride to North Vancouver’s Shipyards Night Market. It’s the perfect spot to spend a Friday night, with live music, local vendors selling artisan wares, and even a beer garden with local brews and wine for the 19+ crowd. Make sure you come hungry because the market will feature 20 of Vancouver’s best food trucks serving everything from waffles to pierogies.

5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays 
Shipbuilder’s Square, Wallace Mews Road, North Vancouver

Royal B.C. Museum Food Truck Festival – Now until October

If you find yourself in Victoria for the long weekend (or anytime this summer), then drop by the Royal B.C. Museum for the Food Truck Festival. What Victoria’s food truck scene lacks in numbers, it makes up for in quality and diversity. Munch on a pulled pork sandwich from Pig BBQ, or take a culinary trip down south for Mexican food from Puerto Vallarta Amigos Ltd. There will be five other food trucks serving up delicious foods as well as Truffles Catering supplying local beer and wine. 

11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Royal British Columbia Museum, 675 Belleville Street, Victoria

Credit: Sagmeister Walsh

The Happy Retreat – May 16

The Museum of Vancouver’s latest exhibition, Stefan Sagmeister’s The Happy Show, has been making waves in the city and inspiring Vancouverites to think hard about happiness. Now The Happy Show has teamed up with meditator Thomas Kefferputz to present the Happy Retreat, a relaxed day of outdoor meditation. The day-long retreat will include guided meditation with an ocean and mountain view, tea and snacks.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Museum of Vancouver, 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver

Playland Opening Weekend – May 16 to September 20

Nothing says summer in the city like a day spent at Playland, so start the season early with a visit on opening weekend. Thrill-seekers should be sure to try the park’s newest terror, The Beast, which will take riders on a pendulum swing that peaks at 12 storeys high. Guests can also revisit favourites like Flume, Music Express, the Hellevator and the newly relocated Crazy Beach Party.

Times and dates vary, check the schedule online for more info
Playland, 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver

Credit: Karen Hamilton and Tyler Branston, courtesy of Spot Prawn Festival

Spot Prawn Festival – May 17

Seafood fans will be in prawn heaven this weekend at the Chefs’ Table Society’s Spot Prawn Festival. Head down to Fisherman’s Wharf on Granville Island for live cooking demos from professional chefs, and bring cash so that you can get some spot prawns of your own fresh off the boat. The highlight of the event is the Spot Prawn Boil. Tickets to the boil will get you a plate of prawns, side dishes and drink samples.

11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fisherman’s Wharf, Granville Island, Vancouver

Credit: Flickr/Focka

Cirque Du Soleil Varekai – May 20 to 24

Immerse yourself in the magical world of Cirque Du Soleil with their newest high-flying show, Varekai. The show follows the adventures of a man who is dropped into the world of Varekai, a mysterious forest with some extraordinary inhabitants. In true Cirque Du Soleil fashion, the show weaves a spellbinding story complete with acrobatics, dance and stunning sets and costumes. Tickets can be bought online for evening shows or matinees.

Various times
Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver

Community Pizzeria Pop-Up Dinner – May 21

Community Pizzeria Food Truck has created a pop-up dinner that’s sure to satisfy the whole family. Enjoy comforting favourites with a twist – like a pizza with rapini, artichoke and gorgonzola – or snack on homemade dill sausages. Finish off the meal with mouth-watering sticky date pudding topped with toffee sauce and sea salt. For those looking to drink, there will be Moscow Mules by Dickie’s Ginger and beer from Strange Fellows Brewing.

7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
337 East Hastings Street, Vancouver

Surrey International Children’s Festival – May 21 to 23

The Surrey International Children’s Festival is all about engaging kids’ creativity and learning through art in a way that’s fun for everyone. Families can catch live music from artists like The Secret Life of Walter Manny and local songwriter Music With Marnie. The Vietnamese water puppet show is not-to-be missed with traditional storytelling, music and over 40 puppets. There will also be plenty of opportunities for kids to get involved and try their hands at circus tricks, crafts and music.

9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday
Surrey Arts Centre and Bear Creek Park, 13750 – 88 Avenue, Surrey

Indulge in Whistler – Now until May 31

Now that the ski season is over, Whistler might not be at the top of your list for weekend getaways, but their Indulge in Whistler festival means that May is the best month for frugal foodies to hit the Village. Twenty-two restaurants around Whistler are offering multi-course menus at bargain prices. Meals start at just $18, with higher-end restaurants offering menus up to $49. You can find a full list of participating restaurants online.

Vancouver Theatre Sports Throne and Games – Now until August 1

Vancouver TheatreSports League is issuing a warning with their newest show: “Laughter is coming…” Throne and Games is based on the popular HBO TV show Game of Thrones, but with a hilarious improv twist. Three “families” of comedians will compete in cutthroat improv games to see which family will rise to the top and conquer the Throne of Games. The audience plays an important role in the show by offering suggestions during games, and voting on which character should be eliminated.

7:30 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays
The Improv Centre, 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver