Vancouver Adventures – Our To Do Picks for Nov. 16-22

This week: Skate up a storm at Robson Square, treat your kids to a free movie at the Cineplex Community Day, hit the slopes in Whistler to celebrate the start of ski season, and more

Skating in Robson Square – Nov. 15 to Feb. 28

While Vancouver may not have frozen lakes to skate on, you can still blade al fresco in the city. Downtown’s Robson Square ice rink officially opens for all skaters on Nov. 15 at 1 pm, and is free to use if you have your own equipment. Skate and helmet rentals for all ages are also available on site, as well as toasty hot chocolate to warm you up when you’re off the ice. The rink is open 9 am to 9 pm Sun -Thurs, and 9 pm to 11 pm Fridays and Saturdays.    


Credit: Spank! A Fifty Shades Parody

Spank! A Fifty Shades Parody – Nov. 14-16

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know all about 50 Shades of Grey, the saucy paperback that got everybody blushing. Now a musical parody production of the naughty best-seller is coming to Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre (918 Granville St.). Since its original premiere in Oct. 2012, Spank has been called “a perfect girls night out” and has had reviewers across North America laughing out loud with its pop culture references, musical numbers and larger-than-life characters. Purchase tickets online for the five-show run this weekend.

Designer Sample Sale – Nov. 14-17

Expect to see the claws come out this weekend as shoppers battle one another to find the best deals at the designer sample sale, hosted by the Sample Sale Guys. Men and women’s clothing and accessories from designers like Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Marc Jacobs and Lacoste will be on sale for up to 80 per cent off all weekend long at Empire Landmark Hotel (1400 Robson Street). Head over early before all the good stuff is gone!





Free Movies at Cineplex Community Day – Nov. 16

Looking for a cheap rainy day activity for the kids this weekend? See a free movie with them Saturday morning at your local Cineplex theatre’s Community Day. Admission is free and select concession items (including regular popcorn, fountain drinks and candy) are $2 with all proceeds benefitting the Canadian Olympic Foundation. The films being shown are Men In Black 3 (9 am), The Pirates! Band of Misfits (9:15 am), The Smurfs (9:30 am), The Amazing Spider-Man (9:45 am) and Hotel Transylvania 3D (10 am). 


Whistler Mountain opens for the season – Nov. 16

Get ready to dust off your skis and snowboards because Whistler is opening 13 days earlier than planned this year: Nov. 16! You can thank the weather gods for their perfect combination of cool temperatures and precipitation. Five lifts will be running this weekend, with the option of uploading from the Whistler Village Gondola or the Creekside Gondola between 830 am and 3 pm. Blackcomb won’t be opening until Nov. 28, but with ski season starting almost two weeks early, we’re pretty sure nobody will complain.   


Vancouver Short Film Festival – Nov. 15 & 16

Cinephiles will want to make their way down to Vancity Theatre this weekend for the Vancouver Short Film Fest. There will be 21 short films and four web series screened to showcase local B.C. filmmakers, with both established veterans and students being featured. Anything is fair game, and the shorts cover comedic, suspenseful and heartwarming themes. Check online for full descriptions and screening schedules, and don’t forget the popcorn.


St. Paul’s Lights of Hope Community Celebration – Nov. 20

Celebrate the return of the annual Lights of Hope tradition at St. Paul’s Hospital. Get a head start on feeling the holiday spirit: make a donation online and then head down to Burrard Street Nov. 20 to see the fantastic display light up for the the first time in 2013. It’s entirely built by volunteers, using over 10 kilometers of donated LED lights, and each year the Lights of Hope campaign raises funds to support the hospital’s needs for equipment, research and enhanced patient care. To accompany the twinkly lights on Nov. 20 there will also be fireworks, food trucks and fun for the whole family.



Dance in Vancouver – Nov. 20-23

Contemporary dancers use innovative movements, floorwork and unpredictable changes in speed and direction to tell their story. The ninth biennial Dance in Vancouver event celebrates the art of the contemporary dance style and attracts promoters and scouts from acoss Canada and the rest of the world. Over four days, eight West Coast dance companies will perform pieces from new works and recent productions. Dancers and companies at the event will include: Wen Wei Dance, Tara Cheyenne Performance, Joe Ink, Sarah Chase with Andrea Nann, dumb instrument Dance/Ziyian Kwan, Vision Impure with Nova Dance, the Plastic Orchid Factory (pictured) and battery opera performance. Tickets and the schedule of performances can be found online.

Just For Laughs Comedy Tour – Nov. 21 & 22

Be warned – if you attend one of these shows you may leave in pain. Your face will hurt from grinning all night, and your sides will be sore from laughing out loud. The Just For Laughs “all-headliner tour” is hitting Surrey’s Bell Performing Arts Centre
 Nov. 21 and Vancouver’s Vogue Theatre Nov. 22 (for two shows). All the jokesters planning to take the stage have made their mark in the comedy scene and have had successful careers in movies, television and radio. Expect to hear hilarious zingers from comedians like Darrin Rose, Godfrey, Orny Adams, Ben Seidman and Tom Papa.

West Coast Christmas Show and Marketplace – Nov. 22-24

This Abbotsford market brings together holiday gifts, fancy food, decor ideas, festive seminars and culinary presentations all under one roof at Tradex (1190 Cornell Street, Abbotsford). On stage, the Food Network Canada’s Anna Olson from Bake with Anna Olson will share seasonal baking tips, the team from Flüff Design and Decor will discuss setting up your home for holiday parties, and 99 Nursery and Florist will demonstrate festive florals and décor. Local bands and choirs will fill the air with music to help everyone get in to the holiday spirit, and your little ones can make crafts and have their photo taken with Santa.