Vancouver Adventures: Our Picks for August 16 to 22

This week: the new Café Medina is open, act like a kid at The Fair at the PNE, save the city with a thrilling game of Vancouver Mysteries and more

Credit: Issha Marie

Café Medina on Richards

New location, same great brunch. Café Medina is officially open in their new space on the 700 block of Richards, and brunch fans have reason to be excited. The new space feels expansive, and features two bars, hanging light fixtures galore and a display case full of waffles(!) in the entranceway. The menu is as delicious as ever, with favourites like the short-rib Fricassée returning, as well as yummy new dishes like Fricassée Champignon (two fried eggs, sherry roasted mushrooms, roasted potatoes, caramelized onions and more). So brunchies, head down to Richards and Robson and fall in love with Medina all over again.

The Fair at the PNE – August 16 to September 1

Now in its 104th year, the Fair at the PNE just keeps getting better with age. For proof, just look at the range of new and classic family entertainment, including more than 55 thrilling rides, the Summer Night Concert series (featuring headliners such as Philip Philips, Leann Rimes, Gipsy Kings and Boyz II Men), mouthwatering food from around the globe, the Superdogs, PNE Prize Home and much, much more! This year’s biggest showcase will definitely be the Game of Thrones Exhibit, which features 100 original artifacts from the show’s first four seasons. It kicks off this Saturday and the fun doesn’t let up till Labour Day.

Sunday FUNday Queer Families Picnic – August 17

Bring a blanket and snacks to the Sunday FUNday Queer Families Picnic on Aug. 17 from 10:30 a.m. until noon. It’ll be a chance to enjoy the sun with queer families of all ages, and lots of opportunities to get those baby feet groovin’ to the musical stylings of Disco, Baby! and The Dukes of Uke. Check it out in the grassy field behind the False Creek Community Centre, beside the water park on Granville Island.

Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon – August 23

Returning for its third year, the Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon sees runners from around North America and beyond converge in Vancouver to experience a full weekend of lululemon fun. Highlights of this August 23 event include a half-marathon run starting at 7 a.m. that winds through the city’s most picturesque parks and neighbourhoods, a SeaWheeze showcase store (selling limited-edition attire), sunrise and sunset yoga sessions, and – our favourite part – the Sunset Festival, featuring a local food fair, massive yoga class and show-stopping outdoor concert at Brockton Fields in Stanley Park.  Go online for details, or check out the new SeaWheeze app!

Kayak for a Cure – August 23

Who needs an excuse to play in the water? Here’s one anyway: on Saturday, August 23, Kayak for a Cure holds its ninth annual event at Jericho Beach in support of the Canadian Cancer Society. The event is open to the public and to paddlers of all levels, and don’t worry, you’ll be in safe hands ‘cause the experts at Ecomarine Kayaks will guide paddlers across English Bay for a beautiful, inspiring and fun day in the sun. Go online for all the details.

Honey, I Helped the Bees at Loden Hotel – Until September 1

For a stay as sweet as honey, opt for the Loden Hotel’s “Honey, I Helped the Bees” package. This unique voluntourism package provides urbanites with an up-close look at what it’s like to be a beekeeper and allows you to give back to our buzzing friends. Package includes an interactive experience with an expert beekeeper, honey lager beer, honey-toffee bath bomb and a free in-room showing of the Bee Movie. Available until September 1, the package starts at $449 per night, with $20 donated to Hives for Humanity.

Vancouver Mysteries

Put on your best detective hat: crime, corruption and conspiracy are taking over Vancouver as part of a brand-new walking tour! Vancouver Mysteries takes thrill-seekers on a real-life game of Clue, encouraging wannabe gumshoes of all ages to gather evidence and solve crimes while taking in some of the city’s most popular sights. During this thrilling whodunnit, you’ll unravel a grisly murder armed with a complete detective kit, including a magnifying glass, compass and crime scene photos. Teams then scour historic Gastown to look for hidden items, decode secret messages and solve a series of brain teasers. The two-hour tours run daily, and range from $20 to $25 per person (based on group size).

Cycle City Tours’ Brewery Tour

Go “behind the brew” with Cycle City Tours’ Brewery Tour. This three-hour cycling and tasting adventure takes pedal pushers to three popular craft breweries where they’ll enjoy tastings, behind-the-scenes access and lip-smacking brews. Along the way, guests also learn about Vancouver’s rapidly expanding craft beer scene, and how suds and spirits have influenced the city’s history. The tour is $69.95, plus the cost of bike rental, and includes nine craft beer tastings as well as light nibbles. Just make sure you wear a helmet in case things get a little wobbly.

Windsure Adventure Watersports

It might be effective, but it’s rarely fun to sweat your buns off at bootcamp. One exception? When you take this gruelling regimen out of the gym and into the water, as in the stand-up paddleboat classes offered by Windsure Adventure Watersports (1300 Discovery St, Vancouver). This refreshing workout sculpts your body, strengthens your core and improves your overall fitness level, all while you enjoy the sun, sand and surf at Jericho Beach. Book lessons online, or drop in for a class, priced at $30 per person. Check out our article for all the ways to stand-up paddleboard in Vancouver.

Paradise Found Yoga’s Goddess Package

Pamper your inner princess and feel like a queen at Paradise Found Yoga’s Goddess Package, an exclusive 3-night retreat held on Salt Spring Island. The price tag isn’t exactly cheap, with rates starting at $2350, but we’d say it’s well worth it, considering that you’ll enjoy catered vegetarian meals made to your specifications, reflexology and massage treatments, two daily yoga and meditation sessions, a guided hike and artists’ studio tour, plus a beautiful queen room comfortably outfitted in organic cotton sheets. Go online or call 778-999-9642 to book.

Credit: Flickr/Larry

Vancouver Foodie Tours’ Granville Island Market Tour

A must-visit for food lovers, Granville Island is teeming with deli counters, bakeries, fishmongers and fresh fruit and vegetable stands – and now, visitors and locals alike can experience the best of this culinary haven with Vancouver Foodie Tours’ Granville Island Market Tour. Led by a local food lover, the two-hour walking tour includes 20 tastings (ranging from fresh B.C. fruits and melt-in-your-mouth donuts to locally produced charcuterie and cheeses), as well as insider stories along the way. Tour is $49 per person and includes all tastings.