2013 started with a bang. That is the nature of New Year’s. And the good stuff keeps coming. Urban winter rain is no match for the glut of snowy adventures possible at our trio of nearby mountains – Grouse, Cypress, Seymour. From snowshoeing, the fastest growing winter sport, to snowboarding, cross country and alpine skiing, it’s easy to keep those resolutions.
Good thing too as the hotly-anticipated 2013 Dine Out Vancouver Festival, Canada’s largest restaurant festival, kicks off January 18. This annual smorgasbord enables curious diners to sample set menus from the city’s best restaurants at budget-friendly fixed prices ($18, $28 and $38 per person). Dine Out also means unique events, like a Portland-style Street Food City II – a.k.a. a food cart pod – located by the Vancouver Art Gallery, January 23-27.
Finally, January wouldn’t be complete without PuSh International Performing Arts Festival (160 edgy shows in 20 days starting Jan. 15), plus visits from two of the world’s most influential women: Oprah and Lady Gaga. You may be more interested in a talk by Merkel or Lagarde, but there’s no denying these womens’ clout.
Get the full list of January fun after the jump.
20 Unmissable Vancouver Events in January 2013
2. Vancouver Polar Bear Swim, January 1
It won’t cure your hangover, but it will certainly help you forget about it. For the last 92 years, the Vancouver Polar Bear Club has marked New Year’s Day with a frosty dip in the city’s English Bay. The plunge takes place precisely at At precisely 2:30pm.
3. Ice Skating in Robson Square, through February 28
It’s still awesome. And free. Bring a pair of skates to downtown Vancouver’s public rink and do a lap or two with friends and family. Find rink hours here.
4. Science Snowdown at Science World, through January 6
Get involved with this bizzard of snow-themed fun. Learn about the science of snow. Check out the recycled milk-jug igloo. Make a never-melting snowman in a test tube. Watch To the Arctic on the bigscreen, as mama polar and cub navigate the Artic.
5. Dine Out participants revealed, January 7
Get hungry. Every January, Vancouverites head out and enjoy hundreds of special menus and culinary events during Canada’s largest celebration of eating out. Over 200 top restaurants will be offering up three-course, discounted menus at $18, $28 and $38 price points. Participating restaurants and menus are announced January 7.
6. Ticket sales begin for the 2013 Vancouver International Wine Festival, January 8
The 35th VIWF, Feb. 25-March 3 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, is a hotly-anticipated event that draw thousands of wine buffs from around the world. Tickets to special events and the massive tasting “room” sell out fast. If you’re keen to go, act fast.
7. Luminescence at the Vancouver Aquarium, through January 22
Christmas might be over but there’s still plenty of motivation to counteract January’s dark, rainy skies with an aquatic light display. Take the kiddos and enjoy this super-fun educational peek at bioluminescence. And don’t forget to visit the electric eels.
8. Lady Gaga at Rogers Arena, January 11-12
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta – aka Gaga – will be in Vancouver for a two-night stand this January. Her latest world tour, which visits every continent except Antarctica, supports the 2011 mega-hit album Born this Way. Find more January concert highlights in Remy’s January Concert Preview.
9. Snowshoeing, ongoing
Stick to a New Year’s resolution the fun way – with winter sports. Snowshoeing happens to be one of the outdoor options that requires the least amount of training and burns the most calories. Cypress offers guided snowshoe tours of snowy mountain forests and subalpine meadows from $38. You can also try out you snow legs on Mount Seymour and Grouse.
10. Vancouver Art Gallery, Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980, through January 20 Conceptual art what? It’s the cool stuff that came out of the political unrest in the 1960s. Conceptual art took on the challenge of making meaning in the age of mass media. Check out the good stuff by 90 Canadian and international artists, at the VAG – the perfect place to escape the winter rain – through January 20.
11. PuSh Performing Arts Festival , January 15-February 3
160 performances. In 20 days. An edgy festival of groundbreaking work in the performing arts featuring theatre, dance, music and multimedia from around the world. Read up on the events in Remy’s PuSh Festival Preview with 5 must-see shows.
12. Incite at Vancouver Public Library Central Branch, January 16
Get cozy from 7:30 to 9pm with a round up of award-winning authors reading from their works. Tamas Dobozy reads from Siege 13, Candace Savage reads from A Geography of Blood and Tim Bowling reads from The Tinsmith.
13. Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2013, January 18 – February 3
Presented by Tourism Vancouver, Dine Out Vancouver Festival is a city-wide celebration of eating out, attracting tens of thousands of local and visiting foodies to Vancouver’s exceptionally diverse collection of restaurants for 17 days. Canada’s largest restaurant festival allows diners to sample menus from hundreds of restaurants around the city, all for a prix fixe cost (price points are $18, $28 and $38 per person). Dine Out also offers special hotel room rates and packages, plus a full menu of unique food-themed events and activities, including culinary tours, cooking lessons and special dining experiences.
14. Off the Eaten Track Culinary Walking Tours, January 19, 26, February 2
Leaving from Waterfront Station, this foodie adventure explores the East Village’s Italian heritage to the influx of Chinese and South East Asian influences. Visit restaurants, delis, bakeries, butchers, small grocery stores, and posh Italian eateries, ending at Campagnolo Roma. Already familiar with the East Village? Then try the Railtown version.
15. Street Food City II, January 23, 24, 25, 26, 27
If I had to pick, this would be my #1 must-attend Dine Out 2013 event. Head to the North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery 11am – 3pm and just pretend you’re in Portland as you sample innovative cooking from the city’s best food carts. Rest assured, there will be plenty of heated, weather proof outdoor seating. Entry is free.
16. Oprah Winfrey at the Rogers Arena, January 24
Anyone famoso enough to name a magazine after themselves is likely to sell out when on tour. The global media leader and inspirational grand dame of daytime talk shows is in Vancouver at Rogers arena sharing stories and insights from her life. Congrats to the Inside Vancouver ticket winners who get to attend!
17. Secret Supper Soiree, January 25, 26, February 1, 2
Swallow Tail’s Dine Out event sells out every year. It’s easy to see why – it involves costumes, mystery, guzzling cocktails and and whisking around town on a double decker bus. There is a veg option. Tix are $129.
18. Whitehorse at the Commodore Ballroom, January 26
The Canadian folk rockers from Hamilton, Ontario, bring their incredible singing and songwriting chops to Vancouver. Read up on more January concert highlights here.
19. Hawksworth at Holt Renfrew, January 29
Models and food aren’t an intuitive pairing. But this double barreled haute couture/hot meal combo from Dine Out is a winner. Start with a cocktail and canape reception in the Holt’s designer boutiques. Finish with a wine-paired dinner and dessert in Vancouver’s best restaurant. Tix start at $199.
20. Year of the Snake Expo 2013 at BC Place Stadium, January 31 – February 3
In preparation for Chinese New Year, which goes down February 10, Media One is organizing a massive East-meets-West shopping/eating event with goods, food, arts and cultural demos for all. Entry is $12.50 for adults and $9 for kiddos.
Have one to add? Help out by commenting below.
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