15 Fun Things To Do In Vancouver In April 2013

Taiko drummers. Photo: Flickr user cking

Taiko drummers. Photo: Flickr user cking

Spring in Vancouver is underway. The pink carpet of cherry petals covering city sidewalks is a dead giveaway. With more fair weather days, it’s going to be harder and harder to commit to activities beyond impromptu sunshine frolics and lazy patio lounging. But we’ll try and tempt you nonetheless.

April in Vancouver brings a barrage of fun things to do including the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, April 4-30, with the allstar event-within-an-event, the Sakura Days Japan Fair April 6-7. Sakura Days features a stunning amount of tasty Japanese cuisine, from bento to street food like takoyaki (octopus batter balls) and Japadogs, alongside cultural demos.

Other must-attends? Vancouver Fan Expo, which summons an unlikely cast of Lord of the Rings, Walking Dead and Battlestar Galactica celebs to the waterfront Vancouver Convention Centre, April 20-21. You or someone you know is probably participating in Canada’s largest 10k race, the Vancouver Sun Run, April 21. And let’s not forget the Vancouver’s glamourous green style event, Eco Fashion Week, April 22-24.

You may also be curious about Tattoo & Scrimshaw, the new Vancouver Maritime Museum exhibit, that made headlines with its “whale bone porn.”

Find the full list of April events after the jump.

tattoo andscrimshaw

Tattoo & Scrimshaw exhibit at Vancouver Maritime Museum. Photo: Vancouver Maritime Museum

15 Fun Things To Do In Vancouver In April 2013

1) Kale & Nori Bittered Sling Bistro: April 3; April 17
Hosted at Legacy Liquor Store (1633 Manitoba) in Olympic Village, this charming bi-weekly food and cocktail pairing competition pushes the boundaries of cocktail craft. The dinner party is hosted by Kale & Nori’s award-winning mixologist, Lauren Mote, and Chef Jonathan Chovancek.

2) Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival: April 4-30
A barrage of pretty pink fun celebrating Vancouver’s 40,000 cherry trees kicks off April 4 with the Cherry Jam street party in downtown Vancouver and continues with non-stop food and cultural events including walks and talks, bike rides, Sakura Days Japan Fair, the World Umbrella Dance Flash Mob and more.

3) Sakura Days Japan Fair: April 6-7
Head over to VanDusen Botanical Garden to participate in the Japanese national sport of picnicking under the cherry blossoms. With many Japanese food vendors on site slinging Japanese street food (takoyaki, karaage, Japadog), lunches (bento, ramen, yakitori) and sweets (waffles, red bean buns, macarons), your options are overwhelmingly tasty. Don’t miss the martial arts demos, tea ceremonies, ikebana (flower-arranging classes), sake tasting, taiko drumming and kimono 101.

4) Vancouver Maritime Museum’s Controversial Tattoo & Scrimshaw exhibit: now through October
Find out what all the fuss is about. Vancouver made headlines when a local mum complained about the “whale bone porn” at the Vancouver Maritime Museum’s new Tattoo & Scrimshaw exhibit. If that won’t increase the foot traffic at the quiet Kitsilano Beach museum, I don’t know what will. Most seem to believe the lusty etchings and engravings on whale teeth and bone are harmless. You can decide for yourself. Meanwhile, the retro sailor tattoo images are pretty darn cool.

5) Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade: April 13
The Parade, which celebrates Sikhism’s New Year and day the Khalsa was created, begins at the Sikh Temple at 8000 Ross Street at 11am. The event attracts 50,000 spectators. We hear there’s free food.

Photo: Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Photo: Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

6) Vancouver World Umbrella Dance Flash Mob: April 13
Hundreds of Vancouver dancers gather at the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza at 12:45pm to perform the World Umbrella Dance, a  Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival event choreographed by Bollywood superstar Shiamak Davar (maybe you saw him on Oprah) and set to Davar’s pop hit “Shabop.” Live Japanese Tetsu Taiko drummers will keep time. The really cool bit? They’ve integrated pop-art cherry blossom umbrellas by Vancouver Artist Anthony Redpath. When all the dancers open them, it will look like a blooming cherry tree.

7) Safar/Voyage exhibit at the Museum of Anthropology: opening April 20
A landmark exhibit of contemporary works by 16 different Arab, Iranian and Turkish artists. From our very own Remy: “The show aims to counteract simplified, one-dimensional representations of the Middle East. The 8,000-square-foot exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, video and performances that look at themes as diverse as migration, war, geopolitics and aesthetics.”

8) Cherry Blossom/Sakura Afternoon Tea: dates vary
Crook a pinkie and enjoy afternoon tea among the blossoms. The Urban Tea Merchant hosts a Sakura Tea Service with a sophisticated Japan-inspired menu throughout April. You can watch the blossoms drift through their Alberni courtyard as you dine. Cherry blossom viewing destination VanDusen Botanical Garden offers ‘proper’ Afternoon Tea complete with three-tier tray of goodies, ceramic tea pots and cups, organic and private label teas in their Truffles Cafe .

9) Nifty for Fifty Sale: April 14
Head over to Heritage Hall (3102 Main St.) for steals and deals on Vancouver-designed goods. 30 of your favourite local designers will sell their clothing, jewelry, hand bags and shoes for $50 or less.

Vancouver Eco Fashion Week. Photo: Peter Jensen

Vancouver Eco Fashion Week. Photo: Peter Jensen

10) Malbec World Day: April 17
Celebrate Argentina’s signature grape by stocking up on wine at free tastings at Vancouver wine shops including Legacy Liquor, which will have a free World Malbec Day event with empanadas April 15, from 2pm to 6pm.

11) Vancouver Fan Expo: April 20-21
If you feel inclined to mock this sci-fi/comics/anime extravaganza, read the guest list and then tell me you’re not tempted to shell out $30 for a pass. Meet Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, Sean Astin of Lord of the Rings, Michael Hogan of Battlestar Galactica, Elvira, Jonathan Frakes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and more.  The celebs and exhibits are all at the waterfront Vancouver Convention Centre.

12) Vancouver Sun Run: April 21
Months of training will finally pay off for some 50,000 participants at this Vancouver rite of spring which also happens to be Canada’s largest 10k. It starts in downtown Vancouver at Burrard Street and West Georgia Street. The wrap party goes down at BC Place Stadium.

13) Vancouver Eco Fashion Week: April 22-24
Green style seminars and glamourous runway shows return to the Robson Square Ice Rink. Vancouver’s well-known eco designers Nicole Bridger, Melissa Fereirra and Kim Cathers are doing their thing. And don’t miss up-and-coming talent Hey Jude. Check out the Eco Fashion Week site for the full schedule of shows and seminars + how to get tix.

14) Giselle by Ballet BC at Queen Elizabeth Theatre: April 25-27
Choreographer José Navas revives the well-known, romantic story of Giselle (love, heatbreak, revenge) for a 21st century dance audience.

15) Bike the Blossoms: April 27
Join Velopalooza bike fun-ists and the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival for a free guided bike ride. The ride will tour the blossom cherry trees in Vancouver and include a talk by Parks Board Arborist, Bill Stephen. Meet at China Creek South at 11am.

Have one to add? Great. Help out by commenting below.

Want more updates on Vancouver fun? Follow me on Twitter @TJerven

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7 Responses to 15 Fun Things To Do In Vancouver In April 2013

  1. Stephen Bell

    The 15th annual Ocean Concrete open house on Granville Island. A well attended fun family event giving everyone an insider view into the heavy industry of concrete production where you can climb in our trucks, honk the horns, get a tour of the facility, and play in the giant sandbox filled with toys. There will be a special performance from the Vancouver firefighters band with firefighters rappelling off the tower. Free kids hardhats for the first 1000 children.

    • Andrea


  2. Leah

    Canucks Autism Network Family Festival.
    WHEN: April 28th, 2013, from 10:30am-2:30pm
    WHERE: Jack Poole Plaza (Vancouver Convention Centre)
    WHAT: Autism walk, live entertainment, food and family-friendly activities!
    COST: Free!

    Join us on Sunday, April 28th, 2013 as we celebrate Autism Awareness Month with the 2nd Annual CAN Family Festival, presented by Macquarie and the West Coast Fishing Club Fishing for Kids Tournament.

    1.Show your support by walking with us on Sunday, April 28th
    2. Bring the whole family to this fun-filled event which will include an autism walk, live entertainmnet, a BBQ lunch, vendors and more!
    3. Help us support families living with autism by making a pledge!
    4. Sign up for our easy-to-use online fundraising program which will allow you to collect pledges from your friends, family and co-workers with a click of the mouse!
    5. Help us spread the word about the event by sharing this information with others

  3. Sweet — I was wondering when the Vaisakhi parade was happening this year. Thanks!

  4. Dominic

    Hi, where can I confirm that the Vaisakhi Parade is on the 13th for Vancouver? I checked about.com which has the info, but there’s no link to other official parade websites. I would love to know when its happening! Such an exciting event not to miss!

  5. Jasmin

    The Vaisakhi Parade isn’t just about free food, so please don’t attend if all you want is that.

  6. Jut

    Ho hum…