No Snow, No Problem: 5 Ways to Enjoy the Vancouver Mountains, Without Snow

Photo credit: iwona_kellie | Flickr

Photo credit: iwona_kellie | Flickr

Take one glance at Vancouver’s North Shore mountains and you’ll probably notice something amiss: snow.  By mid December, the mountains are usually blanketed in white, fluffy snow and full of skiers and snowboarders swooshing down the slopes. This year, however, is a different story.

Never fear.  Not only are two of Vancouver’s three ski resorts actually open for business, but there are plenty of other ways to experience the mountains.  Here are 5 ways to enjoy the Vancouver mountains, with or without the white stuff:

Take a winter hike: Cypress and Seymour Mountains both boast great winter hiking along a network of trails.  Normally, snowshoes would be required but dry conditions this year mean you may be OK with a good set of hiking boots and some crampons if conditions are icy.  Popular, intermediate-level trails include Dog Mountain on Mount Seymour and Cabin Lake on Cypress Mountain. Both of these hikes can be completed in a few hours and offer fantastic views. (Be aware that all winter hiking is challenging and extra precautions are required.) Free Continue reading:
No Snow, No Problem: 5 Ways to Enjoy the Vancouver Mountains, Without Snow

Light Up the Longest Night of the Year at the 2014 Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

Labyrinth of Light Vancouver

Image courtesy of ItzaFineDay | Flickr.com

The 21st year of celebrating, held on the 21st day of December! This Sunday, the 21st Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival will be held at three locations across Vancouver to celebrate the shortest day and the longest night of the year (then it’s all downhill from here until Summer, right!?).

The 2014 Winter Solstice Lantern Festival is a warm and festive community event centered around a glowing constellation of lanterns shining in three of Vancouver’s most spectacular neighbourhoods.

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Light Up the Longest Night of the Year at the 2014 Winter Solstice Lantern Festival

Top albums by Vancouver artists in 2014

Vancouver musician Cory Pratt

Vancouver musician Cory Pratt records under the name Prairie Cat.

As usual, whenever I start digging into all the albums released by Vancouver artists over the year, I’m reminded of several I’ve forgotten while unearthing many that I hadn’t heard previously. So what started out as a list of notable releases from 2014 has turned into a mix of high-profile records and more obscure, but no less worthy, albums.

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Top albums by Vancouver artists in 2014

Top 5 Family-Friendly Holiday Attractions in Vancouver

Photo from Grouse Mountain

Photo from Grouse Mountain

Yes, you’ve still got presents to buy, holiday dinners to plan, office parties to attend and in-laws to pick up at the airport.  But don’t forget to leave a little time for some old-fashioned fun on the holidays.

In Vancouver, a bevy of amazing holiday attractions are sure to get the whole family into the Christmas spirit. Here’s a look at 5 can’t-miss family-friendly attractions for 2014:

Peak of Christmas on Grouse MountainGrouse Mountain is transformed into a little piece of the North Pole for this annual celebration.  Take the mile-long Skyride to the base of the ski resort, where you’ll discover a winter wonderland complete with lots of snow and an 8,000-square-foot skating pond. Kids can see live reindeer, take a mountaintop sleigh ride and get in some quality time with the big man in red himself at Santa’s workshop.  Through Dec. 24; $41.95 for adults, $23.95 for youth 13-18, $13.95 for kids 5-12.
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Top 5 Family-Friendly Holiday Attractions in Vancouver

Celebrate Official Ugly Sweater Day this Friday in Vancouver

Ugly Sweater Day Vancouver 2014

Image courtesy of TheUglySweaterShop | Flickr.com

In 2012, a proclamation was passed by Vancouver’s mayor Gregor Robertson declaring that the third Friday in December would now be officially recognized as Ugly Christmas Sweater Day in Vancouver. This year, Friday, December 19th will see Vancouverites across the city donning festive fashion in the form of tacky, tasteless, and totally awesome Christmas sweaters.

The official Ugly Sweater Day was first championed by the “Now That’s Ugly Society”, which has been hosting ugly sweater events for the past 13 years. What started out as a Coquitlam house party has blossomed into a much bigger celebration.

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Celebrate Official Ugly Sweater Day this Friday in Vancouver