Top Halloween Activities in Vancouver for 2012

Photo credit: John Biehler | Flickr

The days are getting shorter.  There’s a chill in the air.  A suspicious amount of zombies can be found walking Granville Street.  It must be time for Halloween in Vancouver.

As usual, there’s no shortage of Halloween spooks and thrills on tap in Vancouver this year.  Here’s a top 10 list of activities and events to put a little scare in your October.

Anything missing? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.

  • Stanley Park Ghost TrainAfter dark, the miniature rail line in spooky, 1,000-acre Stanley Park takes riders deep into a forest inhabited by characters from Grimm’s Fairy Tales, including Rapunzel, the fairy godmother and the Pied Piper.  Kid-friendlyOct. 5-Oct. 31.
  • Zombie Combat Paintball: Gear up and hunt down marauding bands of zombies in the forests of Surrey.  It’s your team’s mission to rescue a trapped scientist and save the planet from flesh-eating monsters.  Sept. 14-Nov. 15.

Top 5 Thanksgiving Dinner Spots in Vancouver

Photo credit: Denise Oz | Flickr

Wondering where to get turkey and all the fixings in Vancouver this Thanksgiving?  These five restaurants promise diners Thanksgiving bliss without having to spend all day in the kitchen.

  • West: Traditional holiday flavours meet contemporary West Coast cuisine at this Vancouver fine dining institution.  The Turkey Tasting Menu is a five-course feast that can be accompanied by wine pairings.  Start with a Lytton pear salad with Farmhouse Castle blue cheese.  Then move onto the spiced turkey consomme, followed by braised turkey leg cannelloni with black truffles.  The main course is butter poached turkey breast with Yukon Gold potato puree.  And top it all off with pumpkin flan, caramelized pears and orange chiffon.  Oct. 5-Oct. 8; $68.
  • Bacchus: The swanky dining room at downtown’s Wedgewood Hotel is famous for its lavish Thanksgiving spread.  The three-course Thanksgiving Dinner Menu offers up the best of the local harvest.  Start with roasted corn and lobster veloute or organic arugula and baby spinach salad with poached pear and crumbled blue cheese.  The main course is roast free-run turkey with cranberry compote, apple and chestnut stuffing and chive-whipped potatoes.  For dessert, save room for the spiced pumpkin tart with cinnamon ice cream.  Oct. 7-Oct. 8; $55.  Continue reading:
    Top 5 Thanksgiving Dinner Spots in Vancouver

5 Must-See Rock Concerts in Vancouver this fall: From Madonna to the Boss

Photo credit: gem_106 | Flickr

With two huge arenas downtown and a plethora of other great venues, Vancouver is a requisite stop for all the big rock tours.  This fall is no exception.  Here are five can’t-miss concerts this season from the biggest names in rock and pop.  Some of these rockers have been filling arenas since the ’60s (In fact, none is younger than 50!).  Tickets to many of these performances will already be sold out – but there’s always Craigslist.

  • Madonna, Sept. 29-Sept. 30 at Rogers Arena:  The Material Girl is out to prove that she’s still the queen of pop on her latest tour in support of her album MDNA.  Now 54, Madonna is still shocking audiences with risque shows that might even leave Lady Gaga blushing.  She’s in town for two nights.

Zombie Fighting on the Streets of Downtown Vancouver, Oct 13-31

Photo credit: The Zombie Syndrome from the Virtual Stage

Are you ready to save Vancouver from a deadly zombie invasion?

Just in time for Halloween, a new attraction turns the audience into zombie fighters on the streets of Vancouver.  Described as an “interactive, site-specific theatre adventure,” the Zombie Syndrome puts you in the starring role in a quest to conquer the undead.

Here’s how it works.  The exact starting point of the show remains a secret until the day before, when ticket holders receive a phone call from a character in the story with instructions on when and where to meet.

Once assembled at the secret rendezvous point, you and your zombie fighting colleagues are briefed on the outbreak of a deadly virus that reanimates the dead.  Continue reading:
Zombie Fighting on the Streets of Downtown Vancouver, Oct 13-31

Inside the Restaurant of the Year: Hawksworth

Photo courtesy of Hawksworth Restaurant.

Since opening in 2011, Hawksworth Restaurant in the refurbished Hotel Georgia has generated plenty of buzz in Vancouver.  The upscale eatery cleaned up at the 2012 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, taking home honors for Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year, among others.  It seems to be the rare restaurant in Vancouver that everyone – from your mother-in-law to the food critic at the Sun – raves about.

But with all the build up, can it really be that good?

I checked out Hawksworth over the weekend, on a busy Friday night.  The first big surprise: the ambiance.  Continue reading:
Inside the Restaurant of the Year: Hawksworth

Accordion Noir Festival

Guro Von Germeten

Guro Von Germeten. Photo courtesy Mod May Productions.

Vancouver is known for its mountains, oceans, trees and, perhaps one day, its accordion scene.

While guitars, keyboards and drums usually get all the attention, a group of local musicians have banded together to shine the spotlight on the oft-ignored squeezebox.

Called the Accordion Noir Festival, the event is now in its fifth year. From Sept 13 – 16 both local and international performers will gather in various venues in the city to celebrate the instrument that has never quite recovered its cool since being featured on the Lawrence Welk Show.

Continue reading:
Accordion Noir Festival

The Planet’s Most Extraordinary Canines? Last chance to see SuperDogs at the PNE

Photo credit: bcbusinesshub | Flickr

There’s no shortage of thrills and chills at the PNE, from gravity-defying rides like the 20-storey AtmosFEAR to belly-defying fare like the two-foot-long Double Dare Ya hot dog.

But year after year, one act at the PNE manages to steal the show: SuperDogs.  It’s low-tech, old-fashioned and a little bit goofy, but this showcase of super talented canines manages to pack much of 14,000-seat Pacific Coliseum three times a day.  If there’s one reason to get out to the PNE before it winds down on Monday, this is it.

The SuperDogs show starts with a jumping competition.  Breeds of all kinds race around the show floor, vaulting hurdles while inspirational music pumps in the background.  There are sheepdogs and greyhounds and dalmations and terriers and even little pugs.  Among the dozens of dogs in the show, 30 percent are rescued from animal shelters.  All of the dogs undergo an average of two years of training before appearing in the spotlight.  Continue reading:
The Planet’s Most Extraordinary Canines? Last chance to see SuperDogs at the PNE