Got $6.50? Sick of Winter? Take a trip to the tropics, without leaving Vancouver

Photo credit: karen_neoh | Flickr

Photo credit: karen_neoh | Flickr

Ready to escape winter, already?

After a mild fall, cold weather has arrived in Vancouver.  The North Shore ski mountains are open, there’s frost on the sidewalks in the morning and the scarves and parkas have come out of the closet.

If a tropical vacation for the holidays isn’t in the picture, consider another option: Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park.  Housed in an enormous 21-metre high geodesic dome, the conservatory is a little bit of the tropics – complete with birds and exotic plants – plopped down in the middle of Vancouver.

Enter through the sliding doors and you’re greeted with a rush of warm, humid air and the smells of the forest.   Continue reading:
Got $6.50? Sick of Winter? Take a trip to the tropics, without leaving Vancouver

Walk in the Tropics & Family Fun at Bloedel Conservatory

Inside Bloedel Conservatory. Photo: Dana Lynch

Looking for a fun way to warm up during these cold winter days? Why not take a Walk in the Tropics at the Bloedel Conservatory?

Now that the beloved Bloedel Conservatory—the iconic triodetic dome atop Queen Elizabeth Park—has been saved from closure by the VanDusen Botanical Garden, VanDusen is offering two new programs this winter to take advantage of the Conservatory’s balmy, tropical interior.

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Walk in the Tropics & Family Fun at Bloedel Conservatory

Quirky Christmas Fun: Tropical Holidays at the Bloedel Conservatory

In earlier posts, I wrote about some unconventional holiday activities in Vancouver, the Unsilent Night parade and the karaoke Christmas trolley.   Here’s one more quirky holiday happening:  the Bloedel Conservatory’s Jewel Box of Lights, a Christmas-themed laser  and light show.

The Bloedel Conservatory, if you haven’t been,  is the space-age dome perched atop Queen Elizabeth Park, the highest point in Vancouver.  Inside, protected from the cold, wet weather outside, is a tropical forest full of exotic flowers and trees and even Amazon parrots, pheasants and rivers full of shimmering koi.   It’s a fabulous escape from the chilly realities of winter in Vancouver – always about 25 degrees inside and nice and humid.

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Quirky Christmas Fun: Tropical Holidays at the Bloedel Conservatory

The Best Summer Rainy Day Activity in Vancouver


Irene Kehler writes about fun things to do in Vancouver on her site Loving-Vancouver.com
Read below for her favourite summer rainy day activity in Vancouver.

You’ve got a summer day dedicated to exploring the wonderful beauty of Vancouver… but it’s raining. What’s there to do on a rainy summer day in Vancouver?

There’s indoor spots like the Vancouver Art Gallery and the UBC Museum of Anthropology. There’s shopping malls like Pacific Centre and Metrotown. But my favourite spot to hide from a rainy day in Vancouver is the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park.

It may be gloomy and grey outside…

But inside you will find a riot of colourful plants and birds. Meet the shy Casey, a yellow-crowned amazon parrot, coyly hiding in front of a bank of bright orange tiger lilies.

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The Best Summer Rainy Day Activity in Vancouver

New Life for Vancouver’s Tropical Conservatory

A story in the Vancouver Sun last week announced a new proposal to save the Bloedel Conservatory, the giant biodome high atop Queen Elizabeth Park that houses a range of exotic plants, birds and fish.   According to the report, authorities are considering merging the conservatory with nearby VanDusen Gardens, creating a kind of one-stop shop for garden and nature lovers.  This is promising news for fans of the conservatory, who learned last year that the iconic landmark was losing money and threatened with closure by the city.

I recently had a chance to check out the conservatory, which – at 43 meters in diameter and 21 meters in height – is the second largest domed conservatory in the world.   The moment you step into the giant dome, you’re greeted with a blast of warm, moist tropical air (especially nice on a rainy Vancouver weekend).  Pass through the tiny gift shop, pay your admission (a steal at $5 for adult tickets) and suddenly you find yourself in a a dense rainforest.

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New Life for Vancouver’s Tropical Conservatory

Rumble in the Jungle: Bloedel Conservatory Fundraising Gala January 30

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the upcoming closure (due to a budget shortfall) on April 30, 2010, of the Bloedel Floral Conservatory, the domed nature conservatory that sits atop Queen Elizabeth Park.

If you’re as upset about the impending closure as I am, you have a chance to do something fun and helpful this coming weekend: attend the Rumble in the Jungle fundraising gala on January 30, 2010.

Organized by the non-profit Friends of the Bloedel to raise funds to keep the Conservatory open, the Rumble in the Jungle gala will be a night to remember. Taking place at the Conservatory itself, 200 – 300 guests will enjoy jungle-themed food and drink, Tahitian fire dancers, live music from Vancouver musician Dal Richards, and “surprises galore”.

Tickets for Rumble in the Jungle are $125 each or $200 for a pair, and are available from Southlands Nursery, 655 Balaclava St. (604-261-6411), Bacci’s at 2788 Granville St. (604-733-4933) and Thomas Hobbs Florist, 2129 West 41st Ave. (604-261-5998).

For more information, call Terri Clark at 778-866-9875 or John Coupar at 604-818-2756, two of the event’s organizers.

10 ways to weather the weather; or, how to keep your chin up when it’s coming down

'Tis the season

It never rains in Vancouver except for maybe in November. And a bit in December and January. Well, and February too, but hey–you don’t have to shovel it!

Still, I struggle with our wet winters. Grey is grim when it’s showing on every channel. So I have perfected a strategy for keeping my chin up when it’s coming down.

Herewith, my Top 10 ways to lighten a dark day in Vancouver (with a request that you’ll share some of your own tips and distractions below):

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10 ways to weather the weather; or, how to keep your chin up when it’s coming down