Kids In Vancouver: A Local Family’s Spring Bucket List

Cherry Blossoms | Photo: VANCOUVER4LIFE (Flickr)

As the temperatures warm up and the Spring blossoms begin to decorate the city’s  landscape, local families are heading outdoors to take advantage of Vancouver’s natural surroundings, adventurous activities, and breathtaking scenery – and you can too.

To commemorate the start of a new season, my family has put together a Spring bucket list – a great way to encourage us to spend time together outdoors, enjoying the beauty of our city, and taking advantage of the warming weather as we kiss the Winter chill goodbye for another year. Here are some of the activities that top our bucket list for Spring.

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Kids In Vancouver: A Local Family’s Spring Bucket List

Top 5 Event Highlights Scheduled for the 2017 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

cherry blossom trees vancouver

Image courtesy of Spencer Finlay | Inside Vancouver Flickr Pool

After this dark, wet and unexpectedly snowy winter, cherry blossoms are one of the first cheerful signs of the fast approaching spring season. Unlike last year’s early bloom, the stars of the 2017 Cherry Blossom Festival should be arriving on time at the beginning of April.

Vancouver’s signature springtime event wakes the city up from winter hibernation with an explosion of around 41,000 blossoming cherry trees around the city. April marks the month of the blossom and will features over 20 public, mostly free, arts and cultural community events. So stuff your winter coat into the back of the closet and get out your camera because the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is here again!

While there are several events to choose from (check out the full list on the VCBF website), below is a list of a few of the highlight events for this year’s cherry blossom festival.

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Top 5 Event Highlights Scheduled for the 2017 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Things To Do in Vancouver This Weekend

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Whether it rains, shines, or both (most likely) this weekend, the cherry blossom canopies are in full bloom and there is lots to do under them (as well as lots to do under a solid roof.) We’ve got Led Zeppelin and Nirvana cover bands, walks and a bike ride through the pinkest most flowery streets in the city, picnics, and a whole lot of art!

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Things To Do in Vancouver This Weekend

New Hope for Vancouver’s Dying Cherry Trees

Photo credit: Geoffery Kehrig | Flickr

Photo credit: Geoffery Kehrig | Flickr

Vancouver’s cherry trees are dying.

But not to worry – It’s all part of the cycle of life.  On average ornamental cherry trees live around 80 years.  In city conditions, lifespans can average just 25-30 years owing to pollution and other issues, according to a great article in the Vancouver Sun by Jessica Barrett.

Many of Vancouver’s famous cherry trees – 37,000 of which are blooming right now – were originally gifted by the cities of Kobe and  Yokohama, Japan, in the 1930s.  A second wave of planting occurred in the 1950s, when the park board removed many of the larger elms and maples along city streets, whose roots were damaging sidewalks and sewers.

In other words,  Vancouver has a lot of geriatric cherry trees on its hands.   Continue reading:
New Hope for Vancouver’s Dying Cherry Trees

Celebrate Japanese Heritage in Vancouver: Sakura Days fair, April 7-8

Photo credit: Canadian Veggie | Flickr

The word sakura refers to the Japanese cherry blossom.  Every April in Vancouver, nearly 40,000 cherry trees – originally gifts from Japan in the 1930s – burst into full bloom.  To commemorate the occasion, the city comes alive with a host of blossom-themed events, including a unique two-day celebration of Japanese food, culture and crafts under the cherry trees: Sakura Days.

This year, Sakura Days (April 7-8) is set inside the lush VanDusen Botanical Garden,  a 55-acre sanctuary of rolling lawns, woodlands and lakes in the heart of the city.  Amid a sea of cherry blossoms, enjoy sushi from some of the city’s top Japanese chefs.  Sample artisan-made sake while taking in performances of Japanese taiko drumming and koto harp.

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Celebrate Japanese Heritage in Vancouver: Sakura Days fair, April 7-8

Bike the Blossoms with Velopalooza or on Your Own

Bike ride graced by cherry blossom trees. Heading towards University of British Columbia, on a signed bike route. Vancouver, BC. Photo by J. Chong

Bike ride graced by cherry blossom trees. Heading towards University of British Columbia, on a signed bike route. Vancouver, BC. Photo by J. Chong

The Vancouver cherry blossoms have burst forth in full bloom. This year Velapoolza has organized a free guided bike ride on Sat. Apr. 16th.  The meeting place with your bike is at Devonian Park, Georgia and Denman St.  More details are here:  http://www.velopalooza.ca/viewmonth.php?month=04&year=2011#16-266

Or you have the option of self-guided rides in City of Vancouver with several suggested routes where there are glorious flowering trees.  The Bike Blossom ride maps are here. Continue reading:
Bike the Blossoms with Velopalooza or on Your Own

Haiku Contest for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

so many petals

falling in pink profusion

but so little time

That’s my very spontaneous attempt to write a haiku about the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, a collection of celebrations running from March to May in honor of the city’s 37,000 glorious cherry trees that bloom each spring.  Cherry-themed happenings include special guided tree walks, the Cherry Jam concert, film screenings and bike tours of Vancouver’s blossoms.  But one of the most popular and unique  events has to be the annual Haiku Invitational, which invites participants to get poetic about Vancouver’s signature cherry trees.

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Haiku Contest for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival