Top 5: Top 5 Spring Break Activities for Kids in Vancouver

Kids handle real underwater critters at the Vancouver Aquarium's Touch Pool Stations

Kids starting spring break this weekend? Don’t worry, there are tons of fun things to do around Vancouver that will make this spring break special for kids of all ages!

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Top 5: Top 5 Spring Break Activities for Kids in Vancouver

Quiet zones: Top 5 places to rest and recharge during the 2010 Winter Games

Sun Yat-Sen Garden (Photo: Tourism Vancouver)

It’s all fun and games in Vancouver these days–except when it ain’t.

There have been a couple of  times in the last day or two when I’ve felt like a salmon struggling upstream as I’ve made my home through the crowds after a shift at the Main Media Centre.

When you find yourself needing respite from the riptide of humanity, reclaim your sanity at these Top 5 downtown oases of calm:

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Quiet zones: Top 5 places to rest and recharge during the 2010 Winter Games

Top 5 2010 souvenirs from budget to big-time

The Bay at Georgia and Granville, home of the Olympic SuperstoreThe other night at the 2010 Olympic Superstore at the Bay downtown it occurred to me they might soon need to recruit a few air traffic controllers from YVR to manage the traffic in the aisles.

Clearly the world has arrived and IT IS READY TO SHOP!

The scene was reminiscent of the door-crasher sales of my childhood at now-defunct department stores such as Eaton’s and Woodward’s: people pulling sizes out of other people’s hands; clothes being tried on in front of mirrors and then flung helter-skelter over nearby racks; clerks frantically searching for sizes amidst the dwindling stock.

I stood in line with my “official” red Canada hoodie–a new shipment came and went in a matter of minutes–and watched  as greeters quickly redirected shoppers to their souvenir-of-choice: pins? To your left. Red mitts? To your right. The designer-chic point blanket merino wool sweater recently featured in the local fashion pages? In the specialty section.

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Top 5 2010 souvenirs from budget to big-time

Vancouver’s Top 5 public transit sightseeing tours

SeaBus

Another night shift at VANOC’s Main Press Centre, another  frequently-asked-question: Can you recommend a public transit route that will give me a scenic tour of Vancouver?

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Vancouver’s Top 5 public transit sightseeing tours

Top 5 New Year’s Eve Parties in Vancouver

Telus World of Science celebrates NYE 2010

Vancouver is packed with New Year’s Eve parties, from the raucous and raunchy to the high-gloss, red-carpet galas. All at least 19+, all happening December 31, 2009, and all likely to sell out (so get your tickets now!), these bashes are the way to ring in 2010 in style.

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Top 5 New Year’s Eve Parties in Vancouver

5 Things to Do on Christmas Day in Vancouver

Vancouver Biennale sculptures, photographed in winter by Dan Fairchild.

If you don’t celebrate Christmas or are visiting from out of town, don’t worry: not everything in Vancouver is closed on December 25.

5 Things to Do on Christmas Day in Vancouver

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5 Things to Do on Christmas Day in Vancouver

Vancouver Gift Ideas – Top 5 Vancouver Restaurant Cookbooks

Cookbooks make a fabulous gift because they’re general crowd-pleasers. Cooks love them, of course, but so do foodies, people who think they may one day cook (ahem, that would be me), and—if the cookbook comes from a beloved local restaurant—people with memories of wonderful food shared during special times.

Many of Vancouver’s best restaurants have their own cookbooks, and many are award-winners, too. Here’s my list of the best local cookbooks; please add your own in comments!

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Vancouver Gift Ideas – Top 5 Vancouver Restaurant Cookbooks