Give Handmade Gifts this Year from 5 Fantastic Craft Fairs

Vancouver Craft Fair 2014

Image courtesy of Make It! Craft Fair | Photo credit ©Imaging by Marlis 2011

In November and December local craft fairs seem to be happening every weekend, and for good reason. More and more people are turning to Vancouver craft fairs for unique, handmade gifts to giveaway during the holiday season.

Vancouver craft fairs have become bigger than ever before and the wide selection of goods available makes it easy to shop for everyone on your list. On top of that, many craft fairs are turning into a place to shop with a big side of party atmosphere. Beer gardens, food trucks, and hands-on demonstrations are turning the idea of an old-fashioned craft fair on its head.

Here are 5 craft fairs to check out this month in Vancouver, and don’t be afraid to bring your reluctant significant other along, there’s plenty of things to keep them occupied with! (namely: food and craft beer).

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Give Handmade Gifts this Year from 5 Fantastic Craft Fairs

10 Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gifts & Special Deals

Yes, Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 13, and Vancouver has lots of options for last-minute gifts, from special deals and events to share with Mom to Vancouver’s best spa treatments, sweets, gifts for new moms, and more.

10 Last-Minute Vancouver Mother’s Day Gift Ideas 

1. Take Mom to the Vancouver Art Gallery for free on Sunday, May 13: You pay for your own admission to VAG and Mom gets in free. Current exhibits include Emily Carr and the Theatre of Transcendence and the fantastic Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture.

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10 Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gifts & Special Deals

Top 10 Vancouver Mother’s Day Gifts & Activities

Mother’s Day 2011 is Sunday, May 8; why not celebrate Mom with local gifts and things you can do only in Vancouver?

Top 10 Vancouver Mother’s Day 2011 Gifts & Activities

1. Treat Mom to one of Vancouver’s best spas: 8 Vancouver Spa Treatments to Make You Melt.

2. Splurge on a lavish Mother’s Day Brunch at Cafe Pacifica at the Pan Pacific Hotel or at Griffins at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

3. Listen to live jazz at the Mother’s Day Tea at Cellar Jazz Club.

4. Find great deals and freebies during Yaletown Mother’s Day Week.

5. Mom loves to cook? Give her an award-winning Vancouver restaurant cookbook.

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Top 10 Vancouver Mother’s Day Gifts & Activities

Cook the ‘Hood – Recipes from Vancouver’s Favourite Neighbourhood Restaurants

Cookbooks tend to be practical guides, manuals to help you prepare a traditional meatloaf or cook with less salt or diet your way to a slimmer waistline. But cookbooks can be so much more. Regional cookbooks and cookbooks with recipes from your favourite restaurants are recipe guides, too, but they can also be souvenirs of a wonderful night out or a fabulous vacation, of a great meal enjoyed with close friends, of the flavours that remind you of home.

I love collecting local cookbooks; I also think they make killer gifts. Last Christmas, I wrote about the Top 5 Vancouver Restaurant Cookbooks as a great Vancouver gift idea; the list includes the latest offerings from Vancouver culinary stars like Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar and West Restaurant.

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Cook the ‘Hood – Recipes from Vancouver’s Favourite Neighbourhood Restaurants

Last-Minute Gift Ideas – 2010 Olympics & Paralympics Gifts & Memorabilia

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Team Canada Replica Hockey Jersey, one of the items on sale at Vanoc's Olympic Store.

It may seem a no-brainer, but I’ll admit it: I didn’t think of buying 2010 Olympics and Paralympics gifts for the holidays until recently, i.e., the last minute.

To save you the “right, duh!” moment I experienced, I’ll say it now: The wide-range of 2010 Olympics and Paralympics merchandise make it easy to find the perfect present for practically anyone. So if you still have stockings to stuff or people on your gift-giving list, check out the Olympic Store.

Vanoc’s online Olympic Store carries toys, sweaters, sports wear, collectibles, jewelry, toques, baby wear, and more. And if it’s too late to get what you want delivered in time for Christmas, you can find a similar selection in person at The Bay department stores, including The Bay downtown.

I really wish I’d thought of 2010 Olympic gifts sooner, but I still have time to get a round of Canadian Olympic Team toques (just $10 each) for my whole family.

Have more ideas for last-minute Vancouver gifts? Please share.

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