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Kids Vancouver

Vancouver Canucks Fans Can Win a Trip to Los Cabos

By SHERI RADFORD

ME Cabo Hotel in Los Cabo San Lucas

Poolside, at ME Cabo resort  in Los Cabos

Though the Vancouver Canucks have been knocked out of playoff contention for the 2013-14 season, they’re still hard at work. With three games left in the regular season (Apr. 10, 12, 13), it’s not time for them to go on vacation just yet. Loyal fans, on the other hand, will definitely be dreaming of warm-weather holidays during the final game of the season, Apr. 13 at Rogers Arena, when Los Cabos Tourism gives away an all-expenses-paid trip that includes a three-night stay at ME Cabo resort in Cabo San Lucas.

Land's End in Los Cabos

Land’s End in Los Cabos

Want to escape the cold Canadian climate for the white sandy beaches of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula? Entering the contest is easy. On Sunday night, while the Vancouver Canucks take on their long-time rivals the Calgary Flames, simply tweet a photo of the game from inside Rogers Arena using #MyCanucksView and include both @VanCanucks and @LosCabosTourism. One Baja-bound winner will be announced at the end of the second intermission.

The sun setting on paradise, in Los Cabos

The sun setting on paradise, in Los Cabos

Fans can even get a taste of the Baja right here in rainy Vancouver. Before Sunday night’s game, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., popular food truck Tacofino will be handing out free Baja-style tacos to those heading into the north entrance of Rogers Arena.

Let the Baja daydreams begin.

Sea Up Close

By SHERI RADFORD

Get up close and personal at the Vancouver Aquarium. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

Get up close and personal at the Vancouver Aquarium. (Photo: Sheri Radford)

Budding biologists, this one’s for you: until Apr. 30 at the Vancouver Aquarium, visitors can experience the facility’s 50,000 aquatic creatures like never before. Vancouver Aquarium Up Close offers a host of unique adventures, including the chance to step into the role of a marine mammal trainer, go behind the scenes to the jellyfish area or the shark penthouse, and visit the Wet Lab, with its more than 6,000 invertebrates, including crabs, sea urchins and sea cucumbers. It’s kind of like school, but way more fun.

A Bear of a Nap

By SHERI RADFORD

Sleepy, but ready for spring. (Photo: Grouse Mountain)

Sleepy, but ready for spring. (Photo: Grouse Mountain)

In Metro Vancouver, winter hasn’t truly ended until Grinder and Coola emerge from hibernation. These two grizzly bears, who aren’t related but who were each orphaned and rescued in 2001, live at the 2-hectare (5-acre) Refuge for Endangered Wildlife on Grouse Mountain. Every autumn, after steadily gaining weight all summer, the two bear buddies climb into their den to begin several months of snoozing. They usually reappear in April, significantly slimmer but ready to frolic in the snow and sunshine, with easygoing Coola tending to follow high-spirited Grinder’s lead. If you can’t squeeze in a visit to Grouse—or if you miss the bears after returning home—you can watch all their ursine antics via webcam.

Converse: Creature Feature

By SHERI RADFORD

Cute kicks from Converse

Cute kicks from Converse

Most parents can admit that their usually well-behaved offspring are capable of acting like little animals at times. Now Converse wants to dress kids like animals, too—but in the cutest way possible. Their Chuck Taylor All Star Creature shoes give kids adorably ferocious feet. The low-top shoes have a Velcro flap, perfect for tiny fingers to manage, while the high-tops sport laces for more grown-up kids. We’re all in favour of outfitting kids in animal designs as charming as these, but we’ll skip the unappealing animal behaviour, please. Pick up these cute kicks, and loads of other whimsical things to clothe or entertain wee ones, at Dandelion Kids. For more fun finds for tots and tykes, visit Hip Baby, which specializes in organic, sustainable and non-toxic products; and Redfish Kids Clothing, which uses bold fabrics from around the world to create limited quantities of eye-catching outfits.

Get Doodling with Canada Doodles

By SHERI RADFORD

Banish boredom and learn cool facts about Canada with Canada Doodles

Banish boredom and learn cool facts about Canada with Canada Doodles

“Design some rain boots and an umbrella to keep you dry from Vancouver’s rain.” “Draw a pod of orcas in an awkward family photo.” These are just a couple of the whimsical prompts found in Canada Doodles by Megan Radford (Gibbs Smith, $9.99), a new book that sneaks fun facts about Canada into all the ideas for budding artists. The Doodles series has already tackled cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Boston, but those places simply can’t compete with the quirkiness of Canada: “Banff National Park features wildlife overpasses above the highway. Draw a pack of moose driving convertibles across one.” Inspiration, indeed. At local bookstores.

Luck of the Irish

By SHERI RADFORD

You don't have to be Irish to enjoy CelticFest Vancouver. (Photo: Viatcheslav/Dreamstime.com)

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy CelticFest Vancouver. (Photo: Viatcheslav/Dreamstime.com)

Explore your heritage as the 10th annual CelticFest paints the town green from Mar. 8 to 16. Even if your ancestors didn’t hail from Ireland, Scotland or Wales, you can still join in the Celtic fun. Sample high-end whiskies at a tasting. Sing along at a concert by Ireland’s Hermitage Green. Have a rollicking good time at a ceilidh. Purchase treasures at the street market. And bring the whole family to the parade, which winds around downtown on the festival’s final day. Erin go Bragh!

Outdoor Adventures

By SHERI RADFORD

The cliché is, indeed, true: you can snowboard, golf and sail all on the same day in Vancouver—plus admire the cherry blossoms

A picture-perfect day at on Grouse Mountain. (Photo: KK Law)

A picture-perfect day at on Grouse Mountain. (Photo: KK Law)

Spring snowboarding and skiing at Grouse Mountain, a 15-minute drive from downtown Vancouver, offer spectacular views of the city and ocean.

Wind and waves make for an exhilarating day on the waters of English Bay. (Photo: Kevin Arnold/Destination BC)

Wind and waves make for an exhilarating day on the waters of English Bay. (Photo: Kevin Arnold/Destination BC)

Landlubbers and salty dogs alike enjoy sailing in the picturesque waters around Vancouver

The beautiful cherry blossoms signal the beginning of spring. (Photo: iStock/Maxvis)

Beautiful cherry blossoms signal the beginning of spring. (Photo: iStock/Maxvis)

Every spring, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the thousands of flowering cherry trees on city streets.

A golfer attempts a birdie on the 14th hole at Furry Creek. (Photo: KK Law)

A golfer attempts a birdie on the 14th hole at Furry Creek. (Photo: KK Law)

Fore! It doesn’t get any more relaxing than 18 holes at Furry Creek Golf and Country Club, a half-hour drive from Vancouver.

Vancouver Art Gallery’s Luscious Landscapes

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

"Deep Forest" by Emily Carr. (Photo: Trevor Mills/Vancouver Art Gallery)

“Deep Forest” by Emily Carr. (Photo: Trevor Mills/Vancouver Art Gallery)

To March 9

The best way to see the forest for the trees? Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Emily Carr: Deep Forest for more than 40 exquisite paintings by the celebrated British Columbian artist. Stylized works such as “Deep Forest” (pictured) explore the spiritual forces of nature through vibrant hues and bold brushstrokes. Carr’s oil-on-canvas works were profoundly radical in their day for their fresh perspective on the coastal rainforest, previously viewed as impenetrable. For more stunning landscapes under the same roof, take in Lawren Harris: Canadian Visionary (to May 4). The Group of Seven founding member heavily influenced Carr and welcomed her into the ranks of Canada’s modernists. Trace the artistic history of the acclaimed painter, from his elegant portrayals of Lake Superior and the Rockies to his vibrant abstracts. It’s the great outdoors, but in a way you’ve never pictured.

Cool Canadian Souvenirs

By SHERI RADFORD

Show your love for the “true north strong and free” with an array of fun, patriotic souvenirs.

Relive 2010 with these cool Olympic mittens

Get ready to celebrate the 2014 Games with these Olympic mittens

Mittens With the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games fast approaching, it’s time to support the Canadian Olympic Foundation (COF) by purchasing a pair of the iconic Red Mittens at The Bay. For each pair purchased, $3.33 goes to the COF. (more…)

Mary Poppins Lands in Vancouver

By JASON TWETEN

Be swept away by everyone's favourite nanny. (Photo: David Cooper)

Everyone’s favourite nanny is practically perfect in every way. (Photo: David Cooper)

Relive your childhood memories—or create some new ones—as Mary, Bert and the Banks family sweep you off your feet in this whimsical production of Mary Poppins. Sing along to the classic songs “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” as you watch Mary soar above the rooftops of London, at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage to Jan. 5.

Old World Charm: The Vancouver Christmas Market

By RACHAELA VAN BOREK

Enjoy European charm at this annual Christmas market

Enjoy European charm at this annual Christmas market

German holiday cheer returns this winter at the fourth annual Vancouver Christmas Market (to Dec 24). More than 45 wooden vendor huts nestled in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza provide a sparkly, sweet-smelling oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of downtown. The market recalls the Christkindlmarkts of ancient German tradition, which gave artisans work and staved off winter blues. Here, you’ll find the city’s only Christmas carousel, along with sleigh-loads of handcrafted gifts, decorations and edible goodies. After shopping, refuel with a sizzling German sausage, warm up with a cup of homemade gluhwein, and toast the arrival of Nikolaus.

Holiday Displays Taken to New Heights

By JASON TWETEN

Holiday displays of this scale aren't to be missed

Holiday displays of this scale aren’t to be missed

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park sparkles with bright colours during the annual Canyon Lights event (to Jan. 4). This year, they’ve literally upped the ante by laying claim to the world’s tallest living Christmas tree. Come see the 46.4-m- (152-ft-) tall Douglas fir illuminated by thousands of flickering lights, and prepare to be dazzled.