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Where to Go Vancouver

Long Live the King

By SHERI RADFORD

(Photo:  RTG Productions)

Return to Grace pays tribute to the king of rock ‘n’ roll. (Photo: RTG Productions)

Pull on your bobby socks, slide on your saddle shoes, and get ready to relive the glory days of rock ’n’ roll. When you see the Man from Memphis’s unmistakeable swivel and swagger in Return to Grace (Mar. 22-27), you’ll forget it isn’t Elvis Presley himself on stage performing all his greatest hits, from “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Suspicious Minds” to “Love Me Tender” and “You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog.”

The Must List

Your must-do activities and must-see attractions for March and April 2016

By SHERI RADFORD

Cherry blossoms turning the city pink. (Photo: Coast Mountain Photography/Tourism Vancouver)

Cherry blossoms turning the city pink. (Photo: Coast Mountain Photography/Tourism Vancouver)

Visit the belugas, dolphins, penguins and turtles at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Lace up your shoes and join 50,000 other walkers, joggers, runners and wheelchair racers for the Vancouver Sun Run (Apr. 17), Canada’s largest 10K road race—or just cheer from the sidelines.

Eat sushi.

Dress in green for St. Patrick’s Day (Mar. 17), and join in all the CelticFest activities (Mar. 10 to 17).

Take a yoga class.

Travel by mini ferry to Granville Island, then browse for fresh produce and artisan crafts in the Granville Island Public Market.

Buy an umbrella, because you’re bound to need one at this rainy time of year.

Fill your camera with images of local landmarks such as the Gastown Steam Clock, Canada Place, Olympic Cauldron, Digital Orca, Inukshuk and A-maze-ing Laughter.

Explore a whole menagerie of plastinated creatures at Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out, running to Mar. 28 at Science World.

Clip-clop around Vancouver’s favourite green space with Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours, and make sure to snap a photo of the totem poles.

Go skiing on one of the local mountains or at nearby Whistler.

Enjoy a coffee while visiting all the friendly felines at Catfé, Vancouver’s first cat cafe.

Cross the swaying Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Attend a performance of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Go for a stroll—or, if you’re feeling energetic, a run or a bike ride—along the seawall.

Spend some quality time in an off-leash dog park, watching all the joyful canine antics.

Take the kids for a ride on the Easter Train in Stanley Park.

Bounce on the famous sprung dance floor of the Commodore Ballroom.

Snap a selfie with cherry blossoms in the background.

Cheer on the Vancouver Canucks or the Vancouver Whitecaps at a home game.

A Toast to Juniper

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

The Catalan gin and tonic with thyme, grapefruit and Mediterranean tonic

Head to Juniper for the Catalan gin and tonic with thyme, grapefruit and Mediterranean tonic

Newly launched Juniper is shaking up Chinatown with a potent mix of charisma, cocktail creativity and Cascadia-inspired, down-home dishes. The spirited space features Pacific Northwest flavours that range from Fraser Valley pork to juniper-cured salmon, and lively libations such as no-nonsense negronis—on tap, no less—regional wines, and over 30 gins for matching with an array of aromatic tonics. We’ll raise a glass to that (mostly so we can order another).

Shark Club’s Winning Strategy

By SHERI RAFORD

Shark Club’s new cocktail list includes this Cascade Sour created by Joel Virginillo

Shark Club’s new cocktail list includes this Cascade Sour created by Joel Virginillo

Left sitting on the bench? Not this sports bar. Shark Club is back in the game and better than ever after a year and a half of extensive renovations, including a new look, revamped menu, expanded selection of beers, and creative cocktails dreamed up by some of Vancouver’s top mixologists—plus 59 televisions and two huge media walls. Game on!

A Peach of a Show

By SHERI RADFORD

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James and the Giant Peach returns to the Waterfront Theatre December 6th

Did you ever wonder what it might be like to inhabit a magical piece of fruit alongside fantastical creatures? No? Well, children’s author Roald Dahl did. His charmingly quirky book James and the Giant Peach is brought to life in a musical for young audiences. Back by popular demand, it returns to the Waterfront Theatre and runs to Jan. 3.

Theatre: (Not your) Family Feud

By CRAIG SCHARIEN

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War for the Holidays opens December 12th

This immersive theatre performance will change the way you look at family gatherings—it’s also your best chance to live though a Christmas dinner circa 1915. Set at the Roedde House Museum, War for the Holidays (Dec. 12 to 19) examines wartime tensions on the home front and includes a cocktail and plum pudding dessert, served by the cast, who you interact with throughout the show. There’s drama aplenty during this holiday get-together, but for once this is a good thing: you get to leave this family behind after.

Get Snow Globed!

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

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Hop in a snow globe and snap a few pictures for charity at Harbour Centre

Even if flakes aren’t falling on temperate Vancouver, it’s possible to step into a winter wonderland. Just head to Harbour Centre to Get Snow Globed (to Dec. 24). The set-up is perfect for shaking up traditional holiday snaps—sitting on Saint Nick’s knee not required. Plus, all proceeds go to the Kettle Society, a program that provides support to those living with mental illness. Cool keepsake, warm heart.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

By SHERI RADFORD

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Santa’s coming to town December 6th

Everyone loves a parade, almost as much as everyone loves Old Saint Nick. On Dec. 6, Father Christmas visits downtown for the 12th annual Rogers Santa Claus Parade, Vancouver’s unofficial kick-off to the festive season. The jolly old elf always spreads good cheer, while volunteers collect donations for the food bank. Those seeking pre-parade fun head to the Coast Capital Savings Christmas Square for gingerbread decorating, face painting, music and dance.

Music to Our Ears: Festive Concerts

By CRAIG SCHARIEN

The Vancouver Cantata singers present Christmas Reprise XIII

The Vancouver Cantata singers present Christmas Reprise XIII December 19th

The streets of Vancouver are alive with the sound of festive music. This may be most evident at the city’s first ever street-carolling competition, the Yule Duel (Dec. 3). More than 20 choirs go head to head in Gastown in an awesome display of festive cheer, all for charity. The Vancouver Bach Choir is more traditional, celebrating its 85th anniversary with Christmas with the Bach Choir (Dec. 6) at the Orpheum Theatre, with 400 singers of all ages—the Piccolos start at five years old. The award-winning Vancouver Cantata Singers (pictured) perform time-honoured and contemporary carols during Christmas Reprise XIII (Dec. 19) at the Holy Rosary Cathedral. Music lovers, rejoice!

4 Draught Picks

By TIM PAWSEY

A cold pint and a snack at Central City on Beatty

Brisket plate with pit beans, coleslaw and ricotta-stuffed jalapeño cornbread, at Central City on Beatty

The city’s brew scene is booming. No more proof is needed than these perfect pubby haunts.

CENTRAL CITY ON BEATTY Pulled pork and the formidable Zeus burger complement a truly impressive range of taps, including a dozen Red Racer beers as well as other leading local brews, all served in an artfully restored Yaletown warehouse. (more…)

Music to Your Ears: Once at Queen Elizabeth Theatre

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

See the musical Once at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

See the musical Once at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

What do you get when a Dublin street musician and a young Czech woman make beautiful music together? Once, the Tony– and Grammy Award–winning musical. This charming tale of a musician ready to abandon his craft, and the woman who inspires him to continue, strikes a chord with any audience. The talented cast bring their instruments onstage, acting as both the show’s band and its characters. See this play hit all the right notes at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Nov. 17 to 22.

Yada Yada: Seinfeld Comes to Vancouver

By SHERI RADFORD

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Festivus comes early when Jerry Seinfeld brings his act to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

What’s the deal with Jerry Seinfeld? He turned a “show about nothing” into one of the most successful sitcoms in television history, but he still loves touring as a stand-up comedian. He brings his act to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for a marathon four shows in two nights (Nov. 13 and 14). So grab an urban sombrero, put on your best puffy shirt, fill up on Junior Mints and get ready to laugh. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)