Vancouver Weekender: December 18 through December 21, 2014

Along with whatever we find under a tree or inside a really uncomfortable sock, this weekend we are being given the gift of another Winter Solstice; the longest night of the year. And if there’s any stretch of year when we could use a bit more time – whether it’s time on or time off – it’s the week before Christmas.

But we know that you know where to find the busiest malls, the most congested roads and the most questionable extended family members. So let us take care of the other stuff. You know, the fun stuff.

Your weekend starts now, Vancouver…

If you’re the last minute type, take a stroll through the city visiting some of the best Christmas trees for a little inspiration – it’s your very own Christmas Tree Inspire Crawl.

Start at The Cross Décor & Design in Yaletown for trees that are fit for a magazine, pop by the Rosewood Hotel Georgia for their 12-foot Swarovski stunner, then head over to the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver where different companies have decorated trees for all to view. 

You Must Be Dreaming Photo Show will feature works from Big Tiny Smalls, Megan Magdalena Bourne, and more. The common theme amongst the local photographers’ show is highlighting real people and places throughout the city.

Christmas Rappin 5 is happening at Bar None tonight starting at 10:30pm. In its 5th consecutive year, a series of local rappers and DJs will take the stage for a good cause – all proceeds will benefit the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. A special surprise guest is planning on showing up too. Spoiler alert: It’s not Santa.

Mayor Gregor Robertson has made today the official Ugly Sweater day for the entire city. Vancouver is serious about their ugly sweaters at this time of year. Bring you’re U game – as in Ugly.

Speaking of which, the biggest Ugly Sweater Christmas Party is happening tonight at Commodore Ballroom – join in the holiday fun, now running for 13 years, and don’t forget your hideous sweater. This party will benefit The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.

We don’t want to be cheesy – but let’s face it – cheese is good. This is the time of year to indulge so let’s just call it perfect timing. Today only, Whole Foods Vancouver is hosting sampling sessions and a special sale on different varieties. This is your chance to stock up on various platters and dishes you’ll be making over the holidays as well as pick up some fine cheese for gifts.

In spirit of the season, the Gremlins is showing tonight at the Friday Late Night Movie at the Rio. For $8 bucks at the door, you’ll also have the option for bar service – it is Friday Night after all. Skip continuous re-runs of Home Alone on the couch and get out for a chill movie night instead.

Take it back to you childhood years. Bill NYE The Science Guy is putting on show tonight after his Sunday evening event quickly sold out. The Emmy award-winning comedian, passionate about sharing science in a fun and digestible way, will take over the Vogue Theatre.  

Wardrobe Apparel is popping up on Homer and Smithe in Yaletown at the Harrison Galleries. If you’re still hunting for that last minute holiday dress or putting together your News Year’s ensemble – their selection is gorgeous. Think labels that are pioneering the fashion game like WXYZ Jewelery and Great Constantine.

After a long and hard day of shopping, pop into the Holiday Lounge at Milestones Robson for their complimentary DIY hot chocolate station – a new feature only around for a little while. Alternatively, it’s the perfect spot to take a break from the consumer madness. Mmm, hot chocolate and shopping…it’s basically the best Vancouver pre-Christmas winter day. 

This is how big kids brunch. The 2nd Annual Teddy Bear Brunch and Onesie Party at Killjoy is one holiday gathering that is not to be missed. Proceeds will go to Backpack Buddies and a line-up of DJs will be spinning all afternoon. All onesies are welcome and endless stacks of pancakes are to be served. A Sunday spent in your pajamas for a good cause? The definition of a no-brainer.

The Vancouver Chamber Choir presents A Charlie Brown Christmas – a mix of actors and jazz, with a special appearance from the Vancouver Youth Choir.

Join in as the Granville Island, Chinatown, Strathcona, and Yaletown neighbourhoods become illuminated and connected with glowing lanterns. The Secret Lantern Society hosts the annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival on the longest night of the year and is free for everyone. The night will also include music, dancing, fire, and last minute lantern making workshops. 


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Cover photo courtesy Secret Lantern Society