Vancouver Weekender: March 29 through 31, 2013

If you’re like us, this long weekend couldn’t come any sooner. With a nice stretch of sunny days yet to come, we’re lamenting long days stuck inside at the desk. So, gear up for a great start après work and be sure to check out Mingle at Killjoy (part of Make-A-Wish BC’s Young Professional Advisory Council). It’s the perfect pre-long weekend way to squeeze in a little social networking with like-minded Vancity YPs while downing a cocktail or two. Tickets are $20 (includes a complimentary beverage) with proceeds benefitting Make-A-Wish BC. For more information, click here.

Relish the fact that (for most of you) Friday is a big fat holiday. Sleep in, forego the gym and wake up slowly. Catch up on a bit of city-style exploration starting with a leisurely bite at Main Street’s latest addition, Eight and a Half Restaurant. Next, head down to Chinatown to see what the buzz is about (a noteworthy crop of new spots have recently opened, not to mention boutiques like this). Stop by the Dr. Sun Yet-Sen Classical Chinese Garden for a glimpse of spring (the Cherry Blossom Festival is just around the corner), and enjoy the sense of organized chaos that makes up this shopping gem.

Saturday, head out to explore the return of the Baker’s Market – now back every Saturday until May 4th and loaded with sweet offerings. Peruse the homemade goods courtesy of professional chefs and hobby bakers alike, grab cookies, cakes, chocolates and more (well-timed if you happen to be planning any sort of egg hunt on Sunday).

Next, head over to explore the latest crop of offerings at the Vancouver Winter Farmers Market (as always, Nat Bailey Stadium plays host). On for one more month until it switches over to spring, now is the time to take advantage of winter fresh produce, artisan offerings and more. Be sure to consult their handy online guide to learn about what’s in season as well as which one of your favourite suppliers will be there and load up accordingly.

Speaking of markets, we suggest you make your way up to Whistler for a few days of snow-filled fun if you happen to be in the mood for a trip out of town. You don’t have to be into carving your way down the mountain just to make the journey worthwhile.  With plenty of hotel and rental units still available, it’s not too late to plot an escape. If you do make a quick getaway, be sure to check out the last day of the Made in Whistler Winter Market that takes place at the Westin Hotel on Saturday (between 2pm and 7pm). For more details on all-things Whistler-related for this upcoming long weekend click here.

Back in the city, there is still plenty going on around town. If you fancy a bit of dancing, try to grab one of the few remaining tickets to this year’s Seasons Festival (definitely a must-do for those of you craving some electronic beats). With more than a half dozen events taking place around town, you can catch the likes of Nicky Romero, Calvin Harris, Michael Woods and Burns at the PNE come Saturday night. 

Come Sunday, it’s all about taking it easy and getting outside to enjoy the stunning weather we’re supposed to get (we might even hit 18!). Make your day worth it by rising on the early side and hitting up the local slopes. Work that goggle tan and take in Sunday’s Spring Fest activities – complete with a free pancake breakfast, BBQ, gear swap, entertainment and more. 

Post all the outdoorsy-action, we’re betting the last thing you want to do is head home and hunker down. We think you ought to make use of the weather and partake in a little patio play. Unwind after a packed day at a Notable favourite The Local (Kits), or, if you haven’t already checked out Coal Harbour’s latest, Cactus Club, be sure to score a spot (we hear it’s heated). Live across town? No problem; another sure bet is South Granville’s Luke’s Corner Bar + Kitchen (which also happens to be heated). 

Photo courtesy Luke’s Corner Bar + Kitchen