Vancouver Weekender: November 29 to December 1, 2013

Pop by the newly opened Ask for Luigi (305 Alexander Street) that has just set up shop where Two Chefs and a Table used to be in Railtown. The same familiar clapboard house still stands, but that’s pretty much it as they’ve completely gutted the space to create a warm, inviting and decidedly rustic-chic Italian trattoria. House-made pasta, share plates and a tasty little wine list await you.

After you’ve fuelled up, go get infused by a little culture at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s ‘FUSE’ event that kicks off at around 7pm.  Explore the VAG at night, sip cocktails, check out a variety of exhibits and mingle with artists, performers, musicians and others.  DJs will be on hand to keep the party going until the wee hours at 750 Hornby Street.

Saturday is all about getting a head start on the holidays. You’ll be able to take your pick of ways to do that with a little bit of retail help courtesy of The Great Canadian Craft Show: Christmas Edition, Make It! Christmas Craft Fair and Christmas On The Drive (taking place at Grandview Park). 

Add a little original, locally sourced art to your abode (or perhaps score a few additional gifts for those hard-to-buy-for types on your list) and be sure to pop by Hot Art Wet City on Saturday afternoon as well (2206 Main Street). This one-day event is always a hit, featuring original pieces from local artists for under $100 per item. Proceeds from sales go directly back to supporting the 13 artists, so you can feel extra good about your purchases. 

Also taking place this weekend (and yet another great excuse to get out and explore all that the city has to offer) is Saturday’s Winter Farmers Market at Nat Bailey Stadium (30th and Ontario Street). Open from 10am until 2pm, it’s your best (and healthiest) bet if you’re looking to fill up the fridge on locally sourced/grown goods. With hundreds of vendors and farmers on hand, you can’t get more local than this. Enjoy sampling baked goods, grab your java fix, take in some entertainment and pick up unique items at this seasonal fair. 

Black Friday festivities have spawned several weekend-long ways to explore Vancouver’s bustling retail and creative scene with a few options. First off, stay local and check out Black Friday at The Parker Building (1355 Parker Street) where you’ll find seven showrooms featuring local and international brands. Alternatively, use this weekend to head over to West Vancouver’s recently revamped and expanded Park Royal Village. They’ve added a handful of upscale shops to their already awesome mix and will have holiday events, entertainment and more happening throughout the weekend. 

If you’re looking to add a seriously festive activity to your weekend mix, cap it off by heading over to Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver (3735 Capilano Road) for the Festival Of Lights. Launching this weekend, it’s a breathtakingly beautiful way to be a tourist for a moment as you check out the city’s largest suspended light display and world’s largest Christmas tree (152 feet). There will be live performances, carolers, gingerbread snacks, the Cliffwalk to explore and more. Partial proceeds from the seasonal event support the BC Firefighters’ Burn Fund.

Sunday night, skip kitchen duty and unwind with some pub-style comfort food at The Brighton (2471 East Hastings Street). Find yourself ensconced in their cozy space with a classic sampling of British fare (we hear the bangers and mash are a definite must) and local brew to wash it down.

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