Vancouver Weekender: October 5 through 7, 2012

With this weekend coming up, we’re betting a lot of our Notable readers are heading home for a little family-fuelled R&R. If home translates to travelling, well then we wish you luck at the airport! If Thanksgiving weekend means staying closer to the city, we’ve got some excellent options that will keep you occupied up until its turkey time. Read on and see what’s in store this weekend in YVR.

Friday, duck out of work and head out to a pay a visit to a noteworthy watering hole we’ve had on our radar for a while. Start off by paying a visit to the newly minted Parker restaurant in Strathcona.  We love the simplicity of the 20-seater space (especially the living light fixtures and communal seating). The menu is refreshing and inventive and pays particularly close attention to supporting and sourcing food from locally and organically-minded producers – extending this to featured wines and a quaffable cocktail list. 

Post post-work bevy and snack, we hope you packed your most hideous-looking cardigan so you can partake in the ugly Cardigan Party set to take place at Doolin’s Irish Pub. This themed night out will help launch the latest creation courtesy of Richard’s Brewery, the aptly named ‘Cardigan’ lager. Attendees are invited to don their tackiest knit attire with pride; with no cover, partake in lounge inspired tunes, drink specials and more. 

Also on offer this weekend, BC Craft Beer Month has just kicked things off with a calendar worth of tastings, events and dedicated beer infused dinners. Not into committing to any single micro-brewed event? No problem, taste through more than 24 different craft brewed beers featured this month over at the Tap & Barrel located in False Creek’s Olympic Village.

Kicking things off this Saturday, North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay Market is another destination worth heading to as they celebrate the launch of Savour: a Food and Wine Festival (running each Saturday until the end of the month). Explore fine import and local foods, score professional tips and stock up on great culinary finds and delicacies at this free event.

In keeping with the market mood, be sure to head over to the Baker’s Market if you can this weekend to satisfy your sugar cravings. This market also marks its return on October 6 and runs until December, bringing with it the baked offerings of both professional and at-home chefs. It’s the perfect spot to score sweet treats just in time for Thanksgiving feast (um, hello…freshly baked pumpkin pie you can tell your family you made yourself).

Post day at the market, be sure to head out to catch a few of the noteworthy flicks being screened as part of the Vancouver International Film Festival (in town for a final week).  With hundreds of films from around the world, it truly is a fantastic way to score a global cinematic seat.  One to watch that lends a more local feel: Survival Prayer, a stunning observational film that will take you right into the lives of the Haida Gwaii of Coastal BC (and plays Saturday night).

Come Sunday, take advantage of the stunning autumn weather on its way for the weekend and scoot up to Whistler for the day.  Grab a coffee and snack at one of our go-to favourites in West Van at the Savary Island Pie Company before making your way up to this top-notch ski town. This weekend is packed with events, starting with the return of Whistler’s annual Turkey Sale – your chance to score major savings on new and used ski and snowboard gear from the industry’s biggest names.

Once you’ve had a chance to kit yourself out for the upcoming season (only a month away),  stick around for some lunch, enjoy the gorgeous fall scenery and be sure to head over to partake in the Fairmont’s Zucchini 500. That’s right, they’re hosting the first ever zucchini race and you’re invited.  Participants can enter to win a plethora of prizes (including free accommodation) by building and racing their own zucchini car. There’s also a vegetable fashion show taking place – both are guaranteed to bring a different sort of entertainment to your proverbial table. For more info click here.  

If you’re not hosting or having to head out to turkey dinner back in the city on Sunday, fill in the rest of your afternoon by heading out for a bit of pre-season hockey action and grab tickets for the 4pm game pitting the Vancouver Giants against the Victoria Royals. Another option to hit up before calling it a day: Vancouver is hosting the first ever Mega Comic-Con this weekend (ends October 7 at 6pm), and is the perfect spot to unleash your inner pop culture geek. They’ve got the one and only ‘Screetch’ a la Saved by the Bell, as well as stars from Star Trek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to round things out.

Enjoy a relaxed holiday Monday morning by heading out for a bike or stroll around Stanley Park along the Seawall and make plenty of room for the Thanksgiving meal that awaits. If you’re looking for the perfect wines to pack, spots such as Legacy Liquor Store and Viti Wine and Lager offer some great suggested pairings for turkey (and have convenient holiday hours for those of you who forget to shop ahead).

Photo courtesy Katie Huisman, Parker Restaurant