Christmas season at the Vancouver Aquarium

November 26th, 2015

The Vancouver Aquarium will be open all through the festive season and Santa will be taking a dip among the marine life as he travels the globe throughout December. Here are the events at the aquarium between now and January 3rd.

Did you know that Santa is quite an excellent swimmer? If you didn’t you do now and you can witness this firsthand at the aquarium. You will get an excellent chance to wave hello to Santa as he makes his annual visit to Vancouver – you can watch him take his daily dive among the gorgeous Beluga Whales and other aquatic friends.

How cool is this – the aquarium came up with this genius idea that puts the Electric Eels to work albeit in a festive mood – these are remarkable animals and of course it is all in the name, these Eels have the ability to produce electricity, the power they can create can be up to 600 volts of electricity! Ouch.
Fear not – these Eels want you to enjoy the season just as much as they do and they will harness their power to light up the Christmas tree – making this a must see unique holiday display.

If you have never experienced 4-D now is your moment at the Aquarium. This has been a staple over the last 10 years and has wowed the audiences that visit the aquarium. If you are a thrill seeker then this is a must for you, so hop on and enjoy this incredible ride – you will feel the rumble of the train, be among magical falling snow with the scent of hot chocolate making this feel very festive indeed!
Experience the Youtube trailer here:dmO-4wXgB9Y

Time to bundle up and visit the the far north of Canada albeit under water in the frigid waters of the Arctic. The tour will highlight what the exhibits and inhabitants of this world, you may have a chance encounter with the feeding animals, you can test your cold tolerance and experience the freezing temperatures of these chilly waters. Tours are daily.

If you are a true animal lover then this is the job for you! Put on those rubber boots, grab yourself a bucket filled with yummy fish and you are ready for a fantastic animal encounter. You will be up close and personal with beluga whales, dolphins, Sea lions and Sea otters.

For further information on the Vancouver Aquarium click here:

Cypress Mountain opens Friday! Grouse and Seymour opening soon…

November 19th, 2015

It has been a wild, wet and stormy in the Pacific Northwest with many of us feeling a wee bit miserable at what has been a very soggy and dark week. This weather is really not all doom and gloom at all, as at this time of year if the wet stuff is falling on our heads down here in the city, well then there is a good chance it is falling as Snow up on the northshore mountains overlooking Vancouver, in fact the Weather systems have provided the mountaintops with an above average dump of the white stuff so early on in the season.

Cypress Mountain due to open on Friday November 20th 2015
Last year we were hoping for a great season for skiing which ended up being one of the worst in memory, November was promising in 2014 but as the season transitioned from Autumn to Winter it became unusually dry and mild, so come February even the Snow makers on the Ski hills could not operate due to the balmy conditions, the temperatures and prolonged dry spells were more akin to Spring conditions we are more familiar with during March.

We are only midway through November 2015 and we have had more than a promising start as accumulating snow has arrived in abundance – so much so that some resorts in the interior of BC are open for business, check out Big White in Kelowna which opened last weekend, and at the time of writing has already 118cm of Snow at its base.

Cypress Mountain is planning to open a few of its runs in a couple of days time, at the moment there is 45cm of Snow at the base, the snowy conditions did briefly turn to rain, however, it does look like a building high pressure ridge is going to form, this will encourage cool, crisp conditions which will be perfect for the Snow making machines to be running so Skiing conditions will be great for the public.

Cypress Coach lines – West end pick up.
You can take transportation up to Cypress mountain via the Cypress coach lines shuttle – the location is a little under a 5 minute walk from the Sunset Inn hotel at the North-West corner of Davie and Thurlow Street (across from Starbucks). View the map here:,-123.130935&spn=0.001816,0.00327&hnear=Davie+St+%26+Thurlow+St,+Vancouver,+Greater+Vancouver,+British+Columbia&t=m&z=19&layer=c&cbll=49.280417,-123.131234&panoid=S0dLdm-cmFwBEkfHek3Zww&cbp=12,44.84,,0,0

Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour should be opening hot on the heels of Cypress mountain – please keep checking their websites for updates.

Grouse Mountain:
Mount Seymour:

Big Bus Hop on Hop off Winter Hours & Vantage Whistler Winter tours

October 28th, 2015

The BIG BUS Hop on, Hop off sightseeing tours have officially switched to their Winter hours and routes as of mid October 2015.

The frequency of these tours will be every 60 minutes every day with the first buses leaving at 9.15am and the final routes at 3.15pm. The closest stop to the Sunset Inn and Suites will be on Burrard Street outside the Century Plaza hotel pick up stop #16. The first Bus arrives at this stop at 10.16am.

Rain or shine Big Bus have a great reputation for an easy no fuss tour that enables you to see the very best of Vancouver and you will be fed plenty of information about Vancouver. Tickets can be purchased directly at the Hotel with payment by credit Card only.

About Big Bus Hop on Hop off
The Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing Pass is a fun and flexible way to see the best of Vancouver! Check out their Live Bus Map to find a stop near you. Our buses are equipped with GPS so you know exactly where we are in the city!

Cruise and choose from over 20 stops at world-class attractions. Enjoy a birds-eye view of Vancouver at your own pace, complete with one-of-a-kind commentary.

Included with your Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing Pass:
Mix it up! Choose from over 20 stops to create your adventure
Free one-way ferry ride to the public market, galleries and colourful culture of Granville Island
As many as 7 stops in Stanley Park, voted the best urban park in the world
World-class commentary in English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin
Vancouver’s only company with convertible, clear-top bus covers for stunning views rain or shine

For further information on their city tours click here:

With the Winter season soon knocking on our doors it is time to look north and towards Whistler – Canada’s premier Ski resort – one of the best ways to enjoy Whistler and this Winter wonderland is by using Vantage Whistler tours!

Vantage Whistler offers daily sightseeing tours from Vancouver to Whistler. We provide hotel service, pick up and drop off at your downtown location. Experience 6 stops on our tour, which include Prospect Point in Stanley Park, Cypress Mountain, Porteau Cove, Shannon Falls, Brandywine Falls, and Whistler Village. Spend over 4 hours of free time exploring Whistler which is full of great attractions. The tours are commentated and include complimentary snacks and drinks. And if it happens to rain on the day of your tour, we also provide you with an umbrella. The duration of the round trip tour is approximately 11 hours, starting at 8:00am in Vancouver and returning by 7:00pm. We provide all tours using Mercedes-Benz Sprinters. We also keep the tour groups to a maximum of 11 guests per bus, offering a more private tour experience.


The Fall & Winter hours of 3 must see Vancouver attractions.

October 15th, 2015

As the season transitions through Fall into the Winter hours many major attractions will be changing their schedules in line with the changing of daylight hours and volume of tourism traffic.

Many of the attractions at Grouse Mountain have closed for the season due to weather conditions, however, there are still activities that will be carrying on until the resort changes for the Winter season and hopefully the snows will return for the ski season.
A few of the regular attractions such as the Sky Ride 8:45am-10:00pm, Theatre in the sky 9:30am-9:00pm and the Eye of the Wind (Wind Turbine) Guided Tours 11:00am-3:00pm – are all still in operation.

Click on the following link to see what the Seasonal Activities are in operation and you can also see the schedule for the upcoming Winter Season.

Capilano Fall/Winter hours are as follows:
October 13 – November 26 9:00am – 5:00pm
November 27 – January 3 -(Closed Christmas Day – Dec 25) 11:00am – 9:00pm
– to find out Winter hours for 2016 keep checking the Capilano website and follow our Facebook page and blogs for future information.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vancouver, British Columbia. The reason is simple, there are so many things to see and do.

The Canyon Lights will begin on from November 27, 2015 through to Sunday, January 3, 2016. (Closed Christmas Day – December 25th). Park hours are 11:00am – 9:00pm. Canyon Lights tickets are valid all day with holiday activities beginning at 4:00pm.
Celebrate Canyon Lights November 27, 2015 to January 3, 2016. Re-capture the feeling of wonder and excitement of the holiday season and be amazed by the hundreds of thousands of lights throughout the park. The suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and canyon are transformed into a world of festive lights and visual enchantment. See the world’s tallest living Christmas tree (153 feet tall!), go on a Snowy Owl Prowl, decorate gingerbread cookies and make your own Christmas card in the Winter Pavilion, and sing-along with the holiday band.


During the actual Winter – the Granville Island Public Market will be closed on Mondays – the actual date this begins is still to be confirmed. The current hours through fall are as follows.

Granville Island Public Market Hours: Open 7 days a week: 9am – 7pm
Browse the aisles and sample local and exotic flavours from the very best farmers, bakers, butchers and fishmongers. All fresh. All the time. There’s crafts galore and buskers too. Plus a waterfront courtyard for people-watching.

Net Loft – Open 7 days a week: 10am – 7pm
The Net-Loft has a selection of Stores, shops and crafts – plus eateries for you to enjoy – click here for the full business directory

Kids Market Hours: Open 7 days a week: 10am – 6pm
A wee hidden gem in the heart of Granville Island – The Kids Market is located next to the pond at the entrance to Granville Island and has over 25 shops, services and activities for children and their families.
The Kids Market is housed in an old factory which is over 100 years old, two annex buildings and a train caboose. Shop and play indoors or enjoy the patio and play area beside the pond! Splash around in the water park that is right next door!

The Public Market and Net Loft will be keeping regular hours on Remebrance Day, Wednesday, November 11, 2015.

Vancouver Brewery Tours

October 7th, 2015

Do you like craft beer? Do you like to wander around the city while stopping by some great bars for an outstanding beer but have no idea where to find them – well worry no more as Vancouver Brewery tours are here to help you out!

Founded in 2013 Vancouver Brewery tours recognise that Vancouver is in the midst of a fantastic Craft Beer explosion and they want you to see and experience the very best craft beer establishments in downtown Vancouver. Their mission is for you the consumer to help support the smaller local craft brewers and to taste specialty beers that you will only find in these little gems. The community is growing ever stronger as the months and years go by and they are really helping to put Vancouver on the map as one of the top tourist destinations in this market.

What tours are on offer?
Vancouver Brewery Tours offers you two choices for tours, weekly Public Tours and by request Private Group Tours.

Public Tours
Public tours are offered year round, run every week from Tuesday to Sunday, and are the best way to experience Vancouver’s craft beer scene. Whether you’re a thirsty local or a curious visitor to our beautiful city, we’ve got a tour for you! Public tours book up quickly so reserve your spot early.

Public Tours are offered year round at the following times:
Tuesday 4:00pm to 8:00pm
Thursday 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Friday 2:00 pm to 5:00pm
Saturday 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Sunday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Leave the keys at home and the driving to us! We’ll meet you at Waterfront Station, conveniently located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, where you’ll embark on a brewery tour journey you won’t forget that includes the following:

3 brewery visits in 3 or 4 hours
Pick up, drop off and transportation to and from the breweries
Enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guides
Behind the scenes brewery tours
VIP seating and entrance
From grain to glass: an introduction to the brewing process
A Vancouver Brewery Tours souvenir pint glass
And PLENTY of craft beer samples at each stop
Learn more about Public Tours including which breweries are scheduled for each day here.

Private Group Tours
Private brewery tours are perfect for groups looking to reserve the entire van for private functions. From birthday parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties, corporate and client appreciation events, we specialize in hosting custom, fun and memorable tours for any occasion. With up to 28 seats available and two 2 brewery tour vans, leave the details to Vancouver’s brewery tour specialists and call us today.

The Breweries that Vancouver brewery tours use:


Queen Elizabeth Park is 75 years old!

September 2nd, 2015

Come celebrate Queen Elizabeth Park’s 75th year. Take in a free concert, enjoy our licensed area, free pitch and putt, free admission at the Bloedel Conservatory, $5.00 zipline rides, food trucks, family fun, and much more!

Queen Elizabeth Park
The park itself is located right in the middle of Vancouver and is one of the highest points of the city – the location is affectionately known as ‘Little Mountain’.
Some of the gardens are found to be a in a sunken hollow – this is actually the remnant scarring as the land was once used as a quarry, the rocks that were taken were used to lay down the new road systems for the growing city of Vancouver at the time.

The idea was to transform the ugly scarring of the Quarry into sunken gardens on top of the hill, the growth of plants that had become quite overgrown and not a very good sight to the eye was also transformed to create a larger park for the public to enjoy. The site had been turned over to the Vancouver Park Board for park and recreation purposes, and was dedicated as such by King George VI and his consort, Queen Elizabeth (the mother of Queen Elizabeth II) on their much lauded visit to Vancouver in 1939, as King and Queen of Canada.

Happy 75th Birthday QE
As this is a very big birthday there will be some great events and activities happening in celebration.

Live Music Stage schedule
Beginning at 12:00 noon to 12:30pm with Opening Speeches

12:30pm to 1:30pm Pop Junkies
1:45pm to 2:45pm Hot Panda
3:00pm to 4:15pm Patrick Nazemi
4:30pm to 5:30pm The Zolas
5:45pm to 7:00pm Delhi 2 Dublin

At 2:00pm, 3:30pm, and 5:00pm there will be an aerial show by CircusWest at the fountain plaza.

All day activities from 12:00 noon to 7:00pm with the Stanley Park Brewing licensed area.
$5.00 zipline rides
Free pitch & putt
Free admission at the Bloedel Conservatory
Face painting at the fountain plaza
Photo booth at the fountain plaza
Pickleball at the tennis courts
Free drop-in at the QE lawn bowling club

City of Vancouver QEP:

Urban Wildlife in Vancouver

August 15th, 2015

Vancouver is highly rated as one of the most stunning cities in the world to visit and it is very hard not to see why. The city is situated in a temperate rainforest that encompasses much of the Pacific Northwest and is greeted by vigorous weather systems that barrel in from the massive Pacific Ocean for 9 months of the year. Due to this and the large mountains that greet the weather Vancouver and Vancouver Island is an area that has incredible dense forests and amazing fauna that is home to some incredible wildlife.

Nature in the city – meet your fellow neighbours!
It is not unusual for a guest to come in from sightseeing and being quite surprised and astonished at some of the animals that they have just spotted in the city – to many of us it is just a normal every day occurrence, however, we really do appreciate and love the diversity of the local flora and fauna that makes up the fabric of the city. So let us introduce to you the local wildlife of Vancouver.

Skunks, Raccoons and Squirrels
These animals are everywhere and are easily spotted all year round but more especially in the Summer months and after nightfall – however, if these creatures are hungry enough you will catch them in the daytime too. It is likely you will see a skunk more regularly than a Raccoon and when you do you will probably see a few as they tend to wander around with their young.
We do not advise that you feed these animals, they are cute but there is always the possibility that they may bite and Skunks are famous for spraying an oily substance that smells like an awful strong stench of Sulphur and marijuana – not a great smell. They are harmless overall though, so if you wish to have a peak of them you can do so but give them their space as they go on their merry way.

There are so many Squirrels here it seems unreal, you will always catch them scurrying around the streets and up the trees – they are pretty tame overall and have really worked out how to live in harmony in the city.

Bald Eagles, Crows and Herons
These birds are by far the most noticeable of all the animals in the city all year round – the Bald Eagles are certainly more noticeable in the Spring and Summer months due to the Fledgling season where they have many options to hunt for food and this can easily be seen when you are out and about in the city. One of the signs that there is a bald eagle not too far above you is when you hear the Seagulls and Crows crying out a warning cry to each other as they are fearlessly protecting their young from being prey, if you hear this commotion look up – it is almost guaranteed that a large bald eagle or other type of Bird of Prey is about to swoop down and feed itself and its own chicks.

Crows are everywhere in Vancouver and they are one of the most respected and revered creatures that many of us have a love hate relationship with. There is a fantastic phenomenon that happens daily in Vancouver which involves thousands of Crows heading to and from their roosting spot in Burnaby. The murder of crows is quite the sight to see and happens at Sunrise and Sunset every day – if you have a keen eye you will spot the spectacular ‘Crow train’.

Check out this Video of the Crows going home:

The other gorgeously majestic Bird to spot in Vancouver is the Great Blue Heron. The Herons you can find wading in the shallow waters at pretty much any Beach in and around Vancouver and soaring smoothly in the skies above you. For a better sighting of these birds you need to head to Stanley Park near the Tennis courts, here, the Herons have been nesting at this site for quite a few years and there are roughly around 80 nests at top of the trees and the months of April to June are the prime time to catch them rearing their chicks.

For further Animal watching head to the Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park where you can see all the above creatures but lots of Ducks, Canada Geese, Turtles and plenty of people if you like to people watch!

For further information on Vancouver wildlife check these sites out.
Stanley Park Ecological Society

Vancouver Aquarium

Vancouver Pride Weekend Parade & Festival July 31st – August 1st & 2nd

July 16th, 2015

Are you ready for a ball? Vancouver is ready for some fun on the streets of the Westend and Davie village which is the designated Gay district of Vancouver. At the very end of July and beginning of August we welcome the annual Gay Pride Festival and Parade. Find out here what to expect over this lively and most colourful of all parades and festivals this city has to offer – not only that, we also host the annual HONDA Celebration of Light Fireworks display and Live music festival called Shorefest at the Sunset Beach & English Bay respectively – Read more here:

Davie Street Block Party
Friday, July 31, 2015 – 6:00pm to Saturday, August 1, 2015 – 12:00am
FREE for general attendance
19+ Wristbands $5

- See more at:
Begin the Pride weekend with a bang with an evening bloc party all along Davie Street – Take back the streets for Pride Weekend in the heart of the Davie Street Village! Check out the beer garden with the party spilling out from the stage at Davie Street’s historic Rainbow Crosswalk at Bute Street.

37th Annual Vancouver Pride Parade
Sunday, August 2, 2015 – 12:00pm to 3:00pm
Enjoy one of the most beautiful and diverse parades in the world. The Vancouver Pride Parade was granted civic status in 2013 and is one of the city’s flagship events! Attracting crowds of more than 650,000, the Pride Parade is renowned on the international stage as one of the largest and most successful LGBTQ2+ events in the world. – See more at:

Pride Festival @ Sunset Beach
Sunday, August 2, 2015 – 11:00am to 6:00pm
Celebrate Pride in one of Vancouver’s most beautiful waterfront parks! Browse through over one hundred exhibitors in our Pride Market, including local artisans, supporters and community organizations. A variety of bands, drag performers and speakers will be featured on the main stage, with DJs spinning in the beer garden throughout the day. See more at:

HONDA Celebration of Light Fireworks

July 15th, 2015

In 10 days time our annual street parties returns once more to the Westend where we will be entertained with the annual Celebration of Light Fireworks display at English Bay, and the colourful spectacle that is the Vancouver Pride parade and festival which we will write about in our next blog.

The Honda Celebration of Light is an annual musical fireworks competition held every summer in Vancouver, Canada since 1990. Three companies representing their country perform a 25 minute fireworks display set to accompanying music. This competition is cited as being the longest-running offshore fireworks competition in the world. The fireworks are synchronized to music which is broadcast over the radio station LG104.3 FM.

This years participants are China, Brazil & Canada – we are very excited to see what they will show us as these countries have traditional dazzled and wowed the crowds in the past with excellent pyrotechnics that will amaze! The 2015 Honda Celebration of Light competition begins at 10:00pm sharp each night, rain or shine.

SHOREFEST – Sunset Beach Festival – Live Music begins at 2pm at Sunset Beach & Keg Lounge at English Bay at 7.30pm
Just a little over a 5 minute walk from the hotel you will find Sunset Beach and here is where the festivities begin in the day – this is a great family orientated event and is getting bigger and better each year.

As part of the Sunset Beach Festival, SHOREFEST showcases some of Canada’s top musical acts in one of Vancouver’s most picturesque settings on the shores of English Bay. Come down early to the Sunset Beach stage for live music all afternoon. Then move on over to English Bay to catch our feature performers on the stage in The Keg Lounge. This stage plays to the beach – to you the fans – with rock and roll starting at 7:30pm.

For a complete breakdown of the full days Schedule click here:

LOOK UP ON FESTIVAL NIGHTS! 3 amazing Airshows!
At 8:00 PM lift your eyes to the skies and watch for Super Dave, The Skyhawks, and Anna Serbinenko! These three epic air shows are sure to amaze all of you on the three festival nights.
Saturday July 25 “Super” Dave Mathieson.
Wednesday July 29 Canadian Armed Forces “Skyhawks” Parachute Team.
Saturday August 1 “Skydancer” Anna Serbinenko.

FIFA Women’s Soccer World Cup Final – BC Place in Vancouver on Sunday July 5th

July 1st, 2015

The FIFA Women’s Soccer world cup is soon to be reaching the grand final which will be held in Vancouver at BC Place Stadium on Sunday July 5th and what an event it has been to date.

Canada had a great run – some may not agree with this, but to make it in the quarter finals in any tournament as big as this is never an easy feat – so we have to congratulate the girls on their effort and especially their fearless Captain Christine Sinclair. Christine is a local girl and both her uncles have experience playing Soccer so it is no surprise that Christine followed in their footsteps. We feel that the current squad with Christine at the helm has put Women’s soccer in the limelight now and we feel for many years to come – and it is for the very fact that women like Christine can show the world that they are an equal to the men with their skills, technical ability and thought process that makes this game such a delight to watch.

As we type this blog it is hot off the heals of the famous USA victory over Germany which has propelled them to a record 4th Final in the world cup tournament – that is a an impressive feat in itself.
It is ironic that Germany were to lose the game in the manner they did, it was as many feel assumed that if the game was to go to penalties then germany were likely to be victors as this was undoubtedly their strengtht as they had been knocking in some accurate goals under immense pressure. So you do have to feel for the German striker Celia Sasic who missed her penalty shot. As in many games of Soccer – it takes a moment of chaos to turn a game on its head and this seems to be the case in this instant.

So the next game coming up is a huge one – England versus Japan – we will love to know who you think will be the victors? Japan has the massive task of getting through to the final knowing that there is a chance of winning back to back tournaments which is hard to do in any sport! England have made 4 appearances in this tournament in the past and have made it only as far as the quarters – so their tails will be up as they feel they have a chance to go all the way – the team had a very good run leading up to this moment with 10 straight wins on the bounce in the qualifying stages that lead to entry into the world cup.

This tournament has been a boon to the economy of Canada and especially Vancouver – we have witnessed immense interest and pleasure in this world cup and have certainly seen the benefits of all the tourism that has inflated the city this past month – the weather has been exceptional too – warm, dry and perfect for Soccer!

We are looking forward to the final and who knows it could be a very good Independence day for the USA?!?!?!