Celtic Fest Downtown – Free Family Entertainment
Where: Granville Street (between Robson and Nelson Streets), See map below for parade route
What: The Mahoney and Sons Celtic Village on Granville St. is the place to spot a leprechaun this weekend. At either end you’ll find a fairly steady stream of performances to take in, as well as the roving Green Man and Sean “The Canadian” Leprechaun. Kids can get their faces painted for free by Marie-Hélène Babin. If your kid is into all things medieval, there will also be a number of swordplay demonstrations. The bigger musical acts are on the Doolin’s Stage at the Robson end, while the more kid-friendly demos are in the Kids Celtic Corner at the Nelson end of the “village”. Check out the list below and see more information at on the Celtic Fest site.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade will start on Sunday March 17th at 11:00am. Check out the map below for the parade route. According to CelticFest, during the parade you can look forward to seeing an “award-winning pipe and drum bands, Celtic musicians, Scottish and Irish dancers, acrobats, stilt walkers, vintage cars, the Vancouver police motorcycle drill team and pipe band, Irish Wolfhounds, fire and police dogs, mounted horse drill teams… and much more.”
Kids Celtic Corner Schedule – Granville Street (at Nelson)
Saturday March 16
11:00 am – 6:00 pm – Face Painting by Marie-Hélène Babin
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Royal Scottish Country Dance Team
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm (roving) – The Green Man
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm (roving) – Sean “The Canadian” Leprechaun
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm – Academie Duello International Centre for Swordplay
2:15 pm – 2:45 pm – British Columbia Regiment Irish Pipes and Drums
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Academie Duello International Centre for Swordplay
Sunday March 17
10:00 am – 5:00 pm – Face Painting by Marie-Hélène Babin
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm – Academie Duello International Centre for Swordplay (Demo)
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (roving) – The Green Man
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (roving) – Sean “The Canadian” Leprechaun
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm – Irish Dance Showcase
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm – Academie Duello International Centre for Swordplay
Doolin’s Stage on Granville (at Robson)
Saturday March 16
Sunday March 17
St. Patrick’s Day Story / Craft at Pottery Barn
Where: Pottery Barn Kids, 2835 Granville Street (map)
What: Although it’s their way to get you in the store, this Pottery Barn event is free and there’s no obligation to do anything other than enjoy the festivities. Bring your kids for a story, St. Patrick’s Day riddles and the chance to make a shamrock craft. Apparently there will even be a hunt for a “pot of gold” hidden somewhere in the store.
St. Patrick’s Day Party / Craft (ages 3 – 10) at West End CC
Where: West End Community Centre, 870 Denman St. (map)
What: If you fancy upping the hype for the coming St. Patrick’s Day festivities on the weekend, you can join a party at the West End Community Centre in preparation. The party will include a story time, games, crafts, and a scavenger hunt. There will be refreshments, prizes, a photobooth with free take-home photos, and a goodie bag for all participants. The event is recommended for ages 3-10, and parent participation is required.
Phone for more information: 604-257-8333
Note: If it’s seasonal crafts that you’re after here’s one that I like from Dagmar’s Home, a DIY thrifty Mom blog. Looks pretty easy-peasy if you ask me! Perfect for the unsure hands of a 16 month old. 🙂
Night Quest – A family walk in lantern-lit Pacific Spirit Park
Where: Pacific Spirit Regional Park, 16th Ave Park Entrance (400m west of Blanca) (map)
What: This family event lets you take your little ones on a journey to meet the creatures of Pacific Spirit Park at night and meet some kooky characters along the way. There are 2 km of lantern-lit trails, park staff dressed as animals or magical park creatures, storytellers, campfires and drumming. It’s a free activity, though you might want to bring your own mug and a bit of change for the concession, run by the Girl Guides of Canada. You can even take a stroller (or wheelchair) on the trails. Bring a flashlight and dress for the weather. Check out the video showing Night Quest in 2011 to find out what to expect. Presented in partnership with the Pacific Spirit Park Society. Call if you would like more information: 604-224-5739
Breakfast with Bunny / Easter Egg Hunts ($5 – $6)
Where and What: There are three Easter related events on at community centres this weekend. Pre-registration is a good idea, since these events tend to sell out. See the links below for more details!
- Champlain Heights Community Centre – Saturday, March 16 (all ages), 11:00am – 12:30pm. Includes: continental brunch with the Easter Bunny followed by an Easter egg hunt ($6)
- Coal Harbour Community Centre – Saturday, March 16 (2 to 7 years), 10:00am – 12:00 Noon. Includes: meeting the Easter Bunny, an Easter egg hunt, arts & crafts, play time, face painting and balloon making. ($5 in advance, $6 on the day of)
- West Point Grey Community Centre – Saturday, March 16 (all ages), 10:00am–12:00 Noon. Includes: continental breakfast, crafts, entertainment and an Easter egg hunt ($6).
More Easter-related events are coming up in the next few weeks at community centres. See the full list so you can reserve a spot in advance.
Family-friendly Rock and Gem Show, by donation
Where: Hastings Community Centre, 3096 East Hastings Street
What: This all-ages event is a chance for kids into rocks to see “rockhounds” in action. You can see soapstone carving, cabochon making, wire wrapping & silversmiths, and there is a touch table where you can feel large stones in their natural form. In addition to rocks for sale, you can purchase baked goods, play spin & win or pick up a $2 grab bag. Check for more info on their facebook page.