Cherry Jam: Free Music, Cooking Demos and Dance Lesson – Burrard Skytrain
When: Thursday, April 4, 11:00am – 1:30pm
Where: Indoor Concourse of Burrard Skytrain Station, Vancouver (map)
What: What better way to ring in spring than 50 pink ukeleles in concert? Or a dance lesson beneath cherry blossoms? As part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, you can watch a live cooking demonstration, try a free dance lesson from World Umbrella Dance featuring the Shiamak Vancouver Dance Team and Tetsu Taiko, and hang out to watch the pink ukeleles in action. If you’re inclined to buy lunch out (and are willing to go above budget), you can pick up a special $20 gourmet Bento Box created by four participating restaurants: Tojo’s, Zen Japanese Restaurant, Shuraku Sake Bar & Bistro and Toshi Sushi. On-line sales are sold out for this special meal already, but there will be limited orders available on the day of the event.
While we’re on the subject of cherry blossoms… check out this fun craft I stumbled upon using an old pop bottle. It looks easy enough to do with a toddler (with some assistance) and satisfying for older kids to create something pretty and seasonal for the wall. Detailed instructions available on the AlphaMom Blog.
Free Hands-on Workshop about Bees: Champlain Heights
When: Saturday, April 6, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Where: Champlain Heights Community Centre, 3350 Maquinna Dr. (map)
What: In my pre-baby days when I was a Biology teacher full time, I sometimes had a tough time getting kids to understand how vital insects are in our lives. If we got rid of bees, for example, we’d all starve to death in no time since they’re responsible for pollinating the flowering plants we eat. Here’s your chance to pass on the message early to your kids that pollinators are the best thing around. In this workshop, kids will get a chance to handle the pupa of Mason bees (a worm-like stage, no stings!) and learn about their life cycle. You’ll then take a walk to Everett Crowley Park to release the bees into their natural habitat. Children must be accompanied by an adult, and it sounds best suited to the “kid” crowd rather than “toddlers”. Preregistration at the Centre is required, call 604-718-6575.
Free Tree Talks and Walks – Oppenheimer Park
Where: Oppenheimer Park, Vancouver, BC (meet on the park side of the field house on Powell St., between Jackson and Dunlevy) map
What: Although this isn’t an event specifically for kids, it’s a great opportunity to learn more about local nature and gives you a chance to teach your kids to value the trees they encounter daily. Presented by arborist David Tracey, this Tree Talk and Walk will feature Oppenheimer Park, where trees were planted to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants in Vancouver. The walk will travel over a six-block radius and include fun facts about the trees and points of interest along the way. There are a number of Tree Talk and Walks coming up as part of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. You can explore Stanley Park trees, UBC trees, Queen Elizabeth Park, VanDusen Gardens and the West End this month.
Free Classical Music Concert for the Family… with Strawberries, Cream and Tea!
When: Saturday, April 6 and Sunday April 7, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Where: Vanier Park, Vancouver Academy of Music, 1270 Chestnut St., Vancouver, BC (map)
What: Interested in adding a little culture to a family outing to the park? Vanier Park is a nice place for a walk with the family in fine weather. This weekend you can combine it with a free hour-long concert at the Vancouver Academy of Music that showcases talented young performers of all ages. The icing on the cake is that you also get tea and a nice serving of strawberries with clotted cream. Obviously, use a little discretion when considering the event if you’ve got a little one that’s likely to erupt in tantrum wails or try to sing along. Since it’s free, you might want to give your kids a wee taste of classical performance instead of staying for the whole event. Find more information on the Vancouver Academy of Music site.
Canstruction: Fun (and free) sculptures made of canned goods
Where: There are two locations for this event downtown: At HSBC Pendulum Gallery – 885 West Georgia St and at The Four Seasons Hotel – 791 W. Georgia St.
What: This event is sure to bring out the creative (and competitive?) side of anyone with an eye for design. Canstruction Vancouver is an annual competition that includes 180 different cities worldwide. Architects, engineers, designers and schools create huge, fantastical sculptures out of canned foods. Your kiddies will enjoy looking at the larger-than-life characters cleverly portrayed out of tins of ordinary tuna fish. You’ll get the satisfaction of knowing that the artwork is deconstructed and donated entirely to the Greater Vancouver Foodbank at the end of the competition. A “win-win” situation, especially since it’s free and you might be downtown with a few minutes to spare anyhow.
Used Kids’ Clothing / Toys Swap Meets
- Saturday, April 6, 10:00am – 1:30pm, Hastings Community Centre: Gymnasium, 3096 E Hastings Street (More info or to book a table available here)
- Sunday, April 7, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, Douglas Park Community Centre, 801 W. 22nd Avenue (Call 604-257-8130 for more info)
What: Swap Meets are a great way to pick up used kids clothing, toys and accessories for a fraction of the cost. Many parents set out a table full of clothes for a size range (e.g. 6 – 12 months) and sell anything on the table for $2. Others individually label clothing with price tags, but often don’t sell as much that way. However you buy or sell it, it’s great to be recycling your gently used clothes. If you have items you’d like to sell, you can book a table in advance. See the contact information for more info above.
Where: Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre, 7646 Prince Albert St., Vancouver, BC (map)
What: If you’re looking for a sweet treat to accompany lunch or need a fun event for a budding foodie, you can find breads, cakes, cookies, gluten-free French macaroons, muffins, scones, pies, tarts, chocolates, cupcakes, granola, vegan and ethnic baked goods and more at the Baker’s Market. More info available on vendors and the event here.
A little further afield…
Nature Stories for Tots at Lynn Canyon (North Van) ($2, ages 2+)
Where: Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre, 3663 Park Road, North Vancouver, BC map
What: Lynn Canyon Park is full of easy trails to walk with even the littlest kids, especially if you alternate between letting them poke around a bit and carting them in a baby carrier. If you’re thinking of having a nice springtime walk, drop in to the Ecology Centre and take in Treetop Tales on the first and third Friday on the month. Tots/Kids over 2 are invited to enjoy nature tales, songs and rhymes at the Ecology Centre. Entrance is by donation ($2 suggested) and you can just drop-in. Find more information on the Spring Family Events at Lynn Canyon Program Guide.
Vaisakhi Celebration in Richmond
When: Sunday, April 7, 2:00 – 3:30pm
Where: Dream Room, Cambie Branch Richmond Public Library, 11590 Cambie Rd. #150, Richmond, BC map
What: Rather than take a trip to South Asia, come celebrate Vaisakhi in Richmond and learn about the holiday from locals. Vaisakhi is a Punjabi harvest festival and also the birth of the Khalsa for the Sikh community. The festival will include an entertaining skit, games and dance performances. Free admission and snacks. It’s a drop-in event presented by Richmond Public Library and SUCCESS. All ages are welcome. Read more about events happening at Richmond Libraries here.
Popsicle Bridge Building Contest in North Van
Where: Capilano Mall, 935 Marine Drive, North Vancouver (map)
What: If your kids are old enough for some serious crafts and you’re trying to encourage their building creativity, they can take part in the 13th Annual Popsicle Bridge Building Contest put on the by Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC. Capilano Mall’s Grand Court will host the event. (Check out more mall events coming soon here.)