In case you hadn’t heard… May 10th is Move for Health Day, a holiday promoted by the BC Parks and Recreation Board to encourage healthy, active living. Here’s what I’ve found for free activities for families in and around Vancouver. If you know of more, please comment so we can see the full array of choices for this Friday.
Move for Health Day: Free Family Zumba Class in Champlain Heights
Where: Champlain Heights Community Centre, 3350 Maquinna Dr., Vancouver (map)
What: Zumba is the 2010s answer to the old Aerobics classes our Moms might have frequented wearing legwarmers and terrycloth wristbands in the 80s. Although you’re still getting the same kind of workout, it incorporates moves from a variety of dances like salsa, merengue, cha cha and calypso, so you feel like you’re taking a dance class instead of “working out”. I’m the kind of person who will inadvertently dance along to music in a grocery store, so I can see the appeal. If you want to try it out for free, head to the Champlain Heights Community Centre with the family. Call 604-718-6575 to register for workshop 51612.203CP. Free.
Move for Health Day: Free Games and Activities at Creekside
When: Friday, May 10, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Where: Creekside Community Recreation Centre, 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver (map)
What: If you’re wondering how to get out and get physically active with little ones, mix up the regular playground/park routine and head for activities, games and relay races for all ages at the Creekside Community Centre. The Family PlayGym will also be open for free.
Move for Health Day: A guided walk of Yaletown
Where: 181 Roundhouse Mews (Davie & Pacific), Vancouver
What: If your idea of moving for health is more of a stroll, the Roundhouse Community Centre is offering “a guided walk of Yaletown, with an arts and history focus”. It’s listed as an all-ages event, though it’s clearly an adult-focused event. However, nutritious snacks and healthy prizes are included, says the Roundhouse website.
Move for Health Day: Free Family Yoga Class, Swimming and Gym Activities in Burnaby
What: Burnaby has a whole list of free activities for Move for Health Day, several of which are specifically for families or for kids. You can check out a gentle family yoga class that focuses on having fun and relaxing, play games as a family in the gym (no teens, just kids under 12), or take a swim together at a couple of locations. See the list of free Move for Health activities for details on time and location, along with many other activities for adults and older kids.
More Move for Health Day Events in Surrey, Richmond and all over BC
Burnaby takes the cake for the most Move for Health Day events advertised, so they got their own mention here even though they’re outside of Vancouver. However, there are other events happening all over the Lower Mainland and in BC in general. Click here to see a list of all Move for Health Day events in BC.
Move for Health isn’t the only thing on this week… if you’re into getting some fresh food or finding out about gardening or sustainable agriculture, you can also check out the events below:
A Growing Affair: The UBC Botanical Garden Plant Sale
Where: UBC Botanical Garden 6804 SW Marine Drive @ 16th Avenue, Vancouver (map)
What: An event that began as a simple plant sale, UBC’s “A Growing Affair” now includes garden tours, information for plant lovers, demonstrations for gardeners at all levels of experience and activities to inspire kids to grow their own plants. There’s much more information on the website, including a hotline for gardening help (cleverly named the “Hortline”… as in horticulture), a list of the plants for sale and details on transportation and parking. See the A Growing Affair site for details.
Note: The Nikkei Centre in Burnaby will also be hosting a Plant Sale / Spring Bazaar this Saturday from 11:00 – 3:00 pm. See more details by clicking of the Spring Bazaar Event on the Calendar!
18th Annual Stone Soup Festival (A Community Fest with a focus: Growing your own food!)
Where: Napier Square, Britannia Community Centre, 1661 Napier St. (at Commercial Dr.)
What: Come for the free soup, stay for the entertainment and education on Urban Agriculture. If you’re interested in environmental issues or just want to learn more about gardening, this is a community event that can help you make connections. There will also be a Children’s Seed Planting Workshop from 1:00 – 4:00 pm, along with a host of other talks, an origami workshop and even a chance to learn about bike tune-ups. There will be local artists to provide entertainment along with a food market. Check out the Stone Soup Festival site for more details. Considering that Monita and I just attempted planting our own mini garden on the balcony, this could be a good one for finding out how much we need to learn!
The Return of Vancouver’s Spring/Summer Farmer’s Markets!
- Trout Lake Farmer’s Market: North Parking Lot of John Hendry Park at Trout Lake (Saturdays: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm)
- Kitsilano Farmer’s Market: 2690 Larch St. at 10 Ave., Parking Lot of Kitsilano Community Centre (Sundays: 10:00 am – 2:00pm)
What: Always a fun atmosphere, the Farmer’s Market is a chance to buy local, meet the people who grow your food and find some tasty treats. There are usually acoustic music entertainers on-site and sometimes extra activities for the kiddies. Find out much more on the Vancouver Farmer’s Market site.
Just for you, Mom…
Mother’s Day can be both a treat and a trial for those of us with kids under 5. Depending on the age of your babe, you might still be in awe of celebrating Mother’s Day for yourself at all. Then again, it’s unlikely that your kid will deliver you much more than a poopy diaper (for some of us) or have the wherewithal to see that Mommy is giving up almost all her personal freedom to be their constant servant / chef / comforter / milk bar. There aren’t a lot of free Mother’s Day events that I’ve found advertised (assuaging your guilt for not being nicer to Mom is big business, after all). Here are two that I was able to scare up…
Mom-O-Rama Event at Whole Foods Cambie
Where: 510 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver (map)
What: Although there aren’t a lot of details about the event online, the event poster mentions that the first 50 Moms will take home a goodie bag and that there will be some “Mom-friendly treats” throughout the store. I’m not sure what to make of the term “Mom-friendly” in terms of foods, unless they’re planning on serving things that are entirely one-handed meals for easy access while breastfeeding. “Toddler-friendly” foods is a term I understand, since they’re lacking in teeth and table etiquette. What I’d consider “Mom-friendly” in my case changes depending on my mood. I could be hoping for a spicy chutney, some chocolate, a cold beer, smoked salmon on cream cheese… To find out what they’ll serve up, we’ll just have to attend or ask someone who did. If you shop there anyhow, you could at least try for a goodie bag!
Free Mother’s Day Tea Concert
Where: Vancouver Academy of Music, 1270 Chestnut St., Vancouver,map
What: Enjoy some classical music and tea for a refined Mother’s Day. The Vancouver Academy of Music is offering several different recitals at once in different concert spaces, along with a tea room serving teas, pastries and sweets. You can also bid on prizes like gift certificates, private recitals and tickets to the symphony or opera. See the VAM events site for more information. Free admission.