Party for the Planet highlights of event 2019

Looking for an earth-friendly, eco-celebratory event the whole family can enjoy? Head to Party for the Planet, BC’s largest Earth Day celebration at Surrey Civic Plaza on Saturday, April 13. The signature event hosted by the City of Surrey features the new Live Green World, offering environmental workshops, a sustainable marketplace, acoustic concert series and local vendors. And guess what? It’s free!

Photo credit: Party for the Planet

Party for the Planet highlights

Complimentary plants

Presented by TD, this year’s free event is gifting 1,000 succulent to attendees providing opportunities for all ages to learn about environmental initiatives.

Tree and plant sale

If you’re looking for plants for your garden now that spring has truly arrived, this year’s tree and plant sale features native trees for $20 each, and plants from $2 to $5.

Kids Adventure Zone

For kids who like a little action, The Adventure Zone includes a free zip line, a rock climbing wall, road hockey and food trucks for that all important snack or lunch break.

Enter for a chance to win $50 in Food Truck vouchers!

Party for the Planet

Live music from Bobs & Lolo and more

Soulful singer Colin Bullock, indie pop duo Harlequin Gold, and kid faves Bobs & Lolo will perform on the TD Main Stage, located inside Council Chambers. Live music will take place throughout the event, with a DJ in the Adventure Zone and acoustic performances in Live Green World and City Hall Atrium.

Enviro-Bungee, Big Bird, Elmo and more!

There will also be a Surrey Parks display, a Library Stage featuring children’s performers, an Enviro-Bungee, meet and greets with Big Bird and Elmo, environmental educational booths, kid’s crafts and a variety of local vendors.

There’s so much to see and do, it could be hard to squeeze it all in. Thankfully, the party goes all day April 13, from 10 am to 6 pm so plenty of time to climb, zip, dance, eat, pick up plants, get crafty and meet some kiddie super stars!

Join us for the greatest FREE Earth Day celebration and concert in the Lower Mainland. Listen to amazing performers, learn about ideas for a better world, make children’s eco-crafts: there’s something for everyone! For the latest updates, ‘Like’ the Party for the Planet Facebook Page, or follow @Surreybcevents on Twitter and look for the #P4TP hashtag to join in the conversation! Find out more: www.surrey.ca/partyfortheplanet

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Party for the Planet Surrey 2019

Surrey's Party for the Planet

Party for the Planet is Metro Vancouver’s largest Earth Day event. It’s free and in 2019 it takes place on Saturday April 13th outside Surrey City Hall.

Surrey Earth Day Celebrations

At Party for the Planet there is a tree and plant sale and other vendor stalls, crafts for children, free concerts and many ways to have fun while celebrating planet earth.

Party for the Planet is an exceptional event for young families, with kids’ concerts as well as entertainment for adults.

It’s a fairly big event and the largest Earth Day celebrations in the Lower Mainland. In recent years up to about 20,000 people attend over the course of the day.

Note: In 2019 Party for the Planet will be smaller than it has been in the past. There will still be live music, but no big-name bands as there have been in previous years. Also, the event will be more indoors than outdoors compared to before.

Party for the Planet Raccoon Mascot

When and Where

In 2019 Earth Day is officially on Monday, April 22, but the Party for the Planet event happens a week earlier, on Saturday, April 13, from 10 am until 6 pm.

The event takes place at Surrey City Hall at 13450-104th Avenue.

In 2017 the Party for the Planet took place at the same venue on Saturday, April 22nd, so on the actual day and weekend of Earth Day. Both last year and in 2019, however, the date is actually a week before Earth Day.

Holding Party for the Planet a week early than in the past was likely done to avoid the big Earth Day event taking place on the same day as Surrey’s other major festival – the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade – which is the city’s largest event of the year and attracts as many as 300,000 people!

What to Expect at the Party

At Party for the Planet there are stalls selling things and promoting different community organizations and services. There are also live shows taking place throughout the day in different locations.

Scheduled performances last year included Bobs & Lolo for children and young families, as well as various artists for adults, plus lots more. Also in 2018, the headliner band for the event was Sam Roberts. 2019 performers will likely be comparable.

Most years exhibits and displays at the Party for the Planet event include a Raptor Ridge Birds of Prey exhibit, a climbing wall and a BC Lions booth where you can get player autographs. There are also street performers, science shows, road hockey games and more.

Blink Acro Acrobat at Surrey City Hall
Blink Acro performing outside Surrey City Hall

One of the highlights of the event in years prior to 2018 has been the acrobatic group Blink Acro on their trampoline. Their stunts are amazing and hopefully they’ll be back in 2019!

Party for the Planet is a great family-friendly event, and it’s FREE.

Party for the Planet Schedule

Last year included Sam Roberts, the Star Captains, the Colin Bullock Duo, The Freshest, Bobs & Lolo, Rockin’ Robin and the Smile Band.

Performers scheduled for 2019 include Harlequin Gold, Adam Robert Thomas, the Nakajima Duo, Ben Cottrill, The KwerksBukola Baloqun, the Surrey City OrchestraHavyn, Adyn Townes, Alex Maher and Colin Bullock. 2019 children’s entertainers also include The Ta Daa Lady & the Nylon ZooBobs & LoloRockin’ Robinand Matt Henry.

Below is the schedule of events for 2018. 2019 times and other details are still to be confirmed.

2018 MAIN STAGE SCHEDULE (outside City Hall in the Plaza)

  • 11:00 am – Smile Band (an all-girl youth band from the Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning)
  • 11:30 am – Colin Bullock (a Lower Mainland folk singer)
  • 12:30 pm – Rockin’ Robin (for young children and their families)
  • 1:30 pm – Bobs & LoLo (a JUNO Award-winning duo of children’s entertainers)
  • 2:30 pm – Mayor & Council Green Ceremony
  • 3:15 pm – Sam Roberts Band (a popular Canadian rock musician from Montreal)
  • 4:15 pm – Star Captains ( a 4-member Vancouver-based band)
  • 5:00 pm – The Freshest (a 4-man Vancouver band)

2018 YVR GLOBAL STAGE SCHEDULE (inside Council Chambers)

2018 LIBRARY STAGE

  • 11:00 am – Library Storytime: I Want My Planet Back
  • 12:00 pm – Bobs & LoLo (for kids and young families)
  • 1:15 pm – Science World Demo
  • 2:15 pm – Library Storytime: I Want My Planet Back
  • 3:00 pm – Matt Henry (a juggler and entertainer)
Surrey Party for the Planet

Tips and Advice

Below are some suggestions to help you make the most out of your experience at Surrey’s big April event.

TIP #1: Party for the Planet is an Earth Day celebration so leave the car at home and take public transit if you can. The planet will love you for it, plus roads will be busy and parking extremely limited.

TIP #2: Party for the Planet usually takes place on the weekend around April 21 and so on the same day as Surrey’s largest event of the year – the Surrey Vaisakhi Parade. If you want free food and an incredible cultural experience, then check that out too.

Note: In 2019 the Party for the Planet is a week earlier than past years, however, so the two Surrey events won’t actually be on same weekend. The Vancouver Vaisakhi Festival, on the other hand, will share the same date as the Party for the Planet in 2019.

Other Information

See the Party for the Planet website for more information on Surrey’s Earth Day event, or Earth Day in Metro Vancouver for other similar (but smaller) Earth Day activities.

For a list of major events and activities on other days, check out the Vancouver Calendar of Events or Vancouver Festivals & Eventsschedule.

Rainy Day Activities in Vancouver

Rainy Day Activities

The Lower Mainland’s best things to do on rainy days include visiting Vancouver museums, restaurants, indoor attractions and entertainment venues.

Vancouver offers so many fun things to do indoors, which is good seeing as we get so much rain!

Rainy Day Things to Do in Vancouver

So where should one go to escape the wet stuff? Below are a few suggestions, including special seasonal activities plus lists of dry places for people of all ages, for children specifically and for adults.

For a video of Vancouver’s best rainy day places, click Vancouver Rainy Day Activities Video. For a list of best rainy day places, see below.


Below you’ll find information on the following topics. Continue reading for the full article, or click a link to jump to a particular list.

Seasonal Indoor Places | Dry Places for All Ages | Rainy Day Places for Kids | Adult Rainy Day Activities


Clip 'n Climb Vancovuer

Seasonal Indoor Places

Good places to be on rainy days this time of year include the following:


THE CIRCUS IS COMING!

Best places to be on rainy days in May and June in 2019 are at the Royal Canadian Family Circusshows in Richmond, Tsawwassen and Surrey. Also, use promo code VansBestPlaces and save on general admission tickets!


Royal Canadian Family Circus 2019

ENTERTAINMENT BOOK RAINY DAY SAVINGS

TIP: The Entertainment Book contains hundreds of coupons including ones for some of the Lower Mainland’s best places on rainy days. If you want to escape from the weather and save money, check out Vancouver Rainy Day Entertainment Book Activities and take advantage of all the great 2-for-1 coupons.


Dry Places for Folk of All Ages

Great indoor Vancouver places any time of the year include the following:

Rainy Day Activities Collage

Rainy Day Places for Kids

Wondering what to do with children on a wet, miserable day? Below are some great kid-friendly rainy day places.

  • Apex Adventure Plex – a trampoline park in Richmond.
  • Castle Fun Park – home to the best indoor mini golf in the Fraser Valley (plus outdoor go karts, bumper cars, batting cages and more).
  • Chuck E. Cheese – a fun place to take young children in Langley.
  • Clip ‘n Climb Vancouver – a colourful indoor climbing facility with ladders, staircases, walls and all kinds of things to climb in Richmond.
  • Extreme Air Park – indoor trampoline centres in New Westminster, Richmond and Langley.
  • Funky Monkey Fun Park – laser tag, bumper cars, pirate ship ride and playground at 13853-104 Avenue in Surrey.
  • The Great Escape – an indoor family entertainment centre with mini golf, laser tag, toddler zone and more at 20645 Langley Bypass in Langley.
  • H.R. MacMillan Space Centre – home of Vancouver’s planetarium.
  • Kidtropolis – an indoor miniature village in Richmond that’s suitable for children ages 3 to about 8.
  • Science World – a great IMAX Theatre and lots of cool science stuff to see.
  • Watermania – one of the Lower Mainland’s best aquatic centres, and a best place for children in Richmond.
  • West Vancouver Aquatic Centre – another one of the best indoor aquatic centres in Metro Vancouver.
  • If you don’t mind the rain and want to take in other top attractions without the crowds, check out Vancouver’s Best Places for Children, for top things to do with kids in general.
Science World Statues with Umbrella
Science World on a Rainy Day

Adult Rainy Day Activities

For great bars and restaurants, check out Vancouver’s best places to eat and drink. Just don’t worry about places with fancy views though – if the weather is bad you won’t be able to see much.

Vancouver Dark Skies

For music, theatre and other performances around town, check out Vancouver’s Best Places’ Shows and Entertainment Calendar.

Indoor places that are of interest to people of all ages, but in particular adults, include the following:

And if you’re feeling lucky, maybe check out one of Vancouver’s casinos. Just take a limited amount of money, no more than you’re willing to lose happily, and play for fun. As they say, ‘know your limit, play within it!’

For other great things to do rain or shine, check out Vancouver’s Best Places Calendar of Events.

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Stawamus Chief – Squamish Hiking Trails


Stawamus Chief View of the Sea to Sky Highway

The Chief is the mammoth rock face that towers over Squamish. Though hardly believable from looking at, the summit is an easy two hour hike. In fact there are three peaks, South (First), Centre (Second), and North (Third). Each accessible from the single trailhead.  Growing in popularity as the newest brother to the Grouse Grind in Vancouver because there are quite a few stairs and considerable elevation gain.  540 metres in 1.5k.  (The Grouse Grind is 853 metres in 2.9k).

Whistler also has a version of the Grouse Grind.  Wedgemount Lake, though there are no stairs, it is steep, hard and long, and a popular local grind.  1220m in 7k!!  The trailhead to the Chief is easy to find. From highway 99, in Squamish. As you approach the Chief, visible for several kilometres, watch for the sign for “Stawamus Chief.” The large parking lots are arranged next to the trailhead.

There is a nice campground with 47 tent sites.  This part of the world is somewhat expensive so this is an amazingly cheap option at $8 per person, per night.  Officially open May 15 – October 12.  If you go outside these dates you just have to walk in from outside the gates and camping is free however there are no services available which means that the washrooms may be locked and no water available (though there is a creek running through the campsite).  There are no shower facilities here any time of the year.

View from the 1st Peak of the Chief
View from the 1st Peak of the Chief
Stawamus Chief Provincial Park Hiking Trails

Stawamus Chief Trailhead Directions


From Cleveland Avenue and Highway 99 in Squamish (McDonalds is on this corner), drive south for about 2 minutes and watch for signs on your left.  You can either park at the Stawamus Chief Trailhead or the Shannon Falls Trailhead.  Both are close to each other but the Shannon Falls is much better for a day hike if you want to see both.  Seeing both only takes a few minutes more than hiking just the Chief.  If you are planning to camp overnight then the Chief trailhead is better to park as that is where the campsites are.

Aerial Views of Whistler & Garibaldi Park

More Squamish Hiking Trails


Squamish Hiking Trails - Garibaldi Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park
Squamish Hiking - Black Tusk in Garibaldi Provincial Park
Squamish Hiking Trails - Brandywine Falls Provincial Park
Squamish Hiking - Brew Lake
Squamish Hiking - Cirque Lake
Squamish Hiking - Shannon Falls Provincial Park
Squamish Hiking - Taylor Meadows in Garibaldi Provincial Park
Squamish Hiking - Upper Shannon Falls

Garibaldi Lake is the centre and base for much of the hiking in Garibaldi Park.  The Garibaldi Lake campsite is located on the amazing, turquoise shores of this massive and mostly undisturbed mountain lake.  There are no trails around the perimeter  of the lake with the exception of the small section leading to the campsite, so your view of the lake is a sea of unnaturally coloured water ringed by swaths of forest and a magnificent glacier towering in the distance.  The water is painfully cold, though plenty of brave hikers swim here as well as camp.  The camping area is well laid out and stretches deep into the forest with 50 tent clearings.  You can, except for the busiest of days, put your tent out of earshot and sight of others. The trail to Garibaldi Lake from the Rubble Creek trailhead, just off of the Sea to Sky Highway takes about two hours. Black Tusk is a mountain of unbelievable beauty. It possesses the incredible distinction of looking more impossible to climb the closer you get to it. Even when you are close enough to touch its vertical, black and foreboding sides, you wonder in amazement how anyone can ever reach the top. It’s vertical on all sides.  The barely distinguishable trail skirts its edge along the ledge of a perilous scree slope that runs around its trunk. As you clamour carefully along the trail you come to a chute heading almost straight up. Again, even this close you will wonder, as almost everyone else at this spot, “I don’t think this is a safe way to go.” Then you pause and look around. Many take a seat at this moment and marvel at the view. Spectacular. Just spectacular.Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is a beautiful stop in between Squamish and Whistler.  It’s about 25 minutes north of Squamish, 11k south of Whistler.  The hike from the parking lot to the falls is less than a kilometre and on a wide and flat trail.  Most people miss the other viewpoint from above the falls, from the train tracks bridge.  To find it is easy.  As you walk toward the falls from the parking lot you will have to cross train tracks.  Standing at the train tracks look to your right and you will see a bridge that the train tracks cross.  Walk over to that to see the falls from above.  Amazing!  Brandywine Falls drop an amazing 66 metres (216 feet) into the chasm far below that the viewing platform extends over.  Another trail extends past this viewing area leading to another, quieter area overlooking Daisy Lake. Brew Lake is beautiful mountain lake in the Callaghan Valley, north of Squamish.  Compared to Garibaldi Provincial Park across the valley, the Callaghan Valley is relatively unknown and seldom hiked.  Brew Lake lays in a massive alpine valley of enormous erratics scattered around and in the lake.  On first seeing it, it looks serene, yet wild and hostile.  The lake is surrounded on one side by idyllic tree covered hills and lakeside cliffs and on the other side a brutal looking wasteland of huge boulders sloping up from the lake to the skyline.  Hiking into this wasteland of erratics reveals an amazing paradise of small, island forests, cute streams and endless worlds within worlds to explore.  A perfectly arranged glacier is required to form a cirque lake. A magical combination of size, a certain slope and more unexpectedly, a certain angle away from the sun. In the northern hemisphere, this means the glacier must be on the northeast slope of the mountain, away from the suns rays and the prevailing winds.  Thick snow protected in this way grows thicker into glacial ice, then a process of freeze-thaw called nivation, chews at the lower rocks, hollowing out a deep basin. Over a thousand winters you are left with a magnificently circular lake with steep slopes all around. If you arrive at Cirque Lake on a favourably sunny, summer day, you will almost certainly fall silent, gaze in wonder at this spectacular place, and feel in that moment that this place is as perfect as it is possible for a place to be. Shannon Falls towers above Howe Sound at 335 metres as the third tallest falls in BC.  The wonderful, though very short trail winds through a beautiful old growth forest to get to the base of the falls.  From your car to the viewpoint takes only about four minutes, however the trail continues a bit further to a higher viewpoint (five minutes higher).  You can even continue along the trail and join with the Stawamus Chieftrail which goes to the three summits of the Chief.  The trail to the Chiefs peaks are very steep and almost constant stairs to be prepared for quite a workout comparable to the Grouse Grind in Vancouver.  The trailhead to Shannon Falls Provincial Park is just south of the Stawamus Chief trailhead. Taylor Meadows is a beautiful campsite and alternative to the much busier Garibaldi Lake campsite. Located in between Garibaldi Lakeand Black Tusk itself. It is reached from the same trailhead to Garibaldi Lake.  There are 40 very nice tent platforms, toilets, a good water source and a food cache,  all in the lush forest of Taylor Meadows with the distant view of Black Tusk.  Generally Taylor Meadows is not a destination, but part of a circle route.  For example, trailhead to Taylor Meadows, Taylor Meadows to Black Tusk or Panorama Ridge, then return via Garibaldi Lake.  This makes for a long hike at 30k, which is why tenting at this perfectly beautiful, and perfectly located Taylor Meadows Campsite, is a great idea.  The wonderful Upper Shannon Falls trail goes almost completely unnoticed, branching off from the chaotically popular Stawamus Chief Trail.  About 15 minutes along the Stawamus Chief trail you will see a well marked trail branch off to the right into the forest.  This is the Upper Shannon Falls Trail and is remarkably unused.  This is a wonderful fact though as hundreds hike the Chief on any given weekend day, though only a handful hike this trail.  The Upper Shannon Falls trail, the Stawamus Chief trail and Shannon Falls Provincial Parkare all connected by trails.  In order to see all three you should park in the Shannon Falls parking lot and hike up to the Shannon Falls viewpoint just a short 5 minute walk from the parking lot, then proceed from there to connect with the Stawamus Chief trail, about 15 minutes further up the trail.

Chilliwack’s Tulips of the Valley Flower Festival in 2019

Chilliwack Tulip Festival 2019

Don’t miss Tulips of the Valley’s 13th annual Chilliwack Tulip Festival: opening late March or early April 2019!

They are excited to showcase over 25 acres of working tulip fields surrounded by beautiful mountain views and rustic farms. With over 30 different varieties, and extra wide beds of solid colour, there are many photo opportunities for every level of photographer. NEW at the festival last year were hyacinths and daffodils — we can’t wait to see what is new in 2019 – announcement coming soon!

New at Tulips of the Valley 2018

Kate Onos-Gilbert otherwise known as the “Tulip Lady” states “We are excited to be able to reopen our Tulip Festival in our new community of Chilliwack BC. The community has been so welcoming and supportive, making the move much easier. Opening our fields was a dream I had when I first joined the Onos Family, and the response from the public over the past 12 years has been amazing.”Our festival has more than just tulips, and will be fun for the whole family! We will have food trucks on site, including a special Dutch treat, Stroop Waffles. On weekdays, children can participate in a scavenger hunt throughout the fields, and weekends will have balloon art and face painting. There are many other fun surprises to discover on site! They’ve even created this handy bloom calendar to help visitors plan their trips!

Chilliwack Tulip Festival Bloom calendar

Visitors can take some of the tulip magic home with them from the Tulip Store, where we will be selling fresh cut flowers, potted plants, postcards and more!

  • See full hours of operation, including specialty rates here.
  • Buy your tickets online for a reduced rate, and at the gate.
  • Follow the tulip festival on: TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

And if you can’t make it this spring, save the date for late august and visit their Chilliwack Sunflower Festival! Read our recent blog post on tulips: Discover 2 of the 3 Canadian Tulip Festivals that are in British Columbia!You may also be interested in: The Butchart Gardens Named 2017 ‘World Tulip Garden’.

Picnic under the cherry blossom canopy

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival will host The Big Picnic under Queen Elizabeth Park’s majestic cherry blossom canopy this April.

The annual event invites participants to bring their own mat or purchase one of the Festival’s connecting Petal Mats, bring a picnic basket and make some new friends under the beautiful blossoms.The activity is based on the Japanese tradition of ‘Unami’ – a practice that involves sitting under the cherry blossoms and contemplating their beauty. The tradition began over a thousand years ago when aristocrats would write poems about their beauty.

The event will also include live performances, family activities, and food trucks. Laura Yu Wu performs the Guzheng (Chinese harp) and vocals. She’s participated in many performances with Shanghai Philharmonic directed by famous conductors Tuhan Si and Yufeng Zheng in China.

The North Shore Celtic Ensemble will also bring their own original compositions which draw on Celtic, classical, jazz and folk influences and are blended with creative arrangements of more traditional Celtic tunes. There will also be the breathing Chinese Fan Dance, as well as Kiyoshi Iio, who plays the handpan. Handpan is one of the music instruments that original one wad invented in Switzerland in 2000 and is also called ‘Hang’ or ‘Hamg Drum’.

Chibi Taki will also take place during the picnic. The first children’s taiko ensemble in Canada, Chibi Taiko was formed in the fall of 1993 with the goal of passing this unique and dynamic performing art on to the next generation of Asian Canadians.

The Big Picnic

When: Rain or Shine! April 13 from 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Where: Queen Elizabeth Park’s cherry blossom canopy – parking closest to the venue will be reserved for vendors. the event suggests two paid parking lots:

  • At the top of the park, near the conservatory, access off Midlothian Ave.
  • Near the tennis courts, access off W 37th Ave.

Cost: Free

Norvan Falls Hike

Who could resist standing at the foot of a beautiful waterfall in the middle of the forest, especially after hiking for 7km! Norvan Falls in North Vancouver is still a hidden gem but is becoming more and more popular every year.

Norvan Falls in North Vancouver

NORVAN FALLS TRAIL ACCESS FROM LYNN HEADWATERS

The journey to Norvan Falls is long but very worthwhile. Not just for the reward at the end of the trail but for the beautiful forest and scenic North Vancouver mountains you’ll see along the way. Norvan Falls is 14km round trip on a fairly flat trail that follows Lynn Creek for most of the way. It begins at Lynn Headwaters Regional Park and ends after a 7km walk through the wilderness.

The first 4km follows a well groomed trail along the river. There are a few side trails that will take you down to the water if you have time for a detour. Don’t wander too far though. After 4km you will come to a rocky clearing known as the debris chute. On the left you will see a small trail that leads down to the water. It’s worth taking a look as there is some spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Once you’re finished taking a well deserved break follow the trail at the top of the debris chute that leads to Norvan Falls.

You will begin to hear the sound of rushing water as you approach the falls. The trail follows a long boardwalk and then descends down towards the river. When you reach the falls there is a small lookout spot but due to the erosion it’s a little dangerous and probably better to avoid. Follow the trail down to the water and take in the amazing scenery. There are plenty of large rocks to sit on and set up a picnic if you have one.

If you’re up for a bit of rock hopping you can get right up close to the falls. There is a large tree stump across the pool beneath the falls that is great to sit on and take it all in. Be sure to watch for falling rocks from the falls and the surrounding cliffs. When you’re done taking in the falls you can return to the Lynn Headwaters Park entrance the same way you came. Just make sure you leave with enough time to make it back before dark.

Norvan Falls

What to bring on your hike to Norvan Falls

Lots of drinking water
Lunch or snacks
First aid kit

Directions to Lynn Headwaters and Norvan Falls

Follow Lynn Valley Road Northbound until you reach the entrance to Lynn Headwaters Park. It’s just past the End of the Line cafe. Continue straight down the narrow road until you reach the parking area. There are 3 lots plus an additional overflow lot but it does fill up quickly so the earlier you start your hike the better.

Spring Hikes in Vancouver

Spring Hikes in Metro Vancouver 

capilano canyon hiking

The lush trails of Capilano Canyon in North Vancouver

Quarry Rock

Quarry Rock near Deep Cove offers an easy and short, yet incredibly beautiful outing during the spring. Not only will you have scenic view of the Indian Arm, but you will also enjoy weaving through the lush forest. A litany of boats dot the waters during the warmer weather, which makes for an ideal place to spend some time enjoying the view. In addition, this hike is pup-friendly.

Minnekhada Hike

The Minnekhada Regional Park is located in northeast Coquitlam and is over 200 hectares in size. As such, there is ample room to discover its myriad wildlife, which includes Wood Ducks, beavers, and other wildlife. It is also home to a marsh, and has a lovely picnic area. What’s more, this delightful spring hike is dog-friendly (on leash).

Stawamus Chief

While it is one of the busier hikes to try near the Lower Mainland, it offers one of the best rewards. The sweeping view from the summit offers an awe-inspiring perspective of the Howe Sound and mountains in Garibaldi Provincial Park. In addition, the hike offers three summits, so outdoor enthusiasts may have a full day adventure. Dogs are also welcome on this hike.

Lighthouse Park

There isn’t really ever a bad time for this incredibly beautiful spot. Not only does it have a beautiful lighthouse, but it offers beautiful rocky shores to walk along, as well as deep, lush woods. Best of all – this unique gem is a short drive from downtown Vancouver. This hike is also offers Fido-friendly, so you don’t have to leave your doggo at home.

Tunnel Bluffs

This hike near Lions Bay delivers a stunning view of Howe Sound at its summit, as well as plenty of beautiful sights along the way. In addition, the intermediate hike takes approximately four-and-a-half hours, which means you’ll get a great workout. It is also fairly steep at some points, so you’ll have to push yourself at times. Dogs are allowed on the trail.

Always remember to check current weather conditions, terrain and wildlife prior to embarking on a hike. In addition, make sure that you know your physical limitations, tell someone where you are going, bring enough food and water, wear appropriate clothing, and never hike alone.

Also, it may be tempting to walk to the edge of cliff or attempt a dangerous pose to get the perfect photo for social media, but the risk is simply not worth the reward.

Visit Vancouver Trails online for an important and detailed list of safety tips and things to consider before your next hike.

Vancouver’s Biggest Park

It’s big. It’s beautiful. It’s the heart of our city. We present five things you may not have known about Stanley Park.

Stanley Park is a 405-hectare park that borders downtown Vancouver. The park has a vast history and is one of the first areas visitors come to explore in the city. In 1886, the land was named Vancouver’s first park after Lord Stanley, the recently-appointed Governor General. Unlike other urban parks, Stanley Park is not the creation of a landscape architect, but rather the evolution of a forest and urban space over many years.

A statue of Lord Stanley with arms raised among leafy trees.

Most of the man-made structures within the park were built between 1911 and 1937. Places like the polar bear exhibit, the aquarium and the miniature train were additions from the post-war period.

Much of the park remains forested, just as it was in the late 1800s — the park has roughly half a million trees, some standing as tall as 76 metres and hundreds of years old. In the past 100 years, there have been three major wind storms that caused damage and loss of many of the trees, the most recent in 2006.

The Vancouver Seawall draws thousands of residents and visitors to the park each day. The park features lush forest trails, relaxing beaches, the Vancouver Aquarium and many more attractions. 

With so much history, Vancouver’s Stanley Park is full of fun facts you may not have known about. Here are five to wrap your head around:

  1. Have you ever seen Stanley Park’s Hollow Tree? This 700 to 800-year-old Western Red Cedar tree stump has an incredibly special place in the memories of many Vancouverites and is one of the most well known and photographed landmarks in the park. Many historic photos have showcased people, cars and even elephants posing inside the tree’s large cavity.

    The tree was planned for removal from being severely damaged in the 2006 windstorm, however, locals stepped forward with a plan to stabilize the tree. The Hollow Tree continues to a new chapter in its long history in Stanley Park.
An elephant stands in a hollow tree.
  1. Not only was Stanley Park named for the Governor General but so is the Stanley Cup, and they have more in common than you would think. Both names originating from Governor General, Lord Frederick Stanley.

    Stanley’s entire family became highly active in ice hockey, so much that his two sons, Arthur and Algernon formed a new team called the ‘Ottawa Rideau Hall Rebels’. Arthur also played a key role in the formation of what later became known as the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA) and later became the founder of ice hockey in Great Britain.

    Arthur and Algernon influenced their father to donate a trophy that could be used to show a visible sign for the hockey championship. The name Stanley Cup was not commissioned until 1892, that means the park is not only much bigger, but it also has prior claim to the name.
A historic photo of the Stanley Cup.
  1. With so many lush towering trees, it’s hard to believe at one time Stanley Park was a logging location. Before it was a park, the site was logged from 1860-1880. At the tip of Stanley Park is Brockton Point, here there was to be a sawmill built. The land was cleared for the sawmill, but it was never built. Instead, today you will find the Brockton Point Lighthouse. Many people do not know that the trails throughout Stanley Park were once the original logging skid roads.
A lighthouse at a point next to a green lawn and tall trees.
  1. At 9 PM sharp every evening the sound of cannonfire can be heard ringing through the air, this is the Stanley Park 9 o’clock gun. The gun was originally cast almost 200 years ago in 1816 in England then brought to Canada to be installed in Stanley Park over 70 years later.

    The installation took place in June of 1894 with the assistance of the Department of Marine and Fisheries to warn fishermen of the 18:00 Sunday close of fishing. On October 15, 1898, the gun was fired for the very first time in Stanley Park at noon.

    The 21:00 firing was later established as a time signal for the general population and to allow the chronometers of the ships in port to be accurately set. The Brockton Lighthouse keeper, William D. Jones, originally detonated a stick of dynamite until the cannon was installed.
A view of a lagoon through wildflowers towards downtown Vancouver.
  1. Designer Thomas Mawson, who designed Brockton Point Lighthouse was the same person responsible for Lost Lagoon and the causeway. After three years of construction, the lake was finally completed in 1916.

    The fountain located in the centre of Lost Lagoon was installed thirty years later to commemorate the city’s golden jubilee. The fountain was purchased from Chicago, which was left over from its 1934 World’s Fair.

    The Lost Lagoon adds to the beauty and biodiversity of the park. Acting as a bio-filtration marsh for causeway run-off through a series of holding ponds, the lagoon provides sanctuary to many species of birds. The lagoon is also known for being one of the largest bodies of water within the park, but it was not always this way. In fact, the lagoon is actually a lake. There was once a tidal mud flat connected to the Burrard Inlet through Coal Harbour and was rich with clams and other sea creatures ready for harvesting.

While Stanley Park is not the largest of its kind, it is about one-fifth larger than New York’s Central Park and almost half the size of London’s Richmond Park. With such a vast history there is always something new to learn. See you on the Seawall!

19 Facts Every Tulip Lover Should Know

These facts will make you appreciate this lovely bloom even more.

1. There are over 150 species of tulips with over 3,000 different varieties. 

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2. Their flower buds are known for being almost perfectly symmetrical.

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3. Most tulips sprout a single flower bud, but a few varieties have up to four on a single stem. 

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4. Tulips are part of the lily family. 

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5. Tulips only bloom for 3-7 days in the spring. 

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6. You can find tulips in almost any color. 

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7. According to Teleflora, different colored tulips have different meanings. The red flowers symbolize true love while purple represents loyalty.

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8. Make a mistake? White tulips mean “I’m sorry.”

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9. Tulips are also said to signal the arrival of spring.

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10. Tulips are native to central Asia but didn’t really become popular until reaching the Netherlands. 

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11. The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation uses a tulip as its symbol. 

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12. Tulips were once the most expensive flower…

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13. …And in the 1600s, they were even said to cost 10 times more than a working man’s average salary in the Netherlands, making them more valuable than some homes.

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14. The time period where the flower was so expensive (around 1634 to 1637) is now known as “Tulip Mania.” 

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15. Tulip petals are edible and can be used in place of onions in many recipes.

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16. The Netherlands is the world’s largest commercial producer of tulips, with around three billion exported each year. 

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17. If you cut tulips, they’ll continue to grow in your vase for at least another inch. 

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18. According to The New York Times, the best time to plant tulip bulbs is in the fall so they can grow roots before it gets too cold. 

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19. Tulips will bend and twist to grow towards light (even in a vase!). 

BY REBECCA SHINNERS JUL 16, 2015

Country Living Magazine