Editor's Note: Globe B.C. has joined forces with Scout Magazine to give you the best of what's happening in Vancouver this weekend. For a full week's worth of listings, head over to the complete Scout List, updated each Monday. See the list in calendar view here.
Cheer: Along with Tchaikovsky, Bing Crosby and repeated viewings of It’s A Wonderful Life, nothing catapults one into a mood for Christmas faster than walking – well-scarved, of course – around the magically transformed and twinkling VanDusen Gardens with friends and family. Easy access to freshly made waffles, hot chocolate and apple cider are tasty persuaders.
Through Jan. 4, 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m., VanDusen Botanical Garden (5251 Oak), $14.25 (kids $7.75), vandusengarden.org
Shop: Solstice Community Collective is a Scandinavian-inspired, holiday pop-up shop happening over the next week that aims to outfit you with all manner of last-minute gift solutions – fantastically designed with that hint of Scandinavian-style simplicity everyone appreciates. The gathering of artists, artisans, crafters and makers will line the shelves and tables at The Chinatown Experiment with everything from small-batch handmade candles and soaps to beautiful cutting boards and stunning jewellery. Items will be reasonably priced and ready to be wrapped. Opening night is on Thursday. Expect the added excitement of tarot card and palm readings as well as some festive beers from 33 Acres and Brassneck Brewery.
Dec. 19 -23, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., 434 Columbia St., chinatownexperiment.com
Solstice: Since Saturday is the shortest day of the year, that means Sunday will be just a little bit longer, and Monday, longer still. So get yourself out there and join in the celebrating by taking part in a winter solstice procession. The Secret Lantern Society has once again organized a string of individual festivals around the city (Yaletown, Granville Island, East Side, Strathcona/Chinatown and West End/Coal Harbour). This is the 20th year of the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival, and to mark the milestone of two decades of grass-roots community fun, you can expect to see a new Labyrinth of Light on Granville Island, the first ever Winter Solstice Dance (at Astorino’s Hall), an anniversary Solstice Exhibit at the Roundhouse Community Centre and a limited-edition Solstice Calendar. If you haven’t had time to pull together a lantern, don’t fret – you can attend a lantern-making workshop.
Saturday, Dec. 21, Various Locations, secretlantern.org
Bonfire: This Saturday is a good night to head over the Lions Gate Bridge to Dundarave Pier in West Vancouver. Take a stroll through the local shops and then bundle up tight and make your way down to the beach where a giant bonfire will be roaring (lit at sunset) with live music, hot chocolate and a display of decorated Christmas trees for you to wander through. Plus there’s a beach.
Saturday, Dec. 21, 2 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Dundarave Beach (West Vancouver) Free, dundaravefestival.com
Build: The Britannia Community Centre on Commercial Drive is holding a family gingerbread (style) house building workshop on Sunday. Roll up your sleeves and get building. You will be armed with graham crackers, candies and frosting (you’re also invited to bring your own goodies for extra embellishment) and build yourself a gingerbread house to take home.
Sunday, Dec. 22, 1-3 p.m., Britannia Community Centre, $6/family, britanniacentre.org
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