The weekend has arrived!With Vancouver's forecast calling for sunshine and sizzling temperatures over both days, there's no shortage of places to find some socially-distanced fun this weekend. Here are a few ideas that are currently on our radar:
1. Hike to a waterfall
Heading for the shade of the forest is never a bad idea when you're looking to beat the heat, but hiking on a hot day is even more appealing when you know there's a cool mist and rushing water waiting at the end of the trail! Here are eight breathtaking waterfalls to consider adding to your must-visit list this weekend. (Always make sure to double-check directions before hitting the trailhead, and check out these tips on how to chase waterfalls safely.)
2. Drink in public - legally!
Dreaming of sipping a refreshing brew outside of the Vancouver Art Gallery with your pals?
As of this week, you can BYOB and enjoy an alcoholic beverage in the sunshine at four Vancouver plazas, as part of a temporary pilot program recently approved by City Council. The goal of the pilot program is to allow people to drink alcohol outside, where physical distancing is easier. It also supports equity for people without access to private outdoor spaces.
3. Visit this free, new museum exhibit
You can learn more about Chinese Canadian history thanks to a free, temporary exhibit launching in Vancouver Chinatown.
A Seat at the Table: Chinese Immigration and British Columbia is the first exhibit from the Chinese Canadian Museum. It will explore the history of Chinese immigration, with a particular focus on how the communities were able to stay vibrant through the food and restaurant culture they brought to British Columbia, through individual narratives.
4. Stargaze during one of the best meteor showers of the year
The strikingly-bright Perseid meteor shower will continue to dazzle Metro Vancouver skies this month. While the shower peaked this week between Aug. 11 and Aug. 13, offering stargazers the chance to view multiple meteors an hour, the spectacular show will still be visible until roughly Aug. 24.
You don’t need a telescope or any special equipment to view the meteors, but you should find a nice wide-open dark space where you can lay down and look to the northeast. Or if that sounds like too much effort, just check out this awe-inspiring snap of multi-coloured shooting star captured by a B.C. astrophotographer this week.
5. Indulge in oysters and cocktails
Enjoy an afternoon of freshly-shucked oysters from Big Shucker paired with spritz cocktails at special prices at Main Street's vibrant Tocador during this Saturday pop-up event. Contact the restaurant to make a reservation.
6. Snap a selfie with one of of these optical illusion masterpieces
This Vancouver art gallery is offering a wealth of vibrant pieces that visitors can explore up-close-and-personal for a truly unique perspective.
Each of Dimensions Art Gallery's illusions is handcrafted by a local artist, and offer a variety of things to experience. Whether you'd like to see yourself don a pair of glorious, multi-coloured wings, challenge a jubilant chimpanzee to a selfie contest, hide from the flames of a fierce dragon under a medieval shield, or simply holler "Cowabunga!" as you surf a massive teal wave, there's something for you.
7. Create a comprehensive ranking of Burnaby's best eats
At least this is what we'd do during Crave the Heights, back on the Burnaby Heights neighbourhood this weekend.
As part of this local dining showcase, participating food businesses offer exclusive set menus, appetizer deals, Happy Hour, and many more exclusive offers – only available for a limited time during the event period. This year, the event has 12 participants, including two new eateries, Quesada Burritos & Tacos and Peaked Pies, joining in.
8. Frolic through a field of sunflowers
The Richmond Sunflower Festival is ready to welcome visitors for the second year in a row – with some new modifications due to COVID-19, of course.
The festival is now open to visitors as the sunflowers are beginning to bloom (just as your Instagram game will after a visit to the Richmond Country Farm's fields). Once all the flowers are at their peak, there will be more than 20 different varieties of sunflowers and Dahlias on over eight acres of farmland. Head to the festival's website for more information about how to purchase tickets.
9. Celebrate the opening of this craft brewery's brand new venue
They've been brewing and selling their popular craft beers since 2015, and now Superflux Beer Company's flex finally includes a proper venue.
Superflux is opening the doors to its new brewery, tasting room, and retail store in the city's sudsy 'Yeast Van' quadrant - aka East Vancouver - on Saturday. Hit up the Clark Drive brewery this weekend to check out its retail space and take-out menu, which includes four hot dogs inspired by some of Superflux’s favourite dishes, like Thai Green Curry and Steak Oscar. (The brewery plans to begin welcoming guests to its tasting room next month.)
10. Picnic in the park
You can't go wrong with a classic.
Based solely on the forecast, this might be one of the best weekends of the year to grab a seat on the grass and enjoy a meal in the sunshine. (And one of the worst to turn on the oven in your toasty apartment.)
Coincidentally, as take-out continues to dominate the local restaurant scene, several Vancouver businesses are curating some noteworthy bundles right now designed to be a complete picnic experience - it's just up to you to supply the blanket. Options range from a Parisian picnic from Ladurée and an instant fiesta from Chancho to a four-course picnic menu featuring Ocean Wise-recommended seafood from the Vancouver Aquarium, with numerous other delicious options in between.
However you choose to enjoy the sunshine and Phase 3 freedoms this weekend, make sure to do so responsibly.
Always check current weather, terrain, and wildlife conditions prior to embarking on a hike, and make sure that you know your physical limitations before hitting the trail. Always tell someone where you are going, bring enough food and water, wear appropriate clothing, and avoid hiking alone. Don’t attempt dangerous poses for photographs. Visit Vancouver Trails online for a detailed list of safety tips and things to consider before your next hike.
And if sticking around the city is more your speed this weekend? We'd still suggest grabbing your sunscreen, a mask and some hand sanitizer before setting off.
- With files from Elana Shepert and Lindsay William-Ross