Why not avoid the big-box store madness this year and re-gift some literature? The Friends of the Vancouver Public Library Christmas sidewalk sale takes place in the Central Library Promenade Dec. 6 to 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Christmas is just around the corner, and if you've got some athletic page-turners in your family, they'll appreciate a used book over a new one. Used ones can easily get swapped once completed, whereas it somehow feels wrong to trade in a new book that was received as a gift. The Friends of the Vancouver Public Library will benefit, too. Selection will include special Christmas selections.
- Rev up the Zambonis: free public ice-skating is back at Robson Square as of this week. The ever-popular annual event, hidden under Robson Street near the Vancouver Art Gallery is still free and will be on until Feb. 28. Don't have skates? They offer cash-only skate rentals for under $5 on-site. Hours are Sunday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. If you've got a special someone you'd like to dazzle on a date, the rink is open until 11 p.m. on weekends.
The Bright Nights Train finally starts chugging Thursday, Nov. 29 at Stanley Park. Those aboard will get a musical tour of the illuminated park, with hot chocolate, popcorn and roasted nuts to snack on. Proceeds go towards a good cause, too - the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund to help burn survivors and their families. The price is $9 for adults, $6 for children and seniors, and free for kids under three. You have until Jan. 2, 2013 to take a spin.
Can you slam a poem? Don't know what that means? Think oratory meets a prettier version of rap at open slam night at Caf‚ Deux Soleils at 2096 Commercial Dr. Build up the courage to perform a poem of your own creation without props or music. You have three minutes to prove you deserve to be in the top ranks. Slam out the competition and win the impressive top-dog slammer title, which they refer to as "first place." No costumes allowed, but Movember mustaches are a go - and are sure to be a hit with the crowd. It happens Monday, Dec. 3 with doors at 7 p.m.
Join the community Dec. 4 at the Dunbar Community Centre for the annual lighting of the Christmas tree. The family-friendly event will include what you'd expect from a festive event - caroling, crafts, hot chocolate and cookies. The festivities start at 6:30 p.m. and the outdoor tree lighting is at 7:30. All you need to bring is yourself, some mittens and a smile, as this event is free.
Starting Dec. 1, the Granville Island Public Market will be getting a whole lot merrier. Yuletide performers will be singing the spirit of the season in either the New Loft or Blue Parrot Caf‚ for the ongoing Merry Market Melodies event. Artists vary but include choirs, quartets and carolers, as well as silver bells performers. You can catch the singers between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., on weekends until Dec. 22. Check granvilleisland.com/events for more information.