Saturday Summer Sessions at the Shipyards

Last Saturday kicked off the first of the Saturday Summer Sessions art & music festival at The Shipyards at the foot of Lonsdale. For those of you (like me) who love the outdoor concert scene, but not the time at which most of the concerts take place, this is a great alternative. We got there so early on Saturday, the kids actually got to help test out the drum sets (translation: Damien was in heaven).

IMG 8903

Right now, there are Summer Concert Series taking place all over North Vancouver, most of which are held on Fridays from 7-9pm. The concerts at Cates Park are the exception, but I’ve had too many bad parking experiences there for me to consider this a regular option. 

IMG 8906

The new Summer Sessions concert series runs from 3-10pm, offering children’s art and activities and sometimes music and shows in the earlier hours, with adult-focused concerts starting after 7pm. So, YAY!

IMG 9023

Last week, we sat in for some of the Celtic Ensemble and Irish Dancers as the Summer Sessions kicked off and had a great time. Don’t expect it to be as busy as the Friday Night Market, or have as many booths or food trucks, but come check it out if you’re looking to add some more music to your family lives!

Christmas at Canada Place

Yesterday I was invited to the launch of Christmas at Canada Place for 2013, getting a chance to preview the free holiday activities. Aiden brought along one of his best buds for the event, plus we left the Dads at home with the younger kids, so it was quite the treat for them! It was so nice to be able to really give Aiden the attention of the night. 

Canada place

Christmas at Canada place is held ‘outdoors’, but in the covered parking area, so it was quite warm. We started our night with a little skating on the artificial ice, which kept our boys going for nearly a full hour. Both boys were up on their skates in minutes, neither having really skated before. The artificial ice was a great introduction to skating and really boosted their confidence. It was so cute to see them skate around, happily falling and crashing without getting wet or cold. 

Christmas skating

After dragging them off the ice, we went for a train ride on the mini train, noting the familiar face of the conductor who runs the Polar Express each year. We checked out the animatronics of the Woodward’s Windows, made a cute reindeer craft and lined up to meet Santa. Both kids balked at meeting Santa this time, but thankfully we have other scheduled Santa visits. 

We had a fantastic night, though I do wish the hot chocolate had been closer to the skating area, since us moms could have enjoyed that during the skating! By the time we got to that area, it was too late to give the boys that kind of treat. 

It is so great that this event is provided for free, as so many Christmas activities are not. Though they suggest a $2 donation for the skates and for the train rides, it is still one of the most frugal family-friendly Christmas activities in the Vancouver area. Check out the website for full details on hours and musical performances.