For the last eight years we have been taking my niece to Victoria in the spring for a girls weekend. We shop, visit the museum, dine out, hit the spa, and explore the city by land and sea. This year was different as my sister and I took my niece and her best friend over for a few days just before spring break. My niece, whose friend had never been to Victoria before, and I called the shots as we planned the activity schedule.
On the top of my niece’s shopping list was the “Seeing is Believing” store on Government Street. I’m pretty sure we spent about an hour in there looking at novelties, getting zapped by trick pens, learning about new board games, and playing with toys that were bouncy, sticky, and gummy. It’s also on the same stretch of road as Rogers Chocolates where it’s almost necessary to stop in, try some samples, and pick up a chocolate truffle or two.
Referring to a map she picked up at breakfast, my niece also took us over to “Murray’s Trick & Joke Shop” where she and her friend were eying squirting roses that could fool their little brothers.
A Victoria staple is the Bay Centre where I found out they had a Foursquare special. Check-in using your app and redeem the special at the customer service counter for a sheet full of discounts for shops in the mall.
Princess Tea at the Empress
Tea at the Empress is something everyone must experience at least once when they visit Victoria and they have a special treat for the young ones in your life. The Empress offers “Prince or Princess Tea” which contains smaller portions and more kid-friendly sandwich options like turkey (as opposed to smoked salmon or curried chicken).
Princes and Princesses get cupcakes instead of green tea cheesecake squares and also get to enjoy their own choice of tea. The girls could have probably split one serving as they could barely finish all of their sandwiches and treats.
Royal BC Museum
The museum is always at the top of everyone’s list and my niece enjoys the First Peoples’ gallery and the “old fashioned town” on the third floor the best. There is an Emily Carr exhibit on now until October, 2011 that tells the story of “The Other Emily”.
Artist Manon Elder painted portraits of Carr based on old photographs and says she wanted to capture a side of the artist that is seen far less than the “frumpy old woman” often portrayed.
At the end of a busy day, the girls wanted to hit the beach but given that it was about 6:00pm on a Saturday night in early March, we didn’t have much time to explore. We drove along Dallas Rd, Hollywood Crescent, Crescent Rd and up King George Terrace stopping at a few beach-side pullouts along the way. The girls had just enough time to find a large string of bull kelp, take some videos with their Flip camera, climb on some rocks, then pile back into the car to warm up.
If you’re heading to Victoria for spring break this week or next, here are a few special events happening around town that might be worth checking out.
You can view the rest of my photos from the weekend in this photo set on Flickr. More will be added as I published additional posts about the trip.