Snap the Ultimate Holiday sELFie at Coquitlam Centre

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Disclosure: Unpaid, Personal Opinion — Published in partnership with the City of Coquitlam and Coquitlam Centre as a part of Miss604's partnership and support of Lights at Lafarge Please review the Policy & Disclosure section for further information.

How would you like to snap the ultimate holiday sELFie? For some unforgettable photos and cheerful memories, pay a visit to Coquitlam Centre to use their three new pop-up photo sets. 

Snap the Ultimate Holiday sELFie at Coquitlam Centre

Coquitlam Centre Santa

Picture your family members cuddling a giant Elf on the Shelf, surrounded with festive decorations. Or pose your kids on a toy train or next to a life-sized teddy bear. See their eyes light up as they set sight on the Candy Cane Café display. 

Entrance is by donation, with all proceeds going to children’s programs at SHARE Family and Community Services. Take a break from your shopping to pop by, take some photos and share them on social media. The sELFie Gallery + The Candy Cane Café is located across from the Apple Store and will be open from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. daily, running until January 5, 2020

Share your sELFie photos by tagging #sELFieGallery @coquitlamcentre and @sharesociety

While You’re at the Shopping Centre

Visit Santa: Santaland is open daily until Christmas Eve. While waiting, kids can take part in Elf School and learn the official top secret elf greeting. 

Make a toy donation: Drop off unwrapped toys, gift cards or cash to the SHARE ToyBank. This year, it’s hoped that 1,140 families will receive hampers and more than 1,300 kids will receive a toy or gift card.

Get your gift wrapped: Gift wrapping is available to December 24, 2019. Pricing is based on the size of the gifts and proceeds support programs at SHARE. 

Coquitlam Centre Bear

Light Up Your Evening

After shopping, drop in to Lights at Lafarge – Metro Vancouver’s largest free festive lights display. Coquitlam Centre is the Presenting Partner of this annual event, which features hundreds of thousands of lights wrapped around Lafarge Lake at Town Centre Park. See you there! 

For more information about Coquitlam Centre, visit To learn more about Lights at Lafarge, visit this site »

Miss604 is a proud media partner of Lights at Lafarge

National Geographic Live in Vancouver, 2020 Shows

Comments 61 by Rebecca Bollwitt

National Geographic Live, National Geographic’s touring speaker series, and The Orpheum are proud to announce two early 2020 shows that feature Birds of Paradise and the Wild Seas.

In February, go deep into the New Guinea wilderness to meet all 39 species of the birds of paradise—and enjoy their secret lives, bizarre displays, and dazzling courtship antics in breathtaking visuals. March will be all about oceans, perfect for the month’s sustainability focus with Water Awareness Day and Earth Hour taking place around the same time.

Bird of Paradise by Tim Laman
A red bird of paradise adult male performing a practice display. Photo by Tim Laman.

Birds of Paradise with Tim Laman, field biologist and wildlife photojournalist, and Ed Scholes, evolutionary biologist

Where: Orpheum Theatre (601 Smithe St, Vancouver)
Tickets: February 4, 2020 at 1:00pm (tickets) and 7:00pm (tickets)

In this stunning presentation tied to their landmark book Birds of Paradise Revealed, these intrepid scientists share remarkable photographs and video to reveal—for the first time—all 39 species, including their colourful plumage, secret lives, bizarre displays, and dazzling courtship antics. Join Tim Laman and Ed Scholes as they recount their wild and hairy adventures in the New Guinea rain forest in search of some of nature’s most extraordinary wonders. And explore the fascinating scientific questions around how such extreme creatures and behaviours could have evolved.

Nat Geo Live Shark and Kayak
Photo by Thomas P. Peschak

Wild Seas, Secret Shores with Thomas Peschak, National Geographic photographer

Where: Orpheum Theatre (601 Smithe St, Vancouver)
Tickets: March 31, 2020 at 1:00pm (tickets) and 7:00pm (tickets)

Thomas Peschak has covered a wide range of subjects for National Geographic, including great white sharks, one-ton manta rays, and massive whale sharks. His photos appeared in “Galapagos: Life in the Balance and Stewards of the Sea” in the June 2017 issue of National Geographic magazine. Peschak has written and photographed seven books and is a multiple winner in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and World Press Photo Awards. He is a Founding/Associate Director of the Manta Trust and a senior fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Follow Vancouver Civic Theatres on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for more information about this event and many other shows and performances throughout the year.

Win Tickets

I have a 4-pack of tickets to give away to Birds of Paradise in February, here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Click below to post an entry on Twitter
Click to enter via TwitterClick To Tweet

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 8:00pm on Tuesday, December 17, 2019. UPDATE the winner is Ramona!

Festivale Tropicale, Christmas at Bloedel Conservatory

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

Celebrating 50 years of a tropical paradise that sits at the highest point in Vancouver! During Festivale Tropicale, you can enjoy Christmas at the Bloedel Conservatory as you experience 150 free flying exotic birds, magical lights, colourful plant displays, festive music, a scavenger hunt, and much more.

Christmas at Bloedel Conservatory with Festivale Tropicale
Bloedel Conservatory Photo

Festivale Tropicale, Christmas at Bloedel Conservatory

  • Where: The main entrance to the Bloedel Conservatory is located off 33rd Ave between Cambie and Main streets, in Queen Elizabeth Park.
  • When: December 7, 2019 to January 5, 2020 from 10:00am to 9:00pm daily (closed December 25)
  • Tickets: $6.75 adults, $4.55 seniors/youth, $3.30 children. 5-visit passes are available online.

Share your photos from Festivale Tropicale with the hashtag #FestivaleTropicale and tag Bloedel Conservatory for your chance to win 2 free flights to Mexico (see terms and conditions here). Follow along on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more info.

Christmas at Bloedel Conservatory with Festivale Tropicale
Bloedel Conservatory Photos

BONUS: Heading to the VanDusen Festival of Lights? You’ll receive a free ticket to Festivale Tropicale when you exit the event.

Constructed through a very generous donation from Prentice Bloedel, Bloedel was dedicated at its opening in 1969 “to a better appreciation and understanding of the world of plants.”

Arts Umbrella Presents Mixed Nuts: Win Tickets

Comments 26 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Arts Umbrella presents Mixed Nuts, a beloved holiday tradition, December 13-15, 2019 at the Vancouver Playhouse. A unique interpretation of The Nutcracker, the show is updated each year with works by local choreographers, new sets, costumes and a musical.

Arts Umbrella Presents Mixed Nuts. Samantha Aymong and Gijs Stenger. Photo by David Cooper.
Samantha Aymong and Gijs Stenger. Photo by David Cooper.

Arts Umbrella Presents Mixed Nuts

Where: Vancouver Playhouse (600 Hamilton St, Vancouver)
When: December 13-15, 2019
Tickets: Available online now. Students & Seniors: $25 / Adults: $30

Arts Umbrella dancers, Vancouver-based choreographers and emerging dance artists all combine their talents for one of the most entertaining shows of the holiday season.

Featuring a variety of dance styles from hip-hop, to ballroom, to the classic grand pas-de-deux, this year’s production mixes old favourites and new pieces choreographed by leading Vancouver and Canadian dancers, including Ballet BC and Kidd Pivot company members.

The second act will feature a candy-inspired set, costume design, and choreography. Expect to see a family-friendly production filled with gingerbread people, candy canes, Hershey kisses, lollipops, chocolates, sugar plums, and cinnamon hearts, along with a panoply of emerging dance artists.

Follow Arts Umbrella on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more info.

Win Tickets

I have a pair of tickets to give away to Saturday’s performance (the winner can select 2:00pm or 7:00pm). Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Click below to post an entry on Twitter
Click to enter via TwitterClick To Tweet

I will draw one winner at random at 9:00am on Thursday, December 12, 2019. UPDATE The winner is Tal!

Vancouver Restaurants on OpenTable’s Best Restaurant List

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt
Disclosure: Unpaid, Personal Opinion — This is not a paid post, I use the OpenTable app freely on my own. Please review the Policy & Disclosure section for further information.

At this time of year my OpenTable app is filled with reservations since the city gets so busy, there’s so much to do! Brunch with John, lunch with my sister, it’s always nice to have a guaranteed spot (and earn points that give you dining credits). It makes sense that a reservations app would have some insights about the top dining establishments in Canada, which is why there’s the OpenTable’s Best Restaurant List. Out of the top 100 restaurants, 8 from Vancouver made the cut for 2019.

Dining at Bishop’s

Vancouver Restaurants on OpenTable’s Best Restaurant List

The list is a comprehensive look at the year’s most beloved dining spots selected from more than 500,000 verified diner reviews of over 3,000 restaurants across the country.

My favourites on the list are Tavola and Savio Volpe. Another that’s usually a top pick for brunch or dinner in the Bollwitt household is Forage (1300 Robson St, Vancouver).

Savio Volpe
Exterior of Osteria Savio Volpe

The Top 100 features the Italian neighbourhood gem Giulietta in Toronto, the Mediterranean influenced hot spot Escoba Bistro and Wine Bar in Calgary’s downtown core, and the equally as delicious as it is visually stunning Osteria Savio Volpe in Vancouver, while showcasing OpenTable’s eclectic dining options for every occasion across Canada.

To round up the year, OpenTable is also revealing the top dining trends of 2019, based on diner reviews:

  • References to plant-based foods have increased by 136 per cent since 2017
  • Swapping out crust for cauliflower was mentioned 487 per cent more in diner reviews since 2017
  • Jackfruit was mentioned 148 per cent more in reviews since 2017 as a stand-in for meat dishes like pulled pork
  • Diners are interested in trying new things; 70 per cent of reservations came from new diners booking specific restaurants for the first time on OpenTable
  • North American cuisine was most popular for breakfast and lunch, but Italian reigned supreme as the most popular cuisine for dinner

The restaurants featured have been recognized for their impeccable service, their ability to orchestrate one-of-a-kind dining experiences and for consistently offering unforgettable dishes. Ontario has the greatest number of restaurants included on the list with 55 featured, followed by Alberta with 19, Quebec with 15 and British Columbia with 9 restaurants. Newfoundland and Saskatchewan are also represented on the list.

The list of Top 100 Restaurants in Canada for 2019 is generated solely from OpenTable diner reviews collected between October 1, 2018, and September 30, 2019.

Science World Gift Guide: Win Combo Tickets

Comments 155 by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s fun, fascinating, and entertaining for the family or for date night! I’ve put together a Science World Gift Guide for some memory-making inspiration this holiday season:

Science World Gift Guide

Science World Gift Guide


The Science of Cocktails (February 6, 2020) is the perfect way to give back and have some fun while you’re at it! Join Vancouver’s most talented bartenders and chefs as they showcase the connection between ingredients, technique and science at this exciting event. 

All proceeds from Science of Cocktails support the Class Field Trip Bursary Program, allowing over 9,000 kids from underserved schools to visit the geodesic dome in the next school year by covering their entry and school bus fee. General Tickets are $165 with a charitable tax receipt for $50 and VIP Tickets $289 with a charitable tax receipt for $150.


You’ll always have something to do, on a rainy day or otherwise when you have a Science World membership. Give the gift of visiting Science World as often as you like. A membership for a family of four is just $225 for the year and includes a number of exclusive member perks and events. 

Film Lover

Tickets to Science World’s OMNIMAX theatre make the ultimate stocking stuffer. The screen is 27 metres in diameter and 5 storeys high, which makes it the largest of its kind in the world! It also boasts a 15,000-watt xenon lamp that lights the screen so bright that if you placed it on the surface of the moon and focused it at a spot on Earth, you could actually see its light. Tickets start at just $12.75 or can be bundled with admission to Science World. 

Date Night

Try one of Science World’s Adult Evenings like Science World After Dark this coming year. Bring your inner kid out to play at this 19+ event where you’ll Immerse yourself in adult-focused programming featuring special guest speakers, OMNIMAX® films, food options, adult beverages, and one-of-a-kind activities. Science World After Dark takes place every month so there are tons of date night options, all year long.

Follow Science World on Twitter and Facebook for the latest event information.

Win Combo Tickets

To celebrate all the fun gift ideas at Science World (I didn’t even mention the gift shop) I’m giving away 4 general admission + OMNIMAX combo tickets to Science World. The winner will be able to explore their exhibits, the Science Theatre and view one OMNIMAX film during their visit. Here’s how to enter the contest:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Click below to post an entry on Twitter
Click to enter via TwitterClick To Tweet

I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Thursday, December 12, 2019. UPDATE The winner is Alli!