Thursday, November 24, 2016

Vancouver in the Know: Staycation Ideas 2016

During the holiday times, it feels like every one is taking vacation. But with the crazy high prices, and cold weather in Canada, it may be better to take that money and have a staycation! My idea of a good staycation is splurging on something I wouldn't normally do. If you take the $150 you would spend on any basic hotel, it would get you a whole lot of fun in the city!

Check out my suggestions below and let me know if you have any good staycation ideas for Vancouver!

Luxury Winter Wonderland at Reflections

Reflections is the roof top bar at Hotel Georgia and is usually only open during the summer time. This year, they are transforming the area into a winter wonderland with holiday menus and cozy decor! I've always wanted to go in the summer but actually never visited as the drink prices are a bit out of my usual budget ($14-$16). However, if this is part of my staycation, this would be an amazing spot to splurge and enjoy a weekend out!

This is the first time that Reflections has done this, so don't miss out! They are unveiling their new look today and it will be open all the way until December 30. There will be Christmas trees, mistle toes, candles, and lots of heat lamps! I went with the media preview on a rainy night and I'm happy to report that I stayed toasty and dry!

I ordered the Scrooged Up which was so smooth and a wonderful fruity drink. I also tried Widows Kiss which was a lot stronger and came in a black goblet. The True North drink looked to be a spiked minty hot chocolate, and the Hotel Georgia is a namesake cocktail at the establishment. The atmosphere was so cozy and luxurious with lots of details at every corner! I can't wait to go back! 

Shop Local at Etsy Vancouver

I love browsing on Etsy for local hand made jewelry and crafts! But a lot of times, I cheap out and end up going to F21 or H&M for my accessories. However, if I allocate some of my staycation budget to shopping at the Etsy market, I can for sure find a ton of goodies!

The Etsy Vancouver Winter Market is happening December 3-4 at the Pipe Shop Building in North Vancouver (right next to Lonsdale Quay). There will be over 80 stalls of artists selling hand made jewelry, home decor, skincare, and other art works! Check out the list of vendors to see if there's anything you are interested in! Tickets at the door are $5 but I'm giving away 2 tickets to the event as well as a gift bag with amazing products from 5 vendors worth $200+. Check out how to win on my Instagram!

Amara Blue Believe Bracelet ($35)
Gemspell Hathor Turquoise Pendant ($110)

I will be picking up some hand made jewelry as well as skincare! There's also quite a few vendors that sell printed goods, so if you usually send out Christmas cards, this would be an amazing market to stock up! Follow Etsy Vancouver on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date and more chances to win prizes!

Take a Class at Homestead

I can't remember how I discovered Homestead, but I do know it's been in my booksmark bar for over a year! They offer workshops throughout the week and they range from making pickles, to knitting, and even brewing beer. In all the classes, you'll learn the basics and get to take home what ever you are making.

The classes range from $25-$50 which is not even that expensive. However, I never took the plunge as I didn't feel it was justified to randomly take up classes such as making sauerkraut. This idea would fit perfectly with a staycation though. As it'll get you to explore your city AND learn a new skill.

Some classes that really caught my eye are home cured jerky, sea salt soap, and natural root beer.

Take a Horse Carrige Ride at Candytown

On a separate note, here is a festival that is completely free to attend! Candytown is happening this Saturday in Yaletown. There will be appearances by Santa and the Ice Queen for the kids as well as lots of arts and crafts! You'll also be able to take photos in front of live ice sculptures, shop for presents in the gift market, and find the perfect Christmas tree! There will also be tons of food vendors to keep your belly satisfied all day.

However, I'm most excited about the horse-drawn carriage! The image of horse carriages remind of me of magic and fairytales. The rides will be $15 minutes with a suggested donation of $2. This would be an amazing activity to do with your loved ones or family.

What are you doing this holiday season? Are you planning a vacation away or staying in town? Let me know if you have a cool event I should know about!

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