{{Giveaway}} Vancouver Park Board delivers holiday magic … and a carousel ride … during Festival of Lights.

Grab a cup of hot chocolate and explore beautiful VanDusen Botanical Garden during the 32nd annual Festival of Lights (FOL), Vancouver’s premier and longest running holiday event.


More than 15 acres of the Garden will be decorated with one million lights. The event includes the Dancing Lights show on Livingstone Lake, roving Scandinavian gnomes, music, tasty treats and drinks, Santa, and new this year, a holiday carousel. A ride on the carousel is included in every event admission.

Garden visitors can also experience the romance of Paris right here in Vancouver! Stop by the Eiffel Tower to take a selfie under the dazzling lights and share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #JardinsDeParis for a chance to win two economy tickets to Paris, courtesy of Air France and YVR.

There is also a photo contest this year. Visitors can use #VanDusenFOL and post event photos on Twitter or Instagram for a chance to win prizes, including a one-year membership to VanDusen Garden.


Share to win!

Tag #VanDusenFOL for your chance to win one of 4 great prizes including:

A 1 year membership to VanDusen Botanical Garden

Afternoon Tea for Two at Truffles Café 

$100 gift certificate to Shaughnessy Restaurant

VanDusen Festival of Lights Toque 
FOL runs nightly between December 1 and January 2 and is closed December 25. More information can be found at vancouver.ca/VanDusenFOL.


Hours:

December 1, 2016 to January 2, 2017 4:30pm – 9:00pm

December 16 to 23 OPEN LATE 4:30pm – 10:00pm

Closed Dec 25

Prices:

Adult: $18.50 (incl. $0.76 GST + $2.50 service charge)

Senior (65 and older): $14.25 (incl. $0.57 GST + $2.25 service charge)

Youth (13 – 18): $14.25 (incl. $0.57 GST + $2.25 service charge)

Child (4 – 12): $11.00 (incl. $0.43 GST + $2 service charge)

Family (2 adults + 2 children 18 and under): $40.00 (incl. $1.71 GST + $4 service charge)

Children under 3: Free


Located at 5251 Oak Street in the heart of Vancouver, getting to VanDusen Botanical Garden is easy.

Make use of sustainable transportation options: walk, bike, or take public transit.

Parking is free – but limited – with electric vehicle charging stations available.

Phone: 604-257-8335


VanDusen Botanical Garden, located in the heart of Vancouver, spans across 55 acres with more than 7,500 unique species and varieties of plants arranged in 50 distinct collections. The Garden is jointly operated by the Vancouver Park Board and Vancouver Botanical Garden Association.  

{{The Giveaway}}

I’ve got a Family Pass (2 Adults, 2 Kiddos) to give away to one lucky Raincity Parent reader! This giveaway is open to residents of the Greater Vancouver Area, Fraser Valley and Sea to Sky Corridor, 18 years and over. Please enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

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A beautiful way to send out your holiday greetings! #Minted

It’s that time of year again to send your holiday greetings to your nearest and dearest!

I love seeing the variety of holiday cheer that come in the mail from our family and friends during the Christmas season. We are always sure to send our best wishes along as well.

I don’t know about you, but we really put some thought into our Christmas cards. Something that reflects our personalities.

We’ve picked our Christmas cards from Minted again this year. 

They have such an awesome assortment of holiday cards available! Photo and non-photo cards, that are customizable to your favourite colours and themes.

We received our cards in under a week and they are gorgeous!


Minted also has stationary, art and decor available. We’ve added a few pieces of our around our home and just recently picked out this beauty for the kid’s room.


Be sure to visit Minted’s website this holiday season to check out their lovely assortment of customizable cards that your family and friends would love to receive!

Some background about Minted and their holiday card selection:

  * Minted is a design marketplace of independent artists from around the globe.

  * All holiday cards are available with matching custom stamps, envelope designs and FREE recipient addressing. Save time and make your holiday card beautiful from the inside out.

  * Enjoy our FREE concierge address book service. Send us your addresses in any format, from envelopes to lists, and we will build out your Minted Address Book.

  * 2016 holiday card trends: Take it from our community of independent artists— midnight blues, graphic black & white, botanical wreaths, and glittery foil are what’s on-trend for this season. Among this year’s top trends are real foil-pressed holiday cards in gold, silver and rose gold and photo letterpress holiday cards featuring the luxurious look and feel of letterpress paired with unique inks and vibrant colors.

  * Minted is known for its high-quality paper and printing. Minted’s Signature paper is thick and luxurious with a creamy cotton texture, and has been optimized for photo printing. You can also choose 100% recycled paper, Pearlescent paper which adds a subtle shimmer, DoubleThick paper or even TripleThick paper. Minted also offers postcards, ornament cards and 8 unique die-cut shapes. A variety of backer options allow you to add additional photos, text, and customization options to your holiday card.

  * Minted’s assortment of stationery, art, home decor and digital offerings is constantly expanding as Minted grows its artist community and hosts ongoing challenges.

Christmas at FlyOver Canada {{Giveaway}}

Join Santa and his elves on a magical flight across Canada and then onto the North Pole!


FlyOver Canada will transform into a magical winter wonderland this Christmas season. Guests will have fun helping Santa search for his missing elves during an exhilarating flight across Canada and on to the North Pole.
The complete Christmas at FlyOver Canada experience will last between 20 – 25 minutes and include:

  • Christmas themed pre-show.
  • FlyOver Canada, a thrilling 8-minute flight ride experience coast to coast over Canada.
  • An extended, animated final scene over Santa’s magical North Pole.
  • Christmas decorations, holiday music, lights, hot drinks, festive food and more!

In addition, stop by our festive outdoor deck to enjoy holiday performances, Christmas lights, hot drinks and seasonal snacks. For more information regarding performances, please visit our website.

All guests must be at least 102cm (40″) to participate on the ride. All children under 12 years of age must be accompanied by an adult or guardian 14 years of age or older.

Don’t miss this magical Christmas offering at Vancouver’s must-see attraction FlyOver Canada.

Reserve your spot now on-site or online at www.FlyOverCanada.com/Christmas

Christmas at FlyOver Canada

Dates: November 24, 2016 – January 02, 2017

Time(s): Nov 24 – Dec 16: 10AM – 9PM

Dec 17 – Jan 2: 9:30AM- 10PM

*December 24, 2016 9:30AM – 6PM

*Closed December 25, 2016

Rates:

General Admission

Adult $21.95 plus tax

Student / Youth / Senior $18.95 plus tax

Child $14.95 plus tax

FastLane:
Adult $23.95 plus tax

Student / Youth / Senior $20.95 plus tax

Child $16.95 plus tax

{{The Giveaway!!}}

I’m giving away 4 Adult General Admission tickets and a Complimentary Souvenir Photo to one lucky Raincity Parent reader! This giveaway is open to residents of the Greater Vancouver Area and Sea to Sky Corridor only! Please enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Festive-izing the Family Vehicle. #YMCCommunity

I’m sure you’ve seen vehicles driving around town donned in antlers and a red nose, or they’ve been “elfed”.

"Elf" your car.

“Elf” your car.

Rudolf the Red-Nosed Minivan.

Rudolf the Red-Nosed Mini.

These lovely car kits can be found at your local Walmart, Canadian Tire or dollar store.

I would totally decorate our minivan for the kids, but since it’s the “family vehicle” that Daddy uses for work, it’s not something that he’d like to been seen driving around town in. If we had a second vehicle, then I would totally go “Christmas Crazy” all over it! I’d even have these guys.

I wonder if this would frighten the kids.

I wonder if this would frighten the kids.

Santa might become a source for nightmares.

Santa might become a source for nightmares.

We’d even don the roof with Christmas lights.

You can NEVER be too festive right?

I don't think that this would draw too much attention, do you?

I don’t think that this would draw too much attention, do you?

 

 

 

 

Christmas is for the kids…right? #YMCCommunity

For the past few years, my husband and I haven’t exchanged gifts with each other for Christmas.

We buy gifts for our kids, our nieces, my cousin’s kids and our close family friends.

Christmas is for the kids, right?

Christmas is for the kids, right?

It’s not that we don’t want to buy for each other, it’s just that the “Needs” list outweighs the “Wants” list.

If I earned a salary being a Stay-At-Home-Mom, it would be a different story.

Honestly, instead of a gift that will either get used up, worn out, or set aside, I would rather save the money that would be spent, on something more meaningful. A trip together as a family, put it into the “New House” fund or making a purchase that the whole family will benefit from.

Saving up for something important.

Saving up for something important.

Sure, it’s nice to get a little something under the tree, but this works for us…so far.

Our first Christmas without Poppa.

A couple weeks ago, my stepdad passed away.

Poppa

Poppa

He suffered a stroke a few months ago, and had been in hospital since.

The kids and I were never able to make it in to the hospital to see him, however my husband visited twice.

My Mum and stepdad don’t live in town, so traveling with the 2 little ones, and having all been sick over a month stretch, I didn’t think that the hospital was a good environment for us to be in.

We did manage to get a Facetime chat in with him before he passed and while he was coherent, so we feel better being able to see him that way before he was gone.

We explained to our 4 yo that Poppa had died, but she doesn’t understand. She keeps telling Santa that for Christmas she wants Poppa to get better and come home. We remind her that he can’t anymore, but we know that she isn’t processing it.

I think the hardest part will be Christmas.

Mum is coming to town to spend Christmas with us and I know our daughter will ask where Poppa is.

We will all cry and explain it to her again, but that’s all we can do.

We need to be together, share our emotions and let it out. There is no shame in crying, it just shows that you’re human.

I think this will be a time for us to share our happy memories of him and help each other heal.

I found this article from Canadian Living and I think it will be helpful.

Bear Creek Park Christmas Train {Giveaway}

Another fun place to take the kiddos this Christmas season is The Christmas Train at Bear Creek Park in Surrey.

The Christmas Train at Bear Creek Park

The Christmas Train at Bear Creek Park

The Christmas Train opens this Friday, December  6th, 2013 until Sunday, January 5th, 2014 – Closed December 25th.

Admission for Adults is $5.50 and Children are $7.00.

They are Open 10am to 4pm daily.

Santa is at the station December 6th to December 24th. Bring your camera!

Visit with Santa & receive a candy cane, Christmas Activity kit and Train ride through the Christmas forest.

The Christmas Train at Bear Creek Park has generously donated a pass for one lucky family of 4, to ride the train!

Please enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway tab below. The giveaway runs from December 4th, 2013 to December 8th, 2013.
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