Close to our Vancouver English Centre and to Science World you find the Aurora Winter Festival. It is Canada’s largest Winter Festival and offers several attractions and activities from Friday, November 23rd to Sunday, December 30th. Gather your friends and explore this magical Christmas village. Go ice skating on a frozen river and enjoy the lights all around you. Rent your skates for $7 and skate as long as you want. Take a ride on the tube park which is 200 feet (60 metres) long and 20 feet (6 metres) tall. One ride is $4, three rides are $10 and eight rides are $20. Get on the 60 feet (18 metres) ferris wheel and see the whole festival event site and everything around it. Next to the amusement rides you can also discover the Christmas village. There you will find 50 market vendors and 12 food trucks with delicious snacks, drinks and meals. Have some hot chocolate or mulled wine while you are shopping for your Christmas gifts. Meet Santa, his elves and other mystical characters. Take pictures with all of them and write a letter to Santa. Listen to their stories and participate in a workshop to create your own gifts. Huge sculptures and beautiful light arrangements are waiting for you to be captured with your camera. A general admission ticket is $19.99 plus tax. It is cheaper to buy your ticket online than at the box office. To avoid big crowds and long lines join the festival from Tuesday to Thursday. Check the ticket availability for your day on the Aurora Winter Festival website. It will tell you if tickets are available, limited or sold out. Have fun!
Join us on Monday, December 24, to decorate Christmas cookies and gingerbread houses at school. You are not only here to learn English in Canada but also to participate in North American traditions. It is fun for all ages and everyone discovers their creativity when decorating Christmas cookies and gingerbread houses. Gingerbread houses are a little bit more difficult than Christmas cookies because they are multidimensional while cookies are simply flat. Decorating a gingerbread house requires more skills because there are different walls and a roof but Christmas cookies only have one side to decorate. Gingerbread is a baked good which can be like a soft cake or a hard biscuit or cookie. It is usually flavored with ginger, cinnamon, honey, sugar and/ or other spices. The term originates from Latin zingiber and Old French gingebras and translates the French word pain d’épices meaning spice bread or the German words Lebkuchen/ Pfefferkuchen meaning pepper cake. Christmas cookies can be baked using different dough recipes. There are also various ways to decorate them, just be creative. Some ideas on how to decorate your Christmas cookies are stars, moons, snowflakes, snowmen, Christmas trees, hearts, bells, gift boxes, candy canes, cup cakes and so on. You can use different colored icing, frosting, colored sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, chocolate pieces, nuts and other decoration material. Try it at home with your family and friends as well as at school with us and your classmates and friends here. Find out who is the most creative and of course enjoy eating the cookies after decorating them. Explore your imagination and have fun!
On the day after Christmas Day, December 25, we celebrate a holiday called Boxing Day on December 26. That means that you are getting a day off from your English courses in Vancouver on December 26. Boxing Day is originally from the United Kingdom and is celebrated in many countries which used to belong to the British Empire. December 26 is also known as Saint Stephen’s Day, Day of Goodwill, or Second Day of Christmastide. Instead of Boxing Day, some European countries, such as Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, and Scandinavia celebrate December 26 as a Second Christmas Day. We have some ideas for you on what you can do on your free day. The term Boxing Day comes from the tradition of receiving a Christmas box which is a present so it is related to shopping. Similar to Black Friday, Boxing Day is referred to as a shopping holiday in many English speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. So it is a great day for you to go shopping because there will be a lot of special sales and good deals. If you are interested in hockey you can also spend your Boxing Day at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver to experience the Hockey Canada World Juniors Championships. At 1 pm you can watch the Czech Republic versus Switzerland and at 5 pm you can watch Canada versus Denmark. There are still a lot of Christmas attractions happening on Boxing Day. You can enjoy Christmas lights, outdoor decorations, glowing plants, live entertainment and fun for all ages at different locations such as Langley Glow Christmas, Festival of Lights at VanDusen Garden, Lights at Lafarge around Coquitlam’s Lafarge Lake, Christmas at Canada Place, Bright Nights at Stanley Park, Aurora Winter Festival at Concord Pacific …
The best way to practise what you’ve learned at your English courses in Vancouver is by chatting with your friends while having some German beer, festive cocktails and Glühwein (which is hot-spiced mulled wine) at the Vancouver Christmas Market. You can visit the Vancouver Christmas Market, which is set up around the Olympic Cauldron, daily from November 21 to December 24, 2018, between 11:30 am and 9:30 pm. Christmas Markets are originally from Germany and here in Vancouver you can discover more than 80 huts offering traditional German specialities. There is a lot to experience at the Vancouver Christmas Market. Sing along to your favorite Christmas songs performed on the Flying Stage of the Christmas Pyramid in the middle of the market. Next to nice drinks and special food, sweet or savoury, you’ll find endless options for gift shopping: Olive oils, balsamic vinegars, handmade soap, classic Christmas decorations, organic and fair trade chocolates, glass/ ceramics/ porcelain designs, coffee, handcrafted jewellery, honey, pickles, mustard, spices, nuts, mushrooms, pancakes, Christmas sweaters and more. At the Vancouver Christmas Market you can walk inside of a huge Christmas tree decorated with thousands of lights. Together with your best friend or your sweetheart you can buy a heart-shaped lock and install it at the new Love-Lock Installation. You can also combine your visit at the Vancouver Christmas Market with a visit at FlyOver Canada to make your day a perfect winter day. No matter how you spend your day there, it will get you into the Christmas spirit and leave you with unforgettable memories.
For only $5 you can enjoy the German-inspired Christmas Market at Canada Place and see what it has to offer. Add one dollar, and you get a season pass that allows you to enter any day and time. There are stalls with German food like Schnitzel and Bratwurst, as well as Spanish Paella and treats like Churros and fruit covered with chocolate. Have you ever eaten Spaetzle? If not, it’s about time to try! It’s a food lover’s paradise! Not to forget the mulled wine and other hot drinks that you can get there. Just like in Germany you can stroll along the different booths and let yourself get inspired by jewelry, clothing, self-made honey, beer jugs from several German cities, soap, Christmas ornaments and much more. You may find some Christmas presents or even something special for yourself. While we were enjoying mulled wine, we listened to live music, which was lovely and very Christmassy. We already went there at 3:30 pm and didn’t have to wait longer than 5 minutes to enter. But when we left at around 6 pm the queue seemed endless. It’s unsurprisingly a popular place to go to this time of the year, and I enjoyed everything the market has to offer. Interested in TOEFL? Get more information about taking a TOEFL test in Vancouver!