Loving the Place I Live - Vancouver International Children's Festival

Everyone once in a while Gabrielle at DesignMom asks for submissions for a post that she calls "loving the place I live". It's a wonderful opportunity to not only showcase one of your own favourite spots in your hometown, but to read about other places that you just might visit someday. Think of it as an insider's guide.
I have done a few now - one on Granville Island here and one on Mount Seymour over there. And here is another one. I think you'll enjoy it.
Like most people, weekends around here are family time for us. We spend time together doing active things like biking and swimming and walking and a playground or two. And we also try to find something artsy to do as well.
You already know that I find any kind of theater inspiring. And just as much if not more, I love taking my six year old daughter to live theater. I want to share my love for it with her. This past weekend it was the 35th Annual Vancouver International Children's Festival. Perfect.
The festival takes place in the middle of the city on Granville Island (I introduced you to it over here). Venues range from small tents to established bricks-and-mortar theaters. All within walking distance along the water. We even sailed around the harbour on a boat while watching a version of Little Red Riding Hood!
The acts are perfectly pitched to various age groups from the littles to the bigger ones. Think 3-10 years of age. I really appreciate that because there is nothing worse than taking your kid to something that is a bit over their head, whether in theme or developmental stage.
The whole island was in on the fun. In between shows we wandered through various tents and food stalls. Giant fish on stilts and butterflies entertained us.
We saw the Puppet and its Double Theater perform the Happy Prince. As it is a Taiwanese theater company, the show was primarily in Mandarin. And despite having very little English narration, the puppetry was so skillful that it was easy to follow the action.
They used many different kinds of puppets - hand puppets, string puppets, rod puppets, table-top puppets, shadow puppets, and both puppet and actor on the same stage. 
This will give you a small taste of what we saw.



We've gone to this festival ever since the girl was old enough at attend and we will be back again next year. How about where you live? Do you have a children's theater? If we visit where you live, where should we go?


Loving the place I live - skiing in Vancouver

Thanks to Gabrielle of Design Mom for inviting another series of posts on "loving the place you live"! (The first one that I did is here). There's more than one reason that I love the place I live and here is another...

Because I am Canadian I love this:

And because I am Canadian I have a special affinity for the Scandinavians. It's not just their great design sense or their fab movies and detective novels. We share something else that's unique to countries like ours in the northern climes - it's winter sports.

Yes I do watch the Summer Olympics but it's the Winter Olympics that really grab me. I've done many of the Summer Olympic sports at one point - track, cross country, discus in junior high school til we all hit puberty and my competitors had 50 pounds on me, swimming. But being Canadian it's the winter sports that I can REALLY relate too. I cross country ski, downhill ski and snowboard. I ice skate. It's just what you do when you live here.

One of the reasons that I love the place I live is that while this is happening in the city in February and March:

Forty minutes away I can do THIS at Mount Seymour:

We were up on Saturday and Sunday morning this past weekend. The girl had a ski lesson while the man skiied and I boarded. (I am STILL in love with my new snowboard - there it is leaning against the car - smooch!).

It's a locals' place - lowkey and family oriented. There's snowshoeing and tubing and cross-country skiing in addition to downhill skiing and snowboarding. We have a family pass that you can purchase at a huge discount in the fall. Local businesses provide subsidies so that kids in need can still ski and snowboard. It's all about getting outside and being active together.

We're a family who loves galleries and art and museums and theatre. And we're a family who also loves to ski and snowboard.

And so after a great morning with excellent snow we drove back down the mountain...

...and stopped in for some frozen yoghurt. Now THAT'S a good Saturday morning!

How about you? Do you get outside with your family where you live? What do you do that you love?