The Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery Visitors Centre aims to educate and entertain visitors with programs and events centred on the world of water-breathing animals. The centre's indoor and outdoor facilities allow guests to observe live fish in aquariums as well as in their natural habitat. Educational programs, which are designed to reach specific age groups, include It's a Trout's Life for grades K–2, What's That Habitat? for grades 2–5, and Trout Fast Food, in which visitors in grades 2–5 analyze the insects that trout seek out when their waterproof refrigerators go empty. In the all-ages Learn to Fish program, aspiring anglers learn how to identify fish and use different lures to attract specific species. The program also focuses on responsible fishing ethics and proper fish-handling techniques to increase survival during catch-and-release.
FreeStyle Dance Centre boasts more than 5,000 square feet of studio space including three large dancing rooms where dancers of all skill levels attend programs ranging from competitive to recreational dance under the tutelage of Royal Academy of Dance–certified and experienced instructors. Teachers such as life-long dancer Alysha Williams start their students' training early, guiding toddlers through basic positions in their Tiny Dance program, and seeing some of them through to advanced pointe classes—making manifest their belief in ballet as the bedrock of dance education. During each class series, pupils learn a dance to be performed in costume at a year-end show as a way for newly formed dancing gurus to showcase their talents. FreeStyle also offers professionally sprung floors that preserve dancer's knees and large lounge areas that allow waiting guardians to watch their up-coming star through viewing windows or to practice their own rendition of Swan Lake.
On Father's Day weekend, few gifts could be better than letting dad browse motorcycles, whiskys, and golf gear—all at the same location. Enter The Vancouver Men’s Show, which will host 250 exhibitors that appeal to men, ranging from liquor distilleries to fishing adventure companies to snowmobile manufacturers. Three days’ worth of events supplement the exhibitors’ offerings. Visitors can sample an international selection of beers and wines, and those with a bachelor’s degree in grunting can compete in the arm-wrestling and bench-press competitions. Throughout the weekend, House of Q serves its barbecue and leads cooking shows, and Cascades Casino hosts a Texas Hold ‘em poker tournament on Saturday and Sunday. Among the charitable events is Bash a Car for Kids, which gives participants several swings at an automobile with a sledgehammer in exchange for donations to BC Children's Hospital.
Tired of feeling unfit and unhappy with their bodies, husband-and-wife team Barry and Jana Ratzlaff decided to make a change. They registered for a fitness and weight-loss challenge, and have since revamped their physiques and lifestyles. Today, 50 and 25 pounds lighter, respectively, Barry and Jana have made it their mission to help others change their lives while having fun.
To that end, their mostly outdoor fitness facility spans 10 acres of cedar forest. But the natural expanse is more than idyllic hiking grounds. Twenty challenges obstruct winding, wooded trails, through which Barry and Jana lead small groups in flipping heavy logs, balancing on cedar beams, scaling rope walls, and outrunning beavers. When the weather isn’t ideal, they bring their fitness expertise indoors to their fully stocked studio for one-on-one personal-training programs, which can include weight-training, cardio counseling, and nutrition planning.
Water is the source of life. But it’s also the source of adventure, something River Recreation has delivered since 1982. Today, stationed on the banks of the Wenatchee River in Monitor, the company sends clients floating and tumbling down a total of nine rivers throughout Washington State.
As entertaining as they are informative, River Recreation’s guides undergo extensive training—twice as much, in fact, than the state requirements. That experience enables the company to offer a wide range of trips, from kid-friendly Class I floats to heart-pumping Class V adventures that have helped discover some of the area’s top opera singers. Currently, River Recreation hosts half-day, full-day, and combination trips, and in 2010, it unveiled a white water-and-wine mini getaway—a half-day of rafting, and a half day of wine tasting in Wenatchee Valley. All of this is combined to make RIver Recreation Washington State's Whitewater Professionals.
Fishing can be a solitary pursuit, but Swiftwater Guiding's team knows that sturgeon fishing is a team sport. It can take three or four people to hold a Fraser River sturgeon—the behemoths can measure up to 12 feet long and often weigh more than 1,000 pounds. Even more impressive, sturgeons are known for their verve, executing spectacular leaps when pursued, and chomping on bait so hard that bystander fish feel proud of their own table manners.
Swiftwater Guiding's heated aluminum jet boats—always helmed by an experienced guide—also pursue more docile aquatic life. Salmon trips can capture chinook, pink, coho and sockeye fish during the few days they are in the river. Fly-fishing trips, meanwhile, can target salmon or other species such as the rainbow trout, which is known for swallowing whole rainbows. The boats leisurely glide down a breezy stretch of river between Fort Langley and Hope, which was also an old fur trading route.