Lilliputian Degases will be inspired to sculpt masterpieces in the energetic confines of this professional arts studio for children. Choose two of 4Cats Art Studio's many workshops, such as the Royal Oak location's Robot Polymer Clay or the Langford studio's Matisse Cards, in which highly trained curators teach young visionaries to express their creativity in seasonal motifs using paints, professional-quality polymers, modelling clay, and last night's meatloaf. Workshops vary by location, are intended for children ages 3–15, and include all art materials.
The Victoria Bug Zoo boasts a bountiful collection of live and robust multi-pedied insects, housing everything from warm and fuzzy tarantulas to the cold-hearted giant centipedes that wander the Sonoran Desert. Your Groupon is good for an annual pass to the insectorium, where you can freely roam the colony of more than 40 species of ’sects, bypassing the glow-in-the-dark scorpions to make a bumble-bee-line to the 400-leg millipede or the enormous ant farm. While bugs are kept safely in glass-enclosed insectariums, the friendly staff is known for hands-on education and often releases the friendlier of the bugs to mingle and wander up and down the arms of brave visitors.
Docked inside British Columbia's former Supreme Court building in Bastion Square, the Maritime Museum of BC provides visitors with a bridge to the province's past through an affluent collection of nautical and legal treasures. More than 35,000 unique artifacts—plus 40,000 photographs—join forces to ferry eyes through history, including exhibits that showcase notable pirates, explorers, heritage vessels, and shipwrecks.
A fleet of three iconic sailboats has also dropped anchor beneath the museum's roof, and despite its age and creaky joints from years of playing pond hockey, the oldest operating birdcage elevator in North America still totes guests from floor to floor. Aside from its seafaring trove, the museum also runs public and school programs on topics such as immigration, pirates, women at sea, and the Canadian Coast Guard.
Craigdarroch Castle was built between 1887 and 1890 as a home for Robert Dunsmuir, a Scottish immigrant who made his fortune in coal and wanted to show off his wealth and importance to the surrounding country. The stately mansion has since transformed into a military hospital in 1919, a Victoria College dormitory in 1921, and now a renovated historical site owned and operated by the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society. The castle retains its original 11th- and 12th-century-inspired Romanesque characteristics, such as a cylindrical tower with a conical cap and frames ornamented with 33 original stained-glass windows. Formerly a 28-acre estate, the present day 1.75-acre grounds house a 20,000-square-foot interior boasting 39 lavish rooms accurately furnished in 1890–1900 period wares, an 87-stair ascent to a tower overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains, and a fireproof underground rec room for the Dunsmuir’s pet dragon.
Cities are the ultimate conglomerations, existing as both the collections of people, institutions, and locations that currently compose them as well as the memories of all of the bygone inhabitants that came before. Without some concept of that past, current-day residents are hard-pressed to really understand their present. Fortunately, the historians at Museum of Vancouver keep visitors in the know with expertly curated exhibits revealing the unforgettable events that shaped the city's character. In the permanent galleries, a series of permanent historical displays chronicle the city’s evolution from the 1900s real-estate boom into the excitement of the 1970s. In 1960s-1970s: You Say You Want A Revolution, Vancouver’s hippie community comes to life with the jangling tunes of local bands of the day and discussions of the Greenpeace movement; in Neon Vancouver, Ugly Vancouver, gallery walls fill with the sizzling light of antique advertising and signage rescued from obscurity before its date with the dump.
To complement the history galleries, three special rotating exhibits each year showcase works by artists such as Tobias Wong, a cheeky craftsman considered one of the forerunners of conceptual design. In 2013, visitors will revist Vancouver's street photography era as they delve into the works of the infamous Foncie Pulice, and explore the west coast modernist architecture of Daniel Evans White. During special events, the museum’s halls fill with the wisdom of curators, artists, and others explaining their work.
For more than 30 years, the non-profit, volunteer-driven Canadian Museum of Flight has educated aviation enthusiasts about British Columbia's flying-machine history with a comprehensive, well-preserved collection of aircraft and aviation artifacts. Among its flock of winged warriors, visitors will find replicas of WW1 aircrafts, a Waco biplane from 1930, a Douglas DC-3 transport from 1940, and a 1942 Hampden bomber, which was used in World War II and is the last craft of its type in existence. Hand-plucked jets include a de Havilland Vampire fighter, the all-Canadian designed and built CF-100, and the needle-nosed Lockheed Starfighter. While some of these crafts, like a third eye, are just for show, many of the fleet-footed fleet regularly take to the skies at airshows and events during the warmer months. Groupon users also receive a 15% discount off anything in the aviation gift shop.