Now the only remaining farm on Vancouver’s North Shore, Maplewood Farm—nestled along the banks of the Seymour River—was founded in the early 1900s by Mr. Akiyo Kogo and operated as a successful dairy farm before its designation as a rural heritage site in 1975. Dedicated to introducing visitors of all ages to the inner workings of a busy farm, such as the best time of day to hug a lamb, a team of farmhands circulates about the pastoral 5-acre plot entertaining visitors with educational presentations that include cow-milking demonstrations and the feeding of pigs and horses. Nascent ranchers can commune with nature as they arrange birdseed feasts on the ground for the farm’s chickens and ducks or power a pedal tractor around the grounds. An adorable assortment of livestock hangs around throughout the day, patiently fielding questions on why Old McDonald is allowed to break the ‘I before E’ rule with his cries of "E-I-E-I-O."
North Shore Ski and Board, a Vancouver business for more than 30 years, equips its customers with apparel and accessories for adults' and children's water and snow pursuits. Keep safe from the sun's rays by donning a "Kinda Shady" women's sun hat from Roxy ($30) or sunglasses from Ryders or Scin brands ($19.99–$29.99). Underneath sportsmanlike duds such as a Billabong Paris rash guard tee ($29.95), don a pair of flashy and comfortable undies from Björn Borg ($19.99–$34.99) that keep everything in its right place. Feet learn to breathe without the need for above-water snorkels in Havaianas classic flip-flops ($20), or jump into a pair of comfy Vans slip-on shoes ($39.99). During the winter months, patrons can ask their snowman butlers to bring their skis or snowboards in to North Shore Ski and Board for maintenance services.
Drawing inspiration from a centuries-old German tradition, wherein people would warm away their winter blues and welcome the holiday season with uproarious festivities, the Vancouver Christmas Market fills the night air with mirth. Rows of lighted evergreens and more than 45 wooden huts lined with pine branches and twinkling lights spread out under the sky, allowing guests to duck in and examine European-themed, often handcrafted, wares. In addition to traditional German foods—bratwurst, fruitcake-like stollen, and mugs of hot mulled glühwein—the huts also house vendors slinging all manner of gifts and decorations. Woodcarvings, knitted scarves, and ornate beer steins perfectly slip into stockings, populate the space beneath a Christmas tree, or serve as spot-savers in the local hot tub, and delicate glass ornaments or nutcrackers help bring Christmas cheer into homes.
While guests peruse the collection of edible and giftable goods, they can also enjoy the sights and sounds of performances by traditional European choirs and dance troupes. At the on-site Kids' Market, a variety of age-appropriate activities entertain younger children, including a festive carousel, chocolate-lollipop-decorating stations, and gingerbread mascots.
Hundreds of marine vendors and yacht brokers set up temporary homes on floating platforms at Mosquito Creek Marina for the Boat Show at the Creek. Along with family-friendly events during each of the fest’s days, guests can attend daily boating seminars aboard the Celebration on Water, a refurbished BC ferry. A beer garden and food court are open every day, and guests are welcome to arrive by boat, bring their canine companions, or have the family dog drive the boat before hanging out in the beer garden.