The rugged beauty of nature meets the comfort of vacation amenities at REO Rafting Resort, a secluded getaway on the edge of Nahatlatch River. Throughout the Fraser Canyon, experienced guides lead groups on whitewater rafting day-trips and multiday excursions, helping beginners and advanced rafters alike to navigate class III and IV+ rapids. Some of the trips take place along the Nahatlatch and others venture to the Stein, Thompson, and Fraser rivers, all of which are less than 45 minutes away from base camp. Relaxation and pampering follow at the resort's facilities, where a hot tub, massage therapists, and glasses of beer or wine await to reward campers for their rugged displays of human heartiness.
At nightfall, guests cozy up around a campfire, but they need not roast hot dogs or trap varmints for sustenance. A team of professional chefs prepares meals for guests, which also helps prevent the risk of forest fires and bears moseying into campsites for a snack.
Having encouraged her toddler’s artistic side so successfully that by age 4 he was creating impressive paintings, artist Joey Simon was urged by her community members to start art workshops for children. Beginning in 2005, she did just that, hosting classes out of the basement of a Victorian home on Vancouver Island. Today, 4Cats Arts Studio has locations throughout North America, including the Port Moody studio where children’s workshops are flanked by adult classes and family events on the packed schedule. In addition to making its community members a more artistic bunch, the business gives back by hosting food drive events in the winter.
A paper-craft headquarters designed as a meeting place for would-be memory-keepers and crafters, Cherish the Thought's homey storefront houses a variety of classes and supplies by well-known vendors. The technique- and product-based classes—great for both the new crafter and the experienced artisan—typically last between two and three hours, but instructors continue to help participants until completion of their individual projects. Students depart confident enough to try new scrapbooking, card making, and ransom note-cultivating techniques at home. Class size is limited, so call ahead to reserve a spot.
Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces—including vases, flatware, and busts of Elvis—await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln workers help glaze, fire, and de-genie it for them, and they may retrieve the finished piece after a few days.
Lamb sliders slathered in Guinness mustard and cured-ham-stuffed chicken served with a wild-mushroom whisky cream are just two of the Irish pub dishes served up at St. James's Well. From 11 a.m. to midnight seven days a week, patrons can lounge on wooden chairs, absorbing the homey pub atmosphere as they watch Vancouver Canucks and BC Lions games. Alternatively, groups can gather on the outdoor patio to drink Guinness while looking up at the sun as it sinks toward its nightly collision with the moon. St. James's also hosts live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night.