Like the colourful fan of its namesake's tail feathers, diamonds and triangles of billiard balls nestle into racks on Peacock Billiards' tables. A grid of 30 tables in an array of sizes and colours populates the room, surrounded by cushy leather couches and bright murals. Beneath the clatter of sunken shots can be heard the rhythmic tap of table-tennis matches and the furious spinning of foosball handles. The James Joyce Bistro resides in the corner, where patrons sitting in circular booths enjoy drinks and nachos served in cored-out copies of Dubliners.
The Braefoot Community Association was created to enrich its community with sports and recreational activities. Each of their programs is designed to help kids develop social and physical skills while encouraging healthy lifestyle habits and instilling in them an eagerness to remain active instead of imitating plastic-molded mannequins. Kids aged 16 months to 12 years can undergo non-competitive instruction in roller hockey, soccer, basketball, baseball, and tennis, and owners of fancy feet can take pre-professional and children's level dance instruction with the Westcoast Academy of Performing Arts. During the summer, a slew of camps keep children occupied and involved, teaching kids kayaking or biking basics, or helping them hone their soccer or hockey skills. The organization’s multi-use facility also has grounds for the Lakehill Soccer Association and the Saanich Lacrosse Association to play on and is working toward expanding their activities to include adult programs.
Saanich Commonwealth Place folds nicely into the District of Saanich Parks and Recreation Department's luxurious recreational centres, which together create a well-rounded outlet for creative and physical activity. Each is unique in its own way, with Pearkes boasting 31,000 square feet of ice rink for skaters and Gordon Head's UV-filtered pools hosting hundreds of thousands of laps swum. Galleries exhibit local artists at the Cedar Hill Arts Centre, and the accompanying recreation centre’s badminton, volleyball, and table tennis have seen more volleys than Tom Hanks at the Castaway reunion. Regardless of its defining feature, each centre seeks to bring the community together with enlightening and enriching fitness and arts programs.
Nestled in the rolling hills outside Saanich, Connect and Ride's horseback-riding facility sits in the center of a pastoral wonderland. A rustic red farmhouse serves as a gathering point for horses and their caretakers, while an enclosed outdoor riding area hosts Western and English-style riding lessons. To train more advanced riders and their horses, staff members bring out jump fences and other obstacles. Instructors also lead multiple-hour horseback-rides along cool, wooded trails that sometimes end with a swim at a nearby lake.
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.