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.
When doctors told Joey and Darryl Simon that their son Jet’s premature birth could result in learning disabilities, the couple immersed him in the world of art as a means of helping him overcome any educational obstacles. Their tutelage and care paid off, resulting in an impressive array of paintings from their child at a very young age. Jet’s talent and creativity inspired his parents to establish 4Cats Arts Studio in hopes of unleashing the inner artists of other children as well as adults. The Simons accomplish this mission through hands-on sessions in mixed media, painting, and Artist Focus classes, which concentrate on the histories and styles of certain artists, such as Picasso’s cubism and Andy Warhol’s self-portraits of soup cans.
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The 10-acre open-air Burnaby Village Museum transports visitors back in time to explore a 1920s-inspired village filled with heritage and replica buildings typical of a tram-stop community along the B.C. Electric Railway. Explore the surroundings at a leisurely pace and enjoy the smiles of period-costumed townsfolk who offer demonstrations in the village’s homes, businesses, and shops. Fan-favourite stops include the blacksmith, the schoolhouse, the spaceship, and the farmhouse gardens. The annual pass also includes rides on the historic 1912 CW Parker Carousel, with riding mood music provided by a 1925 Wurlitzer Military Band Organ and a mezzo-soprano monkey. For an old-fashioned holiday outing, Burnaby Village hosts Heritage Christmas from November 27 to January 2 to let visitors experience the merry-making of yore. Picnic tables, a gift shop, and an ice cream parlour are also on the premises.
Tasked with the preservation of British Columbia’s rich railroading history, the West Coast Railway Association’s train enthusiasts curate and maintain a collection of vintage rolling stock and artifacts. The heart of the 90-piece collection lies in the scenic confines of the West Coast Railway Heritage Park. Visitors are free to wonder the space’s wide-open tracks, visiting locomotives including the Royal Hudson, along with rarities such as an 1890 business car and a gently snoring 1905 sleeping car. A miniature railway affords pleasant rides around the 12 acres of grounds. With many pieces of operational equipment still on hand, the association also offers frequent train tours to destinations across British Columbia.
Outer Island Expeditions' fleet of kayaks and boats safely cruises at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour through frothy crests ebbing amid the striking sights and wildlife of the San Juan islands. Venturing as far as 50 miles into Canadian waters, whale-watching excursions foster personal rapport between patrons and boat-side orcas, gray whales, or humpback whales trying to learn human etiquette for future espionage missions. Tours of Stuart Island's Turn Point lighthouse begin aboard a 22-foot Kodiak skiff, which buoys patrons through 16 miles of waters inhabited by sea lions and porpoises before they disembark and hike to the lighthouse's historical museum. Fishing charters set sail in search of ocean creatures and potable salt water from all of Outer Island Expeditions' four launch points: Smuggler's Villa Resort, Semiahmoo Resort, Lopez Island, and The Willows on Lummi Island.