February 27th, 2013
We spent a family day in scenic New Westminster bonding over potstickers, pretending to be pop stars and playing with flying trapezes at River Market.
From Wally’s Burgers to Wild Rice to Re-Up BBQ, the dining options here are stellar (with more exciting ones to come). Come for lunch, stay for dinner.
If you’ve been known to sleuth New West’s Antique Row, you will recognize Midcentury Modern Home, now relocated to the market. Beautiful Danish lamps, and items small and large get snapped up by the new crop of resident young hipsters.
What market is complete without a stellar cheese shop? Pick up your Morbiere and Tomme de Savoie at this modern outlet of La Grotta Del Formaggio, www.lgdf.ca
Learn the ropes (literally) with the excellent young instructors at Vancouver Circus School. Our kids loved the clowning techniques, trampoline, swinging and spinning plates on a stick while going down the slide. www.vancouvercircusschool.ca
The beautifully designed space (think modular Japanese) that is Music Box will have your wee ones practicing their scales, then recording a CD to send to Grandma. Our 7-year-old's rendition of Call Me Maybe is, um, priceless. www.musicboxnw.ca
June 16th, 2012
Whether you're on a beach, in a field, or inside (hiding from the rain) this summer, good holiday snapshots make for great memories. We asked Nicole Gurney, a Vancouver-based photographer and mother of twins, to give us some tips on creating great photos.
1. Hire a professional. Your kids are only young once so it's worth having some great shots of them. And it's a bonus to have some of you in them. Family albums tend to have tons of shots with dad and the kids and a couple of you probably in a nightgown.
2. The DIY Route. If you do plan on taking some shots of the kids yourself, plan for a day in the park or the beach. Run a brush through their hair and have a couple cute back-up outfits. If you can ask a friend or babysitter to come along and lend a hand, it helps with keeping the kids together.
3. Look for shade. Shooting in bright mid-day sun can produce hard shadows, not always so attractive. So find some shade or shoot in afternoon light.
4. Beware of the cell phone. If you are taking shots with your phone make sure the photos are not crap! A lot of cell phones take horrible pictures and some people take all of their family photos on them. It's a shame to look back at the younger years of your kids lives as a blurry fog (even though it kinda is).
5. Print Print Print! People tend to store all their photos on their computer and never print. Print a couple shots, maybe covert them to black and white and find some simple frames to put them in. Clustering a number of framed photos on a wall looks awesome and doesn't have to break the bank. DIY coffee table books are a great option too, such as Blurb or an IPhoto book.
Nicole does beautiful family portraits, weddings, and event photos (the proof: this adorable photo of my son!) in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Check out her website, www.gurneyphoto.com. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
February 18th, 2012
Our editors across the country select the coolest family-friendly activities in their cities, from eagle-watching to pizza-making.
While Vancouver waits for its own family day (coming in 2013) you can bond-and-breathe with your kids at Sunday morning family yoga at the new Che Baba studio. After, head down to the Cantina whose haute-hippie vibe and boho patterns may just remind you of that '70s show you called your childhood (only nicer). Try the poached eggs on pulled pork and crispy polenta for breakfast: Ohm, my. Che Baba, 603 Kingsway St., Vancouver, 604-588-1519, www.chebaba.ca —Sarah Bancroft
‘Fun for the whole family’ takes on a whole new meaning when you have an 8-month old and a dog. This weekend try one the hikes around Alice Lake, with the baby in the backpack and the dog off leash (shhh… don’t tell the park rangers.) Park near Stump Lake, if you are feeling lazy, the loop around the lake is a nice 40 minute walk and, if not, do the full Four Lakes Trail, which takes about 90 minutes. End your outdoors-y day at the Watershed in Brackendale. This time of year there are hundreds of eagles visible from the patio plus they’ve got two high chairs, a place to tie the dogs outside and a decent wine list. Indulge in an afternoon tipple and get home by 6:30pm to put the baby to bed. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
What’s black and white and waddling into Calgary? The residents of the Calgary Zoo’s brand new Penguin Plunge exhibit. See the birds perch outdoors on rocky outcroppings, look down through a glass floor as they swim underfoot or go inside for a underwater view of the plunge pool while lights flicker mimicking the Aurora Australia. Adults, $21; kids ages 3 to 15, $19, 1300 Zoo Rd. N.E., Calgary, 403-232-9300, www.calgaryzoo.org —Jaelyn Molyneux
This late in the season, skiing, sledding and skating can start to lose its appeal for some so this weekend, we’re taking it indoors. Specifically, to the Ferns Greenhouse at the Botanical Gardens where the Butterflies Go Free exhibit has just opened (and is guaranteed to enchant both young and old!). 4101 Sherbrooke St. E., Montreal, 514-872-1400, www2.ville.montreal.qc.ca —Christine Laroche
For the budding pizzaiolo, here's a chance to make his own pie from scratch at new pizza place, Piola. Eew to green things and sausage that makes his tongue tickle? No problem, little Giovanotto gets to pick and choose what makes the cut. Pizza $10 with a pop, 1165 Queen St. West, Toronto, 416-477-4652, www.piola.it —Athena Tsavliris