Miss604.com Featured Series

Transat Auction for a Cause

November 26th, 2015 @ 9:19am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The holiday season is a time when we not only enjoy the comforts of home, but also dream of warm getaways with sandy beaches and palm trees. It’s also a time for giving back and this Cyber Monday, you can roll all of these delights into one. You will be able to bid on your next vacation with the Transat Auction and better yet, proceeds from each successful bid will benefit SOS Children’s Villages.


Transat Auction for a Cause

The the auction will take place on Twitter, where Canadians will be able to bid on 20 auction lots consisting of all-inclusive packages to popular Sun destinations like Mexico, Curaçao, Panama and St. Maarten, as well as roundtrip flights to Europe.

Through the Transat Auction, Canadians can secure great vacation deals while supporting a worthy cause. All funds raised through the auction will be donated to SOS Children’s Villages, a non-profit humanitarian organization that provides caring family homes to more than 80,000 orphaned and abandoned children in 134 countries.

To participate and bid on their dream vacation, travel enthusiasts must follow the @AirTransat account, or search for the hashtag #TransatAuction. Full details of the Transat Auction and the lots will also be available on the www.transatauction.ca microsite as of Friday, November 27, 2015.

Since Transat started supporting SOS Children’s Villages in 2009, it changed the lives of more than 25,000 vulnerable children.

I have had the opportunity of visiting Ghana (back in 2011) and seeing the great work that organizations like SOS Children’s Villages does in communities there. I spent time in Accra and Kumasi, along with several smaller villages. In one village we stood near a rusted-out jungle gym, sitting on cinnamon red earth in the courtyard of a modest cinderblock school. One thing that struck me during these travels was the enthusiasm the school children had for their education. No matter their home life, if they had a home or parents around to care for them, they were smiling because they were in school. I’ve never been so surrounded by so many children excited to show me their math homework.

Over $2 million has been raised by Transat and its customers, thanks to various initiatives including the previous editions of the Transat Auction raising $68,000. This event taps into Transat’s commitment to help ensure the well-being of orphaned and abandoned children in many of its destination countries, providing them with safe, loving homes, food, education, healthcare and a future filled with hope.

Disclosure: Sponsored Post
This post is sponsored by Transat on behalf of the Transat Auction.

Free Christmas Activities in Metro Vancouver

November 25th, 2015 @ 2:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s tough to save money during the holidays while going to gatherings of friends and family, hosting dinners, and exchanging gifts. However, I know of several activities that will get you in the holiday spirit without sliding you into debt. Here are my top picks for FREE Christmas activities in Metro Vancouver over the next month:


Free Christmas Activities in Metro Vancouver

11. New Westminster Santa Claus Parade
December 5, 2015 along Columbia St
Activities at the Anvil Centre, River Market, Fraser River Discovery Centre

10. Lantern Festival and Parade in Port Coquitlam
December 5, 2015 at Leigh Square Community Arts Village

9. Rogers Santa Claus Parade Vancouver
December 6, 2015 on Georgia and along Howe
More family fun at the Coast Capital Savings Christmas Square at the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza and the Robson Square ice rink

8. Big Rigs for Kids Lighted Truck Parade in Surrey
December 6, 2015 at Surrey City Hall Plaza (and University Blvd)
Before the parade there will be live music and face painting at the plaza

7. Christmas in Steveston Village
Santa arrives off the boat on Steveston Public Wharf December 6, 2015 at 1:00pm. Free Santa hats, a classic Christmas car display, mascots, carolers, Cannery Farmers’ Market and more.

6. Burnaby Village Museum Heritage Christmas
Until January 1, 2016. Free gate admission includes light displays, entertainment, crafts, and more. Carousel rides are $2.55.

Tonight in Vancouver: The brightest yard in the block!

5. St Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope
On now and throughout December. It’s the most impressive light display in Downtown Vancouver, and for a great cause. Stop by and make this part of your holiday activity plans.

4. Christmas at Canada Place
Beginning December 12th, free outdoor displays, lights, the legendary Woodward’s Windows, 15-foot snow globe, and more.

3. CP Holiday Train
After crossing the country from Montreal and visiting 150 communities, the CP Holiday Train will finish its journey in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows (December 18th), ending in Port Coquitlam and Port Moody (December 19th). View the light displays and enjoy a free concert.

2. Skating at Robson Square Ice Rink
Free when you bring your own skates. Rentals are available for $4.00. Open December 1st until February, 2015 and on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

1. Lumiere Festival Vancouver
December 11th and 12th, 2015. In addition to dozens of dazzling lighting installations, there will be a free trolley service, free horse-drawn carriages, and free entertainment throughout the West End’s commercial streets. Miss604 is the proud Social Media Sponsor of Lumiere Festival Vancouver.

Honourable Mention: Buy One/Get One
When you purchase tickets to the Festival of Lights at VanDusen Garden (open December 1st to 31st) you get free admission to Enchanted Nights at Bloedel (which runs December 4th to January 3rd).

If you have any other events to add, send them in via my contact form and I’ll include them (free or not) on the December event list. Thank you!

** Please note that there may be costs associated with extra activities at these events and attractions, such as food/snacks, admission to other attractions or sites, etc. This post covers information available at the time of publishing and any posted signage or fees at these activities should be observed.

Enchanted Nights at Bloedel

November 25th, 2015 @ 10:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This Christmas, add even more magic and wonder to your holiday activity lineup by checking out Enchanted Nights at Bloedel.

Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park

The Bloedel Conservatory, celebrating 46 years on December 6th, is one of Vancouver’s most spectacular hidden gems. As Canada’s largest single-structure conservatory, you’ve probably spotted its geodesic-style roof at QE Park and if you’ve ventured inside you would have discovered its exotic birds, plants, and tropical paradise all encapsulated within its unique structure.

Enchanted Nights at Bloedel

Enchanted Nights at Bloedel

Walk through a miniature world of artisan fairy and sprite villages with magical lights, holiday music, and live entertainment set amongst the dome’s tropical plants and exotic birds.

The fun continues outside on the Queen Elizabeth Park plaza. Grab a treat, take a pony ride, and snap a selfie at the highest viewpoint in the city. Make a full date night of it and reserve a table for dinner at Seasons in the Park.

The miniature fairy world has been brought to life by the collective artistries of: Benjamin Kikkert of New-Small & Sterling Studio Glass; Melissa Hume of Dirty Clay Studios; Christopher Moreno of 365 Productions; The Enchanted Forest Collective; Corey Cote.

  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Park (4600 Cambie St, Vancouver)
  • When: December 4 to 24, 2015 from 4:00pm to 9:00pm
    December 25, 2015 Closed; December 26 to January 3, 2016 from 4:00pm to 9:00pm
  • Admission: Buy in person or online in advance

When you buy tickets to the Festival of Lights at VanDusen, you get free entry to Enchanted Nights at Bloedel.

Festival of Lights at VanDusen Garden

November 25th, 2015 @ 9:10am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Vancouver’s harbinger of all seasons, VanDusen Botanical Garden, is a delight to visit for the new blossoms in the spring, full foliage in summer, and the bright bursts of colour in the fall. When winter approaches, the garden is adorned with over one million sparkling bulbs during the Festival of Lights at VanDusen Garden.

Festival of Lights at VanDusen Garden
Photo credit: Ann Hung on Flickr

Festival of Lights at VanDusen Garden

This family-friendly festival features both indoor and outdoor activities and attractions, plenty of photo opportunities, holiday treats, and much more.

  • Where: VanDusen Botanical Garden
    5251 Oak St (37th and Oak) in Vancouver
  • When: December 1 – 17, 2015; December 24, 26 – 31, 2015: 4:30 to 9:00pm
    Open late December 18 – 23, 2015: 4:30 to 10:00pm
  • Admission: Buy in person or online in advance
  • Happy Holidays! (VanDusen Botanical Garden at Night)
    Photo credit: TOTORORO.RORO on Flickr

    Activities range from photos with Santa, the Dancing Lights show on Livingstone Lake, Jardins de Paris, Scandinavian gnome performances, VPL Tales from a Winter’s Night, Make-A-Wish candle grotto, toy train, sound house, and choirs performing certain nights.

    Since there’s so much to see and do, you’ll probably need some holiday treats and warm beverages. Dining and snack options include Truffles Café, Truffles Pop-up Café, Shaughnessy Restaurant, Santa’s Kitchen, Ms. Klaus’s Kettle Corn Kiosk, Rudolph on the Roof, Cin City Donuts, and Whistler Wood Fired Pizza.

    Follow VanDusen Botanical Garden on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

    New! All Festival of Lights tickets include free entry to Enchanted Nights at Bloedel Conservatory.

Pre-Sale Code for Dirty Dancing in Vancouver

November 24th, 2015 @ 7:19pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

DirtyDancingVancouverI’m pretty sure that the Dirty Dancing soundtrack was also the soundtrack for my rugby team back in high school. On our way to tournaments and away games the tape would hit the van’s deck and we’d get pumped by singing along to “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and the heart stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.”

It was an odd combination but it did take us to two provincial championships so it must have had a great effect on us.

Dirty Dancing is coming to the big stage in Vancouver and if you have memories of its scenes and music being a part of your life like I do, you’ll want to hop on this pre-sale that’s opening up on Friday.

Pre-Sale Code for Dirty Dancing in Vancouver

Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance, and sensational dancing.

When: January 12 – 17, 2016
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Seen by millions across the globe, this worldwide smash hit tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny, two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives. Don’t miss your chance to see this record-breaking live theatre sensation. You will have the time of your life!

Pre-Sale Code & Link

This pre-sale link will be ONLY available November 27 at 10:00am until November 29, 2015 and the code to use is MOVIE.


Individual tickets for the Vancouver premiere of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage will go on sale Monday, November 30 at 10am. Tickets are available at 1-855-985-5000 or through Ticketmaster online. Groups of 10 or more can call 1-800-889-8457. American Express® Cardmembers have access to some of the best seats in the house for all the Dirty Dancing performances. Performances run Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8:00pm, Sunday evening at 7:30pm with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00pm.

Follow Broadway Across Canada on Twitter and Facebook for more information about their shows coming to Vancouver in 2015-2016.