Bright Nights in Stanley Park Christmas Train 2014

November 20th, 2014 @ 2:43pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Bright Nights in Stanley Park Christmas Train returns for its 17th season from November 27th until January 4th. Enjoy a dazzling light display, music, snacks, entertainment, and visits with Santa in the heart of Stanley Park.

Photo credit: Bright Nights in Stanley Park

Stanley Park Christmas Train Hours

Thursday, November 27, 2014 until Thursday, December 18, 2014
Open daily from 3:00pm until 10:00pm and from 10:00am to 11:00pm Fridays to Sundays

Friday, December 19, 2014 until Friday, December 26, 2014
Open daily from 10:00am to 11:00pm, closed on Christmas Day

Saturday, December 27, 2014 until Sunday, January 4, 2015
Open daily from 10:00am to 10:00pm

Stanley Park Christmas Train Admission

Admission to the site is by donation and tickets for the train can be purchased in advance via Ticketleader online or by phone (604) 252-3700. Same day tickets will be available starting November 27th at the on-site Miniature Railway Box Office in Stanley Park from 12:00pm (10:00am for Matinees). Train tickets are $11.00 (Adults 18–64); $8.00 (child and youth 3-17); $8.00 (seniors 65+) and free for children 2 and under. Tickets are $6.00 for matinées (all ages).

Monies raised through donations in the front gate bins go directly to the Burn Fund, which provides life-saving, life supporting and life enriching services to the people in BC. More than 3,800 professional fire fighters around the province dedicate their time and skills to support burn survivors. They increase the public’s knowledge about fire and burn safety through its Burn Awareness, Research and Prevention programs.

The Burn Fund encourages visitors to show their generosity by bringing food items for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. Food bins will be on-site at the entrance gate.

Follow the Bright Nights in Stanley Park Christmas Train on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

Best Buy Robotic Toy Giveaway

November 20th, 2014 @ 1:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Best Buy is home to toys for all ages, whether you like to play music or video games, take or print photos, or accessorize your gadgets and gear. Best Buy online also has a toy section, filled with everything from remote control cars, learning toys, and robotics to DVD board games and building blocks.


For ages 1 to 100, Best Buy carries a vast selection of toys and gadgets for kids of all ages. You’ll find a great assortment of toys from VTech, LeapFrog, Parrot, Protocol, Hexbug, LEGO, Mattel, Hasbro and Traxxas.

Today’s remote controlled vehicles go beyond cars and ATVs – which are all still very cool – but more advanced vehicles now include a selection of helicopters and quadricopters that are designed to fly just like the real thing. Many models let you fly indoors or out, and can even be easily piloted by just about anyone with opposable thumbs.

Find a wide assortment of comic book, video game, and movie themed collectibles to add to your shelf or pick up a DVD edition board game and you’ll discover a more interactive experience than traditional board games that are just as much fun.

Best Buy Robotic Toy Giveaway

To promote their toy department, both online and in store, Best Buy has offered up two toys for me to give away: The WowWee Mip 2 Robot and Zoomer Boomer Dino.

MiPThe perfect companion for gadget enthusiasts and allergy-plagued pet lovers alike, the WowWee MiP Robot offers fun and intuitive interaction controlled by your smartphone and GestureSense technology. MiP plays games, dances, battles, balances and more – with an immersive personality and impressive response time, you’ll be a MiPster at first swipe. MiP might only hit your ankles height-wise, but he’s a little powerhouse of high-tech, kid-savvy fun. And best of all? This is one little robot that can actually bring you a sandwich too. Suitable for ages 8+

BoomerBoomer is a ferocious but cuddly Zoomer Dino. Take home your very own Jurassic friend with this tame robot dinosaur. Featuring interactive abilities, this zooming dino can spin, chomp, and roar as he roams around your home. Boomer can be cute and friendly, but watch out for his chompers, especially when you pull his tail. Suitable for kids ages 5 and up.

Here’s how you can enter to win these two toys:

  • Leave a comment naming which of these robotic toys you would like to win (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win a @BBYCanadaDeals robotic toy giveaway from @Miss604

I will draw two winners (one for each prize) at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Tuesday, November 25, 2014. Follow Best Buy Canada on Twitter and Facebook for more gift ideas this holiday season.

3 Reasons to Attend the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival

November 19th, 2014 @ 2:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The annual Surrey Tree Lighting Festival takes place Saturday, November 22nd at the new Surrey City Hall Plaza. It’s a highlight of the holiday season and although I could name many more, here are 3 big reasons to attend this free family festival this year:

Photo via Surrey Tree Lighting Festival on Facebook

The Lineup

Surrey City Hall and Central City will each host two stages. At Surrey City Hall you’ll find:

Outdoor Main Stage:
2:00pm PraiseTEAM
3:15pm Bobs & LoLo
4:15pm Fred Penner
5:00pm VOC Sweet Soul Gospel Choir
6:10pm Olivia Penalva
5:30pm The Tourist Company
6:15pm Tree Lighting Ceremony
7:00pm Alyssa Reid
Indoor Snowflake Stage:
12:00pm Top Line Vocal Collective
1:00pm Rockin Robin Show
2:00pm Kwantlen Glee Club
3:00pm Lavrova Dance School
3:30pm Santa Claus the Panto
4:00pm Olivia Penalva
5:00pm Bobs & LoLo
5:30pm Queen Elsa and Anna

Have your picture with Santa at the shopping centre before making your way to the festival outside between 11:30am and 4:00pm. At Central City Mall:

Indoor Winterland Stage near Winners:
Face painting, balloon twists, holiday arts and crafts, Christmas carols, and more!

11:00am Princess Margaret Choir
12noon Kwantlen Glee Club
1:00pm Soundscape A Cappella Chorus
2:00pm Top Line Vocal Collective
3:00pm Soundscape A Cappella Chorus
4:00pm VOC Sweet Soul Gospel Choir

Outdoor Stage at Central City Plaza you’ll find:
11:00am Kwantlen Glee Club
11:30am Santa Claus The Panto
12noon Soundscape A Cappella Chorus
12:30pm Princess Margaret Choir
1:00pm Top Line Vocal Collective
1:45pm VOC Sweet Soul Gospel Choir
2:30pm Robyn & Ryleigh
3:15pm The Fab Fourever
4:15pm Stag Lighting Ceremony
4:25pm Santa March

The Activities

There is always so much fun to be had at the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival! From Central City Mall over to Surrey City Hall (inside and outside) your family can enjoy: Photos with Santa, a Miniature Christmas Train, the Storytime Igloo, a Giant Snowglobe, shopping at the Christmas Market, Storyville at the Library (next to City Hall), delicious and festive fare from Food Vendors, Ice Carving Demos, the Road Hockey Zone, the Shooting Star Ferris Wheel, Holiday Trolley Rides, a stroll down Candy Cane Lane, and Ornament Making with Surrey Nature Centre.

The Causes

The Surrey Tree Lighting Festival supports three local causes: The Surrey Food Bank, The Surrey Christmas Bureau, and the Surrey Fire Fighters Association Toy Drive. Bring a non-perishable food item donation, cash, or a new unwrapped toy to donate to these causes at the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival. The Surrey Fire Fighters are gathering unwrapped toys for their Adopt-a-Family event and they’ll event help you drop off your toys if you don’t want to get out of the car. Learn more …»

You can also enter to win a Meet and Greet with Alyssa Reid or a Meet and Greet with Elsa and Anna! See full contest details here and follow the Surrey Events team on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

Miss604 is a proud sponsor of the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival

Vancouver Christmas Market

November 19th, 2014 @ 11:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The 5th annual Vancouver Christmas Market opens on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza in Downtown Vancouver. This slice of European holiday cheer hosts 50 unique vendors and a variety of themed activities through to Wednesday, December 24, 2014.

Vancouver Christmas Market

Vancouver Christmas Market

Take a spin on Vancouver’s only Christmas Carousel, enjoy some glühwein and schnitzel, and shop for holiday treats, gifts, and decorations. There is also a full schedule of live entertainment including a performance from the legendary Dal Richards on opening day, November 22nd.

Being in the open air, with the warm aromas of baked goods and European fare, shopping for gifts and browsing hundreds of unique ornaments are all reasons why I love visiting the market each year.

Vancouver Christmas Market Vancouver Christmas Market

Vancouver Christmas Market Vancouver Christmas Market Vancouver Christmas Market

Vancouver Christmas Market, located at 650 Hamilton St, will be open daily from 11:00am to 9:00pm, and until 6:00pm on Christmas Eve. Admission is $7 for adults (13+) in the evenings after 4:00pm and $4 during the day from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Seniors (60+) receive $1 off admission, youth (7-12) are $3 and children (0-6) are free anytime.

For the price of any paid admission, visitors will be given a free season’s pass so that they can return to the market anytime over the course of the 33-day event. Those who attend between 11:00am and 2:00pm on weekdays can beat the crowds and enjoy 2-for-1 lunch admission.

Vancouver Christmas Market Vancouver Christmas Market

Vancouver Christmas Market Vancouver Christmas Market

Win Tickets

If you would like to check out the market, I have a 4-pack of gate tickets to give away (good for any day of the market). Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post naming your favourite holiday decorations, crafts, or ornaments (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win tickets to the @VanChristmas Market from @Miss604

Follow the Vancouver Christmas Market on Twitter and Facebook for more special event information. I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Tuesday, November 25, 2014.

Vancouver Photos of the Week

November 19th, 2014 @ 10:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

It’s been a gloriously crisp November so far and before the rain arrives, I wanted to make sure to share a beautiful collection of photos that have been shared with the Miss604 Flickr Pool and #Photos604 on Instagram over the last week and a half:

Vancouver Photos of the Week

Do you love me ?
Photo credit: Norm Lee on Flickr

Garden Couple IMG_8275
Photo credit: Gemy on Flickr

View from the Vancouver Lookout
Photo credit: Patrick King on Flickr

A photo posted by Henry Lee (@fotoeins) on

Fall on the Lake
Photo credit: Brigitte Mueller on Flickr

II Water St., Vancouver
Photo credit: Jianwei Yang & Jianwei Yang on Flickr

Sunlight on Granville
Photo credit: Eric Flexyourhead on Flickr

White Rock beach and pier
Photo credit: Ruth Hartnup on Flickr

Deep Cove III Icy Shores
Photo credit: Greg Beatty & Norm Lee on Flickr

Feeding Time Rolling through autumn.
Photo credit: Jaden Nyberg & Greg Herringer on Flickr

A photo posted by Jim (@misterjimw) on

Sunset Heron Georgia Viaduct
Photo credit: Greg Beatty & Philip Tong on Flickr

Walk in the Sunshine
Photo credit: Don Janus on Flickr

Hockey Night In Canada
Photo credit: Clayton Perry on Flickr

night unfolding
Photo credit: Shannon Leigh Photography on Flickr

Granville Island Public Market
Photo credit: Alexis Birkill on Flickr

When The Lights Go Down In My City
Photo credit: Jose B. G. Santos on Flickr

The Transparent Bus
Photo credit: Carol Nixon on Flickr

As always, please click through on these images to view more work from the photographers and feel free to share your own photos with the Miss604 Flickr Pool or with the tag #Photos604 on Instagram. View all photo collections here.

Christmas at Hycroft 2014

November 18th, 2014 @ 4:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Start the season off in the warmth of historic Hycroft Manor at the 42nd annual holiday fair. Hosted by the University Women’s Club, Christmas at Hycroft runs daily from Thursday, November 20th until Sunday November 23rd.


Christmas at Hycroft

Enjoy live entertainment, unique boutiques, local artisans, traditional treats and visits with Santa. Have a cup soup in the terrace bistro, tour the manor’s beautiful decor, shop the boutiques on the second floor, and enter to win door prizes.

Brass Quintet

Where: Hycroft Manor (1489 McRae Ave, Vancouver)
When: 11:00am to 9:00pm (Monday to Saturday) and 11:00am to 6:00pm (Sunday).
Admission: $15 for adults, children 12 and under are free. Valet parking is available for $5 and coat check is complimentary.

Tako Banana1 Quiet moment in the Drawing Room Banyon Books Library
Photos by Christmas at Hycroft on Flickr

Activities and exhibitors will also be outside at the Courtyard Fair. In the Coach House pick up homemade Christmas preserves, puddings, mincemeat, lemon curd, lemon lentil soup, and baked goods served up by the Hycroft Kitchen Creations Team. Olde World Fudge will have caramel, peanut brittle, and almond bark and Purdys Chocolates will have all your favourites likes Hedgehogs, assorted chocolate Gift Tins, Christmas stockings and more.

Follow Christmas at Hycroft on Twitter and Facebook for more information.

TOMS for Target Canada Giveaway

November 18th, 2014 @ 1:20pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

TOMS, the canvas shoe company famous for its One for One® giving model, has launched a collection for men, women, kids, and your home at Target Canada stores. While supplies last, your purchase of a poncho, throw blanket, denim shirt, toque, tee, or hoodie from the TOMS for Target line contributes a week’s work of meals or a blanket to someone in need.

tomshoes tomshoodies
TOMS for Target photos courtesy of Target Canada.

TOMS for Target

TOMS for Target, which launched on November 16th, features more than 50 items, each under $50, and will be available at all Target stores in the US and Canada, as well as Beyond TOMS’ beloved slip-ons, the collection includes home goods and apparel and accessories for women, men and kids, meaning you’ll have a lot to choose from.

With your help, TOMS for Target has the potential to provide more than 11 million meals, blankets and shoes to those in need. Every TOMS for Target apparel, accessory and home good purchase results in the donation of a blanket through the American Red Cross or Canadian Red Cross, or one week of meals through Feeding America or Food Banks Canada. And for every TOMS for Target pair of shoes sold, a pair will go to a child in need.

TOMS for Target photo courtesy of Target Canada.

Win a TOMS for Target Gift Card

Target Canada has offered up a $100 gift card to one lucky Miss604 reader. Now you can shop for yourself or to knock some names off your Christmas list all while also supporting two great causes. Here’s how you can enter to win:

RT to enter to win a $100 #TOMSforTarget @TargetCanada gift card from @Miss604

I will draw one winner at 12:00pm on Sunday, November 23, 2014. Follow Target Canada on Facebook and Twitter for more information about the TOMS for Target line, and locate your nearest Target here.

Rogers Santa Claus Parade 2014

November 18th, 2014 @ 10:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Downtown Vancouver will see back-to-back parade weekends with the Grey Cup Parade on Saturday, November 29th followed by the annual Rogers Santa Claus Parade on Sunday, December 7th.

Photo credit: Cameron on Flickr

Rogers Santa Claus Parade

When: Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 1:00pm
Where: The Parade starts at Georgia and Broughton, travels east on Georgia to Howe, turns south on Howe, and finishes at Howe and Davie.

Ringing in a new season of giving and holiday cheer, the Rogers Santa Claus Parade attracts 300,000 spectators to downtown Vancouver each year and will include 3,500 participants with 65 marching bands, choirs, festive floats, and community groups.

Aside from watching the parade along its route, you can also head down to the Robson Square Ice Rink for family activities. Enjoy free skating (rentals $4) and photos with Santa (3:00pm to 5:00pm).

Around the front of the Vancouver Art Gallery you’ll find the Coast Capital Savings Christmas Square with a Food Bank drop-off zone, gingerbread decorating station, face painting, Letters to Santa station, balloon twisting, and an entertainment stage featuring several music and dance performances.

On parade day, spectators are encouraged to bring a monetary or non-perishable food donation for the Food Bank. For each dollar donated, the food Bank can purchase three dollars’ worth of food. The Rogers Santa Claus Parade is one of the largest food and fund raising events for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. Since 2004, the Parade has collected $132,400 and more than 73,500 lbs. of food for hungry families in the Lower Mainland. Follow the parade on Twitter and Facebook for more information.