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Free Ice Skating at Robson Square Kicks Off December 1

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Free ice skating in Robson Square is a magical Vancouver Christmas tradition.  The Robson Square ice rink opens Monday, December 1, 2014 and will stay open through February 28, 2015. Round up friends, kids, a date–basically anyone who will hold hands and/or dust off your bum when you topple–and head on over.

Unlike Kitsilano Ice Rink (2690 Larch Street), the Robson Square rink is outdoors and free if you BYOS (bring your own skates).  Skate and helmet rentals are available for $4. Ice cleats are $2. It may be worth buying a pair of ice skates if you plan on visiting several times.

The rink is open 9:00am to 9:00pm Sunday to Thursday and 9am to 11pm Friday and Saturday. Holiday hours are slightly different, so you’ll want to check. It is open from noon to 5pm on Christmas day if you’re in need of physical activity after the annual wrapping paper shredding.

Robson Square Ice Rink, 800 Robson Street, Robsonsquare.com

Open Houses in Kits This Weekend

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The weekend is here and that means it’s time to talk about open houses. The real estate market in Kitsilano is starting to slow down for the season – many people will now be waiting for the new year to start thinking about selling and buying. However, there are still lots of great inventory available, and if you’re eager to move before Christmas, now is your chance!

As always, give the LiveKitsilano Team a call if you have any questions: http://livekitsilano.com/contact-us/

Open Houses in Kits This Weekend

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O Tannenbaum! German-Style Vancouver Christmas Market Opens November 22

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The German-style Vancouver Christmas Market opens this Saturday, November 22 in Queen Elizabeth Plaza. We go every year to get into the holiday spirit (Gemütlichkeit) with warm glühwein, smoked ham hock and a gingerbread decorating session with the small folk.

The village consists of about 50 rustic wooden huts surrounding a soaring Tannenbaum festooned with thousands of lights. The vendors have every kind of German (and international) Christmas treat you can imagine ranging from stollen, marzipan, black forest ham and schnitzel to poutine, crepes, maple candy and borscht. If you’re shopping for gifts or decor, there’s a good selection of glass ornaments, wooden toys, and Christmas stars. Read more…

Awesome Deals on Winter Gear at MEC Snowfest November 22

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Grouse and Cypress opened November 15. If the only thing stopping you from heading up to ski/snowboard our Vancouver resorts is a lack of gear, MEC SnowFest this Saturday, November 22 is for you. SnowFest is the place to find great deals on used snowsports gear. So much so that people (and we mean people who really know how to camp) sleep outside in the cold to be the first through the door at 9am.

How it works: Vancouverites bring in used gear for consignment and MEC sells them at really affordable prices. Read more…

Deck the Halls! Where to Buy Christmas Greenery in Kitsilano

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Image: Celsia Floral

It’s past the tipping point in November and we’re already thinking about gussying up the house for Christmas. We’re also on the lookout for pretty host/hostess gifts for all the holiday parties. Our search for Christmas greenery and blooms for led us to Kitsilano florist Celsia tucked just off West Fourth at Arbutus. We’ve already covered them for our round-up of best florists in Kitsilano. Now they’re at the top of our list for festive Christmas arrangements.

Their square wreaths, snow white orchids and succulent planters satisfy our design-minded friends. The voluptuous scarlet bloom bouquets and centrepieces are perfect for folks who appreciate simple, vibrant beauty.

Celsia Floral, 1930 Arbutus St, www.celsiafloral.com

Cool Thing We Want: BC Craft Beer Advent Calendar

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You know what they say, Christmas is the hop-hoppiest season of all. The craft-beer-themed gift we want to give and receive? A BC craft beer advent calendar. The original Beer Advent Calendar (known as the Snowcase) was first put out by Philips Brewery and featured 24 different brews. The case is available at various BC Liquor Stores.

We’re even more stoked about the Mystery Gift beer advent calendar colloaboration by hotshots Parallel 49 and Central City Brewers. It’s an assortment of 22 mystery craft beers from the breweries, plus two special collaboration beers.

“We did a sort of black forest cake beer. So it’s kind of a strong porter and we put cherries and cocoa nibs to get the chocolate flavor,” said Parallel 49 brewmaster Graham With.

Gary Lohin of Central City Brewers created a Belgian double style for the boozy present box.
“It’s a classic style and it uses a yeast that the monks use in Belgium and I also added rum soaked raisins in the beer, being the holiday time I thought that kind of fit, Christmas pudding style too,” he told CTV News.

The craft beer advent calendar sells for $74.95 a case and is available in government liquor stores across B.C. and parts of Alberta.

3 Open Houses in Kits This Weekend

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Hopefully the sun stays shining during the weekend open houses. It always makes for a more enjoyable day, and makes every place you’ll see look a little better. LiveKitsilano‘s clients always appreciate when they get the the heads up to wear shoes that are easy to get on or off when visiting a slew of open houses in one day, so consider that the next time you get out to look at some Kitsilano Real Estate. Read more…

Kitsilano Neighbourhood House is Throwing a Heck of a Party to Celebrate their Rebuild Nov. 14-16

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After 3 years and nearly $20 million, Kitsilano Neighbourhood House is celebrating the completion of a their restoration project with a housewarming party this weekend Nov. 14 to 16.

As reported by The Courier, the celebration kicks off Nov. 14 with the Kits House Review featuring a Musqueam blessing with Debra Sparrow, Musqueam hip hop with Christie Lee, storytellers, Zach Grey of the Zolas and “his old dad John” (as John Maclachlan Gray, composer, performer and playwright likes to be billed), and Barbara Jackson and Friends.

VIP guests include Bill Duncan, the first executive director of Kits House, and Kico Gonzalez-Risso, who ran the Kitsilano Theatre Company and coordinated many cultural events in the community, including the annual Kitsilano Folk Festival. Mary Bennett, celebration planner at Kits House, describes the event as a “Kitsilano-style love-in.” Tickets are $30/$15.

Other weekend events include free site tours — Nov. 14 from 6 to 7:30pm, Nov. 15 from 10am to 3pm and Nov. 16 from noon to 5pm — and an open house Saturday from 10am to 3pm offering storytelling circles, performances, workshops, presentations and a youth evening of art featuring a speed-painting workshop. Read more…

Rain or Shine Ice Cream Turns One

Ginger with caramelized pear. Image: Rain or Shine

Ginger with caramelized pear. Image: Rain or Shine

West 4th Avenue biz Rain or Shine just turned one. So we thought we’d give them the birthday gift of reminding readers that ice cream tastes delicious in the rain too. Rain or Shine is still rolling out those irresistible, limited-edition, seasonal flavours. Get a head start on your hibernation layers with better-than-cookie-dough brown butter snickerdoodle and sophisticated, peppery ginger with caramelized pear. For our vegan friends, there’s also a really lovely spiced apple sorbet. Don’t forget: ice cream is an ideal accessory for pie, crisps, cobblers, crumbles, waffles and more.  Or just go get a cone. Happy licking, folks.

Rain or Shine Ice Cream, 102-1926 West 4th Avenue, www.rainorshineicecream.com