Nikki Nikki 9Dorz

While life may not really begin at 40, it sure as hell does not end, so why not make the rest of your journey amazing?

“Merry Christmas from Me and Matthew McConaughey, Bitches!”, or “Fun Filled Christmas Events in Vancouver, for the Adult in All of Us”

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Me: “Hey Babe, do you wanna come to the Candytown event in Yaletown with me on Saturday?”
The BF: “Ummmm nooooo.”
Me: “But Christmas. Is. Coming!!!”
The BF: Silence
Me: “It says there will be booze?!?!”
The BF: “I’m in!”

Sadly, this verbal exchange is presented with very little hyperbolic affectation.

You see, I LOVE Christmas, which is a pretty ballsy declaration for a childless woman in her 40’s, as it has the tendency to cue emphatic declarations from well meaning folks who feel the need to insist that they did not know the meaning of Christmas until little (insert name of offspring here) came along. This in turn cues me to tag them in every Facebook status for the next month that declares what a fabulous time I am having drinking a lovely bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir at a fabulous wine bar on a Wednesday night with (insert name of their celebrity crush here). Okay, maybe there was a wee bit of hyperbole applied there, but I digress.

As I dragged my very patient yet forlorn BF down Mainland Street last Saturday (you see the event organizers failed to update their website, and alas, there was no Candyland Cocktail tour this year), I began to think that there has to be a way to tailor one’s own experience at such holiday events so that Christmas crazy adults such as myself can celebrate on our own terms, in ways that do not always have to revolve around the kiddos.

So whether you are childless and looking for ways to celebrate this season, or you are a parent looking for event ideas that will allow you to be footloose and Olaf free for an evening or two over the holidays, here is a list of my favorite holiday happenings in Vancouver, all with a Nikki 9Dorz twist!

Christmas in Vancouver

US Thanksgiving Dinner

Long before Black Friday became the door busting, violence ridden brouhaha that we have come to know it as today, a family tradition saw me spending the last Thursday/weekend of November (aka American Thanksgiving) in Seattle, and this adopted holiday will forever mark the official start of the Christmas season for me.

If you want to kick off the holidays by celebrating along with neighbours to the south you don’t have to brave the border line ups and suck up the current crappy currency exchange rate in order to get your own piece of drool worthy turkey action. While not widely advertised, on November 27th the Gramercy Grill will offer a scrumptious three course, fixed price, Thanksgiving dinner that is a great way to kick off the season in an intimate and sophisticated atmosphere which is perfect for a mid-week date night or an evening out with friends.

Reservations are required so be sure to call and reserve your spot for tomorrow night ASAP!

Peak of Christmas – Grouse Mountain

Granted, there are a lot of family oriented activities once you step off the gondola, but with that said there are many ways that you can customize your adventure to ensure that it has a grown up feel, while not missing out on any of the Christmas themed good times.

Even if you do choose to brave the kid riddled chaos that is the outdoor skating pond, or opt to take in a family focused presentation by the Reindeer Rangers (because seriously, who does not want to get up close and personal with a reindeer?), a perfect anchor for the day is to lock down a reservation for the fixed price Christmas lunch at Grouse Mountain’s only 5 star dining venue, The Observatory. Entrees such as Parsley and Ricotta Gnocchi and Nori Cured Salmon offer pretty reasonable insurance (not to mention the $55 a person price tag) that most families with a pack of young ‘uns in tow will not be choosing this venue as their go to lunch spot, thereby providing you with an adult friendly refuge in which to enjoy a festive holiday meal.

The Peak of Christmas 2014 begins on November 28th, but please note that Christmas lunch is only offered from December 1 to 24, and reservations are required.

Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical Garden: 30th Anniversary

While their website boasts nightly gnome performances, shadow puppet shows, and photos with Santa, don’t let that scare you away from venturing out to experience this dazzling display.

Simply put, the VanDusen Botanical Garden is HUGE, and with over a million lights adorning the greenery you can easily stroll around the grounds at your own pace, avoiding the highly congested, family themed areas, and enjoy the display on your own terms.

With that said, the one high traffic area you do not want to skip is the garden’s gift shop. Many of the items carry a steep price tag, but their seasonal products are absolutely gorgeous and will be sure to offer some upscale inspiration for your own holiday decorating plans.

The Festival of Lights is open from Wednesday, December 10, 2014 to Sunday, January 4, 2015, (closed on Christmas Day) and with this year being the 30th anniversary of the event I cannot wait to see what they have in store for visitors this year.

Vancouver Christmas Market

Several varieties of warm hooch, the sweet and savory aromas of freshly cooked meat and baked goods mingling together in the crisp, winter air AND Christmas dazzle as far as the eye can see? Are you kidding me right now? Seriously, this place is my personal version of Christmas paradise!

For a more mature market experience simply side step the carousel action, grab your mug of traditional Glühwein, and take a few minutes to map out your culinary game plan before diving into the stalls. Every year the food vendors consistently step up their game, and you want to make sure that you reserve some valuable real estate in your gullet for all your faves!

In order to avoid meet and greets with Santa or similar moth-to-a-flame, children riddled attractions be sure to check the performance schedule when planning your visit to make sure that the action lined up for the gazebo stage is not going to cramp your Feuerzangenbowle guzzling style.

The Vancouver Christmas Market is open from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm from now until December 23rd, and from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm on December 24th.

 

Remember,  even though many Christmas activities are focused on the young, they should also be enjoyed by the young at heart.

 

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Do you have a favorite Christmas event where you add your own adult twist? Please share your own traditions with the Nikki Nikki 9Dorz community in the comments section below!

 

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