The Gift of Play

For the life of me I cannot recall the exact gift my grandma lovingly wrapped and left under the tree for me on my tenth Christmas. But to this very day if I close my eyes I can remember perfectly the intoxicating aroma of sugar and vanilla that swirled around us in her cozy country kitchen the year she taught me her secret for rolling out a perfect sheet of cookie dough. I can see pride that warmed her cheeks when that first batch came out of the oven, golden, smooth, and perfect. And most importantly, I can remember the fun we had that day each time I gather the ingredients and prepare to carry on the tradition of making her signature shortbread cookies.


While my inner Cabbage Patch Kid obsessed third grader may protest, my most treasured holiday memories have nothing to do with presents I have received (please forgive me, Beatrice Jocelyn). The gifts I will always value the most are the experiences I have shared with my family and friends.

With this in mind, Play365 has come up with a list of fun Vancouver experiences to give as gifts or share with your loved ones over the holiday season.

Yearly Membership – Vancouver Art Gallery

No matter whether your peeps favor exploring the gallery halls alone or whooping it up at the city’s largest art party, a yearly membership to the Vancouver Art Gallery makes a fantastic gift for the art lover in your life.

Core benefits include exclusive invitations to members-only exhibitions, free admission to FUSE, and unlimited admission to the gallery year-round.

Perfect for both individuals and families, and with a regular rotation of world-class exhibits, no two visits the Vancouver Art Gallery are ever the same.

For full details on the benefits of an annual membership and current exhibitions visit the Vancouver Art Gallery’s website.

Vancouver Food Tour

One of my favourite things to do when visiting a new city is to go on a local food tour, and Vancouver has some fabulous options that are sure to enchant both out-of-town adventurers and food-savvy locals.

Offering a wide-array of options ranging from neighbourhood focused adventures to a luxury, multi-day, West Coast Foodie Adventure, Vancouver Food Tours is a one-stop-shop for the culinary connoisseurs on your holiday gift list. And word to the wise, you may just want to tag-along. These tours make a great group outing!

For more information on the tours offered and how to buy gift certificates check out their website.

The Dirty Apron Cooking School

While many downtown dwellers are intimately acquainted with the delicious daily offerings found at The Dirty Apron’s Delicatessen, what you may not know is that they also host cooking courses.

These hands-on, engaging classes are often led by well-known local chefs, and allow students to sit down and feast on their creations once each course of the meal has been completed.

Looking for an experience for you and your sweetie to share? Take in a couples class!

Visit the The Dirty Apron’s website for more information about the cooking school and the wide range of classes offered.

Vancouver Photowalks

Do you have a budding photographer on your gift list?

Or perhaps your brother/aunt/nephew/grandfather who spends their life behind the lens is coming to visit you over the holidays?

Vancouver Photowalks offer visitors and locals alike a unique way to experience the city and enhance their urban photography skills all at the same time!

Whether strolling past iconic landmarks in Gastown or capturing the Vancouver skyline from Granville Island by Night, this experience will be one that you and your loved one will treasure for years to come!

To learn more about the fantastic folks behind Vancouver Photowalks and the experiences they offer visit their website.

Nicole Westcott is a Vancouver dwelling, Fluevog wearing, canine enthusiast who loves this city! She is the Community Manager at Aquilini Centre West, and her favorite ways to play include exploring new food and beverage experiences, dancing until dawn, and whipping around the Vancouver Seawall on her beloved bicycle, “Elwood”.

 Nicole Westcott