What to do on the Thanksgiving long weekend in Vancouver

by Akeena Legall

Canadian Thanksgiving – inaugurated to our roster of public holidays in 1957 – was created as an opportunity to give thanks for the harvest. While most Vancouverites are no longer working on the family farm, there are plenty of reasons to express gratitude – and many things to do in the city during the Thanksgiving long weekend! [Photo courtesy of Granville Island Turkey Trot]

What to do on the Thanksgiving long weekend in Vancouver

Granville Island Turkey Trot

The Granville Island Turkey Trot is a hallmark Thanksgiving event. The kids’ run happens on October 8th, followed by the 10-kilometre run along the seawall on the 9th for adults. The race starts each day on Cartwright Street and promises food, drinks, music and prizes. It’s a great opportunity to meld Thanksgiving with community fitness and giving back (the Turkey Trot helps support the Greater Vancouver Food Bank).

Thanks for Giving

Arts Club Theatre has a great selection of shows for their fall season, which includes Kevin Loring’s Thanks for Giving, a play about a First Nations family during the Thanksgiving season. Developed as part of the Silver Commissions Project, the play explores family legacy across several generations. Thanks for Giving runs from October 5th to November 4th.

Shop ‘til you drop

A great part of Thanksgiving weekend is all the shopping and sales that are available! Most stores on Vancouver’s Robson Street – the city’s downtown shopping epicentre with over 100 retail spaces and restaurants – will remain open during the long weekend. If you’re out in Burnaby, Japanese casual wear store Uniqlo will be opening their first Vancouver location at Metrotown the Friday before Thanksgiving.

Eat (and drink too)!

Thanksgiving falls smack dab in the middle of B.C.’s Craft Beer Month and Harvest Haus (Vancouver’s version of Oktoberfest), so there will be a host of tastings and beer gardens for you to sample your favourite ales and IPAs. If you want to pass on the brew, there is still an assortment of restaurants open with Thanksgiving feasts on the menu. Check out Yew (at the Four Seasons Hotel), The Irish Heather and H2’s Thanksgiving cooking class and feast. Vancouver’s farmers’ markets, located throughout the city in neighbourhoods like Mount Pleasant, Trout Lake, Kitsilano, Riley Park and the West End, also have heaps of locally grown fresh produce for sale if you’re planning to cook up a feast at home for friends and family.

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