What’s on this February in Vancouver

by Jessica Napier

While it’s totally understandable to feel a little grim in February – the festive holiday season is long gone and it’s still wet and dark outside – there are also plenty of things to see and do in Vancouver this month that’ll help lift your spirits. Read on for our awesome ideas on how to banish the winter blues. [Image courtesy of Au Comptoir; photo credit: Amy Ho]

What’s on this February in Vancouver

Drink and dine

Given up on all those New Year’s resolutions? Good! Now it’s time to start enjoying all those gluttonous goodies again. In addition to the infamous Dine Out Vancouver Festival (on January 20 to February 5), there are a number of exciting culinary events happening in the city this month.

Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar is all about the vino this February and will be hosting two special wine-tasting events for enthusiastic oenophiles. The chic downtown restaurant teams up with Wines of British Columbia on February 4 to host an Explore BC Wine Brunch. The boozy brunch will feature seven pouring stations with some of the province’s top wineries – including Vancouver Island’s Church and State Wines and Tantalus Vineyards from the Okanagan Valley – and tasty seafood canapés prepared by Boulevard’s award-winning executive chef Alex Chen. Then on February 15, Sonoma-based Kendall-Jackson Winemaster Randy Ullom will be making the trip across the border to host a Cool Climates of California dinner at Boulevard during the Vancouver International Wine Festival. Guests will have the opportunity to savour a five-course feast alongside wine pairings that highlight the unique terroir of the California coast.

If you’re a sucker for sweet sipper, you won’t want to miss Vancouver’s annual Hot Chocolate Festival. Now in its seventh season, the 27-day event is a celebration of all things cocoa. From January 19 to February 14, almost 30 of the city’s best cafés and restaurants will be serving up tasty limited-edition beverages featuring creative ingredients. Highlights include Bella Gelateria’s dark hot chocolate spiked with Red Truck stout beer, a vegan affogato-style spiced hot chocolate with chai tea ice cream from Earnest Ice Cream, and Temper Pastry’s sweet white hot chocolate blended with raspberry matcha tea and topped with freeze-dried raspberry meringue. Check out our complete Hot Chocolate Festival guide to get the full lineup of participants and read all the decadent details about the 61 flavours on offer.

And while football fans consider Super Bowl Sunday to be the sporting highlight of the year, we know this annual televised tradition is all about the snacks. Wings, nacho platters, hot dogs, hearty bowls of chilli and other game-day bites will be on deck on February 5 during the many Super Bowl parties happening in Vancouver. And of course, there’ll be beer specials, games and prize giveaways to get you through the half-time show.

Embrace winter’s chill

Ever wanted to ski down a mountain at the stroke of midnight? If you’re willing to brave the cold, bundle up and head to the Peak of Vancouver on February 11 to 12 for Grouse Mountain’s 24 Hours of Winter celebration. From Saturday morning until Sunday evening, visitors can enjoy non-stop access to the mountain’s epic alpine runs and terrain park for next-level night skiing and snowboarding. Not into downhill? No problem! There will be lots of fun round-the-clock activities for young and old, including guided snowshoe tours at sunrise, sunset and midnight, mountaintop ice-skating, zip lining, candlelit yoga and meditation, and a live DJ dance party at Altitudes Bistro.

Family Day fun

There’s nothing like a long weekend to help take the edge off February’s damp and dreary weather. But how will you use the extra day off work? In keeping with its intention, Family Day is best spent with your near-and-dear. From kid-friendly museums to epic toy stores, there are tons of places to entertain your little ones in Vancouver during the long weekend; you can even enjoy a beer with your brood at one of the city’s family-friendly watering holes. And if you’re looking to get out of town, Whistler is a world-class winter destination with fun activities to enjoy on or off the slopes (plus delicious après-ski dining options, to boot).

Valentines in Vancouver

Romance in the rain? Absolutely! Love is in the air this month and Vancouver couples have plenty of options when it comes to showing off their affection for one another. From special Valentine's Day dinner menus and date-night dessert spots to indoor partner workouts and couples massages, this West Coast city is a haven for lovers. Check out our complete guide to celebrating Valentine’s in Vancouver for a full rundown of the city’s best florists, chocolatiers, spas and all your V-day essentials. And if you’ve been totally struck by cupid’s arrow, why not pop the question? Because who doesn’t love a romantic proposal story.

Discover the great indoors

Vancouver might be known for its majestic outdoor landscape, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience awe-inspiring moments indoors too. Escape the rain and head over to the renowned Vancouver Art Gallery to check out the current exhibit, Vancouver Special: Ambivalent Pleasures (on now until mid April), which features creative works from the last five years from 40 emerging artists. Conceptual, abstract and occasionally quite surreal, these thought-provoking artworks evoke the complexities of the 21st century.

If you’re more into comedy than contemporary art, Vancouver’s beloved Theatre Sports League will have you rolling in the aisles during their International TheatreSports Festival on February 1 to 14. Local improv teams will compete in a round-robin style comedy tournament with audiences scoring their favourite performers. Vancouver’s top comedic talent will then take on international superstars from around the world as teams from Europe, the U.S. and India are invited to take the stage to perform laugh-out-loud sketches.

Sure February might be cold and dark, but it’s also the shortest month of the year – so you might as well do your best to take advantage of it!

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