Fresh starts and new beginnings - some may see January as a depressing month after the holidays, but I beg to differ. I prefer to see it as the end of an old self and the opening chapter to a new self, a better self, a self ready for change, growth, and restoration. So what better way to do that than to give yourself a bucket list of fun and exciting things to do in the city?
New years resolutions don't have to be as serious as having a complete 180 change in your career, or transforming your long term passion project into viable bread and butter. It can be as simple as making a genuine effort to see your BFFs Nicole and Emma more often over some brunch, nurturing your relationship with your S/O by spoiling them once in a while with romantic dates, actually having fun in life and giving yourself a break from your hectic 9 to 5 or ridiculously burdening school life. At the end of the day, do what makes you happy and you'll see a massive change in your attitude in all other aspects of the year, and more.
While we can't personally be there to motivate you to do things, we can suggest some awesome things you absolutely have to do in January to get the ball rolling. Whether you want take your S/O out on the most romantic date of your lives, treat your sister to the fanciest, most boujee dinner ever, or just have fun even when you're on a tight budget, we've got an activity for that. So to fresh starts and new beginnings, here are 40 things you gotta do this January 2018 in Vancouver.
Happy new year, fam!
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Grab a fancy cocktail at HJU:Z Lounge.
Whether you want to walk the cobblestone sidewalks of Paris or roam the sleepless streets of New York, HJU:Z Lounge can take you there with their international metropolitan-inspired drinks. From the Eiffel 75 to the Apple Jack Silver Fizz, let this new bar and lounge transport you to another city with just the sip of a drink.
Be immersed in a floral-inspired dining experience at The Botanist.
If you have a friend who absolutely adores plants, or if that's you, then you must take the time to dine at The Botanist. Step inside a bright and open dining space with soft and feminine decor that your Instagram feed lusts for. Not only is the interior botanically inspired, but so is the delicious menu.
Get dipped at the Cacao 70 Dippery.
If you're craving a little sweet treat that will hit the spot, look no further than the Cacao 70 Dip Shop. Serving up creamy and sweet soft serve dipped in literally any flavour of chocolate, from chocolate chili to matcha and more, you'll be screaming. And the pink walls decked out with painted palm trees are very aesthetically pleasing.
Visit the new and improved Italian Kitchen.
Yes, you've probably been to Italian Kitchen. But you most likely haven't been to the new and improved Burrard St Italian Kitchen. Still serving your favourite Italian dishes but in a whole new dining space inspired by old world charm, with vines dangling from the ceiling and plush velvet seats, this new Italian Kitchen will sweep you off your feet.
Go for Sunday brunch at Mamie Taylor's.
Mamie Taylor's is a classic for brunch. The homey interior dining space matched with the hearty, comfort food is absolutely perfect. Because I mean, who really wants to leave their bed on a Sunday morning? Only for Mamie's.
Check out the hip and trendy Honey Salt.
A new addition to Vancouver's food scene is the farm-to-table restaurant Honey Salt. Located at the luxurious new entertainment destination Parq Vancouver, with a casino, hotel, five restaurants, and three bars, Honey Salt is definitely one to be highlighted. The simple but elegant dining space and lounge serves locally sourced food made with honest ingredients.
Treat the sweet tooth in your life to a boujee sundae at La Glace...
...even if that sweet tooth is you. You've probably never seen a more elegant and whimsical ice cream parlour as this, and the sundaes are just as enchanting. Don't except to ask for your average vanilla or chocolate here, La Glace is a French-inspired ice cream shop that serves only the most sophisticated flavours like Muscadine - which is a combination of milk chocolate, hazelnut and Cointreau - and Café àla Lavande - a lavender coffee cream flavour. Talk about fancy.
Have a super fancy dinner at St. Lawrence.
Owned and run by one of the top chefs of Vancouver Jean-Christophe Poirier, owner of Ask For Luigi and Pizzeria Farina, St. Lawrence is a French/Quebecois dining experience that will literally transport you to Montreal. An authentic service with dishes that stay true to the flavours of Quebecois cuisine, spoil yourself with a dinner at this new Vancouver restaurant that foodies can't stop raving about.
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Unlock a SmartyPantz escape room together.
What better way to get to know how each of you act under pressure?! Vancouver has so many escape rooms now and it is honestly such a great date to go on. Of course, you will be paired with a group of people, but it is still so much fun. This is also a great double date to go on because there will be enough people to make a team!
Grab some drinks and enjoy the views at Top Of Vancouver.
Top Of Vancouver is a date night classic, but we often forget about it. Though it can be a bit pricey for dinner, I definitely recommend just going for drinks and desserts. And your S/O will definitely enjoy the views.
Unleash your inner child at Richmond Extreme Air Park.
If you guys love physical fitness, then this date is perfect for you. Jumping around all day on trampolines will 100% get your blood pumping. Richmond Extreme Air Park is a super fun date to go on if you're looking to escape from the cold winter weather and stay inside to warm up.
Have a pizza and boardgames date night at Pizzeria Ludica.
Everyone loves pizza and everyone loves boardgames - Pizzeria Ludica has both. Head over to this pizza spot where you can get competitive with your bae, or even get competitive with another couple for a double date. Game on, friends.
Go on a romantic walk on the Sea-To-Sky Gondola through the snow.
The Sea-To-Sky Gondola is simply magical during the winter season. The snow laden paths and champagne dusted evergreens sweeping up the mountains scream winter romance, and your S/O will love it. If you've never been, now is the perfect time.
Go for a classic dinner date at AnnaLena.
Why take your date to AnnaLena for a romantic night out? Because good food equals a good romance. No, but really. The way into any man or woman's heart here in the foodie city of Vancouver is good food, and AnnaLena is ready to give a whole lotta good lovin'.
Take ski shots at the Kettle One Ice Room together in Whistler.
On your way to Whistler or already in Whistler this January? Make sure you visit the Kettle One Ice Room at the Bearfoot Bistro. Home to the world's coldest sub-zero vodka tasting room, warm up with a couple of vodka shots after a long ski day cuddle up over a fireplace back at your Whistler Airbnb.
Go for a magical stroll through VanDusen Gardens.
Christmas isn't over until we say it's over. Thankfully for VanDusn Gardens, their lights display stays up and open until January 7 which gives us Christmas crazies a full week after the New Years to enjoy the romantic and enchanting lights.
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Have a relaxing spa day at JJ Family Spa.
What better way to warm up on a cold January day than to chill at a Korean sauna? For only $18 for the entire day, you can relax and detox your skin and body in the many different healing rooms, like the Charcoal room, Earth room, Ice room, Salt room, dry and steam sauna, as well as mineral pools.
Treat yourself to Happy Hour $1 oysters at these restaurants.
If you're an oyster lover, then you'll agree with me when I say there's no better pick me up than buck-a-shuck oysters at Happy Hour. Though not every restaurant does them, there are a few generous souls in Vancouver who offer raw oysters on their Happy Hour menu and it's absolutely glorious. And it's especially satisfy when you're broke AF in January.
Play some real beer pong at Back and Forth Bar.
By far one of my favourite spots to play some real beer pong, with cheap beer and actual ping pong tables. Go on Sundays and Tuesdays, and the ping pong table is only $10/hr. Grab your squad and you'll literally only be paying like $2 a person.
Satisfy your purple needs with these all purple desserts.
If you have a deep love for all things purple, then you have to get in on these desserts. Serving up ube (purple yam) and taro flavoured sweet treats, these dessert cafes know how to do it right for you, your stomach, and your Instagram.
Grab freaking delicious and cheap Sunday brunch at these restaurants.
Eating out doesn't have to be expensive, if you know the right places to go to that is. If you've woken up early on a Sunday morning with a serious craving for brunch but you've only got $20... heck, you've only got $10 in your bank account, then these super cheap but delicious brunch spots will do you right.
Go for a standup show at Comedy Mix.
Enough with the Netflix standup comedy already. While Chris D'Elia and Ali Wong are hilarious (in my opinion), you need to get off your couch and step into a real standup comedy club to experience it for real. Check out Comedy Mix any night from Tuesday to Saturday (on Tuesday for a ProAm $8 show) and get ready for a real laugh.
Walk into summer at Bloedel Conservatory.
Missing summer already? Take a stroll through the tropical garden dome at Bloedel Conservatory. The warm indoor temperatures and towering palm trees will make you feel like you're in a whole other world far, far away from a Vancouver winter. Make sure your makeup and outfit are camera ready because you're definitely going to want a few snaps here.
Hang out with some kittens at Catfe.
You are a responsible human being because as much as you love cats, you know you can't afford to be a real parent of one. But not all hope is lost. Instead, head over to Catfe - Vancouver's only cat coffee shop - where you can drink some a latte made with adorable kitty art, as you play with the all of the kittens purring around.
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Go on a glamping trip to WOODS on Pender.
Glamping in the summertime is a blast, but glamping during the winter is absolutely magical. WOODS on Pender is a 7.3-acre luxury campground that offers various types of glamping experiences, from airstreams to rustic cabins and more. You can cuddle with your S/O in a hammock and look up at the stars or get steamy in an outdoor hot tub as you take in the enchanted woods.
Go for a boujee spa day at Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont.
The holidays were insanely hectic and you need some time for a bit of real R&R. If you're a classy lady with a handsome number in your bank account, then you have to check out Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim. With world class spa services and a stunning patio that features hot tubs and round patio chairs, Willow Stream will take you away to relaxation heaven.
Order an entire absinthe fountain at Prohibition.
Prohibition is a hidden 1920s themed underground bar that offers live jazz music and a luxurious backdrop for all your Instagram needs. And if you've never spent an evening indulging in your hallucinations with a glass of absinthe, you can definitely try that here. If you're not into the liquorice taste, you can always opt for their carefully curated and skillfully made old school cocktails.
Roll your dices at the Parq Vancouver casino.
Need a reason to dress up and throw some mullah around? The new Parq Vancouver casino is your reason. This world class entertainment location not only has a fancy pants casino, but also five restaurants and three bars. We definitely recommend getting a couple drinks at D6 first, and then making your way to the tables and slots.
Lift your pinkies for a fancy afternoon high tea service at TWG Tea Salon.
I don't think I know a lot of things truly more classy than afternoon tea at the luxury brand tea company, TWG. Offering an endless array of exquisite imported tea with a dining experience that focuses on tea gastronomy, any quality tea lover would be swept off their feet.
Rent out a boujee penthouse in the city.
Staycations are so underrated and we need to give them the credit they deserve. There's nothing like getting away but in the comfort of your own city. You can splurge a little and rent a fancy as Yaletown penthouse for a sexy night with bae, or even a best friends' sleep over with your girl gang.
Go for a girl's spa mini-getaway at Scandinave Spa.
If a relaxing staycation isn't enough for you, then go for a mini-getaway up to Whistler with you favourite human being(s) and relax at the famous Scandinave Spa. With a massive mineral pool bath outdoor bath amongst the snowy mountains and absolutely transcendental massage therapy, you'll forget you even have work at 9AM.
Raise your glasses at Pierre's Champagne Lounge.
If you're a party girl but are sick of going to raggedy-ass clubs and bars, then you need to level up and check out Pierre's Champagne Lounge. As one of Vancouver's most exclusive rooms with no guest list, Pierre's offers quality bottle service, fancy cocktails and bites for those with expensive taste.
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Keep the holiday spirit going at Lafarge Lake Lights.
The holidays aren't over until we say they're over. The stunning Christmas lights display, Lights at Lafarge, runs until January 21 so you can enjoy the holidays well passed Decemeber. Scenically running alongside a lake, Lights at Lafarge is a huge 1.2 kilometer long light display with 100,000 lights and 10 themed zones.
Take in the winter wonders of Mother Nature at one of these scenic hikes.
Hiking during the summer can be tons of fun, but hiking during the winter is a whole other kind of enchantment unto itself. Experience the wondrous views of snow capped mountains in your beautiful PNW and go on a hike. And if you'e got snowshoes, bring those too!
Go for a scenic drive along Sea-To-Sky Highway.
Nothing clears your mind better than a nice, long scenic drive along the Sea-To-Sky Highway - the winding roads and stunning views are simply so relaxing. We also definitely recommend that you take a stop at Porteau Cove while you're on the road because the scenery from there is definitely a sight to see.
Check out some art at the Pendulum Gallery.
Go for an insta photoshoot at these insta-worthy locations.
Stock up on insta-worthy photos for 2018 by heading over to the city's most Instagrammable locations and taking a few snapshots. All you need is your insta-husband, your BFF, or even your actual photographer and your beautiful self.
Conquer these epic food challenges and get free food.
Sometimes we all get a little hungry... and a little desperate. Check out Vancouver's most epic food challenges that will give you free food, as long as you can finish the mountain that they'll give you. From 6-patty burgers to make-you-pass-out-type-spicy hot wings, are you ready for the challenge?
Go stargazing at H.R. Macmillan Space Centre.
Visit the GMS Observatory at H.R. Macmillan Space Centre on Saturday nights from 7PM to 11PM to check out the plants, the stars and star clusters by donation. Explore the awe-inspiring universe just a telescope away.
Find your inner peace at the classical Chinese Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden.
Escape to an urban oasis and go for a stroll through Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden to enjoy the peaceful and serene atmosphere. Created by 52 different artisans, this garden is famous for being the first full classical garden to be built outside of China. Check out this tranquil spot located in the middle of busy Chinatown.