the people square

a community serious about adventuring

Post Travel: Top 10 Things To Try When Returning to Vancouver

Cliff Jumping photo by The People Square

After two years of backpacking around the world, there was nothing like returning back to my home city of Vancouver. If anything that two years on the road taught me more than anything was how little I’d seen and experienced of my very own city. I remember being that person who pulled out the proverbial “There’s nothing to do in this city, ” and now feel shame that I could even have been so borderline blasphemous. Maybe two years ago I wasn’t as open as I had become after a grand tour of the globe, and I guess there’s nothing that will cure a case of the “there’s nothing to dos” than travel. After doing some research on my own backyard, here were some things that I had been meaning to try…from one local:

1. Go jump off a cliff…into some water – For the simple facts that it’s free and locals are all about the adrenaline rush of jumping into pools of bone-chilling water, this has to be done or at least witnessed. Cliff jumping is extremely dangerous and deaths occur every year. Jumping spots include Lynn Valley Canyon, Granny’s Cove and Lions Bay. North Vancouver.

Critical Mass Vancouver photo from

2. Join the biggest bike gang – Critical Mass is the biggest of community bike gangs that comes together on the last Friday of every month to help raise awareness for bike riding. Downtown Vancouver.

River tubing photo by The People Square

3. Go river tubing – So I’ve lived in Vancouver for 16 years and I’ve never heard of going river tubing, though it makes sense since there’s a plethora of rivers. Unlike other lazy-river runs around the globe, Vancouver’s rivers are freezing cold and decorated with boulders and undercurrents. There’s no one selling tubes or a stand where you pay to enter the waters (for now), so pick up a cheap floating tire or other device and a helmet and make your way to the fishing hatcheries. From here you can float down the river, under the famous Capilano Suspension bridge, pass Granny’s Cove cliff jumpers, hit a turbine and float up on the banks by Park Royal South shopping mall. North Vancouver.

Picture Walks photo by The People Square

4. Take a picture walk – These are free and all you need is your camera, your walking shoes and an umbrella. This is Vancouver. It’s best to just have one Go-Go Gadgeted to your hand.  For tourists there are actual photo-walking tours you can join and for locals, the walks are good for our Wreck Beach ready physiques and gives the photography-savy peeps a chance to play with the new camera. Choose from a variety of class excursions including: Gastown Night Walks, Burrard Bridge-Granville Island,  Olympic Village, Chinatown and more.

Bingo! photo from

5. Scream out Bingo! for a good cause – Planet Bingo is the largest freestanding charitable bingo operation in North America. They are the only continuous drop-in bingo in the Lower Mainland, which means that you can drop by any time to play bingo at your convenience. And, possibly take home some extra cash and prizes. If you are a new player, grab a 10-page booklet, which allows you to play 10 regular games at a low cost of $5.00.

The Commodore photo from

6. Adore the Commodore – One of Vancouver’s oldest and most popular places to catch some quality live music. When Courtney Love and Hole played back in the 90s she told the crowd that the Commodore was her favourite venue to play in Canada. 868 Granville Street (look for large neon sign). Keep informed with Livenation or concert updates for the Commodore Ballroom:LiveNation Concert listings. Entry is generally anywhere from $15-$90.

Sneaky Kiki Girlesque, Vancouver

7. Get tousled at a burlesque show – Vancouver Burlesque is fast becoming one of the hottest night life activities for girls and guys looking to get a little turned on by ladies (and sometimes guys!) who put a little more effort into their striptease. Some of the best things about Burlesque is the inventiveness, the playfulness and the fact that it embraces a women’s natural curvy and voluptuous figure.

Zombie Walk 2011 photo from

8. Walk like a Zombie – The Zombie Walk occurs yearly in Vancouver and is a local, underground tradition. It’s times likes these when I feel like a terrible Vancouverite. I haven’t participated in the Zombie walk, but I should and I am. It’s on the bucket list. People remain as zombies to communicate only in a manner consistent with zombie behaviour; to include: grunting, groaning and slurred, moaning calls. Happening on August 18th, 2012 .

Laughing Aerobics photo from

9. Laugh your ass off at laughter aerobics – As ridiculous as it sounds, Laughing Aerobics is very much legit. Try it, just force a little smile, then get into it giving yourself kick into a chuckle, and before you know it you’re laughing tears of hysterics. The point is to great a space of drug-free happiness and stress relieving therapy; the process is part of yogic healing and therapy. You’ll be smiling, that’s a guarantee, plus it’s free.

Roller Derby photo from

10. Watch the most hardcore sport – Don’t get me wrong, I love my hockey, but I’m gonna go ahead an say that Roller Derby is the most hardcore spectator sport. The Vancouver Terminal City Roller Girls have been around since January of 2006 and are Western Canada’s only WFTDA league. The roller girls compete at the PNE Forum during the Spring and Summer with their season championships happening in September. The events are all-ages. Can be seen at the PNE Forum or around town.

***TPS is currently working on….A list of  local cuisines/restaurants to try/re-try when returning to Vancouver***

2 comments on “Post Travel: Top 10 Things To Try When Returning to Vancouver

  1. Jay
    January 29, 2013

    Love your “retro” pics! I hope you’re having a lvoley long Canada Day weekend and I see lots of sun in your future (ok, I’m not a psychic but I’m at least trying to send you sunny vibes!) If it’s any consolation, we can’t celebrate Canada Day outside here either despite the sun because it’s too hot, so we’re indoors too 🙂

  2. I am not sure where you are getting your information, but great topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this information for my mission.

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