Best of Vancouver 2011: Weekend Activities

An Indoor Oasis

Build a living wall in your steel and concrete Water Street loft; Gastown florist Greenstems (in the Woodward’s building) will provide the raw materials for greenthumbs and do all the dirty work (plus provide detailed how-to-keep-it-living instructions) for those less horticulturally inclined. For big-picture inspiration, check out Green Over Grey’s gorgeous installation at the Semiahmoo library in Surrey. 315 Abbott St., 604-568-1314.

A Pantry of Memories

A staple in DIY foodie circles, canning is a retro-cool way to enjoy B.C.’s bounty year round. In a hands-on atmosphere, chef and holistic nutritionist Andrea Potter shows you the many healthy methods of preserving food. Catch her at the Dirty Apron Cooking School this month, or every Sunday at Radha Yoga.

Grab Your Gumboots

Tired of walking the dog and getting nothing in return? Shoot straight to the top of the neighbourhood pecking order with a backyard chicken. Take classes on building coops and caring for the birds from local henhouse enthusiast Duncan Martin. Bonus point: hens find garden slugs particularly delicious. March 29, Strathcona Community Centre, 601 Keefer St., 604-713-1838.

A Dog’s Life

At a luxurious kennel hidden on Sea Island, Fido will relish the Rock Star suite, where there are toys to chase and human laps to curl up on. A limousine will transfer him to and from home, and a personal trainer will accompany him on picnics to Stanley Park. After a doggie massage, a memory casting of Fido’s paw is taken. (If only checking your kid into rehab were so easy and regret-free.) $1,000 per night, suggested seven-night minimum stay. Jet Pet Resort, 5980 Miller Rd., Richmond, 604-238-7387.

A Wet Bar With A Difference

The local passion for craft beermaking is exploding right now. At West Coast U Brew, Vancouver’s original on-site u-brew facility, choose from over 45 varieties of lager, pilsner, ale, and stout, or have them fake your favourite Belgian. Batches-a steal at $110 to $155-yield a whopping 48 litres of preservative- and chemical-free beer. They’ll even install draught lines in your home, giving you one more glorious reason to stay in. 1616 Clark Dr., 604-875-0600.

Start Your Own Yacht Club

The crew aboard the private yacht the Magic Charm will whisk up to 225 people around the magical magnetism of Desolation Sound, letting you hit the waves at every opportunity. Magic Yacht Charters, 2148-20800 Westminster Hwy., 604-250-8008. Magic­

Join the Culture Club

Get your own key to the city. For the inside scoop on fab art events, acquire a KEYtoVan, a “cultural passport
created by the people behind the lecture series Pecha Kucha. Participating art and design fiends get VIP access and exclusive deals on museum openings, art shows, cocktail parties, and more. Very cool are the meet-the-artist hobnobs. $65 for the 2011 calendar year.

An Island Retreat

Private islands have universal appeal, and one such, Scott Island, has been put on the market for $3.5 million (knocked way down from $4.9 million). Located 56 kilometres from Vancouver, this enclave is accessible by helicopter or floatplane, and comes outfitted with a 4,500-square-foot home, adjoining self-contained caretaker’s wing, and semi-tropical landscaping. Sotheby’s International Realty Canada; 250-380-3933.