Around Town with the Wee Ones 2nd Edition, February 2016 By Krista Wilson

Around Town with the Wee Ones                   2nd Edition  February 2016

Kid-Friendly Cafes…

CIRCUS Play Cafe

Ideal for toddlers and preschoolers, this Scandi designed café offers a gorgeous play area and cafe. With something for every kid’s interest, there’s a kitchen, dollhouse, and workbench zone, and a couple of climb and slide structures. There are also blocks, books, discovery box toys and comfortable seating for you and your child to enjoy them. Everything is wood and clean, and there’s even a bin for parents to set aside toys that had a little too much love and need a cleaning. The well-designed space offers a clear view of the play area from all café seating, where you can enjoy a delicious pastry and caffeine fix. Cost is $7 for the first child and $4 for additional walkers. A two-hour maximum stay is enforced during busy times. CIRCUS also offers parenting and baby workshop, art and yoga classes, and birthday parties.                                       www.circusplaycafe.com 1650 East 12th Ave @ Commercial

Shuk Eat & Play

Recently opened Shuk is another addition to the play cafe format, where you can enjoy a coffee while the kids are happily playing. There are two areas, one for climbing, swinging and sliding, while the other has a playhouse and is more suited to younger children. Try the Shakshuka or other Israeli food made on site. If you need to cross a few items off your to-do list or your child needs to expend some energy on a rainy day, this is the perfect spot. The play area is free until February 10th, after which you will pay $5 for one child and $2.50 per additional child. Check hours before going. Closed Saturdays. Watch for some free play passes up for grabs on the bulletin board outside the preschool classroom! www.shukeatandplay.com   5750 Oak @ 41st Ave

Free, Under $5 or By Donation …                           (It is the new year, after all)

Vancouver Art Gallery

The Art Gallery now offers free kids’ programs every Sunday. Families can tour the galleries, led by an entertaining “Art Agent,” or participate in The Making Place, a hands-on workshop where kids create their own masterpieces inspired by the exhibits. Check website for monthly themes. Sundays 12-4. Free for kids under age 12. www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/events_and_programs/children_family.html

Vancouver Public Library/Vancouver Inspiration Pass

The VPL offers a huge range of programs for children. Some special events coming up next month include Lunar New Year Puppet Shows—celebrating the lunar new year—and Family Literacy Day: Family Fort Night—build a fort and share stories by flashlight. Check branches for dates. A very popular offering of the VPL is the Vancouver Inspiration Pass, a free cultural and recreational pass that allows you to access museums, art galleries, and musical performances, among others—all for free. Each branch has 6 to 8 two-week passes and about 500 people on each wait list, so sign up now and experience Vancouver’s most popular attractions and cultural events when your kids are a couple of years older! Tip: You can call the branch to find out where you are on the wait list. If you plan to be away near the time you expect to receive the pass, ask them to put your request on hold before you go away. pwp.vpl.ca/inspirationpass/

Southlands Farm

Experience farm life at this working community farm with horses, sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and more. Wander around the gardens and ponds and learn about the Southlands ecosystem. They offer preschool pony camps and interactive birthday party tours. Spend Family Day, February 8, on the farm for a scavenger hunt, marshmallow roast and pony rides. Around Easter time watch for sheep shearing, hatching of the chicks and beautiful orchards of blooming daffodils. All in all, it’s a great day of exploring and learning with the family. Open 10-5, except Family Day 11-4. Admission by donation. www.southlandsfarms.com 6767 Balaclava St

Cineplex Family Favourites

Catch a show on a rainy Saturday at participating Cineplex theatres for only $2.99. Hotel Transylvania 2 plays on February 13. Every Saturday at 11am until March 19. For movies and theatre listings visit www.cineplex.com/Events/FamilyFavourites

Inspiration for our Little Performers…                                          

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Kids’ Koncerts

Introduce your child to the beauty and power of orchestral music through these 45-minute concerts offered by the VSO. The Kids’ Koncerts series boasts the full orchestra, teamed with children’s musical entertainers. Two shows remain in the series of five: Mozart’s music is featured in the February show, while in May things get downright wacky when Al Simmons takes to the stage with the Orchestra. These fun concerts are designed for children age 4 (recommended) to 11 years of age and their families. Arrive up to one hour before the show to take part in the Instrument Fair in the lobby, where children can touch and play the instruments. $19 kids/$24 seniors/$29 adults www.vancouversymphony.ca/series/15KIDS/

Go, Dog. Go!

What could be more perfect for a preschooler’s first play than P.D. Eastman’s kids book Go, Dog. Go! The production is described as “P. D. Eastman’s classic children’s book comes to life on stage in an exploration of movement, color, and music. The dogs delve into life with gusto, creating a visual spectacle for the audience to feast upon. They snorkel. They howl at the moon. They ride a Ferris Wheel. They sing and dance and climb trees. The musical’s bustle and commotion pauses every so often for a moment or two of reflection, and then sweeps us again into the whirlwind of these lovable and goofy dogs.” The show is recommended for 3-8 year olds and runs February 27 – March 20 at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island. There are a few “all-ages” shows in March where children under three may attend; lighting and sound is adjusted to suit these young patrons. $18 preschoolers/$35 adults www.carouseltheatre.ca/production/go-dog-go/