Vancouver’s full of things to do. You probably already a favorite bar, a go-to place to grab a bite, and that awesome spot you take friends when they come to visit. But every once in a while it’s good to step outside your comfort zone and discover something new. If you’re on the hunt for new ways to spend your spare time, take a look these 9 things to do in downtown Vancouver.
#1 – Escape from G.U.E.S.S. HQ
Immersive stories, twisting plots, top-notch room design, and puzzles that will blow your mind are just some of the perks at G.U.E.S.S. HQ in Gastown. There’s a reason hardcore escape artists consider this escape house one of the best. There are two rooms here, both with incredible, immersive game design that will not disappoint. These puzzles will tire your noggin right out, so we suggest heading off to the nearest pub after for a pint, like the Irish Heather down on Carrall Street.
#2 – Go rock climbing at The Hive
For awesome rock climbing right in Downtown Van check out The Hive on Industrial Avenue. This bouldering gym is bright and welcoming with lots of bouldering problems to tackle. This is a great way to get out with your friends or a super alternative to your local gym if you’re getting bored of the treadmill/weights rotation. They also offer yoga classes at The Hive, perfect for post-climb stretching.
#3 – Learn to make cocktails like a bartender
Shake up home entertaining with your own cocktail creations. Check out Brandywine Bartending School in Strathcona where you can take recreational cocktail making classes or host team building events. What makes Brandywine special is their innovative approach to cocktail making. They even make their own ingredients, like smoked spirits and bitters. Check out their Modern Classics recreational workshop or their World of Bitters class and start setting up your drink cart.
#4 – Explore the tastes of Railtown
Have you been to Railtown yet? This up-and-coming area east of Gastown is fast becoming the top destination for trendy eateries and design shops in Van. Check out this awesome food tour of Railtown offered by BC-based Off the Eaten Track. Railtown Urban Eats will take you on a two-hour culinary journey, visiting five different culinary stops nestled among some of the oldest still-standing houses in Vancouver. Expect ten food tastings, wine and beer samplers, and lots of artsy culture.
#5 – Pick up a paintbrush at Paint Nite
It doesn’t matter if you’re an avid painter or haven’t picked up a paintbrush since grade school—social painting is for everyone. Check out the Paint Nite nearest you for a different night out with friends. Here they’ll take you through the process step-by-step from color mixing and application to composition and finishing—all while you have a glass of wine in your hand. What could be better?
#6 – Take a cooking class at the Dirty Apron
Learning how to cook is simple, all you need to do is follow some simple instructions, not set the kitchen on fire, and make something edible. But if you’re looking to take your skills to the next level, sometimes you need a little push. The Dirty Apron is a culinary haven in Gastown. Their cooking classes are the perfect blend of seasonal ingredients, fresh produce, and classic recipes. For your next night out, date night, or special occasion, check out their courses in delicious seafood, French cuisine, Italian fare, classic barbecue, and more.
#7 – Find out who’s really a smarty pants at SmartyPantz
Located on Abbott Street in Gastown you’ll find SmartyPantz, a unique escape room with top-notch design. SmartyPantz is popular with Vancouver escapers for its high-quality room design, awesome immersive storytelling, and cool retro vibe. There are four rooms here all with fun stories, from classic spy noir to spooky haunted house. If you’re looking for something totally different check out Doomed Submarine, a player vs. player game that will pit you against your pals.
Hijinks is the online marketplace that makes it easy to discover and book life experiences to enjoy with friends, family, and co-workers. Whether it’s an escape room visit, cooking class, or team building activity, we provide comprehensive listings, customer ratings and reviews, and easy browse and search functionality to help you book with confidence. For more information check us out here!