Thursday, May 28, 2015

Last Chance to Register for Vancouver Mini Maker Faire Workshops

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire is only about a week away--it's June 6-7--& I can't wait to see everything. Last year, we walked around, looked at, made, poked, rode, tried all kinds of things there. This year I'm hoping to get to a presentation or two & maybe do a workshop with Linnaeus.

I'm particularly interested in seeing Matt Lowell talk about CycleHack (11am on Saturday June 6). Here's the blurb from the VMMF website:

As the Vancouver component of the 2015 CycleHack Global Event we are gathering together a diverse range of people with different skills, knowledge and experiences of transportation to look at cycling in our city in a new way. We are taking a bottom-up approach to innovation and helping individuals prototype their ideas, bringing them to life within 48 hours.
In this presentation, we will look at where the idea of CycleHack came from and how it has grown into a truly global movement with an ever-expanding network of CycleHackers around the world. Most importantly we will be giving details about how you can get involved with CycleHack Vancouver, so don’t miss out!
Matthew Lowell is the Co-founder and Director of Global Events & Networks at CycleHack. Originally from Scotland, Matt recently moved to Vancouver where he continues to support all global organisers of the annual CycleHack Event. He is a user-centred designer with a passion for using design as a tool for social change. He studied at Glasgow School of Art, and is interested in how design thinking can be used to give form to the experiences and interactions that make up the world around us. With a background in product and service design, he is also currently working with InWithForward, a design and social innovation agency.

The whole lineup of presentations can be found on the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire website here

If you're interested in more hands-on practical learning, there are also numerous workshops on topics like silicone mold making or growing plants in Lego (that one's suitable for kids as young as three!).

The workshops vary in cost between by donation to $45 fee to cover materials. They run for 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the topic. These workshops are not drop-in (though there are many other informal activities you can do at Maker Faire) so don't forget to register by June 1!

Check out the list of what workshops are available here on VMMF's workshops page

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: #VanKidsFest Edition

Bronte charmed some buskers in the Granville Island Public Market

The ribbon was intended to make the tree off-limits, but it backfired

We read one of the books that were hanging from the tree in the centre of the maze

We love the xylophone made of bike frame pieces

"GONNNNNGGG!" Bronte loves it when she's allowed to hit things

Came across a firetruck on our way home & got a brief tour

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Have Fun at Playland & Support Hastings Community Little League

Have you got plans on May 30th? Of course you do--our Trout Lake Family Green Ride is at 10am! ;) After the ride (or instead, I know not every Spokesmama reader will come) you should consider going to Playland to support the little league that some of our Vancouver Family Biking kids play in.

On Saturday, May 30th, $10 from every ticket sold for Playland at the PNE will be donated to the Hastings Community Little League on the fourth annual Community Day at Playland. Since 2010, the PNE has raised over $67,000 for the sports organization. This year, all proceeds will support the Hastings Little League in hosting the 2016 Little League Canadian National Tournament.

“Getting our youth outdoors & active is so important, & we are extremely excited to continue to support the Hastings Community Little League & help them bring the National Tournament to Vancouver,” said PNE President & CEO Mike McDaniel.

While the first two Community Days were extremely successful, last year's was met with soggy weather, so this year, Playland is looking to raise $25,000 for this worthy non-profit sports organization. Proceeds from the 2010 100th Anniversary Golf Tournament were also donated to the Little League.

From 10am to 12pm on the 30th, members of the Hastings Community Little League will be at the entrance to Playland thanking guests for their support, so make sure to say ‘hello’ & wish them luck in this year’s season!

For more information please visit:

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Monday, May 25, 2015

7 Awesome Events in Vancouver in May & June

This summer is shaping up to be a really great one. There are tons of fun events happening right here in East Van. Here are a few of my favourites coming up in the next month:

Bike To Work Week May 25 (TODAY!) to 29
Commuter stations along your route with free snacks & drinks, prizes, all wrapped up with a barbeque at the end of the week.

Vancouver International Children's Festival May 25 (TODAY!) to 31
Amazing children's entertainers from all over the world converge on Granville Island for a week of magic.

Cargo Bike Championships May 29
Watch some of Vancouver's coolest bikes in a race like you've never seen before. It'll be my first ever bike race, but thankfully finesse matters more than speed!

Vancouver Family Biking Trout Lake Ride May 30 & Plateau Park Ride May 31
Fun, free, family-paced rides for bikers big & small.

Vancouver Mini Maker Faire June 6 & 7
Drones & quilts & Lego & weird contraptions & DIY & art & much more...

Vancouver Draw Down June 20
Free drawing workshops all over the city!

Car Free Day Vancouver June 21
Join thousands of Vancouver residents on Main Street, Commercial Drive, the West End & in Kitsilano for a celebration of what's possible with our public space when you take cars out of it.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Bike To Work Week is Here!

Tomorrow is Bike To Work Week! Are you a stay-at-home parent like me, or maybe you work at home? Have you signed up for Bike to Work Week? If not, join our Vancouver Family Biking team by clicking here. Log your trips to drop off the kids at preschool, pick up groceries, or maybe a meeting or two for your freelance work. Here is some incentive to sign up & log some trips:

5 Reasons to Sign up for HUB Bike to Work Week - May 25-31, 2015
  1. You'll Feel Great - Get healthier without even noticing it!
  2. The Prizes. With over $15,000 in prizes, including a trip for 2 to Europe and 6 new bikes, why wouldn't you sign up?
  3. Get Places Faster. Don't believe it? Try it out.
  4. Save Cash. Don't you want extra money to spend on things other than transportation?
  5. It's More Fun. Try it and you'll agree! Plus there'll be free food, snacks, coffee and bike repairs at over 60 Celebration Stations throughout the week.


No need for the grown ups to have all the fun, it's also Bike To School Week, so your kids can get involved too!

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Three Great Family Bike Rides to Celebrate Bike Month

A few days ago, my friend Tonya & I got together to plan out some family bike rides for Bike Month in Vancouver. We'd love it if you'd join us on at least one of them! The rides will be family-paced & fun, sticking to routes appropriate for all ages & abilities.

Trout Lake Family Green Ride
10am May 30

To kick off bike month, we are going to start with a fun ride from False Creek to the heart of East Van: Trout Lake. If your kids are at the runner bike stage still, please bring them along: we plan to have a little bike parade all around the lake. Since it wouldn't be a parade without decorations & outfits, we're hoping you'll join us in wearing green (for bike month!) & decorating your bikes.

More details on the meeting point, route, departure time, etc are available on the Trout Lake Family Green Ride Facebook event page. Please RSVP so we know how many will be riding with us!

Plateau Park Ride
10am May 31

Day two of our Bike Month Kickoff Weekend features a ride from Science World to one of Vancouver's newest & coolest parks: Plateau Park, nestled in between Playland & Empire Field in Hastings Park. This park has some unique features that cater to all ages, from toddlers to teens to adults.

More details on the ride like route, departure time, etc are available on the Plateau Park Ride Facebook event page. We'd love it if you'd RSVP so we know how many will be riding with us!

Heron Ride & Picnic
10am June 13

Have you ever been to North America's largest urban heron colony? No? Well here's your chance! Ride with us along the gorgeous False Creek Seawall to the stand of trees near the Stanley Park tennis courts to watch these amazing birds. Nesting season is in full swing, so be prepared for some noisy squawking & some awkward heron chick antics. Following a little bird watching, we'll head a bit farther west toward Second Beach for a picnic.

More details on the meeting point, route, departure time, etc are available on the Heron Ride & Picnic Facebook event page. Please RSVP so we know how many will be riding with us!

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