Aurora Winter Festival: Canada’s biggest winter festival
Hastings Park/PNE has transformed into Aurora Winter Festival (November 22, 2019 – January 5, 2020) this holiday season. This is Canada’s largest winter wonderland with a beautiful skating rink, a tube park, massive light displays, a Christmas Market with 40 holiday-inspired venders, 6 amusement rides, a food garden with some of Vancouver’s best food trucks, magical characters, and many other exciting activities.
The 2019 event is four times larger than the previous year, and the upgrades from last year include a larger surface for ice skating, a longer tube park, and double the number of rides and games. Guests will be able to visit the Mystical Worlds which feature giant sculptures, animated sets, brilliant light displays, and a number of fun characters, the other main attractions is a light tunnel showcasing the Aurora Borealis.
Awesome food trucks and tasty treats at Aurora
I was invited as media to try 7 of the food trucks and they are among the most popular in the city.
Cannoli King has been a staple of Vancouver Heights among the local authentic Italian gourmet spots,. They are serving up all their popular flavours, as well as the seasonal specials, such as the Cranberry, Orange, and Pecan and the Gingerbread.
The most popular artisan doughnut shops is up next. Cartems is known for their famous cake doughnuts with vegan and gluten-free options. They have brought two Aurora exclusives. The Dulce Honeycomb has a perfect balance of texture and sweetness to please everyone. However, the Haskap Berry Shortbread sounds rather interesting with the use of Haskap, also known as Japanese honeysuckle. I actually tasted sushi made with haskap and local spring mix at a 2-star Michelin restaurant in Hokkaido, Japan, and was impressed with the tangy refreshing taste of the berry.
Shameless Buns is known for their Filipino-inspired food dishes. Besides the regular menu including the famous Spam Fries and the Adobo Fries, they also offer some Christmas specials including creations like A Very Pinoy Christmas, aka a French toast with buko pandan, and the Tapa Das Bun, aka a Filipino cured beef sandwich. We tried the Adobo Fries, and it was getting two national dishes in one serving, an interesting take on Poutine (Canada) with an Adobo (Philippines) twist.
Meat & Bread
Meat & Bread was one of my favourite lunch spots when I was with my last employer in Downtown. They are offering their hearty sandwiches that is super comforting in winter, the signature Porchetta, the Ham Hock, the Hot Turkey, and the Vego. We tried the Hot Turkey, which was perfect for the chilly weather.
Reel Mac & Cheese
The dishes at Reel Mac & Cheese are know for their film and pop culture references, such as the Godzilla with seaweed and Japanese mayo, and the Kevin Bacon filled with of course, a lot of bacon. But they are poking fun of the famous Christmas movies for their Aurora creations, such as the Grinch, which is the classic mac & cheese but with a green twist of broccoli florets, and the Bad Santa, filled with ham and pine apple, reminding me of the Hawaiian pizza.
Green Coast Coffee
For coffee lovers, the Green Coast Coffee truck is a must-try. But besides coffee, they also offer delicious gourmet hot chocolate drinks, including the Salted Caramel Chocolate, the White Chocolate Macadamia, and the Hazelnut Dark Chocolate, as well as some Hot Apple Cider just for the holidays. If you want to get coffee drinks that are great for Christmas, try the Cookie Butter Latte and the Peppermint Mocha.
Like what they offer at Vancouver Christmas Market, The Praquery offers their specialty that’s always a favourite during the holidays, the freshly baked Chimney Cake, with flavours of Cinnamon, Almond, and Coconuts. You can choose different toppings and fillings as well. For the Holiday exclusive, the festive chimney cake is dusted with red and green sprinkles. This is not just a sweet tasty treat but also a perfect insta-worthy to capture a perfectly Christmas and winter wonderland moment!
What a fun afternoon trying all the delicious treats at Aurora Winter Festival. And let’s end it with a walk through the amazing Light Tunnel!
Aurora Winter Festival Vancouver2901 East Hastings Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V5K 5J1 Canada
604-253-2311 or www.pne.ca