West Vancouver — which encompasses parts of the city west of I-5, including downtown and Uptown Village — is a busy mix of bars, neighborhoods, eateries, shops, churches, art galleries and movie theaters.
With the brand new public library and the reopening of the Kiggins Theater, evening entertainment options at the core of the city are better than ever.
As the dark, rainy winter approaches, locals and visitors to the area will be happy to know that there’s plenty to do inside, where it’s warm, well-lit and dry.
Cold days are perfect for sitting by the library fireplace with a good book, trying your craft skills by painting ceramic pots at Earth Glaze and Fire or checking out live music while drinking some of the oddest sodas you’ll ever see at Pop Culture.
Want more? We have more.
Here’s our list of six things to do after 6 p.m. in west Vancouver.
Vancouver Community Library
901 C St., 360-906-5106, http://www.fvrl.org/aboutus/vancouver_main.htm
Events: The city’s new main library, which opened on July 17, is bustling with interesting activities to keep you busy most weeknights.
“We have book discussion groups, there’s the chess club, we have a variety of different programs at various times of the month,” said Marla Young, executive assistant and events coordinator. “The chess group has gotten so big that we’ve had to expand to a second room, actually.”
The library also has free Wi-Fi if you bring your own laptop, or members can get one hour of free computer time per day on the library’s machines. The fifth floor has a woody terrace that overlooks the city and a comfy room with a fireplace where you can warm up afterwords.
“There are lots of interesting little spaces to enjoy,” Young said.
The Early Learning Center on the third floor is also open until 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and has colorful structures where adults can engage in interactive play with their young children.
“You can bring your kids and wear them out before bedtime,” Young said.
The only drawback at night? The coffee bar closes at 3 p.m. That said, you can bring your own hot drinks or snacks into the library, even after the shop closes.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.
Events: Looking to watch a classic flick like “Raiders of the Lost Arc,” “Big Trouble in Little China” or “The Princess Bride” on the big screen while enjoying a glass of quality microbrew, cider or wine? Kiggins is the place to go.
The theater, which reopened in September, was originally built in 1936. Some renovations are still in the works, but the main showroom has been fixed up with a new paint job, new chairs and air conditioning. The Marquee Lounge upstairs has also opened and serves beer, wine and cider from a half hour before the first showing until an hour after the last one ends.
Cost: $4 for matinee, children and seniors; $5 after 6 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; $6 after 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Earth Glaze and Fire
2106 Main St., 360-737-3896, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Earth-Glaze-and-Fire/149631801721332
Events: If you’re feeling artistic, then raise your paintbrush — Earth Glaze and Fire has a host of items just waiting for a bit of creative coloring.
“There’s 3,000 different things to pick from, like figurines, tea pots, coffee mugs, bowls, dragons, fairies, puppies, kitties, the list goes on,” said Suzanne Clark, the store’s owner.
Visitors to the shop can create their own design or grab one from the Internet and transfer it to whatever item they pick. After up to 30 days of decorating, Clark will then clear glaze the item and fire it to make it food safe.
In the evenings, the store bustles with people of all ages — adults, kids, couples. Sometimes meet-up groups come by to chat and create at the same time, Clark said.
“It’s a lot of fun and it can be very relaxing,” Clark said. “A lot of people come here and sit with their headphones in and just paint. But there are a lot of other folks that just love to come in and chat.”
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
1929 Main St., 360-750-1784, http://www.drinkpopculture.com/
Events: Even if you’re not looking for cucumber, blood orange or juniper soda, Uptown Village’s Pop Culture still has plenty of interesting things to offer those looking for an evening’s entertainment. Live music on the shop’s large stage is just the beginning, said Dan Wyatt, owner.
“I’m really trying to program this place to be an entertainment venue,” Wyatt said. “Typically, at least three or four nights a week, we have some sort of live music or entertainment.”
The shows are for all ages and geared for a variety of crowds. On Wednesday nights from 6-9 p.m., the store has a standing bluegrass jam. On Fridays and Saturdays, traveling bands and even some local high school bands play for what can sometimes turn into large crowds. Wyatt also puts on movie nights, elementary school fundraisers and is working with a local actor to organize a monologue night for solo performers.
“We’re also planning to add a camera so we can do some television stuff,” Wyatt said. “We ran a game show before with a few episodes and we’d like to set up to do that again.”
Hours: 5-9 p.m. Mondays, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays through Saturdays, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.
Cost: When there’s a cover charge, it can range from $5-$8.
Marshall Community Center
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd., 360-487-7100, http://www.cityofvancouver.us/parks-recreation/centers/marshall/index.asp
Events: Want to get some low-impact exercise or just splash around in an indoor pool for the evening? Marshall Community Center has public swims from 7-8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and lap swimming from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 6-7:30 p.m. Fridays.
Don’t want to get wet? There’s also a fitness center with Nautilus equipment and free weights.
And in the gym, there are badminton, volleyball and basketball drop-in games most evenings.
You can also drop the kids off for supervised activities while you go through your workout for $2 per 90-minute session per child.
Hours: 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays.
Cost: $105 for an adult 20-visit pass or $5.50 for a single drop-in; $55 for ages 4-18 for 20-visit pass or $3 for a single drop-in pass; $75 for ages 60 and older for a 20-visit pass or $4 for a single drop-in pass. Other membership options available.
First Friday Artwalk
Downtown Vancouver, 360-258-1129, http://vdausa.org/map/ArtWalkMapDefault.pdf
Event: On the first Friday of each month, Vancouver’s Downtown Association hosts the First Friday Artwalk. It’s a way to explore galleries, check out new artists in the community and also get some discounts from local businesses.
“There’s always something going on downtown, and on First Friday a lot of people stay open later than usual,” said Lee Rafferty, executive director of the association.
The event kicks off with a reception that changes locations. On Dec. 2, the First Friday reception will be held at Erik Runyan Jewelers, 900 Washington St., and will include a charity fundraiser and carolers. Participants can download a map from the Downtown Association with a list of participating businesses and galleries.
“It’s based mostly on our galleries, but many other businesses bring artists in for the evening,” Rafferty said. “Some will have live music. It’s a great time to stroll and get acquainted with your downtown and get together with friends and neighbors.”