Have a screaming great weekend as you get spun around on Atmosfear, take a hair-raising fall on the Hellevator, step back in time on the Wooden Roller Coaster, brave the Haunted Mansion or just take a spin on the Super Slide or Merry-Go-Round as Playland opens the gates on another summery season (until Sept. 30).
National Dance Week
Celebrate the beauty of human movement in all its forms at National Dance Week events including Izm, a 10-person hip-hop show that's winning raves across the country; site-specific dance at Kits Beach Park and Harbour Green; a double bill featuring Co.ERASGA and Germany's CocoonDance; and an all-day open house at the Dance Centre, where you can take in free performances, workshops and more (through Sunday).
Idan Raichel and Vieux Farka Toure Quartet
Hear the meeting of two international music virtuosos as Israeli pianist and composer Idan Raichel joins Malian guitarist and songwriter Vieux Farka Toure for a stunning fusion of traditions that are worlds apart (at the Norman Rothstein Theatre Sunday and Monday). For more sounds from across the sea, catch Canadian-based world music guitar star Pavlo at the Vogue (Saturday).
Party for the Planet
Missed out on the Earth Day action? Pick up a stunning steed at the Vintage Bike Swap Meet (at Britannia Saturday), then join Surrey's Party For the Planet, a family-friendly fest that features hip-hop dance, live circus and kids' faves Bobs & Lolo and the Backyardigans – as well as displays about green transportation, water, waste management, energy and more (Saturday) , or check out the Giant Rummage Sale in Kerrisdale, which will help fund a community well in Kenya (Saturday).
VPL Spring Book Sale
They may not come with slick touchscreen functionality, but you can pick up all kinds of fantastic summer reads – including fiction, non-fiction, kids books, audio books, magazines and more – for $.50 to $2.50 at the Vancouver Public Library Spring Book Sale (at the Central Branch through Sunday).
West Coast Tattoo and Culture Show
Or find a completely different kind of ink at the West Coast Tattoo and Culture Show, where you can see top international tattoo artists and reality TV stars Chris Nunez and Billy DeCola, as well as 70 exhibitors, a Pin-Up Pageant, awards for Best Sleeve, Best Portrait and Best Tattoo of the Day, and a whole lot of sassy tats (through Sunday).
BC Place Community Weekend
Still stinging from the Canucks' game 5 defeat? Soothe your sporting self with a behind-the-scenes look at the recently revamped BC Place, where you can kick a ball with the Whitecaps FC, throw a pass with the BC Lions, check out the dressing rooms and visit snazzy suites at the stadium's free Community Weekend (through Sunday). For more free sneak peeks, check out the Ocean Construction Open House on Granville island, where you can pick up a little concrete knowledge – and climb aboard the country's largest cement truck.
Treat yourself to breathtaking fields of reds, yellows, oranges, pinks and purples at Tulip Festival 2012, where thousands of spring flowers are in full bloom. Want the most colourful bang for your buck? Go when the temperature is warmest, because the tulips open up (through Sunday).
Scotiabank MS Walk
Lace up those sneakers and take a walk for those who often cannot at the Scotiabank MS Walk, happening in communities across the Lower Mainland and around the province Sunday. Or help Commonwealth Games Canada fund grassroots international development through sport at the Game of Life Run/Walk in Stanley Park (Sunday).
International Astronomy Day
Learn about telescope basics, light pollution and Apollo missions at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, then head for SFU in Burnaby, where you can take in a tour of the night sky from the Milky Way to the edge of the universe, followed by a truly star-studded party, at International Astronomy Day (Saturday).
Bike the Blossoms
Take a leisurely ride under falling pink and white petals at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival's Bike the Blossoms, a free guided ride that includes a talk by Park Board arborist Bill Stephen and plenty of oohs and aahs (meet at China Creek Park South at 10:30 Saturday). Want an extra hit of birdsong? Take a Birding By Ear guided tour at Campbell Valley Regional Park Sunday or at Burnaby Lake Saturday, or learn all about our feathered friends on a Birds of a Feather walk in Stanley Park Sunday.