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WHAT TO DO AT THE VANCOUVER PARALYMPICS

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There are many things to see and do in Vancouver when you are not watching sports competitions and medal events. Most of these Paralympic activities are free.

Here's a guide to what to do during the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games and where to find them.

Paralympic Games entertainment

At LiveCity Downtown, on Georgia Street, between Beatty and Cambie Streets, you can watch giant screens and see live performances, March 12-14 and 18-21. CentrePlace Manitoba has multimedia displays and a Canadian Museum of Human Rights exhibit, March 12-14 and 18-21.

GE Ice Plaza at Robson Square, between Hornby and Howe Streets on Robson Street, features ice skating, athlete demonstrations and family activities.

From March 1 to 22, BC Hydro Power Smart Village, located at 333 Dunsmuir Street, boasts a dance floor that creates electricity while people dance. You can see crafts and demonstrations of traditional Arctic games, and enjoy live musical entertainment, between March 1 and 31, at Canada's Northern House (602 West Hastings Street).

How to get to GE Ice Plaza

Located on Robson Street, between Hornby St. and Howe St., the GE Ice Plaza is in Robson Square. CTV Canada AM will broadcast daily from Robson Square.

Laser shows

You can watch Paralympic competitions on giant screens and see a laser light and water show every night at David Lam Park, a live Winter Games site.

How to get to David Lam Park

David Lam Park is located on the Vancouver waterfront. The entrance to David Lam Park is from Pacific Boulevard in Yaletown, in False Creek North. Yaletown-Roundhouse Canada Line station opened in November 2009, so you can ride the SkyTrain to and from David Lam Park.

Giant screens

During the 2010 Paralympics, you'll find giant screens and live performances at Larwill Park, another Vancouver live site. Larwill Park was Vancouver's original field sports venue in 1886.

How to get to Larwill Park

To go from David Lam Park to Larwill Park, follow Mainland St. and Hamilton St., which will be pedestrian streets during the Winter Games. Larwill Park is located on Georgia Street, between Beatty St. and Cambie St., across the road from Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Vancouver Host City pavilion

The Vancouver Host City pavilion depicts Vancouver as a destination for tourists, culture and business.

How to get to Vancouver Public Library

Located in the Vancouver Public Library, at 350 West Georgia, the Host City Pavilion is in the Central Library Atrium of the coliseum-shaped building.

How long are line-ups?

If you want to buy Olympic hats, Olympic apparel or red Olympic mittens at the downtown Vancouver HBC store, be prepared for a one to two-hour wait. Line-ups at Heineken House can be as long as four hours.

Aboriginal art displays

The 15 Winter Olympics and Paralympics venues display Aboriginal art. The Four Host First Nations, the Lil'wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations are official hosts of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, along with the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees.

Works include "welcome" works of art from the Four Host First Nations, women's traditional art, pieces by established Canadian Aboriginal artists and art from Aboriginal youth programs.

How to get to the Four Host First Nations Pavilion

In Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza, across the street from Larwill Park, a longhouse houses Lil'wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh arts, crafts, food, stories and culture. You'll find it below a 20-metre-high, air-supported snowball.

Francophone events

During the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic Winter Games, Francophone events will be held at Granville Island.

How to get to Granville Island

A Bombardier streetcar will shuttle you between the Canada Line Olympic Village station and Granville Island, during the Olympics. You can also take Aquabus Ferries between Science World (and other Vancouver locations) and Granville Island.

English Bay inukshuk photos

Located on English Bay Beach, the human form rock sculpture was originally built for Expo 86. You can pose for pictures in front of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games emblem, with the Pacific Ocean and North Shore mountains behind.

BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

You'll learn about Terry Fox, Rick Hansen and British Columbia Aboriginal sport heroes in the BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and Aboriginal Sport Gallery in BC Place Stadium.

Restaurants near BC Place Stadium

You can dine on steak, while watching sports on large plasma screens, at Players Chophouse Restaurant and Lounge. In Vancouver's Georgian Court Hotel, the William Tell restaurant serves Swiss and French cuisine. Provence Marinaside, beside the False Creek seawall, features seafood and good wines.

Hotels near BC Place Stadium

YWCA Hotel offers budget accommodations, near BC Place Stadium. Besides single rooms, YMCA Hotel has rooms for five, with private or semi-private baths, which are ideal for families and friends wanting affordable lodging near Paralympic venues.

Georgian Court Hotel offers higher-end lodging near BC Place Stadium. The Hampton Inn & Suites has a lobby fireplace and free breakfasts daily.

Paralympic Victory Ceremonies

What's the location of Paralympic Victory Ceremonies? The free celebrations are held at 6 pm nightly, from March 13 to 18, at Whistler Medals Plaza.

Whistler Live! features free sports demonstrations, music and street performances at in Whistler Village.


TRAVEL INFORMATION

Tourism Vancouver: www.tourismvancouver.com

More information on Vancouver area:

Vancouver Paralympic Tickets

Vancouver Winter Games Sports Competition Dates

2010 Winter Games Event Venues in Vancouver and Whistler

Sooke Harbour House and Wickaninnish Inn on Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island Chocolate Trail

Vancouver's 25 Best