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Woodgrove Mall, Nanaimo: A Comprehensive List of Things to Do

Updated on December 20, 2016

It's 8 a.m. and I won't be picked up until 5 p.m. I don't have a whole lot of money, so what do I do? Well, actually, I managed to accomplish quite a bit, and it ended up being a great day. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate everything a person can do in one day, if ever stuck in the same situation as me. And turns out, Woodgrove mall in Nanaimo, B.C. isn't the worst place to be stranded for a day! Below are the top 8 activities you can do to pass the time:


1. Coffee from Starbucks

Obviously, my first thought is coffee. So I head towards the Starbucks attached to Chapters Books, and settle down with my big fat steaming cup of coffee. I decide to buckle down on that homework that I really have to finish. With no easy distractions like a TV to watch, or a bed to sleep in, I finish in no time. The music is relaxing, it's morning so there's not too many people around yet, and I'm feel pretty accomplished. Oh yeah, and two hours have gone by without my even realizing.

Starbucks attached to Chapters Books
Starbucks attached to Chapters Books

2. Browse through books at Chapters

Since I'm here anyways, when I've finished my homework and my (second) coffee, I decide to meander a few steps away to take a look at the books. Three for 10$! Buy one get one half off! 60% off sale! The children's section has seating! Jamie Oliver has a new cookbook! As you can imagine, I end up spending quite a bit of time here, lost in the shelves and shelves of shiny new books that have that lovely booky smell. To be fair, a good half of this time is spent dreaming of the beautiful homeware section that Chapters has accumulated in recent years. Nonetheless, here I am with another 45 minutes down.

Books on books on books
Books on books on books

3. Shop!

Well, I am at a mall after all. I actually don't 'shop,' per se, because as mentioned before, I am with limited funds. But Woodgrove turns out to be a great mall for window shopping! My personal favourite is a store called "Manhattan Home," that has ridiculously cute china, jewelry, lotions, and candles. While one can often get bored of window shopping, Woodgrove feels spacious enough that this isn't the case for me, and another hour has passed as I slowly browse my way through a number of cute shops and outlets.

Manhattan Home
Manhattan Home

4. Free makeup tutorials at Sephora

After a while though, I start to slump. I realize that part of this is because of the fact that I haven't had time to put makeup on this morning, and the bright mall lights and young dapper faces of shoppers are not exactly helping that fact. So I make my way over to Sephora, and test a number of highlighter sticks, bronzers, and blushes, leaving the the Pandora's box of beauty stores feeling 100 times better than I was feeling before. Honestly, Sephora is a kind of other-world experience, so I don't really know how long I spend there.


5. Lunch at the food court

It's noonish now, and I am getting peckish. Fortunately, like any mall, Woodgrove hosts a fabulous food court, and after taking my time in deciding what I'll eat, I order some Japanese food from Edo. Spring rolls and sushi have me feeling far more energized, as I sit at a sleek stool and eat over a white marble surface. Who knew that food courts could get you feeling like a #Queen ? Other food joints deserving an honourable mention: Qoola's frozen yogurt, New York Fries, and Purdy's chocolates. There is also a Taco Bell across the street. Need I say more?

Edo for lunch
Edo for lunch

6. Watch a Movie

You weren't expecting that curve ball, were you? You're tired, you still have another 5 hours to go, and it's time for a break. No problem - head on over to Avalon movie theatre, which is a handy little addition attached right to the mall. I choose Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as my film of choice, and in case you were wondering, I highly recommend it!

Avalon movie theatre
Avalon movie theatre

7. Samples from David's Tea

After your movie, you might find you need a pick-me-up. How about a free sample of tea from David's Tea. I'll admit, this is my third time grabbing free tea from them, but I think it's a different person offering the tasters each time. Even so, I really don't think they would mind, considering their servings are teeny! Anyways, my favourite from the day's haul is their seasonal apple cider tea.

David's Tea
David's Tea

8. Get your nails done

And when all else fails? Get your nails done! There's almost always a nail salon in the mall, and while I don't make use of this aspect of Woodgrove myself, I would have if I had more money. And time! Because next thing I know, I'm out of time, and I'm finally being picked up. Stranded no more!

Cali Nails
Cali Nails

So what did I learn from my day at Woodgrove Mall? That life is what you make it? Sure. That I don't hate malls? Yeah! That Nanaimo isn't so bad after all? Definitely. In fact, if I had been really imaginative, I probably would have wandered away from the boxy suburbs and into the town of Nanaimo, which is actually pretty cool. If you're unfamiliar with Nanaimo, or with Vancouver Island more generally, check out the link below. While I had a great time at the mall, there's so much more than that to do if you ever decide to visit Vancouver Island!

Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island


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