Friday, May 20, 2011

5 great playgrounds in & around Vancouver, BC

When you're looking for an easy thing to do with your kids, whether you're on holidays or just getting out of the house with them, a playground can be just the thing. My kids have their favorites in Vancouver and the surrounding areas, and here are some of their top picks:

Centennial Beach, Tsawwassen
I've mentioned this place before, because it is such an awesome beach for just relaxing and watching the kids play in the shallow waters (if its warm enough for that kind of thing). But right next to the beach is a fantastic playground with all sorts of top-of-the-line climbing equipment, slides, and swings. Definitely worth a visit.

And if you get tired of the playground, there's always the beach right next to it, and trails for walking and biking. In late summer, you can even pick wild blackberries along the trails!

Garden City Park, Richmond
This playground is spectacular. It has some crazy climbing nets for getting up into a crow's nest with a long slide down, a man-made "creek", a water-wheel and all sorts of unusual play equipment for kids to explore. It's also located in a beautiful park, and makes for a nice place to take a break if you're in Richmond.

This blog-post from 2008 has some great pictures of the park and playground.

Redwood Park, Surrey
I just discovered this park on a field trip with my daughter's preschool, and I can't believe I didn't know about it before. The playground is almost brand new and features a big pyramid-like carousel (a favorite with the preschool kids), very nice slides and climbing equipment, big green fields of grass and wheelchair access. There are lots of picnic tables too, and plenty of trails to explore.

An added bonus is that the park has all sorts of beautiful and unusual (for British Columbia anyway trees growing in it, including a grove of redwoods.

Second Beach, Stanley Park, Vancouver
This is actually two playgrounds next to each other with a big green-space in-between. They are more old-school style than the previously mentioned playgrounds, but there are some great swings, an antique fire truck to climb into, and some very cool slides. Plus, it's in Stanley Park, which is a must-see if you're in Vancouver!

There's an outdoor pool nearby, beaches, concession, and Lost Lagoon with all the birds (and roaming raccoons) nearby.

Granville Island, Vancouver
This is a small-ish playground but the kids always seem to enjoy it, maybe because they like Granville Island so much. The play equipment is mostly old wood, but the kids seem ok with that. Their favorite feature is probably the hanging bridge. Rocking and rolling that bridge is apparently a lot of fun!

Right next to the playground is a water park, which is open in the summer. It has a slide and some different spray and splash features. Like Stanley Park, Granville Island is a must-see if you're in Vancouver. My kids like to walk around the whole island on the boardwalk, and the playground makes for a nice break. This site has lots of photos of the playground and the rest of Granville Island.


  1. I was in Vancouver way too many moons ago, when I was still without kids and am dying to go back to show my children this beautiful city.

    Great to see how many playgrounds there.

  2. I think it's getting better with good playgrounds too, seems a lot of old, worn equipment is being replaced with newer, "fancier" stuff. Costly for a lot of schools and municipalities, but very fun for kids!


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