On a warm, sunny summer day, one of the best places to hang out with your kids is a water park. Spraying water, splashing water, running through the water, stomping in the water... it's all fun (and cooling). Here are five great places in and around Vancouver to hang out with your kids and let them get wet:
Location: Lumberman's Arch in Stanley Park
This water park is located just a short walk from the Vancouver Aquarium and has a lot of cool water-play features. You can sit on the benches or on the grass surrounding the water park, but on a hot day that can get pretty hot. Bring a picnic or buy some food from the nearby concession.
2. Granville Island Water Park, Vancouver
Location: Granville Island, right next to the playground
Granville Island is a fantastic place for a walk, buying fruit and veggies, and listening to buskers. My kids love it, and on a hot day you can spend some time cooling off at the water park here too. You can buy a wide variety of baked goods, candy, ice cream, fresh fruit, and other treats in the nearby Farm Market.
3. Steveston Community Park, Steveston, Richmond
Location: 4011 Moncton Street
My kids love the extensive playground in this community park, and there's also a water park here that is open in the summer months. There are benches and grassy lawns to sit on and also some shady trees. Steveston also has lots of coffee shops, ice cream parlors and restaurants if you want to go for a snack or meal with your kids too.
4. Garden City Community Park, Richmond
Location: 6620 Garden City Road
This is not really a traditional water park. There are no slides, spraying thingies or water cannons. Instead, there's a little "river" that runs down a hill, there's a small water wheel and water pump, a bridge, and a small pond like area where kids can play with water, sand and gravel. More like water-play activities really, but my kids (and all the other kids I see there) absolutely love it.
The adjacent playground is fantastic as well. Great photos of this park here.
5. Bear Creek Park, Surrey
Location: 13750 88 Avenue, Surrey
Bear Creek Park has an extensive garden, as well as a miniature train and a big, fun playground. There's also a big water park with all sorts of spraying and splashing things. It's a great place for a picnic with extensive lawns and big, shady trees. Lots of parking too.