Thursday, November 8, 2012

5 things to do in & around Vancouver - my kids' top picks

My family is lucky to live in a beautiful part of the world, with lots of kid-friendly activities and places to go. On a regular weekend, I do try to head out with the children to spend some time outside, or at least head out to do something that will activate their minds and their bodies.

If my kids get to pick, here are our top 5 things to do and places to go:

Checking out the otters at The Aquarium.
1. The Vancouver Aquarium
Ever since the kids were little, my family has bought a yearly membership at the Vancouver Aquarium. It's just a fantastic place for kids and adults: fun, educational, and hands-on. We often bring a packed lunch, or snack, to eat down by the dolphin underwater viewing area: it's a great way to spend a day out.


Big teeth at Science World.
2. Science World
Science World and the Aquarium are both number one with my kids. And just like the Aquarium, this is a spectacular place to take children because the kids get to have fun while learning something new, and they get to explore the exhibits with their hand as well as their eyes. Kids and adults of any age can have a great time here.

On the trail around Rice Lake in Lynn Canyon Park.
3. Hiking in Lynn Canyon Park
We often go for hikes in the woods when we get a chance, and Lynn Canyon is probably the kids' favorite spot for that. There's the suspension bridge, the river, and lots of easy trails that are still challenging enough to make you feel like you really got moving. Our favorite trails here are either the one going up to and around Rice Lake, or the shorter trail to 30 foot pool, up the stairs and then down to Twin Falls Bridge.

With the goats at Maplewood Farm.
4. Maplewood Farm
Maplewood farm in North Vancouver makes for a very fun outing with kids. There are goats and rabbits to pet, sheep, chickens, cows, horses, pigs... the list goes on. Easy to get to, and fun to visit. My tip: bring a packed lunch and eat it at the picnic tables!

View of the playground at Centennial Beach.
5. Centennial Beach playground
Exploring and climbing around at a playground can be a great, easy way to get some good outdoors-time with the kids. The playground at Tsawwassen's Centennial Beach is fabulous with lots of fun activities - it's also specially designed to be accessible for children with special needs. This year, a new concession facility was constructed here and there are good bathrooms, change-rooms (the beach is right there too), and some yummy food and snacks to buy.

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