Thursday, October 31, 2013

Stanley Park turns 125 years & is still a great place to take your kids

Vancouver's Stanley Park is a must-see on every tourist's to-do list when they visit this city, and it is also a wonderful place to take your kids, whether you're a tourist or a local.

This year, the park turns 125 years. In 1888, city council decided to protect and preserve 1000 acres as a public park, and since then the place has undergone many changes to become the tourist attraction and people magnet it is today. One thing is for sure: this is a well-loved destination with a lot going for it.

No matter what time of year, what the weather is like, or how old your kids are, you can find something to do in Stanley Park. Here are just 5 fun things I enjoy doing with my own children:


1. Go for a walk or a bike ride on the Sea Wall
The Sea Wall is the 9 km long trail that goes around almost the entire park. There are gorgeous views of the mountains and the city, lots to see in the ocean and in the woods, and access to beaches and rocky coves all along. Do the whole thing or just a part of it, whatever suits your family best. Also a great thing to do if you're pushing a stroller!

2. Visit the Vancouver Aquarium
Get up close and personal with all sorts of ocean life, insects, mammals, and various plants and creatures. The Aquarium is located right inside Stanley Park and makes a good destination on a rainy day, or it can be a part of your day out when you're walking or biking around the park.


3. Visit Third Beach
This is probably my favourite beach in the Lower Mainland. Any time of year, this is a great place to take the kids. In summer, they can dig in the sand, play in the water, go for a swim, and jump in the waves. If the weather is too cool for that, you can do some beach-combing, study the wildlife in the tide pools and on the rocks, or you can just sit down and enjoy the beautiful scenery.


4. Go to the water park
The water park near Lumberman's Arch and the Aquarium is open in the summer months and offers a lot of splashy, wet fun for kids and adults. Bring a towel to sit on, bring a picnic, or get a snack at the concession stand.


5. Have some fun at a playground
There are several great playgrounds to visit with your kids, located all around Stanley Park. They make for a great play-break for your kids, and if you're visiting Vancouver they provide a great place for your kids to burn off some energy in an outdoor setting. Check out the two playgrounds near Second Beach, near the Miniature Train, and the smaller playground near the Rose Garden.

For more on Stanley Park and its history, check out these links:

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