By Momstown Editor – Alison Martin
From small neighbourhood green spaces to destination parks, kids of all ages will enjoy frolicking in these Vancouver parks.
Opened in 1997, the park was once home to the Sweeney Cooperage, the largest barrel manufacturer in the British Empire. Park visitors can enjoy the outdoors as they follow the winding paths that hug False Creek. The site also contains a playground and skate park (added in 2003) tucked under the Cambie Street Bridge, as well as plenty of green grass and colourful plantings.
This popular park designed with the help of kids sits just 30 minutes outside of Vancouver. Jeff Cutler, the park’s architect, asked local kids what they thought would make the coolest playground. Their feedback sparked this space which features a pyramid of climbing nets, swings and slides. The park also features a few natural elements such as a climbable tree stump and bolder. Families will find everything they need for a fun-filled day at the park from picnic table to water fountains and washrooms with change tables. And better still, it is open year-round.
Rainbow Playland at Queen’s Park
Designed with families in mind, Rainbow Playland features two playgrounds, a spray park and a petting zoo in a 75-acres space. Trees, trails and green spaces surround this green space. On Sundays throughout the summer, visitors can take in the free live performance taking place at the band shell.
Voted as one of the best playgrounds in the Lower Mainland by readers of the Vancouver Sun, Lions Park boasts a colourful rubberized surface made of recycled tires that encourages children to be physically active, play with others, and have fun. The park features a sandbox, climbing structures, swings, slide and zip line. The park aims to meet the needs of all abilities including those with autism spectrum disorder, with vision, hearing and physical impairments, and other disorders.
Terra Nova Adventure Play Environment
This suburban Vancouver playground is built in a former farm field and is shielded by trees in Terra Nova Rural Park. The park offers two distinct spaces in which kids can let loose and test their athleticism. The ‘Paddock’ which was once home to horses and stables, now includes a meadow maze, big swings, slides and tandem 35m long zip lines. The ‘Homestead’, the site of a former farm house, includes a unique multiplatform treehouse, The Log Jan, climbable timber structure and an aerial rope walkway.
Deemed the biggest free water park in North America, Granville Island Waterpark is riddled with spray features, pipes and puddles to splash in. Even on busy days, there’s plenty of space for children to explore. And, with clean washrooms, shaded surroundings and ample picnic spots, this is an ideal place to cool down on a hot day.
Note: Kids must be 3’6 or taller to use the waterslide.
From spinning bucket seats to fast-spinning spider web, not to mention an incredible mountain view, this park has it all. Families can cool off at the outdoor water play area or go swimming at the Eileen Dailly Leisure Pool before, and wind down with a picnic lunch among the trees. The park also includes ball diamonds, tennis courts and a skate park. On summer weekends, climb aboard the Model Steam Railway and explore the park.
Designated a national historic site, Stanley Park offers solace from Vancouver’s urban landscape. The park contains four play areas and plenty of washrooms, change areas and water fountains within its 1,001-acre sprawl. Second Beach features a jungle gym, climbers, swings, and crawling and hanging structures. On hot days, visitors can cool off in the outdoor pool or venture to the nearby splash pad at Lumbermen’s Arch, featuring host of upright sprinklers shooting cool water.
The smaller Ceperley playground has a covered picnic area and a climbable toy fire truck. While the Rose Garden playground features a beautiful botanical oasis with a basic jungle gym.
Hop on the free Stanley Park Train for a little adventure and some beautiful views.
Do you know of a family-friendly park in the Vancouver-area that isn’t on our list? Let us know.