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Ten free (or super-cheap) outdoor activities for kids

One of the great things about summer is that heading outdoors is FREE. The last thing we need is the kids inside on their iPads or watching Paw Patrol reruns! When the weather is fine, there’s so much to do around Vancouver. Here are some ideas.

Ten free (or cheap) outdoor activities for kids

Go fishing


Chill with the kids outdoors by dropping a few rods into Rice Lake in North Vancouver or Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam and see if you can nab a rainbow trout. Lafarge Lake’s annual free (no-license required) fishing day is Father’s Day, June 18, 2017, 9 am – 1 pm. The lake will be stocked with rainbow trout in the morning so there are lots of fish to catch, and  xeperts are on-hand with tips.

Burnaby Village Museum

Step back in time to life in the 1920’s with a trip to the Burnaby Village Museum. It’s a great indoor/outdoor museum for kids, a pretty quick drive from Vancouver and a fun little family field trip. And admission is FREE for the summer season (effective now) and carousel rides are $2.65 a pop.

Explore a NEW playground

Photo by Vairdy

Explore Terra Nova in Richmond and marvel at this playground that helps kids connect with nature. Located by the Richmond dyke, the playground incorporates trees and former local farms in the design. There’s a tandem zip line, 10 foot tall treehouse, epic slides and swings for the big kids. Also a sandpit and timber swing for the toddler set. Other standouts are the new million dollar Lions Park playground in Port Coquitlam or Nobel Park at Wesbrook Village.

Hike the north shore
Get your nature fix (and some exercise) on the North Shore: Hike the Baden Powell trail to Quarry Rock, or explore Lynn Canyon

Spend an afternoon at the Jazz Fest at David Lam Park
Coinciding with Canada Day, the Jazz Fest retains its incredible free lineup of music at David Lam Park on the final weekend of the fest. It’s all outdoors, by the water in Yaletown. And it’s close to ice cream, cold drinks, coffee, bathrooms and everything you might need for a magical day or evening.

Ride the miniature train at Burnaby Central Railway


All aboard train lovers! Ride the miniature rails through the forest. When you’re done, cross the street to Confederation Park for a picnic and enjoy the playground, splash pad and basketball courts. (Train is open weekends & holidays only, $3.50 for a 10-15 minute ride).

Play some disc golf
Grab some frisbees and try your (and the kids) hands at disc golf – it’s a lot easier that golf, golf! Mundy Park has a great course nestled in the woods (bring your bathing suit along for a swim in Spani pool opening June 5; only $2/person); and Queen Elizabeth Park has a classic course by the duck pond and close to Hillcrest swimming pool.

Get wet at the splash pad

Photo by Vairdy
A few standouts are the new splash pad at Wesbrook Village (close to cafes, bakeries and change rooms!). Queen’s Park in New Westminster, is an oldie but kiddie fave set amid tall trees, with a petting zoo, concession, camp counsellors and the rainbow Playground. Steveston Spray Park is also a winner and locate right beside an expansive playground, which is great for all ages.

Head to the Fort 
Explore the recreated historic village from when settlers first came to the area at Fort Langley. Free admission in 2017 with your Discovery Pass

Hit the beach!
Visit a beach that’s new to you like Centennial Beach in Boundary Bay, Delta, a skim boarders paradise with a epically low tide. There’s also a playground and lovely eco-inspired, revamped facilities.

Photo credits: Rice Lake, Vairdy Photography Burnaby Central Railway, Vairdy hotography

 

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