Are you mourning the loss of summer and its long hours outside at the park? Are your preschoolers already getting cabin fever just a short time into fall? Fall in Vancouver gets a bad rap because it’s the time between the warm sunny summer and the ski and snowboard season. But just because it’s swing season doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of ways to get your littles out in nature. Here are some ways to enjoy the outdoors this fall.
Five great places to visit with preschoolers outdoors this fall
Go for a hike
Vancouverites are fortunate enough to enjoy hiking year round. Trails like Lighthouse Park, Lynn Valley, and Buntzen Lake are open and safe for hiking year round, and fall is a beautiful time. The water is misty and moody, the leaves changing colour. Enjoy seeing the seasons change in these perfect hikes for preschoolers.
Bundle up and head to the beach
Who says it has to be warm to enjoy the beach? Whether you skip rocks, build driftwood shelters, or build sandcastles, the beach is delightful in the colder chill of fall. Skip rocks at Cates Park, examine the tidal pools at Kits Beach or watch the boats at Steveston’s Garry Point Park. Enjoy the smaller crowds, just bring the rain boots and hot cocoa!
Watch the Salmon Jump at the Capilano River Hatchery
If you want some nature education but to stay dry on a rainy day, the Capilano River Salmon Hatchery has a fish ladder that is under cover and full of fish in mid-fall. October and November are when adult Chinook salmon make their pilgrimage upstream to spawn. The modern facility is also a great place to teach your kids about the salmon life cycle
Enjoy The Fall Foliage
Nothing makes for a more seasonal backdrop than the changing leaves. Preschoolers are the perfect age for nature crafts. Head to your local park with a basket to collect some of the beautiful fall leaves. Bring them home to do leave rubbings or make leave crowns. Or just collect enough in your basket to toss around and play with!
Fall is an interesting time to be a bird-watcher Head to George C. Reifel Bird Sanctuary for fun times feeding the birds. You can expect to see shorebirds, warblers, and other songbirds as they make their migration south for the winter. Richmond Nature Park also had a spot to watch the birds at their feeders. Expect to see chickadees, nuthatches, and sparrows aplenty.
Just because summer is over doesn’t mean fun times outside with your kids have to end. Just remember to pack your rain gear, have dry changes of clothes, and throw those tots in the tub to get warm and clean off the mud when you get home!
Post by Brie Aho, the mind behind Happy Go Mama, a blog dedicated to the adventure of parenting through mental illness.