Vancouver is blessed with lots of mountains, beaches, trails, lakes and parks within a couple of hours’ drive, and summer weekends are the perfect time to get out and explore everything the Lower Mainland has to offer. The newly-released book, 52 Best Day Trips From Vancouver, by outdoor adventure expert Jack Christie, is the perfect resource for families who want to explore a new trail, beach or mountain each weekend.
An all-season, all-activities reference guide
The book contains detailed maps, lots of photographs by Jack’s wife, Louise, and an activities index, which allows you to look up destinations according to the type of activity you want to do. There’s an outdoor activity for everyone, including paddling, cycling, birding, boating, group functions, dog walking and playgrounds.
In our recent interview, Jack said, “There’s a really great playground we have at Redwood park, which has been specifically designed for children of all ability levels. It’s constructed especially so the surface of the playground is very soft and cushiony, so that if you have a developmentally-challenged child, they can absolutely enjoy themselves as much as any other child.”
Day trips save families money
Day trips are great for enjoying outdoor activities, but they’re also great for saving families money.
As Jack said, “All of these day trips are free. There’s nothing in the book that requires an admittance fee. And in fact, there are a number of hints in the book that will actually save readers the price of the book itself. For example, there are places that you can go for free and have just as good an experience as a place where you would pay, [such as] the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge, which is free, and it’s only blocks away from the Capilano suspension bridge, where you have to pay an admission.”
Getting kids out into the magic of nature
Spending time in nature has so many benefits for adults and kids – it helps lower stress, increase awareness of ecology and the environment, and outdoor activities help increase physical activity.
If your challenge is getting resistant kids out the door, Jack has a few tips. “One thing I learned from my parents is they always sugar-coated a trip like a picnic or a day trip by stopping in and enjoying something that the whole family enjoyed, like french fries or ice cream. There are lots of neat little places, like Ladner, for example, right on the harbour, where you can turn any kind of trip into treat time. Because once you get there, I find that kids really enjoy themselves. Even if they say ‘I really don’t want to go’, once you get there, there’s something magical about being outdoors.”
Worth a read
52 Best Day Trips From Vancouver is a great book for anyone who wants to explore some of the outdoor activities that the Lower Mainland has to offer, whether you want a universally accessible trail or a challenging hike.
Jack Christie’s warmth, experience and enthusiasm really shone through during our conversation, and he invites his readers to learn more about his adventures or contact him with questions and feedback at jackchristie.com.
Michelle Carchrae is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom to two girls. With a serious love for Vancouver and an equally serious need to get out of the house with two young kids, Michelle searches out the best kid and parent friendly places to go. Michelle also writes about parenting at her blog, The Parent Vortex.