Now Reading
Pop Up Adventure Playground, no parents allowed!

Pop Up Adventure Playground, no parents allowed!

Pop up playgrounds are, well, popping up all over the city, and they are red hot. Billed as an innovative way for children aged 3-12 to get creative, take risks and explore, these new spaces around the city have kids and parents popping in for hands-on fun. We checked out the Coquitlam Adventure Playground to see what all the fuss was about.

When we entered the pop up space, wooden structures and pieces were lying about waiting to be used to create whatever struck the kids fancy. In fact, there were buckets, nails, hammers, fabric, giant spools, rubber tires, rope, logs, tape measures, metal baskets and other tools all situated in a fenced space of varying heights.

playground vancouver

The unique feature here is that this Coquitlam pop up playground is completely grownup-free (it’s kind of like the ultimate playhouse!). Parents are asked to leave their children to play and explore on their own.

This style of playground encourages important top-of-mind life skills including:

  • Creativity and self confidence
  • Skills to assess risk and safety
  • Critical thinking and
  • Physical literacy

The irony with this sort of unstructured play is seeing some parents yell through the fence, instructing their kids to be careful. We found it easy to get lost in a book under a shady tree.

Pro Tip: If you are a work from home mama, grab a blanket and get a bit of work done while your kids are entertained.

We really love that kids as young as 3, are learning life skills such as assessing risk. They are left to create to their hearts’ content with the various mediums available. It’s not every day a toddler gets to build a fort with a stack of tires in an otherwise unused hidden space. How cool is that?

playground vancouver

Coquitlam’s Adventure Playground is open all summer long. Delta also has two adventure playgrounds in operation this summer and Burnaby has put on an Imagination Playground that uses big blue blocks. They operate at different parks and times so check individual city websites for more details.

Coquitlam Pop Up Dets

July 2 – Sept. 2, 2018
Monday – Sunday, 10:30 am. – 4:30 pm with Tuesday & Thursdays open until 6:30 p.m.


Take transit and make it a full day adventure!

pop up playground coquitlam

Guidelines for parents and kids

  • Children must wear closed-toe athletic shoes (runners)
  • Children are not presumed to be under the care of Adventure Playground staff
  • Ensure your children enter and exit the playground safely
  • The area near the entrance has been cleared; tree stumps are available for parents to sit and watch
  • Please watch from outside the play area

And remember parents, Pink Floyd said it best: “Mama, leave those kids alone!”

>> Have you visited these million dollar playgrounds?


View Comment (1)
  • In the Netherlands we have a thing called “Fort Building Days”. Every summer, multiple groups of 5 or 6 kids each gather in a field in town, and they spent 5 days turning a gigantic pile of old pallets, scrap wood, and blankets into a fort per group — they’ll often use paint and other knickknacks to give their fort a theme.

    Volunteers walk around to help with trickier parts, and there’s a professional-run tool-shed where kids can line up to request a limited number of custom table-saw cuts. Parents are not allowed in, and other than the first and last day, they are encouraged to leave for the day and come back only to pick their kids up at the end of the day.

    Kids go home at the end of each day, except for the last night (weather permitting) where those kids who feel brave enough can do a sleep-over in their own fort. The last day all the forts are judged in various categories (largest, most colorful, most creative, best theme, etc.) and age-groups. After the awards have been handed out, the fire-department rounds up all the forts into a big pile and the whole thing is set aflame in a bit of a closing ceremony.

    I participated for the first time in 1985, when I was only 5 years old. I now live in Canada, but as a 38 year old with two kids of my own, it brings me great joy to learn this event still exists. Here are some great pictures from the 2012 event:

    Scrap-wood and pallet delivery:
    Forts coming together:
    Kids painting their fort:
    Some even made their own tool rack:

    What I remember best from these events as a kid is that every day you go home and spent the rest of the evening brainstorming all the cool things you’d wanna do to your fort the next day. You’d fall asleep with your brain still racing about hammers, nails, wood, paint, and how for sure you could make a safe and strong three-story fort if only the grown-ups would let you. Of course, you’d show up early morning the next day and realize your five group-mates have ideas of their own and learn all about compromising and teamwork.

    My kids are just 4 years old, which is a bit young — but I’m determined to make something like this happen for them in North Vancouver one day. If anybody knows of something like this, or if you want to help make this happen for your own kids — drop me an email.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Established in 2009, is an online resource providing urban, hyperlocal information on what to do and what's new for families in Metro Vancouver. 

© 2021 Crisp Media Inc.

Scroll To Top