Looking for some free (or nearly free) family fun? Leeanne Ekland has the scoop on what to do in Vancouver’s Olympic Village.
With school back in full swing and the kids getting back into their busy routines, things can feel pretty hectic and crazy! Sometimes it’s nice to reconnect on the weekend by unwinding inside with our little ones. But if you’re all itching to go outside and take advantage of these lovely fall days I’ll share with you a few of my family’s favourite weekend activities. As a resident of the Olympic Village on False Creek I’ve got an insider’s view on what to do in Vancouver’s hottest up-and-coming neighbourhood. If you’re a frugal Vancouver mom like me, you’ll appreciate that these activities are either free or nearly free! Charge the battery in your camera, as there will be lots of photo ops.
What to do in Vancouver’s Olympic Village
Creekside Community Centre Playgym
Cost: $1 per child, kids five and under
Wear your kidlets out and have some fun too in this safe, parent-supervised gym. It’s set up with lots of kid stuff to jump on, ride on and slide down. There’s often kid’s music playing to sing and dance to. hen the kiddies are busy jiving or playing with others their size, it gives parents a chance to connect with adult conversation.
After a good run around it’s time to feed and water the babes. If you’ve brought a snack or bag lunch enjoy it picnic style next to the bigger-than-life sparrows in the Olympic Village Plaza. With lots of built in tables and chairs to sit on, it’s the perfect answer for what to do in Vancouver on a sunny weekend.
If the rains come check out the brand new Tap and Barrel, Urban Fare or Terra Breads right in our very own village! Lots of choices and all are kid friendly. If you like to go on the cheap like me though, get yourself a coffee while you feed the kiddies the lunch you packed.
*Be sure to stop by the Creekside Community Centre website to confirm times before visiting. Playgym is open every day but times vary.
After you’ve finished lunch, take a walk down the seawall towards Hinge Park and Habitat Island. Completely man-made, this island was designed to attract wildlife to the area. Did you hear about the pilot whale that visited recently? Apparently, it came into False Creek looking for something good to eat.
Have a seat on the pebbled beach and enjoy the view as the Aquabus and other sea-worthy vessels sail by or have a walk around the island. It’s small, so it takes no time to walk around and great views can be had from the north side. It’s the perfect idea for what to do in Vancouver with a toddler.
I love the opportunity to snap photos of my son engrossed in a bit of fun. Throwing rocks into the water and boat watching is one of my his favourite past times these days. I think he’d easily stay here for hours, and he’s only two! For me, finding those nice flat rocks to skip across the water makes for good fun too!
There’s still time to enjoy the sites before the next activity so have a wander around the Village for a bit. Check out the community gardens that are part of Hinge Park. Maybe I’ll see you there as I’m harvesting and planting for the winter season. There’s lots of room to play and run around if your little ones still have the energy. If you’ve got bread left over from lunch, there are plenty of hungry ducks nearby to lighten your load.
Wine and Spirits Tasting
When your little ones are peacefully asleep in the stroller, make your way over to the finest liquor store in the city for some adult fun. Legacy Liquor Store, at 1633 Manitoba Street, is Vancouver’s largest privately owned liquor store. It’s housed in the site of the chapel, when the Village was occupied by Olympic athletes. Today you’ll be feeling a different kind of spirit, though, as it offers up various tastings on a nearly daily tasting basis with something for everyone. Check their website for details and event times.
Try something new and bring a bottle home for later. You may need it after such a full day!
If you were wondering what to do in Vancouver this weekend, I’ve planned your day for you. Have a great time in the Olympic Village on False Creek. It’s a very special place to visit!
Leeanne Ekland is a mom of one, who’s on a mission to rediscover love, wellness, and neighbourhood happenings, and to have a ton of fun. She’s blogging about her experiences at leeanneekland.com. Having started the parenting experience much later than most, she offers a unique perspective on the challenges and all that is amazing about being a new mom over 40. At least – she does when she’s not napping, which is something she does often.