WildPlay in Maple Ridge BC. Photo Dean Simmons via Flickr
By Mary Ann Bell
There are family-friendly activities to do in the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains region year-round, but there’s something special about shaking off winter and heading out for a family adventure in the spring. Here are 6 of our favourite spring family adventures.
If your kids love interacting with animals, then there’s nothing better than a visit to North Vancouver’s Maplewood Farm to meet the new baby animals that have been born this spring. While you can visit any day of the week, we recommend letting your children experience life as a farmer at Maplewood Farm with the “Behind the Scenes” program. They’ll get to collect and wash eggs, groom some of the animals, set up feed and explore the off limits areas of the farm.
Warmer weather means time to hit White Rock beach, and though it might not be warm enough for a dip in the ocean, it’s perfect weather to splash in the puddles and pools. At low tide, the kids will love exploring the tidal pools for crabs, sand dollars and other marine life. When you’re done on the beach, head up to Marine Drive and warm up with a hot chocolate, or embrace beach culture and grab an ice cream cone.
Arguably the “granddaddy” spot for bird watching in the region, the Reifel Bird Sanctuary, located on Westham Island in Delta, is perfect for both amateur and experienced birders. Just a 45-minute drive south of Vancouver, the park is home to countless wooded trails, a lookout tower and over 200 species of birds. Often spotted in winter: Snow Geese, Sandhill Cranes, Mallards, Black-Capped Chickadees, owls (including the Great Horned Owl), eagles, hawks, loons, cormorants and herons. Bird food is available in the gift shop and there are binoculars available to borrow.
Redwood Park, an 80-acre forested gem hidden in South Surrey, is home to a magical fairytale forest. Eccentric twin brothers, who were each gifted 40 acres by their father, originally owned the land. They filled the park with 32 species of exotic and native trees and lived in a tree house nicknamed “The Hotel”. Over the years, the fairies moved in and children will delight in exploring the forest searching for fairy doors and tiny houses. Plan to spend 1.5 hours exploring the nature trail and more to enjoy the playground.
If your kids regularly remind you of monkeys, then they’ll love the Monkido Aerial course at WildPlay in Maple Ridge. Everyone in the family (over age 5) can enjoy these awesome obstacle courses. Kids over 7 can tackle the classic course, but there’s also a special kids course for 5 – 12 year olds. And older kids will love the extreme course. Get ready for cargo nets, tightropes, wobbly bridges, log ladders and more obstacles, all suspended 2m to 18m above the ground. It’s the ultimate in “monkey-see, monkey-do”!
Slide downhill in a specially designed tube without the worry of having to climb back uphill afterwards – you can hitch a ride on the Tube Lift. With multiple lanes ranging from a gentle slope to longer, faster lanes, Whistler’s Tube Park is fun for the whole family. There’s a concession stand near by and fire pits to warm those chilly fingers and toes. The park is open daily until the end of April.
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Published: March 23, 2017
As a tourism marketer and community manager for some of British Columbia’s most spectacular destinations, Mary Ann Bell spends her days writing, tweeting and posting! When she’s not online, Mary Ann can be found exploring Vancouver’s North Shore trails with her family and her camera, and trying new restaurants in the hunt for the best taco in Metro Vancouver.