Time for Gym at Hyde Creek Rec Centre Port Coquitlam

Program: Time for Gym

Location: Hyde Creek Rec Centre

Cost: $3/each drop in fee , $5/2 children

When: Friday 9:30-11:30 am

Parking available: yes

Tricities area is full of drop-ins, this time at Hyde Creek Rec Centre in Port Coquitlam. Very similar to the Wilson Centre programs, this one is focused on movement and running around as well. They have a huge gym, specially adjusted to satisfy a toddler’s needs for running around and get those red cheeks out. The program is for children with ages between 0 and 6 years old. For more info, please click here.

Your little one will be able to choose from a number of stations, including, soccer, floor hockey, bowling and other active stations, a small ball pit, and fun ride on toys. They can check the climbing structures and slides available too.

It is a drop-in program, $3 per child, $5 if you have two, which you pay at the reception.

The location is easy to access and there is plenty of space for your stroller inside if you need to bring one, in my case Astrid walked and I brought Jamie in his car seat, he is still spending lots of time sleeping. We will use a baby carrier as of next time, but while my mom is with us, we can split tasks, one is watching Astrid, the other one Jamie. Good to have someone around, right?

There is seating area available on the side as well. You can catch your breath a while your little one keeps playing, or you and him/her can enjoy a snack.

Everything and everyone is on the move, kids are running around, a lot of action going on, so watch out for your little one, other kids may run into him/her very easily. It’s been a fun place to check out and for sure we will go there again.

That is all from here for now. Hope you enjoyed this post!

Happy playing around!

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Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

Como Lake Park in Coquitlam

Location: 700 Gatensbury street Coquitlam, BC

Parking available: yes

Cute and toddler approved, definitely one of the most popular parks in Coquitlam! This park is recently renovated as well, and it’s part of the many nice and well-designed parks in Coquitlam and Tricities area. All brand new, kids up to 12 years can play on the rubberized surface and enjoy the diversity of options in this easy to access park on Gatensbury street.

Moreover, the park is next to Como Lake, you can enjoy a stroll in the park once your little one is done playing in the playground. You can enjoy walking, fishing all thru summer and the rest of the year as well. Lots of seating and picnic areas too. For sure a good option to consider!

Last winter the lake was actually opened for skating, no wonder given all the snow and low temperatures. Unfortunately and fortunately, due to the fact that I was pregnant with my son, I wasn’t able to skate, for obvious reasons.

Washrooms and parking available.

We visited the park on a rainy day and got to check the playground when everything was wet. Because my daughter is born in March, she is not all used to the rain, she was too young to realize what rain was before, so this summer is the first time she’s actually starting going to playgrounds, walking and exploring everything and this time was the first time she’d seen the park and playground wet. A lot of first times to enjoy, right?

A bit slippery, but it didn’t stop her from trying them out. With the right clothing, your toddler will have a great time.

For more on the park, click here.

I hope you enjoyed this post and like always, happy playing!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

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Alouette Park in Coquitlam

Location: 485 Alouette Dr, Coquitlam, BC V3C 4Y7

Parking available: there is parking available on the street

This outdoor playground in Coquitlam is the tiniest I found so far. So tiny, and recently  renovated playground, with a new brand new facelift and the most recent entertainment options available, just like in the other parks.

With a familiar colour theme and wood chips, this little park has a slide, rocking toys, some musical instruments, climbing structures and swings, appealing to different age groups.

Its location is not very visible from an open road, you can find it on Cariboo Street, close to Canin, or you can access the Alouette Dr if you are on Riverview, but it’s worth stopping by if you’re in the area. You can also enjoy the view; Mount Baker, Fraser Valley and Coquitlam.As for your little one, I am sure he/she will approve this private location. It’ll be like a personal playground, hardly anyone there every time we go there.

For us it is walking distance and we do go there a lot. One Saturday, when I was 40 weeks pregnant with my son, we were at the park, Astrid, my husband and I and there were in the swing, while I was chilling on the bench, waiting for my son to come, when a bear showed up, looking for food. It was the first time I’ve seen one so close, it was right across the street from where the bench was.

So you are probably aware, there’s this rule that you shouldn’t run, but face him and step back slowly; what happened for me was I told my husband that was a few metres away from me to take our daughter and walk away, I hurried up towards them and put some distance between us and the bear. After all, the poor animal was only after food, it paid no attention to us. Nothing happened and the bear continued looking for food.

For more on the park, click here.

I hope you enjoyed this post and like always, happy playing!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

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Circle of Friends at James Park Elementary School in Port Coquitlam

Program: Circle of Friends

Location: 1761 Westminster Avenue, Port Coquitlam, BC V3B 1E5

Cost: drop-in free

When: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 9:00 am-12:00 pm

Parking available: yes

Last week we went on to check a new drop-in program available, this time at James Park Elementary school. The program is called Circle of Friends and it’s completely free, as part of YMCA Family Resource program. We parked in the school parking lot, I didn’t see another parking area specific for this drop-in. The actual activity is held in an annex outside the school, next to some playground.

The room is not as spacious as other locations, but the good part is they provide with different playing stations (drawing, play-doh, painting, mats where you can play, crawl, a larger area with different toys, kitchen station). Because the space is somewhat limited, there isn’t room for running. I am not sure what the maximum occupancy is, but for sure it’s not a lot. So if your child needs room to run, move more, maybe search for a different place to go.

You can borrow or read books, you can play with puzzles, they have a large variety of toys, for different age groups, the room is clean, well lit and the space, although not very generous, is well divided.

The daily program includes free play, snack, art time, circle time, active time and of course clean-up time. Somewhere halfway thru, there is circle time, a time for stories and songs and some movement, which is held in a room next to this one. One of the ladies in charge goes there with the group that wants to participate while the other remains in the main room, so you have a choice.

They offer coffee and a little snack, just make sure to bring a travel mug with a lid. The two ladies in charge are very nice and inclusive, when we got there they welcomed us, and explained how the program works, gave me some hand-outs with information on the program. If your child shows any sign of sickness, of course don’t bring him/her in. The rule applies pretty much everywhere.

What I liked a lot was the diversity of toys, very well maintained and clean. Everyone wants to take their kid to a safe and clean environment, of course kids are happy with any kind of toy, but this place really stood out in this regard.

Because it felt more of a private place, I asked if pictures can be taken. I was told no, unless they are pictures of my child, so here are a few pictures.

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I hope you enjoyed this review and don’t forget to leave your shoes at the entrance!

Happy playing!

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Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

Coquitlam Centre mall indoor playground

Program: free indoor playground

Location: 2929 Barnet Highway, Coquitlam BC V3B 5R5

When: daily, depending on the mall hours

Parking available: yes

You are probably familiar with the indoor playgrounds in the malls. Every mall has them or almost every mall. Coquitlam Centre mall is one of them, we go there often as it is close to where we live and it gives us a lot of options in terms of shops. So we end up doing some shopping, grab something to eat and get to play in the free play area. Astrid never says no to such an opportunity.

The playground is located on the lower floor, north west entrance. It is not a very big space they offer, but it’ll do the job on a rainy day. And as we get rainy days a lot every year, the more options you have the better, right. Being indoor with your little one can be tough and demanding, as kids need to jump, run around, burn some energy out and for sure it’ll help avoid losing your mind.

All the playgrounds require kids and their caretakers to wear socks inside the area for hygienic reasons and that is the case with Coquitlam centre too. The nice part is they provide with socks if you don’t have them. I was never in need of socks at this mall, but there is usually some customer service staff walking around and offering some if needed; I assume you will need to pay a small amount. At Lougheed mall for example, in Burnaby, there is a vending machine full of ‘kinder eggs’ with a pair of socks inside, for which you pay $1. Loonies accepted only.

The play area is not very spacious, the kids’ options include playing in a boat, a car, a mini slide or a tree, with additional built-in games on the walls around. Some pictures below as usual.

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Mommy, how do I get off this boat?

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I think I am stuck in traffic.

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So are you getting on the boat or what?

As we’re in a mall, you have access to washrooms, food court and parking and all the other commodities.

The playground is clean, the ‘toys’ are rubberized and kids friendly. A nice soft and colourful carpet and you’re ready to play.

If you’re little one is old and independent enough, you can rest in the seating area outside the playground watching him/ her. And of course, parental supervision required at all time.

Don’t forget to leave your shoes at the entrance!

More on location and what the mall has to offer, check their website.

Happy playing!

If you have comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

Dawes Hill Park in Coquitlam

Location: 2215 Dawes Hill Rd, Coquitlam, BC V3K 6H6

Parking available: yes limited

One of the tiniest parks in Coquitlam, Dawes Hill park has been recently renovated and it looks awesome. The City of Coquitlam is really doing an awesome job renovating these playgrounds and giving them a new look and a brand new equipment.

I remember driving in the area and seeing this park, all dull up on the hill, and thinking how much potential it may have if only renovated and there it was. A few months later I saw the new stuff being brought in and the park getting a new facelift.

Very colourful, surrounded by forest, the park appeals to different age groups. You can find the same type of roller slide, or mini slide, or regular slide and swings like in other parks, but different colour theme. It appears as if every park has a colour theme. This one though, doesn’t have a rubberized surface, like others, if that is something you like, but it has wood chips. My daughter is simply in love with them, she plays with them a lot.   It really makes you wonder what makes kids happy.

There is also a swing area and that is all. Like I said, it is tiny indeed. No washrooms, or at least I didn’t see any.

There could be more coming, whoever is designing these playgrounds is definitely very creative and kid-centric. It looks like there’s still space left to add one or two play stations.

The park also offers a few seating areas and two picnic tables and…… a nice viewpoint to the Port Mann bridge, Mount Baker and Fraser Valley!!!!

Enjoy and happy sliding!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

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Rochester Park in Coquitlam

Location: 300 Rochester Avenue Coquitlam

Cost: free

Parking available: yes

Awesome park, the most recently opened in Coquitlam I believe and quite impressive. It is located next to the Maillard Middle School, easy access from Austin street.

We went to check it out today for the first time and it’s been opened for just 2 days, officially. At a first glance, it seems to appeal to different age groups: a roller slide and sand pit for toddlers, a lot of climbing structures for older kids, a tunnel slide and a zipline, and a spray / water park for the hot season. There is also a skateboard area. But bottom line,  I would say it is more for older kids than toddlers, or at least the older kids have more options.

With that in mind, my 18-month old daughter, didn’t really have a lot of choices, except the roller slide and some playing in the sand, but that didn’t make her sad of course, she actually quite seemed to enjoy her time there.

The whole design of the park is interesting; it is divided into three areas, all of which encourage active play and adventure; the various climbing areas appeal to the children’ imagination and strength, and of course, there is a thick layer of wood chips underneath to ensure a soft landing, just in case. It does make a child come out of his/her comfort zone.

Also, good workout going from one area to another I should say. I walked with my daughter from one level to another and back, which includes 2 sets of stairs that you can see in my pictures, good exercise for both me and Astrid. Of course, halfway I did have to carry her. Or we could have taken the slide tunnel on our way back.

There is though more to it actually. You can find more information here. It sees that the idea is to have some trails connecting all levels, connect the park playground areas with the actual forest that’s next to the park, so if you’re a fan, take a hike as well.

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Parking is available on two levels of the park, next to the water /spray park and picnic area and another one right at the entrance on Rochester street. Not a lot of spots available though- going there on a ‘rush hour’ might leave you without parking.

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Washrooms are available too on the lower level. That is where you find the picnic area too. The park is not very generous in terms of sitting areas for parents, there are some benches here and there, not a lot. It was pretty empty when i went, not sure about crowded times.

Overall, a very nice park, I have to admit that what struck me at first is the scenery. It is a great place for everyone, no matter the age, to come and enjoy time in nature and a splendid view for sure! This park really has a lot of potential.

Happy climbing!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

Tree-tots at Pinetree Community Centre in Coquitlam

Program: Tree-tots

Location: Pinetree Community Centre

Cost: $2 drop in fee

When: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:15-11:15 am

Parking available: yes, $1.25 / hour

Tuesday the same week we headed towards a new location and this time at Pinetree Community centre. We had been there the previous year, but for a spinning class held by Fit4Two, but about that in a different post.

Pinetree Community Centre is located at 1260 Pinetree Way,

Coquitlam, BC V3B 7Z4. Tree tots is the name of the program they have available on Tuesdays and Thursdays and it is a drop-in for $2, which you pay at the reception when you walk in. The location is next to Douglas College and Pinetree Secondary School, therefore you will notice a lot of people coming and going around, everything seems pretty noisy and crowded, and very downtown let’s say. It is also next to Lafarge Lake and Town Centre park, if you feel like connecting multiple activities in the summer time. Not sure about the rainy season. Here is the link if you need to know more.

There is limited pay-parking in front, $1.25 per hour. The pay machines inside are pretty slow, so make sure to take that into account when you get there. This first time we went, the program was held in room #3, which is right on the right side when you enter the building. I assume it is there all the time. It looked to me that it wasn’t the final location, but who knows. We will go there again for sure and will find out.

Now coming back to the program, the kick-off day on Tuesday didn’t promise much when we walked in. The room is not very big, apparently they allow 20 kids + 20 adults only, and they didn’t have a lot of toys and hence options. My daughter was a bit disappointed. But shortly after, Lisa, the lady in charge, told us the program wasn’t supposed to start until 2 days later, so that explained the set up. More to follow at the next session. Since Astrid, my daughter, was the youngest, and not a lot of the toys they had there matched her age, the coordinator brought some other toys that might appeal to her, which was nice and appreciated. She introduced herself, told us about the program and helped create an engaging atmosphere while we were there.

All that considered, probably next time, more people should show up. I mentioned that the maximum capacity anticipated would be 20 kids and 20 adults. We were only 5 adults and 4 kids this time. Honestly, I don’t really see much space left after 20 + 20 in there, but again, I only went once. I couldn’t really capture the full potential of the room.

The program is all free-play, no story time or circle time if that is what you are looking for.

There is washroom available, the main play area is well lit, clean, with a space to leave your luggage and some chairs if you need one to breastfeed, like in my case, with my son.

This time I am adding some pictures. This is what you see when you walk in, clean, well-lit room.

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Astrid enjoying a huge truck she had found.

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Huge LEGO available. I found out they make a lot of noise when they crash.

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An IKEA type of kitchen is always a good source of inspiration. Let’s cook some veggies!

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Discovering dinosaurs

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Trucks again. You can see a painting station at the back. Painting sunflowers is for sure fun.

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What else?

That is it for now. Hope you found this article useful.

Happy playing around!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina

Peek-a-boo at Recreational Centre in Port Coquitlam

Program: Peek-a-boo and Play-mania

Location: Port Coquitlam Recreational Centre Mabbett room

Cost: $3/ each drop in fee, $5/2 children

When: Monday 10-12 am

Parking available: yes and free

Last week of unofficial summer vacation for my daughter- I say unofficial, as she is on vacation full time, not registered to any daycare program. Having had my second child just a month ago, we haven’t really been able to check the local toddler programs in Tricities, therefore now, equipped with two babies, not just one, we start to wander around and check all the community centres around and see what they have to offer.

First and foremost, I made sure I have all the recent brochures and activities guides, online or hardcopies. Good enough, we found lots of options now starting September. As of this year, apparently they don’t distribute the guides by mail anymore, they can only be found online, or if you really want a hardcopy, you will need to check with your local community centre or library. I got mine for Coquitlam from the Central Public Library by the way.

My intention here is to just give a short review of the kids friendly places we visit, add in some pictures and hopefully other moms will feel inspired in making their decisions.

The first one on my list is Port Coquitlam Recreation Centre or REC Centre. Full address is 2150 Wilson Avenue Port Coquitlam, BC  V3C 6J5. And in case you find it strange that the entire location is surrounded by a construction site, do not worry, the centre is fully functional inside and they have parking available as well. The centre is under renovation for the following 3 years it seems. Here is the link in case you want to know more about the location or whether you want to check more about the program.

The program they have available on Mondays from 10- 12 am is called Peek-a-boo and it’s located in a very large and generous location, with a lot of options for the kids, aged 1-6 years. You will find everything from open gym time with mats to run around, balls, ride in cars and wagons, drawing/ painting stations, craft area

It is a drop-in program, $3 per child, $5 if you have two. You pay at the reception, where there are also volunteers helping around, probably due to the construction going on.

The coordinator, a very nice lady, introduced herself and told us what we can do and how the program runs. Basically, free play for an hour and a half, and story time at the end. The free play time can include craft, drawing, a lot of movement if they want to, my daughter decided she wanted to try out all the kids ride in cars and bicycles they had. There were a few and separated from the rest of the activities, this way you wouldn’t disturb the others. Trying may be a bit too much for her, she is only 18-months old, mommy helped her ride them and even try one herself.

There is washroom available, the main play area is well lit, clean, with a space to leave your luggage and lots of chairs if you need one to breastfeed, like in my case, with my son.

One thing I didn’t like was that although the room was large and suitable for kids play, getting there from the main hall in the centre was a bit challenging. There are some stairs that separate the spaces and you can’t really get the stroller with you. You need to leave it outside, before you take the stairs, which for me can be a bit challenging if I were alone. This time I had my mom with me, helping me with the kids, but on my own, dragging two babies and the diaper bag, backpack in my case, would have been a bit too much.

All in all good place to bring your child if walking. I wouldn’t recommend the place for crawlers, although with a bit of creativity, you can find things to do.

Some pictures below.

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The stairs I mentioned earlier, again not very stroller friendly, unless you have some help.

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Look at me mom, I have this little car and I am going to place it on the slide. Watch this

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Perfect place to draw, hidden from everyone. Someone may copy my idea you see.

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Lots of tables and sitting area, usually here there are crafting sessions organized as well.

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The princess in the tower. The tower with a slide of course.

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Some toys are pretty cool, I decided to try some myself.

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Mommy, I think it’s nap time.

That is all from here for now. Hope you enjoyed it!

Happy playing around!

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them. If you like this post and would like to be notified by email about similar articles, don’t forget to subscribe.

Also, share your experience if you happen to visit this location!

Sorina