Brentwood Mall Indoor Playground

Location: 4567 Lougheed Hwy, Burnaby, BC V5C 3Z6

Happy 2019 and Happy Chinese New Year!

We start the year with an indoor playground given the difficult weather outside, -4 and approximately 1cm of snow in Tricities, BC. Yesterday we went to Brentwood mall playground for the first time, a friend suggested the place and the children liked it a lot.

Although the mall and the entire area are under renovation, you can still access the playground without any problem. The place was clean and well lit, bigger than other indoor playgrounds we’ve seen, there is more room to store shoes and belongings, and another thing that was nice was the sitting area around the playground. You can actually use those spots to snack, but again we’re talking about a mall here. It’s easy to find a spot to sit in a mall.

The whole playground is school themed.  You have a learning bus, a rubber, a glue, hopscotch and a pencil – car among others.

Since this is for 0-6 year olds, you need to carefully watch the little ones. It was pretty busy, but not excessively. Older kids run around, not always minding the younger ones. My daughter and my son decided to play in different corners all the time, with few exceptions and that made it difficult to watch them at times. If you’re a helicopter type of parent, better bring an extra set of eyes. We had grandma watching them as well.

Lots of parking and washroom available, just bring good mood and loootttss of energy

Go check it out and enjoy!

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 stop by!

Sorina

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Children’ Museum in Portland, OREGON

Going on trips in new cities is fun and challenging at the same time, if you are travelling with small children and you’re not familiar with the area. What you would normally do is research before you go and plan ahead, but if time doesn’t allow to do that, then you kind of take everything as it comes, which is fun too, right, but kids work well with routine, at least mine and so it is better to plan ahead.

A few months ago we went on a road trip to Portland Oregon and for a few days I had the children for myself. One of the places we loved a lot and it turned out to be perfect for their age was the Children’ museum. It is THE ideal place for 0-12 years olds. We only got a chance to go there once, due to our schedule, but definitely worth going multiple times if you are visiting and need a way to keep your children busy and entertained.

They offer lots of play stations, your toddler can choose from multiple play options, more technical or more creative, there is a water station as well, a vet hospital, a theatre.

There is a cafeteria if you want to eat, and of course washrooms available along with parking. Please bear in mind the parking is not free.

We had lots of fun and you can too!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

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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Tricity Family Place, Victoria Hall Coquitlam

Program: Tricity Family Place

Location: 3435 Victoria Drive, Coquitlam, British Columbia V3B 3H7

Cost: drop in, 1$ per child, parent participation required

When: 9:30am-1pm, Mon-Fri

Parking: yes, limited

If you are looking for an indoor place to hide your kids from the heat in the summer, you can check out Tricity Family Place at Victoria Hall in Coquitlam. I couldn’t find an official website, but you can search Tricity Family Place and it will lead you to their Facebook page.

I’ve been taking my kids this summer weekly,  two or three days a week and they really enjoy it. They have a chance to meet other kids, play, socialize, they offer different play stations, I have to say it is the summer version of Strong Start for those who are familiar with that.

They offer snack, which comes from donations, as they are a non-profit society. You need to supervise your child at all times. There is a coordinator present as well, which will engage the children during circle time, with stories and songs.

Summer is almost over so if you want to check them out, they are open Mondays to Fridays from 9:30 am to 1 pm. The centre is open all through the year, except for when they close for building maintenance, this year it will happen from August 27-Sept 7th, not sure if this happens every year, since this is our first year.

A similar program is Tri city family place in POCO, same thing, different location!

That is all until next time! I hope you enjoyed this post!

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Sorina

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Pop up play July Coquitlam

Program: Pop up play

Location: Westwood Alliance Church (In the gym downstairs) 3129 Ozada Ave, Coquitlam, BC

Cost: free

When: Every Monday, Wednesday & Friday from July 16th to July 27th, 2018 from 10- 11:30

For all the mommis looking for an indoor playground, there is a free drop in program available for the summer, three days a week, for the next two weeks in Coquitlam. For more information, click here. This is the July session, there is another one announced fr August.

We will check it out this coming Monday and see what it has to offer. If you want to get away from the heat a little bit, this is a good opportunity. I am not saying that sun and summer aren’t cool, but keeping your toddler (and your baby) in the heat for too long, it isn’t probably the best idea, hats and sunblock lotions considered.

Enjoy and see you around!

Sorina

 

 

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Franc Depart- the French StrongStart in Poco

Program: Franc Depart or the Strong Start in French.

Location: 1618 Patricia Ave Port Coquitlam, BC V3B 4A8 and other schools in BC; see here for details

Cost: free, parent participation required

When: 9am-12pm, Mon-Fri

Parking: yes, limited

This is one post I wanted to put out there for a while, I remember some moms asking at some point if there is a version of the StrongStart in French, and yes there is. It is called Franc Depart and it takes place at Ecole des Pionniers-de-Maillardville in Port Coquitlam. I went with my kids there once at their temporary location. They were in the process of being relocated to a more final place, but shortly after we went they informed us by email that the program will be closed until the relocation is complete. And they are still closed. I believe we were supposed to receive an update on an estimate opening date somewhere beginning of May.

This time I don’t have any pictures to attach unfortunately, for some reason I can’t find them anymore, they would have been from the old location anyway. Nevertheless, once they re-open I will add some.

As for the program overall, it is indeed similar to Strong Start. The children need to be accompanied by an adult, age group is 0 to 5 years old. Activity wise they have free play in the beginning of the day, followed by snack and circle time. That time we went, they had no gym, but I am not sure if that was because of the location, or because in general Franc Depart doesn’t offer gym. I guess we will find out with our next visit.

The onsite educator welcomed us, she was very nice, took the time to explain to us what the program is about and handed us the form to fill out and some flyers. We need to get the form ready for next time I suppose.

Go if you have the chance. Good opportunity to practice your French!

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

 

Christmas in the malls

Ho ho ho!!! Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Just like that, Christmas in the malls. We spend more ‘Christmas time’ in the malls rather than at home. True. Busy with the holidays preparations, I took my kids and my mom to the two malls nearby, Coquitlam Centre and Lougheed Town Centre recently to buy some of the things we needed. And everyone was doing the same. The malls are packed with people, all the time, but especially during winter holidays.

You know how the malls have huge parkings and you wonder who parks in those secluded spots, far far far away from the entrance? Well, someone is, during winter holiday shopping season. That’s how you can tell how crowded a mall centre is, by looking how many cars are parked outside. I try to avoid going there too often, now when it’s so crowded. It’s true that with the cold season, sometimes, going to an indoor playground in some mall is a good idea.

Entering the parking lot, I quickly realized that finding a closer parking spot may prove to be a challenge. Crossing the entire space with a double stroller equals no fun.

Everyone is shopping, that is the word of the day, shopping, sometimes I wonder what do we buy all the time. We’re walking away with tons of bags of stuff. Well, that is for another discussion.

Coming to one of the central figures in the mall these days, Santa Claus, this year I took my daughter for the second time to see him and surprisingly, she reacted exactly like last year, and that is very suspicious of the fat man dressed in red that she didn’t know. She kept checking him out, with a serious face and said no whenever Santa or myself invited her to sit in his lap and tell her wishes.

My son on the other hand, didn’t seem to be bothered in any way. Those are the two sides of the story, you either love Santa or you don’t.

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It’s funny how every time we go, to either of the malls, and I ask her if she wants to go visit Santa, she gives me a confident ‘no’ and keeps her distance, watching him from afar, curious, checking every moves he takes and probably wondering what’s that about, what he is up to. It’s like she wants to keep an eye on him.

One time, Santa was telling me that it may take a few years until she ‘accepts’ the idea. She may continue to show this resistance the following years too, but that’s fine. Astrid doesn’t really know or understand what Christmas is, or what Santa can bring. She is not familiar with the concept of present or gift. But that is ok, there is no rush.

Well, that is all for now. Wrapping presents almost done, shopping list checked out, we are waiting for the holiday spirit to take over and let’s enjoy some quiet time with family and close ones!

And of course, let’s hope for some snow if possible. White Christmases are the best!

I hope you enjoyed this post and Merry Christmas everyone!

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 these locations during this time of the year!

Sorina

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Baby signing class – Place des Arts Coquitlam

Program: Baby signing

Location: 1120 Brunette Avenue Coquitlam, British Columbia V3K 1G2

Cost: around $ 100.

Parking: yes

If you are interested in checking out different programs for your children before they can talk, baby signing could be one of them. Yes, exactly, they teach babies how to sign words like milk and more, which are very useful when your baby cannot talk yet.

The program is available for babies aged 1 – 18 months. And this is a short description they offer for 2017/2018 session.

Parents and babies will learn sign language through music and movement in this fun and supportive class. Signing stimulates intellectual development, provides a strong foundation for early literacy and boosts spoken vocabulary. Babies use signs months before they speak (for example, waving bye-bye) and signing enables them to communicate more e ectively from a younger age. Teacher: Nicole Walker

21379 • TU • Jan 16 – Mar 6 • 10:00 – 10:45 AM • $97

Here is their website for more information on their available programs.

We went to this one and it was very very interesting and productive, it was a while back and definitely a good experience. Although it says signing, it is not necessarily for babies who can’t hear, everyone in our class was able to hear.

The instructor is very engaging, social, funny, there is a lot of singing and movement. I do remember some of the sign we learned but I can’t really say I used a lot of them with my daughter. But for all you out there that are interested it is worth a try.

I didn’t really take pictures unfortunately…

I hope you enjoyed this post!

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

Sorina

Playground at Central City Surrey

Location: 10153 King George Blvd, Surrey, BC V3T 2W1

Cost: free

When: depending on the mall hours

Parking available: yes

A few days ago we decided to check the indoor playground at Central City in Surrey. We were in the area so we stopped by a bit, with the rain and all, we have less and less outdoor options.

First thing busy parking outside, we parked on the first available spot. The mall is not very big but it is crowded. Once we entered, so it happened we ran into their indoor playground, which of course was very crowded as well. Lots of kids and unfortunately lots of kids that were clearly too old for that playground, accompanied by their parents made the experience not so pleasant. Hubby decided to be the playmate for Astrid this time, let himself guided thru the maze.

They hardly tried any of the options, there were kids everywhere. Some of them monopolizing some of the toys, making it difficult for anyone else to play.

Second, you know how I mentioned these playgrounds require that you wear sock? Well, noone was and those who weren’t barefoot, were not wearing socks, but shoes, parents too.

We didn’t spend too much time there and headed out. My daughter didn’t really enjoy and neither did we.

See you next time!

 

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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Coquitlam Public Library

Location: Coquitlam Public Library

Poirier Branch 575 Poirier Street Coquitlam, BC V3J 6A9
City Centre Branch 1169 Pinetree Way Coquitlam, BC V3B 0Y1

Cost: free

When: depending on the library schedule

Parking available: yes

One of the obvious places you can go is of course the library. Very multidisciplinary, the libraries are extremely popular, they are full of people all the time. The variety of books they offer is huge, and depending of what you want, to read something onsite, borrow, google something, they have it all. It is amazing, I am always happy to be able to access such places nowadays, but it’s quite interesting to see how libraries have adapted to keep up with the trends in technology. It might not seem much, but back in my home town as a kid in Romania we didn’t have this kind of library, so I am enjoying it as much as possible. And of course, I am happy to take my kids too and enjoy some reading, or some walks around.

When we first moved to BC we used to go to VPL (Vancouver Public Library), but since we are now in Tricities, Coquitlam Public Library is the closest one for us, Poirier or City Centre, either one works.

Today we went to the branch on Pinetree, that is where we usually go, except for when all the board books are gone, yes, sometimes all the baby books are gone, or almost all gone. When that happens, to check the Poirier branch. Once we get there, Astrid helps me check the books in. She is fascinated by the green/ red light that let you know when you can place the book in order to be taken away.

Then we go pick up some new books, and if we can’t find anything we like, we ask the lady at the reception to check if there are any returned / checked in but not available yet for the public. Usually, there will be some so we select a few from there as well.

Once that’s done, we check the books out and we continue walking around in the library, reading a story or two, having a snack of course, we never say no to a snack; we might play in the children’ area, make a friend or two, and then we head out.

Libraries also offer baby time/ story time/ mother goose all through the year. It’s basically 30-45 min of songs and stories. We used to go to another library when Astrid was little and when she used to stay still, for baby time, and I know both Poirier and City Centre branches offer such classes, you simply need to check their website. They have different timelines depending on the season.

That is it for now!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

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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So, what’s new?IMG_8280

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Mommy look what I found!

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Lots of traffic….

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These steps are easy to follow 😀

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Never say no to a snack 😛

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Snack with grandma of course

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I am hiding, can you see me?

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Gotcha!

Strong Start Riverview School District 43 in Coquitlam

Program: Strong Start

Location: various schools in BC

Cost: free, parent participation required

When: mornings or afternoons, depending on the school

Parking available: yes, limited

This is probably the most complete program for 0-5 years olds that exists at the moment and it is completely free. It is more of a 360 program and I will explain why. It requires parent/ caretaker participation.

The program runs in the morning from 8:45am to 11:45am or in the afternoon, depending on the school you go to. Some schools offer it in the morning, some in the afternoon. Here’s a schedule that I found, some may have changed, it’s been a while since I found this, actually it was handed to me by a representative some time ago.

It starts with a 1h 30 m of free play, then they do clean up and head out to the gym, 15 minutes later, they come back for snack and then circle time. There are a large variety of toys and activities, every day is different, and entertaining. My daughter goes here almost daily, and she is never bored, neither am I, just by watching her. You get to network with the other parents as well.

The only downsize I see is that there are kids of different ages so sometimes the older ones will take the toys from the little ones, or some toys are not suitable for all children and so on. But the parent is there to watch the child. There is of course a coordinator as well, that makes sure things happen as they should; Jennifer Benoit is this person at Riverview Elementary and she is very nice, and helpful, my daughter loves her very much. She is definitely a good influence on her.

There is a washroom, for children mainly of course.

That’s it for now!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

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Also, share your experience if you happen to visit any of their locations!

Sorina

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Lougheed mall indoor playground in Burnaby

Program: free indoor playground

Location: 106- 9855 Austin Ave, Burnaby, BC V3J 1N4

When: daily, depending on the mall hours

Parking available: yes

Lougheed Mall offers two indoor playgrounds, one for 1-5 year olds, and one for 5-12 year olds. We’ve only checked out the first one, as my daughter is 18 months, but we’ve watched kids play in the other one and it definitely looks like a lot of fun. The children can enjoy a lot of climbing structures and slides, and the whole playground encourages the children to move a lot, have a lot of coordination and strength.

The playground for the little ones is not very spacious, it is actually quite small, compared to the Coquitlam indoor playground, and it has built-in wall games and a few climbing options. But it will do the trick on a rainy day for sure.

The main focus is on the older children playground. Most of the children go there, it looks like fun, more than the other one, but until we’re older, I guess we can enjoy this one.

Just like pretty much all indoor playgrounds, your child and yourself will need to wear socks at all times. If you don’t have a pair, you can buy one from the vending machine next to the playground, $1 per pair.

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

Zumba at Lougheed Mall in Burnaby

Program: Zumba for Mom and Babies

Location: Lougheed Mall 106- 9855 Austin Ave, Burnaby, BC V3J 1N4

Cost: free

Parking: yes

Mommies everywhere, this is a very good workout option! I did it during my first mat leave and I am going now again, during my second mat leave with my son.

The Zumba for mom and babies class is held in front of London Drugs at Lougheed Mall every Monday at 11am and Friday at 10am. It used to be only on Fridays, so I guess it became quite popular and they increased the frequency.

From personal experience,  I can tell you it is a great program, where you get to dance, sweat and get a good workout, not to mention get to socialize and meet moms, who are also looking to meet other moms. I got to meet one of my best mom friends at Zumba and we are in touch all the time.

If your little one is napping, even better, you get to enjoy 45 minutes of pretty intense workout. Water included and at the end you also get a stamp, every time you go; once you have 10 stamps, you will receive a $10 gift card to spend in selected stores throughout the mall.

Of course, since you’re in the mall, why not take advantage and do your shopping, have lunch or check the indoor playgrounds! Pretty convenient!

They have covered parking, which is pretty handy when it’s rainy, or snowy, but last time I went the access was blocked and it looked like they’re starting to work on a new buildings project. The area is being developed quite rapidly lately, lots of cranes around. That can only mean one thing, new construction sites.

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

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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Tri City Family Place in Port Coquitlam

Program: Tri City Family Place drop-in

Location: 2062 Manning Avenue Port Coquitlam, BC V3B 1L6

Cost: donation

When: Wednesday – Saturday 9:00-13:00 am

Parking available: yes

Tri City Family Place in Port Coquitlam is yet another parent participation drop-in you can check out with your little one. With a family-oriented feel when you walk in, this drop in is an indoor playground, offering several interesting options, varying from drawing to building blocks, a little slide, play dough and lots and lots of toys to choose from for children 0-5 years old.

Washrooms are available and so is parking. Not a very spacious playroom inside, but enough to keep your little one busy on a rainy day for sure. Take off your shoes and you’re ready to play. Some snack is provided, and the offer is based on donation, just like the cost of the actual drop-in.

Also, moms can enjoy a good chat and a good coffee while they’re there and what can be better now that the rainy season is coming. Last time we went, there weren’t a lot of kids, so not very crowded, which was nice. Apparently the season has just started, which means it will get busier with time. The children varied in age and my daughter was the youngest I think.

Clean, quiet, well-lit, this place is definitely a good alternative to check out.

You can find more information on the program here.

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

You can find some pictures below.

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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Toys toys toys

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Toys toys toys

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Gotta check your pulse once in a while.

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Conquering the slide!

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Toys toys toys

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And toys toys toys