Happy Playground- Queenston Park Coquitlam

Location: 3415 Queenston Ave, Coquitlam, BC V3E 3H1

I think this might be the last park review for this year, as the rain season is here, we won’t be seeing a lot of playgrounds anytime soon. Too slippery. Although if you put on your rain gear, I am sure there is something to do and be safe :).

This cute park has been around for a while, we simply haven’t got the chance to go visit and test out the gear. So a few weekends ago, we stopped by and took a few pictures. Because parking will be something you will need, unless you live walking distance from the park, I will go ahead and say that parking is extremely limited. If you get there at ‘rush hour’, not sure if playgrounds have such a thing, but if this play area had one, it might be challenging to find a spot. Sunny weekends could be considered rush hour I guess, right?

Also, no washrooms.

What you notice about the park the second you enter it, is that it is not your usual playground. It is meant for different age groups, however some area require a certain amount of strength, like the climbing area that you see in my pictures. Actually the whole park is a climbing area with a huge slide. Astrid loved it, which meant we had to go up and down those stairs lots of time. The slide is basically on a pretty steep sloped edge, which of course offers a nice view down the mountain.

Apart from the tall slide, there is another section for small children, up to 5 I guess, and another one for 6 and older, which a twisted slide and additional climbing structures. The entire playground is on a rubberized surface, which we personally prefer, to the wood chips and/ or sand/ rocks playgrounds. But it very much depend on the season too.

If you’re into swings, there aren’t any. And I don’t think there will be any in the future either, as we didn’t notice any intention for an extension.

There is a little seating area by the small slides and a tennis playground next to it. But the main attraction is the children play area.

That is it for now. Go check it out!

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Jamie waiting for his sister to come down the slide

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This was is gonna be hard to climb

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Lots and lots of stairs!

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Willow View Apple Pumpkin Farm Abbotsford

Location: 288 McCallum Rd, Abbotsford, BC V2S 8A2

With the wet season here already, an apple orchard might not be the best destination for you and your toddler. But here it is, our trip to Willow View Apple Farm in Abbotsford a few weeks ago before the rainy season set in. We’ve done farm trips before and our children love it, especially now that they are getting older and enjoying the excitement a farm can bring, a new playground, open place to wander, under close parent observation of course and hayrides or simply cart rides or wheelbarrows. This time it was a cart.

This farm offers a hayride to give you a tour of the place, it helps you identify where that exact type of apple you are looking for are. Farms are fairly large places, it takes a while to wander around and find something in particular if you are looking for that, or just enjoy the walk. If your toddler doesn’t really want to walk, you either hold her or carry her in a cart. The hayride was quick and a bit bumpy, but for sure fun.

So first and foremost, I would say they have a good apple variety and if you are an apple lover, this is a good place to go. If you’re simply in for the photos and outdoor time at a farm, this is a good place too. We’ve seen a lot of people photo shooting, which we tried too, but with kids is not always easy to take a good picture, especially a family one.

They have two generous children playgrounds, to keep the toddlers and older children busy for a while. We got there around 2 pm and I found it crowded; like any other place, if you go there earlier, it won’t be that busy.

Washrooms and parking available onsite of course. We did enjoy some tasty popcorn that they have for sale, $2.5 if I recall well. And since this is a u-pick farm, you pay for what you pick.

A nice experience overall, for the entire family, which I highly recommend.

That is all for now!

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My son just loved this toy, took it very seriously and didn’t want to let go 🙂

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This is the entrance for the petty zoo, make sure to wash hand on your way out!

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Trying out an old tractor on the property

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The hayride!

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Lovely colour!

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Sharing the ride with friends!

Nature in Hume Park New Westminster

Location: 660 E Columbia St, New Westminster, BC V3L 3Y2

I never realized how big this park is until I went there a while back. A friend kept telling me about it during summer time, but I never organized myself to go, so one Sunday afternoon, we headed that way and it turned out to be a very pleasant walk and play time for the kids.

Of course our main focus becomes the children playground, which is very big and apparently can accommodate up to 60 kids, as per the official website. Actually when we got there, it was only us and a few other children, but it does look spacious enough to allow more kids to play freely. They have different play areas for older and younger kids,  wood chips on the ground and a variety of swings and slides and monkey bars.

There is also a spray park, right next to it, which was of course closed at that time. They have an outdoor pool as well, open from June until Labor weekend, I am guessing the water park follows the same schedule.

As for the washroom, both upper and lower Hume Parks provide washrooms that are available from April to mid-October from 8:30 am to dusk. Upper Hume washroom is also available from mid-October to April from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.

It is a big park, that offers a lot of amenities such as tennis courts, lacrosse area, the playgrounds, picnic shelter, outdoor pool and sports fields.

What I liked a lot was that you can take long walks around and enjoy the view; at some point, we exited the park without realizing, we kept on walking and found ourselves outside the park.

The kids had fun and I think that summer time really brings out the best in this park. I will for sure head there during hot season, my children will definitely enjoy the spray park!

If you want to find out more about the park, including history, please click here.

That is it for now!

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Cape Horn Park in Coquitlam

Location: 186 San Juan Place, Coquitlam

Well Coquitlam did it again, with another small and cute park in the neighbourhood. This time you can find it at San Juan place. A local mom was telling me there used to be an old park before.

You would think the location is not the ideal one when you think it is next to the highway, but that makes it unique actually. You don’t see a lot of park right next to the highway. Astrid and Jamie enjoyed seeing the train passing while we were there, and you know how kids are with trains. Or garbage trucks. But more about that in a different post.

Wood chips, slides, two swings and lots of natural grass and seating area awaits you. We’ve been there a couple of times and it wasn’t crowded, hardly anyone I should say. It’s nice when you find a new park or place to go, the kids are happy, you can’t really compare or describe their excitement or happiness.

It’s a good option until the rainy season starts.

Go check it out!

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Poirier Community Centre, Best Playground in Coquitlam for under 3 years old

Location: 630 Poirier Street Coquitlam, B.C. V3J 6B1

Small and cute playground, this is exactly what this is. This little park is located next to Poirier Community Centre. I don’t think it has a name because I am not sure if it’s marked like a regular park, it could be simply attached to the community centre, but what I know is that it is designed for children 2 to 5 years old. My children are both under  3 and did great playing with pretty much everything there.

Most of the times we went it was empty, like you can see in the pictures, but it depends on the time of day and weather of course. They have 2 little houses to play in, a slide, musical instruments, rubberized surface, a few little tables when your little one can snack. The cute white fence really makes this playground adorable, a fairytale inspired place. Also, it is ideal for crawling babies, if that is what you are looking for.

My children love it, everything is their size and it makes everything more accessible for them. They are in control all the time, compared to the regular playgrounds, where the little ones sometimes get overwhelmed by the older kids. My rule whenever we are in a playground is that if you can’t climb or reach a specific slide or climbing structure, it means it’s not designed for your age. They require a certain amount of strength and coordination.

That is why this place is great for little kids and we should have more of this type of playgrounds in Coquitlam and not only.

We stop whenever we are in the area, and so should you!

Go check it out!

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Apple Barn farm trip in Abbotsford

Location: 333 Gladwin Rd Abbotsford, BC V2T 5Y1

September is here, the summer is gone. If you need an idea for this long weekend. you can check out Taves Family Farms. It was another first time experience today, going to Abbotsford and visiting the farm. We arrived there at 10 am, they opened at 9 as of today, but it was pretty quiet, not a lot of visitors in just yet, which was nice. They offer a lot of fun experiences if you’re into farm and countryside and if you have children. We went for apple picking and like a lot of farms these days, we discovered a lot of other things you can do once you’re there. Everything is customized for children. Everything.

We started with the petting farm and moved our way to the u-pick apple orchards area. At first we decided not to take a wheelbarrow, but once we transferred the kids into one, they were delighted and nothing else mattered. They just looooved the ride. They also offer a tractor ride/ hay ride if you and your family prefer that. We skipped the tractor this time. The wheelbarrow was way more fun.

My daughter enjoyed the farm, the country open space, the apple picking. My son as well, he loves animals.

There are two playgrounds for children, one free, and one with a fee. We only checked out the free one at the end, our kids were pretty tired and there was no time left. How much can a 2.5 yrs and 1 yr old last, right?

Check their hours of operation, they will be open 7 days a week for the next 2 months, and there is soooo much to do. Just to name a few: corn quest maze, jumping pillow and pumpkin pillow, petting barn and bunny town, pedal cars, tractor trail, slides and zipline, playground and farmville, hayride, of course depending on your kids age.

For sure we will go back again, the season has just started.

Here are some pictures and the link to the farm.

See you next time!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

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Astrid enjoying the tractor

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ready for the ride

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Look mommy, I am picking an apple! 😀

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Peekaboo!

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Astrid not so convinced she likes the tractor haha

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what happens every time you try to get everyone in a picture

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!

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Victoria Park in Coquitlam

Location: 3435 Victoria Dr, BC V3B 3H7

Parking available on the street

School is over and so is Strong Start, the program I take my kids on a regular basis. But summer is here and so is parks season, if I can call it that, when we go wondering thru the parks and enjoy the good weather. We went to Victoria Park this weekend, which happens to be a brand new park, opened June 13th 2017 and it was lovely. We didn’t spend a lot of time, but the first impression was good. It was worth the drive; beautiful quiet neighborhood.

The playground is for 0-10 year olds probably, swings and slides available, on a rubbery new surface. Surrounded by fence and a beautiful green area, the park offers a lot of seating areas and a nice spot to enjoy with kids. For sure your little one will not get bored; only my daughter had to chance to enjoy it this time, her brother decided to take a nap, but I am sure we will be back for more action.

Along with the playground area, there is also a super 8 soccer, a full-sized multi-sport court.

The park is near Victoria Community Hall, which hosts a summer drop in for children 0-5, which we will check probably soon and we’ll give a brief review like always. More details to come, I am not sure what kind of activities they offer at this drop-in.

There is washroom available as well, right next to the community hall.

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

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Stanley Park and Beaver Lake in Vancouver, BC

Location: downtown Vancouver

Cost: free

Parking: paid parking available

Stanley Park is definitely the place to go, if you want to take a walk with or without kids. It took me a while to discover the full potential of this natural masterpiece, but I finally have and it is great. For a long time, we used to drive up to a certain location and park, but didn’t really ventured inside, on the trails. And there are a lot of them, that you can explore.

We’ve always enjoyed the seawall, on foot or by bike when we didn’t have kids, but this time we took the kids for half a day in the park. It was the first time we’ve done it with them. We started with the Aquarium and moved our way on the trails, our aim being to get to Beaver lake.

We’ve recently got equipped with a Thule, which is awesome for trails and off-roads. I truly recommend it if you’re into hiking and going with the kids in the parks. It is worth the investment and then of course you have the option to attach it to your bike, which is its primary scope. The bike trailer is  actually meant to be attached to the bike, and if you want to turn it into a stroller, you have the option to add a third wheel in front and that’s it.

We haven’t used it as a bike trailer yet, as my son is under 1 yo and it is not recommended. And you won’t find a helmet that fits his head either for the reason mentioned above, so for now it is a stroller. A double stroller. Good for napping too.

I mentioned parks earlier and as most of us know already, most parks don’t have a lot of paved trails, it is more gravel roads. Having a stroller with good wheels comes in handy.

Coming back to Stanley park, we went on the seawall a little bit then entered a trail that led us straight up to Beaver lake. We walked for about 30 minutes, on a beautiful quiet trail. Beaver lake is pretty well hidden and covered, at some point you couldn’t tell it is a lake, more of a marsh actually.

We took a tour, the kids fell asleep. Soon we got to the Rose garden, beautiful flowers everywhere. A nice place to lay a blanket and have a quick snack.

I didn’t run into any playgrounds, there could be some, but I haven’t found them, I can’t tell for sure. Honestly, there are so many things to do and see , I wouldn’t really focus on that.

As for parking, there is plenty of paid parking available, washrooms too in certain location.  The park is gorgeous if you want to take photos or simply enjoy nature. Definitely worth a visit. Although we don’t live that close, we try to see Stanley park as often as we can.

I hope you enjoyed this post, happy seawalling!

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River Market in New Westminster

This time we decided to check the River Market in New Westminster. We’ve been there before, but as you probably know, every place you visit is different when you visit with kids. So having no other plan for that morning, I put the kids in the car and we headed to New West. Pretty close for us, a 20 minute drive the most, if the traffic is good.

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Paid parking is available, in the downtown parkade. We usually park near 4th street, but you can enter it at 6th street as well. We choose to park closer to the exit, for some reason it makes it easier when we go home and the children are tired and not as cooperative as when we arrived. This one is closer to the elevator which takes you down to the quay. It was very sunny that day, beautiful weather, perfect to go out and play. Astrid loves elevators, going up and down, checking all  those buttons, she is fascinated by them. Just as you climb down, there is an ice-cream store/ convenience store, it was closed this time, but on busier days it is open.

And the walk starts here. I remember this place from 3 years ago, this area wasn’t finished. 2 years ago though, when I came with Astrid as a baby, to stroll around it was still not 100% finished but now it is and it looks great. Great place to walk, waterfront view, seating area, lounges.

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As we head towards the market, there are two playgrounds.  I couldn’t really tell what age are they for, but my 2 year old did just fine in both. I guess 0-12 could play, there are different types of slides, swings, sand pit, climbing structures, wood chips. It wasn’t very crowded for the time of the day, a few mothers with children, some grandparents with their grandchildren. After a while, I manage to convince Astrid to go check what else is there. As it happens I forgot my baby carrier in the car, which made things complicated when having to run around after one toddler, with one infant in the stroller. Jamie was napping on and off, and as most babies, he loves to be held so he can see the surroundings.

Once you pass the playground, there is another lovely viewpoint and seating area, not suitable for young kids, but still a nice spot.

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Next on our list was the boat. All those buttons and control panels, can definitely hold a toddler focused for a while. We made friends and Astrid started running around with another toddler. The boat offers enough space to go with the stroller as well, so there you go, it fits everyone’s needs. It took some time to convince her to leave but in the end, we headed to the food court, inside the actual market and we snacked, we made another friend, check the washroom and slowly headed home.

Time flies with toddlers, we just got there and next thing you know, it is time to go home. Listened to some whining, but exhaustion took over and it was a quiet trip back home.

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

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Tobogganing at Mt Seymour

Activity: Tobogganing

Location: 1700 Mount Seymour Road, North Vancouver, BC V7G 1L3

Parking: available, special lot assigned

Cost: children 3 years and under are free when accompanied by a paying adult. One free child per adult. Inflatables or custom-made sliding devices are not permitted.

Per person $15

Sliding mat $10

Snow and sun equals lots of fun. This year we decided to try some tobogganing at Mt Seymour. It was an unexpected decision on a Saturday morning in March, but it was a great one. Lots of sun, great road conditions and awesome sliding areas, all ready for us. We got there around 10:30 and to our surprise, it wasn’t very crowded, just a few other cars in the parking lot. This time of year, you are supposed to have winter tires, so make sure you have that all set- the road were clear this time, hardly any snow left on the way, but lots of snow on the slopes.

We didn’t go prepared, I have to admit, no gear, no sled, no winter equipment, our kids have their winter gear at hand, but my was hidden somewhere in the house, so I picked whatever I had available that would fit the occasion. Fortunately, the sun made all the difference and it was pretty warm outside.

Because we didn’t have any sled with us, we had to buy a sliding mat, the green one you see in the picture; I have to say it is not the best option, especially for an adult and a toddler but it did the job and we enjoyed 45 min of sliding as much as we good.

There are multiple sliding slopes, with a great view. Mount Seymour’s Toboggan Park is perfect for kids of all ages, but if you have a toddler then this is the place to go. You can also do tubing, but there is a height restriction so you would need to check that before going. Astrid wouldn’t fit this year, maybe next year.

My daughter didn’t see a lot of snow until now and I discovered she didn’t really enjoy walking in the snow, it might have been a bit difficult too, lots of layers can make it hard to walk, so I had to carry her pretty much everywhere. And yes, we went down and then up, with her in my arms. Good workout!

She loved it and I am sure she will enjoy it next time we go, probably we’ll purchase a real sled that will make this experience even more exciting and include Jamie as well. This time he enjoyed the sun from the baby carrier.

More on the program, check here for their website.

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

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Before the action

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Incredible scenery

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Our challenge for the day

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And after, a bit tired

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Breathtaking view

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Matching tuques

Mundy Park Family Day Fun

Location: 641 Hillcrest St, Coquitlam, BC V3J 6N9

Parking available: yes

This amazing huge green space park aka forest is a great place to relax, walk, run, jog, take your toddler to explore, take your baby for a stroll, you name it. It’s nature pure and simple. It’s been 2 years since we’ve lived in the neighbourhood and the park is great in terms of leisure time. Except for the bear season, you can always mark Mundy park on your to-go list. There are a lot of things to do, depending on the season.

This year for Family Day we met Coquitlam’s Park Spark team at Mundy Park for free family fun. And it was fun, for a toddler almost 2 it was great.  Some of the activities included information about pollinators and why we should care about them; a public planting of flower containers along the tot lot walkway; and invasive species recognition​ self-guided nature walks with reference sheets. There will be sidewalk chalk and balls to play with at the tot lot. Enjoy popcorn and hot chocolate at the Park Spark tent. More about it, check here.

This entrance has a generous playground, not too new, but plenty of choices. And lots of sun and fun. It was rather cold that day if I remember well. There’s a lot to say about Mundy Park, so this is to be continued!

Washroom available as well.

That is it! I hope you enjoyed this post!

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Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park

Program: Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park

Location: Stanley Park, Vancouver

Cost: for the train please click here, to view the displays at the Train Plaza by donation ($5.00 suggested)

When: November 30, 2017 to Saturday, January 6, 2018; closed on Monday, December 25 for Christmas.

Parking available: yes

Stanley Park is one of the greatest attractions in Vancouver and during the winter season it becomes even more appealing due to the Christmas decorations they put up. During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park Train Plaza sparkle with three million twinkling lights. That is a lot of lights I should say and they are all there until January 6th if you want to go and see them.

Despite the rain and snow we had today, we left Coquitlam and Tricities behind and we on the Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park with some friends and we liked it very much. My daughter enjoyed it a lot, she was absorbed by all the lights, and for some reason she kept looking only on the left side. Maybe next year she will check the ones on the right as well.

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We got there pretty early, and took the 10:30-11:00 am ride, and luckily all lights were lit and we were able to enjoy them as it was a bit cloudy outside. I assume they are lit all day long, but when it’s sunny, they’re not very bright. The ride was about 10-15 min, long enough when it’s cold and slow enough to take decent pictures. We were accompanied by Christmas music all through the ride.

It was pretty quiet up to a point when parents with small children started coming. Even after that it wasn;t very crowded. This time slot works well when you have an early bedtime I guess. It is fun to see the lights at night, but we put the kids to bed early so it becomes a bit challenging to get there late afternoon or evening.

If you choose not to get on the train, you can view the displays only. More available before Christmas I assume, the lights were lit but for example Santa workshop was closed for obvious reasons. Getting ready for next year, right?

There are also food trucks, not all of them were open, but if wanted to grab a coffee, you could do that. So bottom line, a good experience, my daughter was excited, my son took a  nap, maybe next year.

That is all for now.

I hope you enjoyed this post and happy holidays!

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Lost and found section 😀

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