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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Sorina

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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!

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 park!

Sorina

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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!

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 the park!

Sorina

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Burnaby Lake

Location: Burnaby; easiest way for me to remember its location is that it is close to Costco (3550 Brighton Ave, Burnaby, BC V5A 4W3)

Parking available: yes, limited

This regional park, right in the heart of Burnaby, is a place to reconnect with the natural world without leaving the city. The area is a stunning wildlife sanctuary where birdwatchers regularly spot great blue herons, bald eagles, belted kingfishers, osprey and even rarer birds such as the small green-backed heron.

The lake was created by a glacier 12,000 years ago, and only a century ago its shores were home to bustling sawmills. Today, a viewing tower on that same shore provides a bird’s-eye view for spotting wildlife. You can view the lake from your canoe or kayak to get an up-close look at the busy beavers, diving ducks and turtles feeding in the marsh.

Burnaby Lake has a rowing course suitable for canoeing, kayaking and rowing training.

We go there every so often, we started going when I was pregnant with my daughter and tried making it a habit every now and then. Perfect place to see birds, photograph them, watch them and spend a quiet time in the middle of nature. The scenery is spectacular, no matter what time of the year you go, rain or shine, for sure you will find it very interesting to take a moment and enjoy nature in its pure form, take a picture and simply be.

There are washroom available. You can hike, walk, stroll if suitable gear in place. Definitely a place to check and enjoy!

That is all until next time! 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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Workout anyone?

Happy New Year!

Probably a hot topic around the holiday season and definitely one bullet point on the New Year’s Eve resolution list: working out, weight loss, staying fit, getting in shape or whatever you want to call it.

One of the challenges I faced as a new mom was finding time and opportunities to workout and get back in shape. I am sure a lot of moms would agree. Especially when you don’t have a grandma at home to help and maybe take the baby to daycare, chances are you don’t get to workout that much, at least in the beginning.

I wanted to get back in shape, workout, get back to my normal weight and have a healthy    lifestyle. So without further due, I started thinking about options.

First I started running close to home at Riverview forest, but soon realized I started too early and running wasn’t the best option at the time. It was too demanding. The baby was only 2 months old. So I chose working out at home whenever possible, that would have been when my daughter was sleeping during the day or in the evening after putting her to bed for the night. We were and still are very lucky that my daughter started sleeping through the night when she was very very little.

After a while, I wanted to connect with other moms and one of the way I did that was by registering to Mom&Baby workout classed thru Fit4Two, that was available in Tricities area. Basically, groups of moms were meeting with a trainer, outside when the weather permitted or indoors at Poirier Rec Centre or City Centre Aquatic Centre   when it was raining for fitness or bootcamp for mom and baby. There is a variety of both prenatal and postnatal classes to choose from that they offer. Just check their website.

You can bring your baby and work out together, which for me at least, prooved to be a very efficient method of networking, working out and spending time with my daughter. Of course, if you need to stop and feed your baby, you can do it at any time.

The program was especially designed and adjusted for new mothers. I highly recommend it if you are a new mom and want to exercise!

Now with two children it got a little bit more challenging and I am still working on finding options. If you have any ideas, let me know. Whatever worked the first time, doesn’t work anymore.

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 experiences! What workout options did you choose?

Sorina

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!

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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Lost and found section 😀

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Crestwood Park in Coquitlam

Location: 907 Crestwood Dr, Coquitlam, BC V3J 5S5

 

Parking available: on the street

The beautiful summer days are gone! And there are not coming back soon, but nonetheless, this is a quick glimpse into another cute park we ran into close to home.

Crestwood park is an attractive green space with a playground, half basketball court, pathway through the park and spacious grass area for relaxing or casual play, as would the City describe it.

It has a newly renovated play area, again same theme as in other parks in Coquitlam, extremely attractive and ready for toddlers of certain ages. We spent an afternoon climbing, having a picnic, staring around, playing with the wood chips an of course trying out the amusements.

Here are some pictures. The small park is a nice place to spend your afternoon, in a quiet neighbourhood, with lots of trees and green space.

That is it! I hope you enjoyed this post!

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

Sorina

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Laity pumpkin patch Maple Ridge

Location:

North- 21145 128th Avenue Maple Ridge, BC V4R 2R9

South- 12725 Laity Street Maple Ridge, BC V4R 2P2

Cost: $5

 

I know we are a bit late with this one, but we still need to add to the list so here it is. This year  we had a lot of ‘firsts’ and the pumpkin farm was no exception. We decided to check Laity pumpkin patch in Maple Ridge (which of course it is closed for the season). It is the biggest in Tricities and beyond, at least as far as we know.

We went there on a Saturday morning, thinking it might not be too crowded, but I think that is what every family with small children thought and so it wasn’t packed but it was quite the crowd.

They have too location, south and north, depending on your child’s age. Each location has different entertainment option so you choose which one fits you and your child of course. We went to check the one for children under 5. They had an animal farm, lots of wooden amusements and cars outside that the kids could ride, tractor ride and of course looots of pumpkins. The patch looked awesome, if you could only get into one area that wasn’t too populated, you could have taken very nice pictures.

But you know what it is like to go out with two small children, at some point diapers need to be changed, naps to be taken and soon we left, eager to see what the remaining of the day had in stock for us.

And one more thing, bring an extra set of cloths, the pumpkins are wet in the morning.

Here are some pictures and the link to the farm.

See you next time!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

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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!

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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!

Town Centre Park and Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam

Location: 1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam, BC

Parking available: yes

Probably one of the biggest parks in Tricities, Town Centre Park and Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam together are definitely a good option to spend time outdoor with the family.

There is a generous playground, with sand pits, water/ spray park for the summer, the playground offers a large variety of play stations for different age groups. My daughter is now 20 months, and every time we go there she wants to climb up to the big kids slide, but none of the options given is something she can use, as she still too young to climb something other than stairs; so you get to the point that they were designed a certain way, so that kids of certain age to not access them.

The challenging part is that sometimes it can get pretty busy, popular place so expect it to be full from time to time. Especially during summer, when the water park is open, it really feels busy, crowded, everyone trying to find a spot in the shade.

My daughter started walking only in August, close to the end of the season so we didn’t spend too much time at the water parks, but we tried it a few times and it is quite fun for kids and adults as well. Who wouldn’t want to cool off a bit when the temperature reaches 30 degrees!!! We ended up leaving the place soaking wet, and learned our lesson for the next time and mommy made sure we had the right equipment with us.

Apart from that, we enjoy nice long walks in the park, watching the ducks, avoiding feeding them; what is odd about it is that there is a big sign saying not to feed them, and yet a lot of the passers-by feed them.

You can jog, run, enjoy a picnic, good weather and a mountains or urban scenery!

Plenty of parking and washroom available, so go check it out and I will see you around!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

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

Sorina

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Salmon come home in Coquitlam

Location: Hoy Creek Hatchery – located on Hoy Creek Trail Linear Park, west of the City Centre Aquatic Complex at the corner of Pinetree and Guildford Way

Program cost: free

This rain or shine event took place on October 22nd in Coquitlam, more precisely in Hoy Creek.  Usually it is on the 3rd Sunday in October. The annual Salmon Come Home event co-hosted with the City of Coquitlam Municipality celebrates the return of the salmon to Hoy Creek. The free family event run from 11 a.m. through to 3 p.m. at the Hoy Creek Hatchery.

You can watch spawning chum salmon in stream (see pictures below), learn about the Hoy Creek Hatchery, view live salmon demonstrations, and enjoy musical entertainment, interactive children’s activities, food, and educational exhibits. It’s true we arrived closer to 3 p.m., but we got to see pretty much everything. It was our first year and we enjoyed it a lot. Next year we will go earlier for sure.

It rained a bit, but we wouldn’t let rain ruin our mood, after all, we need to embrace it right?

We parked at Douglas College. The trail has several entrances, and of course it is one place you can visit any time of the year, not just now. Click here for more information.

Surrounded by condos and shopping malls, the coho population is returning year after year to this forested stream, in the middle of an urban area. We learned that a lot of work is being done to maintain this unusual habitat from being contaminated, the traffic around the area means there is garbage left behind, invasive plants are a constant battle and even garden waste being dumped. A lot of volunteers help make that happen.

We learned about the salmon life cycle and lots of interesting information. For example, there are 5000 to 10000 salmon in this rearing pond only. There is also a Leave Home Festival, that happens in May, when fish are released.

Also, the salmon (Coho) swim out to the ocean and return to this creek to spawn in 18 months.

Walking on the trail we could actually see the salmon spawn, they rub their tail on the rocks in the water, which is of course very interesting to see. All in all, a pleasant family event,  a nice location and very very informative!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

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Sorina

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Panorama Park in Deep Cove

Location: Panorama Dr, North Vancouver, BC V7G 1L2

Parking available: yes limited; the area is full of tourists, and parking is not easy to find. Street parking available as well.

The first time we went to Deep Cove was to have the doughnuts, the famous doughnuts, I didn’t really imagine the potential there is, but the area is gorgeous and it is worth visiting, with or without doughnuts.

Walking around, after having the doughnuts, we run into this little playground, full of kids. It was amazing, the children were amazing, playing around, so Astrid jumped in and gave it a try. A slide, some climbing structures, actually quite a few and wood chips everywhere. A bit rusty here and there, but it did the job. The kid was happy, well entertained, so objective achieved.

The area is famous for beautiful hiking trails, so you can do that if you want.  We did that the first time we went there, we didn’t have any children back then, now with the little ones, it is a bit of a challenge but we will do it again when they’re older. The view was gorgeous. Even if you don’t hike, the whole area is nice. Also, you can choose to rent a kayak, lots of people were doing that when we went last time, and the weather was nice and it was worth it.

Washrooms are available close-by and like I mentioned parking can be a pain, yet don’t get discouraged.

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

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Sorina

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Rocky Point Park in Port Moody

Location: 2800 Murray St, Port Moody, BC V3H 1X2

Parking available: yes, limited and it can be a pain sometimes to find a spot

This is actually the first park I’ve been to when we moved to the Tricities area. I had just had my daughter and we were off from a breastfeeding discussion when we stopped at the park. It was April and it was raining and the park was empty and beautiful. And I said to myself, if this park looks gorgeous when it’s raining and cold, imagine when it’s sunny. We continued going there and we love it. It is one of the most popular parks in the area and it’s definitely worth going there.

Huge playground, for different age groups, generous trails if you want to hike and simply stroll, forest all around, gorgeous scenery, picnic areas, this park has a lot to offer. I tried to capture as much as I could in my pictures, there is so much you can do. In the summer we used to stroll all the way from Port Moody library, which is next to the same forest connecting Rocky Point Park. The walk is beautiful, not too long but not too short either.

Except of course for when the bear season is on.

Washrooms are available, there is also the famous Rocky Point ice cream and if you like, you can rent a kayak, when the season is open. Don’t worry about the ice cream, that one is open all-year long.

Go there, it’s worth it!

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!

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