Monday, September 13, 2010

The Ultimate place for families in Vancouver, B.C. - Stanley Park

When we woke up that morning in our downtown Vancouver, B.C. hotel, we were excited to take the kids for a relaxing ride through Stanley Park after a long drive the day before.  We headed for the parking garage and quickly realized my bicycle had been stolen off our Suburban.  After a few tears from my 6 year old daughter, a long talk with security and a great Hyatt customer service manager who promptly got me a bike rental, we made our way over to Stanley Park.

Downtown Vacouver is a large, clean, but a very business focused city. Once you enter Stanley Park you feel as though you've entered a whole new world.  Beautiful water views from the entire 6 mile walking and biking seawall trail is not to be missed.  You'll find plenty of other trails throughout the 1,000 acre park as well.

We spent our entire afternoon riding the seawall around Stanley Park on our bikes.  We are far from being seasoned riders and I honestly don't remember the last time we rode, so don't worry if your not in the best of shape.  The paths are farely flat and just a little narrow in a couple of areas, but I managed to pull two kids in a wide trailer without incident. 

You can't go wrong bringing the family here, whether you enjoy biking, hiking, swimming, or visiting an aquarium, they have a ton of activities to do.  Our choice to ride bikes was for the scenery, ease of pulling the kids around and also the cheaper of our options.  Swimming in the public pool, a visit to the aqaurium, a horse drawn carriage ride or a stop at the concession stand will cost you money.  Two hamburgers, one fry and one drink $20 dollars, OUCH!

Visiting the Park on a budget with Kids


Transportation:  Did you bring the car? If you're not already paying a ridiculously high hourly price at your hotel, leave the car behind and hop onto a trolley or bus to the park.  Parking rates in and around Stanley park are hefty.  We found ourselves paying $9/hr to park in an outside lot and parking inside the park can be hard to find on a nice sunny afternoon.
Playtime: We came across a couple great play areas for the kids. One fun looking water park, which was just breezy enough that day to not get wet in, but some other kids didn't seem to mind.  You can find this park closer to the Lions Gate Bridge viewing area off the seawall trail.

Near the entrance of the park from downtown you will find two great parks for the kids.  Along with the public pool and concession stand. 

Food: PACK A LUNCH or whatever meal it is you may need while in the park.  Once you ride over or park for the day and begin exploring Stanley Park, you won't want to leave just for a meal. 

Say "Hello" to the Canadian Geese!  This is just a must do while in Canada, or I guess you could say "AY!"  Along side the creek near the aquarium you will find lots of geese, ducks and beautiful swans.

During our long weekend in Vancouver, Stanley Park was by far the highlight of our trip.  Plan your visit with some sunshine and you could spend an entire weekend alone in Stanley Park doing tons of activities with the family.  I was sad that after a long day of bike riding and playing at the park we were just too tired to visit the Aquarium that we had planned to see.  So if you want to visit the Aquarium, I suggest making it your first stop in Stanley Park.



Lisa Bergren said...

Looks lovely--a perfect angle on Vancouver for families with kids. Thanks for sharing the scoop!

Nicole said...

Nice post. I still haven't made it to Vancouver after living in Seattle for 5 years. Soon, soon!

Anna said...

Great post. I've always wanted to go to Vancouver, hasn't it been voted as the top place to live in the world?! One day...

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