Here we are at Friday again! It’s been a long week, and now it’s time to recharge batteries by exploring and playing. I’m thinking that I might move this regular post to Thursdays, as I get the feeling that many people plan their weekends before, say, 11:56pm on Friday evening. In case you’re new, here’s the gist – I’m a big advocate of seeking adventure on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to mean getting out and exploring the wilds of Africa, though if that’s within your means, go for it. I mean the more available type, right in your back yard. I suggest fun things to do outdoors, mostly around my home, but the general idea is transportable to wherever you may be. Adventure is all in your attitude.
- Why not take the kids to Jericho? Lovely park, sailboats to ogle, beach to play on, and … oh yeah … BUNNIES! Peek under the blackberry bramble (are they ripe yet?) between the sailing centre and the tennis courts, stay very still, and you might see them. Bring carrots for them to munch on and you might even make a new furry friend. These are mostly once-pet rabbits that were ‘set free’ when no longer cute and cuddly, and their offspring. If you ever consider giving a child a rabbit for Easter, remember that they are long-term pets, not disposable toys!
- Didn’t you hear? There’s a new baby beluga at the aquarium! Are you a member? Great – check out their email newsletter. This Saturday is one of the ones where members can get in ahead of the crowds, and there’s a special treat. Kids can bring their stuffed animals to visit with a real veterinarian. That’s special! I bet that a picnic at Lumberman’s Arch, where they have the best fish and chips in the city, would be good for any stuffed animal.
- Do you know what else they have at Stanley Park, if you aren’t into the aquarium? A children’s farm! Also, a miniature train ride, and a water park. On a sunny weekend, though, you’ve got to be pretty brave to venture into the most touristy areas of the park.
- Why not visit one of the high points of Vancouver? I’m talking about Queen Elizabeth Park. Stroll through the gorgeous gardens, play tag amongst the trees. I dare you, roll down a grassy slope! Take a moment and smell some of the flowers. Then take a good look at the city all around – green-treed streets and parks, playgrounds, mountains. Appreciate where you live – not everyone has this.
- Did you think I meant the north shore mountains? If you’re feeling a little more adventurous and want to get out of the city, we have quite the back country ‘playground’ right in our back yard. Head on up! Pack an Adventure bag with the essentials, and remember to stay on the trails. I don’t want to hear about you needing Search and Rescue to go out and carry you home! Seriously, those mountains look nice and tame from the south, but do keep in mind that the northern exposures are much steeper. Where to go? Grouse is nice, but expensive if you don’t wish to hike up the Grind. Head to Cypress instead, or Seymour. Both have shorter hikes that are kid-friendly – we went up to Mystery Lake in the fall. I highly recommend investing in a book like 103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia. There’s one for walks, too.
- Not in Vancouver? Seek out similar adventures! Find nearby gardens to visit, a forest to walk in, a stream to splash in. Sit quietly for a bit, and see what animals and birds you can see and hear. Plan a hike to a local high point, and gaze at the land full of adventures all around you.
- Nothing here strike your fancy? Perhaps try your hand at paddling. Head on over to see what Bethe has to suggest at the Grass Stain Guru.
Cameron and I have already started our weekend adventures. First was a focus group I’ll write more about later, and Cameron was a delight. He actually let me take part in a discussion. Then off to a playground he’d never visited before, with a rope climbing structure. We walked part of the way back along the seawall, and I figured we’d catch a bus over Cambie. Cameron had other plans. He asked so sweetly I had to give in – we took a boat across instead. It meant a very late night. Tomorrow’s early start will be tough! But you’ll have to come back tomorrow to find out where we’re headed.
In the meantime, why not share what your weekend adventure plans are?