Ah, this is one of the easiest weekends in Vancouver to suggest ways to get out there and have adventures. It’s summer, it’s hot, and there’s tones to do. Just keep in mind, adventure isn’t so much going to festivals and events, as it is what you DO while going there, or once you get there, or on your way home. I have ideas to put you in the spirit of things, but it’s up to you to invite adventure along.
Where ever you go, whatever you do, bring hats and sunscreen (unless it’s night), and plenty of water. Be safe!
- Here in Vancouver it is going to be hot. Okay, those of you from other locations might laugh at us, but we do find the low to mid 30s uncomfortable and outside of normal. That’s Celsius, by the way. So if you’re here and finding it uncomfortable, beat the heat! Head for the forest, where the trees shade you and the breeze is cool. This city is surrounded with opportunities – there’s Lynn Valley, the paths around Simon Fraser University, the Endowment Lands, Burns Bog, and many others. Pack lots of water and snacks, and maybe a field guide. Try a scavenger hunt – find ten things that start with the letter P! Get a map and compass and learn to use them. Bring a garbage bag and pack out more than you pack in.
- Have you got preschoolers? Find containers of odd shapes and sizes, fill them with water and pop them in the freezer for some ice play. You can even include various treasures that might freeze well, small plastic toys, balls, use your imagination! Once the heat of the day hits, find a shady place outside. Let the kids watch as the ice chunks melt, or play with them, figure out how to break them to get to the treats, you name it. Just let them explore what ice is like.
- It’s not just kids who thrive on free play time. Grown-ups do too. Let the kids drive the play in the park, and join in for a bit. Run with them. Play tag by their rules. Take turns being the bear. Get down in the sand and build a kingdom, making use of as much ‘stuff’ as you can find nearby. Or for a change of pace and lots of laughs, get other adults to join you in a game of tag, playing in a playground, riding a teetertotter, climbing trees.
- Magic will bloom and flourish this Saturday evening in two different ways in Vancouver. The Illuminares festival is yet again taking place at Trout Lake – an annual event of glowing lanterns throughout the park. Wander and watch, bring your own and join in, and let yourselves get lost in the magic. In English Bay the Celebration of Light will fill the sky with fireworks, if you like a little more bang in your evening. Head there early if you want a seat on the beach! Prime viewing locations are the beaches right down town, Burrard Bridge, Vanier Park and Kits beach. I fully intend on taking Cameron right downtown this year. He’s been looking forward to this, talking about fireworks eagerly, since last year.
- Crowds not for you? The Valley is sure to be roasting hot during the day, but the evening might not be so bad. The Greater Vancouver Zoo is hosting a sleepover, featuring a night time safari and zookeeper visits. Seriously, if it weren’t for the in-town events, we’d be heading out there for this.
- There are very few outdoor public pools remaining in Vancouver, and the big ones are crowded. Did you know there’s a nice small one at Mount Pleasant Community Centre? At least for now it is. There’s a campaign to save it, as it’s looking like the site is doomed to be torn up once the new community centre opens. Join the community there in their Pool Party and show your support!
We’re planning a fairly laid back weekend, that’s our adventure! Saturday’s plans are to take a late nap, so that we’re up and fresh for the fireworks. That’s not something I wish to attempt with an overtired young one, to be honest.
Not in Vancouver, and wanting to find adventure? That’s not a problem. Sure, I listed things that for the most part are pretty local, but have a look in your weekend papers, have a look online, call up parks. Find something to do that is out of the ordinary for you and your family. Perhaps something you’ve always wanted to do. Perhaps a place you’ve seen but never visited. Anything will do – if you want it to happen, adventure will find you.