To avoid staying at home the entire summer, I've resorted to my usual tactic: Got a problem? Make a list! I'm working on a list of some outings we can do together in July & August. Due to my 'delicate condition' I have more picky requirements than usual:
- Walls or some sort of enclosure to stop/slow him from running into traffic, getting lost, etc.
- A bathroom nearby (this is for both of us, since we're doing round two of toilet training now)
- A chair or bench for me to sit on. Getting up off the ground is getting harder & harder by the day.
- Transit accessible without a lot of transfers or less than 2km from our house (I can't really bike Sprout + gear very far or up hills any more)
- Cheap or free.
|CBC Musical Nooners 2012. Image credit: CBC Vancouver|
I wracked my brains this week to come up with a good list of places that fit most of my requirements. So far, I've come up with the following activities:
- Sweetsalt Bakery: besides the attraction of baked goods & a good play area, it's so close to home, with a bonus construction site to look at on the way. Open seven days a week!
- Mount Pleasant Family Centre Drop-in: not only is this a nice safe space for Sprout to play, but I can leave him up in the playroom for an hour & have a cup of tea or an uninterrupted conversation with another adult! WIN!
- Mount Pleasant Library: Sprout loves reading, so we'll have to start going here weekly, I think.
- Kingsgate Story Time: the librarian coming to our awkward little inner-city mall is a bit odd, but it pairs well with errands: there's a grocery store, drug store, our bank & credit union have ATMs there, plus a half-decent toy store. Story time continues through most of the summer, at 10:30am on Thursdays until August 15.
- Hillcrest Pool: hoping to resurrect our weekly playdates with some friends here & take advantage of the reduced gravity of floating.
- Family drop-in gym at Mount Pleasant Community Centre or Creekside Community Recreation Centre: enclosed & thoroughly entertaining for Sprout.
- False Creek: water, rocks, birds, boats--what more could you ask for?
- David Livingstone Water Park: this is walkable from our house, plus the sightlines are really good there, unlike Granville Island, where a kid can run 5 metres & be hidden behind something.
- Robson Park: just a hop, skip & a jump across Kingsway with a wading pool & tons of ride-on toys available every day during the summer months. Bonus: next to the park is Matchstick Cafe, which has decent pain au chocolat!
- Science World: I'm thinking of getting a family membership for Sprout's birthday (shhhh... don't tell him!) since he'll be old enough to require paying admission then. Not exactly cheap, but if we go once a month, it'd work out to be pretty affordable per trip.
- Drive a Modo car to Coquitlam: Sprout gets pretty excited about car trips, since they're kind of rare. A visit to Nana & Gumpa's house &/or his cousins & aunt should go over well, or even meeting at a mall that has a play area (Lougheed, Brentwood) is doable. This one also isn't what I'd call cheap, but transit to the depths of Coquitlam from East Van is just not really reasonable.
- Kitsilano Beach Park: besides the beach & ocean, there's a great playground right there too.
- CBC Musical Nooners: free concerts outside the CBC in downtown Vancouver at noon until 1pm July 5 to August 23.
- Coal Harbour Seaplanes: this is a great all-weather activity. You can get a great view of the seaplanes landing & taking off outside on the deck or inside the convention centre.
- YVR Take-Off Fridays: from July 5 to August 30 the airport is offering goodies, free entertainment, & fun with a family bent.
I imagine there are other parents out there in a similar situation, due to preschools being out for the summer or maybe moms on maternity leave with their second child. Have you got any other suggestions of activities or places that meet my stringent requirements this summer? :) Suggestions are very welcome in the comments below.
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