I was a little nervous about how busy the market would be; the last time we went it was shoulder to shoulder busy, difficult to navigate. There was a long lineup outside the gates, but the kids were entertained by the roaring animatronic dinosaurs that were sprinkled throughout the site, & we moved fairly quickly. Adults pay to get in, but it's only $3.25. If you want to go six or seven times over the summer, you can get a pass that also entitles you to skip the lineup.
Food was the first order of business when we arrived. I got a satay chicken roti cone, the kids had Rotatoes (those spirals of deep fried potato on a stick), & Oliver ate seafood tempura & fish balls. Getting these things involved a lot of waiting in line--particularly for the Rotato. Not sure that was worth it, given that they're available at practically every big market type event.
We also shared a couple of bags of mini doughnuts that our friends bought. I was seriously considering churros & ice cream, as well as a deep fried mars bar, but maybe we'll go back again this summer. We didn't walk around the entire market, but I didn't see any seating whatsoever, which makes feeding kids a bit tricky. Linnaeus isn't bad at eating standing up, but Bronte still tends to drop her food & we lost a good percentage of her Rotato.
A highlight of the evening was when the kids went in the bouncy castle. Bronte was allowed in, but the staff suggested I go in with her since she's still so young. I love playing around inside those giant inflatable structures, so I was pretty happy about having an excuse to go in. This one was huge & even had a ball pit at the bottom of a slide. This was particularly amazing because I have never been in a ball pit before. They just weren't a thing when I was a kid in the small towns I lived in. I enjoyed the ball pit so much I had to make a video.
Once we'd all eaten, watched a yoyo performance, & looked around a bit, I checked the time & it was 11pm! We headed back to where we'd locked up the bikes in one big tangle--no bike racks at this event--& packed the kids into the bakfietsen. They were in there just long enough to get a cute photo. Linnaeus decided lying down in our box wasn't comfortable enough, so once we'd ridden back over the Canada Line Bridge, we switched him to the Yuba Mundo. He has been shoehorning himself into Bronte's Peanut Shell seat lately, which is actually kinda hard to balance, since it's right at the back of the deck.
The ride home was mostly up hill, but it's not to steep up Heather Street. I really love riding at night, especially with friends. I'd have loved it more if my dynamo lights hadn't given up the ghost. We discovered that they weren't working on the way to the market. Sometime in the past week they seem to have died because I'm sure they were working not that long ago. Hoping we can keep them going not have to replace them yet, as that's a pricey fix. We've got lots of battery operated lights we can use until we fix or replace them, anyway.
Bronte fell asleep pretty early on in the ride home--she seems to like sleeping in the bakfiets & has now had quite a few naps in it. Linnaeus, on the other hand, stayed awake all the way home--it was midnight when we arrived! Just a few days into summer break & bedtimes have gone right out the window!
If you're thinking about biking to the Richmond Night market, it's a pretty good way to get there. It's quite close to the Canada Line bridge, which is lovely to ride over. The traffic is very busy in the streets around the market, but it's really slow moving & there are flag people directing. It wasn't hard to get across the stream of cars or make left turns, as the flaggers stopped traffic for us. There is very little to lock bikes to at the market--we used quite a few locks to attach our bikes together, making them very awkward to pick up & carry away.
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