Vancouver – a quick guide

I’ve wanted to take a trip to British Columbia since forever and I finally did. Unfortunately, luck wasn’t on my side, by which I mean the weather wasn’t friendly. It was raining, windy and chilly. A bit too cold to walk around with kids, so we mostly drove around. Nonetheless it was a fun learning experience and we did get to see a couple places on foot.

Vancouver – a beautiful city, absolutely gorgeous. Clean, green and of course friendly. If  the weather isn’t gloomy, start your morning at Deep Cove in North Vancouver. You can spend days there, and still not get enough of the beautiful view it has to offer. Walk around, grab some fish and chips, relax under the sun and take tons of pictures. If your kids are old enough to take care of themselves then definitely go hiking and canoeing.

A random picture of Deep Cove. Not taken during my trip.

A random picture of Deep Cove. Not taken during my trip.

Tempting ..isn't it?

Tempting ..isn’t it?

Sadly, none of the views above were captured by me. We just drove around, making quick pit stops to take a peek. Oh well, theres always a next time!

Moving on to more exciting adventures….
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park (CSBP) – You may think it’s a bit pricey for a park, after all, Vancouver has tons of parks all over the city, but this is no ordinary park, it’s a RAINFOREST!
We had an awesome time at CSBP. The park starts of with some historic facts of early settlers in Vancouver, and then comes the long suspension bridge. It seems a bit scary in the pictures, but the bridge is actually very safe and secure for kids to walk by themselves. Of course walking on a bridge, high among the tall trees and a bit shaky is a little scary, but exciting.

Ibrahim, Sara (my sister) and me on the Capilano Bridge

Ibrahim, Sara (my sister) and me on the Capilano Bridge

Inaya (my 2 yr old) and Aamir (my husband)

Inaya (my 2 yr old) and Aamir (my husband)

 

 

 

See how the Bridge is safe for adults and kids to walk on.

 

 

 

 

 

The park gives kids a little map to be stamped at different stops along the park trail. My little explorer loved the idea of looking for stamps,while hiking through the forest. At the end of the trail, if  all the stamps are collected, a certificate and a pin badge is awarded to the kids. A perfect souvenir!

Ibrahim, getting is first stamp on the map!

Ibrahim, getting is first stamp on the map!

This is a once in a life time experience. Really, think about it, when and where will you be able to walk through a Rainforest safely with younger kids??? Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a must, whenever you visit Vancouver. The dense, thick trees kept us from getting wet in the rain. The kids finally got to run around freely, climb, cross bridges and collect stamps. Just make sure your kids are well fed and ready to walk before you enter the park. It’s not a place for strollers and carrying a child can get extremely exhausting. At the end of it all try the sweet, chewy, delicious fudge in the gift shop. Finally, here are a few more pictures!

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Kids and Us on Cliff walk at Capilano Park

Kids and Us on Cliff walk at Capilano Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cliff Walk at Capilano is a narrow path, secured for visitors to walk through. Fun, Exciting and scary. Just make sure your little ones don’t try to climb the fences.

 

 

 

 

Kids having fun at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park!

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Stanley Park – a perfect place for a family picnic. The park closes 1/2 hour before sunset and opens from the first Saturday in May to the last Sunday in November. You can easily spend a whole day at Stanley park. Following is a list of things to do in Stanley Park and the best part is they are all kid friendly!

1. Ride along the Seawall. Rent bikes, rollerblades or take your own and ride the parks seawall path. Just keep the kids on the grassy side.

2. Visit the Children’s Farmyard. My kids love animals, and the farm in the middle of the park would have been like cherry on top of a cake! Too bad it was raining.

3. Take a horse drawn carriage ride in to the gardens of Stanley Park.

4. Take a 15 minute train ride around the park. Kids love trains and adults are no less. The train is a replica of the first transcontinental passenger train that pulled in to Vancouver in 1886.

5. During July and August, teach the kids how to drive at the parks driving school. kids 5-8 yrs old learn to maneuver pedal cars, supervised of course. Just distract your younger kids towards the other attractions at the park.

6. Enjoy the free kids water park, or the heated pool and the bathing beaches.

7. Eat and drink at one of the restaurants in Stanley park. There are no halal meat options available, but seafood is always great to have.

Unfortunately, it was raining heavily, and we did not get to enjoy Stanley Park. Hence, here I am sharing my life lessons with you. For the best experience Visit Vancouver in July, when the sun shines high and bright and the summer breeze keeps you cool.

 Granville Island and Kids Market –  A fun place, art studios, boutiques, glass blowing, food tasting tours and much more. Seemed  a lot like Pike Place Market in Seattle. Lots of artist during the day and restaurants at night.
I read a lot about the kids’ market, but I must say I didn’t think much of it.  A building with vendors selling all kinds of children’s products starting from infant clothing, shoes, stationary for older kids, toys and much more. There is a climber which costs $10 per child. I am sure many of you have seen a similar climber at Chuck-e-Cheese. The kids market is definitely a convenience for the locals. Mothers shop while kids play and there is a little food bar selling pizza, hotdogs and more. However, As a visitor, I’d rather walk around, take a quick  tour of Granville Island and go off to enjoy rest of Vancouver.

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Kids and us at Granville Island!

 

 

Food in Vancouver!

There’s a good number of restaurants to choose from in Vancouver. most of them are open till 10 pm so you have enough time to explore the city and get dinner.

Cazba- Persian restaurant, with good service, good food and very delightful ambiance.

Places to see and Restaurants recommended to me by an old friend and former resident of Vancouver: (I am just copying the list he emailed me)

Gulberg (Desi, but far away in Surrey – amazing, authentic Pakistani food)
Afghan Horsemen (Afghan, Granville Island – THE best Afghan place I’ve been to)
Nuba (Lebanese; in downtown – all organic, always fresh)
The Eatery (Fusion Sushi; on Broadway near UBC – great sushi but go in the afternoon because their decorations can be scary for kids at night, but in the day they can be a lot of fun because half of them are cartoon characters)
Sand Bar (Seafood; Granville Island – fresh seafood, nice sit-down restaurant)
Babylon (Lebanese; near English Bay – great shawarma place)
Artigiano (Coffee; great coffee place)
Places to Visit:
Stanley Park
English Bay
Lonsdale Quay (in North Vancouver; drink the Mango Magic juice in the Japanese juice place inside the market on Lonsdale Quay)
Grouse Mountain (take the gondola up to the top)
Granville Island (daytime fun, lots of artists on the street, lots of restaurants at night)
UBC campus
West Point Grey
Marine Drive
Jericho Beach
Yaletown (walk around, there’s a walkway by the water as well, have a coffee)
Gastown (hipster neighbourhood, great place to walk around, should definitely go)
Robson Street (in downtown, nice shopping street, cafes and restaurants as well)
Granville Street (same as above)
Coal Harbour (walk on boardwalk by the water, take a boat ride)
Vancouver Aquarium (it’s in Stanley Park, great place for kids!)
Science World (never been but heard good things)
Ferry to Victoria (if you have time, should dedicate 2 days to Victoria and drives on the island if you have time)
How to Travel:
The Sky Train will take you most places in downtown, and the sea bus will even take you to Lonsdale Quay
I suggest taking the car to the UBC campus and on the way do Jericho Beach, West Point Grey, and the Marine Drive.
 Stay Tuned for our experience in Victoria, BC.

Share you Experience in Vancouver!

Comments, questions and suggestions are always Welcome

 

 

 

 

 

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