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  • Writer's pictureMagy Aguiluz

Life in North Vancouver: What To Do With Kids

Updated: Mar 17


Kid running towards playground, cloudy day, greenfield, buildings in the distance

Living in North Vancouver has many perks, from a quick commute to Vancouver to an easy escape to the surrounding mountains; there is always something fun to do. Life in North Van with kids is no different there are many fun and educational activities to do with your little one here.



Here are some suggestions for life in North Vancouver and what to do with kids:


Outdoor Fun - Parks

The City of North Vancouver offers a helpful map that provides valuable information about the different parks and green spaces in the area. This map includes the locations, amenities, and features of each park, so you can easily find the perfect spot for your next outdoor adventure.


In winter, you can ski, snowboard, and enjoy ice skating. There's also a wildlife refuge. During summer, families can hike child-friendly trails like the Grouse Grind Trail or the Alpine Walk, offering beautiful views and chances to see nature up close. Additionally, in the summer, Grouse Mountain offers plenty of activities like lumberjack shows, scenic lift rides, canopy tours, and more. Don't miss the chance to visit Grinder and Coola, two grizzly bears, at the wildlife refuge.



Mount Seymour: Another great place for skiing and snowboarding in winter, and hiking and picnicking in summer. They also offer snowshoeing and tubing. There are different trails to explore, including Mystery Lake, which is a short hike that children enjoy.



Located in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, this circular hike around Rice Lake is ideal for families with children of all ages. The trail is relatively flat and well-maintained, making it accessible for strollers and people of all abilities.




Here our some of our favourite free parks:


Lynn Canyon Park: This expansive park offers more than just beautiful temperate rainforest trails and a suspension bridge over the Lynn River. Families can explore various hiking trails ranging from easy strolls to more challenging hikes, providing opportunities to discover stunning waterfalls, tranquil pools, and lush greenery. The park also features picnic areas nestled among towering trees, perfect for enjoying a relaxing lunch surrounded by nature. For those seeking adventure, Lynn Canyon Park offers opportunities for swimming in natural pools, cliff jumping (for the daring), and even guided eco-tours led by knowledgeable park staff. It's a haven for families looking to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.




In my personal opinion, this is one of the best playgrounds in North Vancouver. This one has many activities for our little ones, like a little pump track, a sandbox with water, swings, a metal slide-to-slide, two zip lines, many wooden structures for climbing, and a trampoline.


This playground was recently renovated and is incredible. It has a picnic area, the river is nearby, and it has trails for bicycles or walking, but the playground itself has many games for different ages.


A beautiful waterfront park with a sandy beach, playgrounds, picnic areas, and walking trails. Perfect for a day of beachcombing and enjoying the scenery. Additionally, Cates Park is known for its historical significance, with remnants of indigenous cultures visible along the shoreline, providing an educational opportunity for families interested in local history and culture.



This playground is ideal for young children, as it has a fence around the park, allowing parents to give their little ones a little more freedom to play. In the park, you can find sandboxes with water in the summer, as well as many structures for children to have fun climbing, sliding, and more.


This playground is one of my favorites in the summer. It has a water play structure that is incredible and is great fun for our children, as well as lots of games.


This park is perfect for biking with your kids or taking a short, easy walk. It has smooth paths and a calm vibe, making it great for enjoying nature together as a family. Whether you're biking or walking, Greenwood Park is a nice place to have fun outdoors and relax.





This playground is perfect for the green area space that allows you to do a thousand activities with your little ones, and in the winter when snow falls, it has ideal areas to slide and have a good time. It has a soccer field and tennis courts.


This park is a hidden gem that's perfect for families with young children. The park features a playground area where Mackay Creek runs through, creating small beaches that are perfect for playing in the water during the summer. In the spring, you can even catch a glimpse of salmon jumping in the water!

The playground itself is fantastic, with a sandbox and various structures for sliding and swinging. But what makes this park truly unique is its connection to the surrounding forest. You can take your little ones on small hikes through the forest, making it a park full of adventures.



Ideal for active families, this park features walking and biking trails, as well as playground areas for kids. There's also a section of the park dedicated to wildlife conservation, where you can observe birds and other animals.


This park offers playfields, picnic areas, and walking trails surrounded by nature. It's a perfect place for kids to run and play outdoors, and there are also sports facilities like soccer and baseball fields.


This park offers a beautiful waterfront setting with green areas, a pier for strolling, and a beach for playing. There's also a playground and a water play area for kids to cool off on hot days.



Waterfront park in North Van
Waterfront park in North Van

Here our some of our favourite paid-to-access parks:


This park offers a 140-meter-long suspension bridge over the Capilano River, as well as trails and exhibits on the region's wildlife and culture.





Outdoor Fun - Skating Rinks, Farms and More

There are several outdoor skating rinks in North Vancouver, such as the ice rink at Parkgate Community Centre or the one at the Shipyards at Lonsdale Quay.


One of the best places for kids to visit, as it offers a wide range of activities throughout the year. In the summer, children can enjoy the splash park, while in the winter they can go ice skating. Additionally, during the summer, the city provides movie screenings for children. There are numerous other activities planned for kids throughout the year, making the North Shore a great destination for families.


This farm is beautiful and allows you to feed the ducklings. Your children will enjoy being in contact with goats, ducks, sheep, and rabbits. You can also observe horses, cows, pigs, and donkeys, among others.




Located in beautiful Lynn Canyon Park, the Lynn Valley Ecology Centre is a great place for family learning and fun. They have displays about local plants and animals, and offer educational programs and forest walks. Kids can explore nature and take part in fun activities while learning about the environment. It's a fantastic way to enjoy the nature of North Vancouver and learn at the same time. While entry to the park itself is free, most of the exhibits at the Ecology Centre operate on a donation basis.


For children from 0 to 6 years - Community Centres, Strong Start and More



Family Playground Drop-In Program at the JBCC: This program provides a great opportunity for families to connect while their kids enjoy playing with others. Plus, your little ones will receive a healthy snack to keep them energized during playtime.

It's important to note that the programme has a limited capacity, so be sure to arrive early to secure your spot. No registration is required, so simply show up and join in on the fun! Don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity to connect with other families in the North Vancouver community.


Schedule:

  • Tuesday, 10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

  • Thursday, 10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

  • Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.


Participating in the preschool program is a great way to help prepare your child for success in kindergarten while also spending quality time together. Don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity to bond with your little one while promoting early learning and development.


For registration, click here.


Thrive family programs

(These programs are offered free of cost)


Learning through Play (0-6 years old): Available Monday through Thursday in two sessions from 9:30-11:30 am and 1:00-2:30 pm. Please note that Monday afternoons are only for babies 0-18 months.

Baby Basics - Breastfeeding Support (Infants): Available on Mondays from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm.

Babynastics (0-18 months): Available on Mondays from 1:00-2:30 pm.

Pancakes & Play (0-6 years old): Available on Sundays from 9:30-11:30 am.


Thrive West Vancouver

Learning through Play (0–6 years old): Available Monday to Friday from 9:30–11:30 a.m.


Baby Basics and Breastfeeding Support

(Program offered free of cost)


Baby Basics and Breastfeeding Support Drop-in offers group and 1-on-1 breastfeeding support and consultation by a certified birth doula and family support counsellor. At Thrive Maplewood every Monday, they are available to answer questions, give information, share resources, and offer emotional support about the triumphs and challenges of being a new parent and all things baby.


Topics include: latching, benefits of breastfeeding, low milk supply, oversupply, breast engorgement, sleep, growth spurts, and postpartum depression.


Babynastics

This is a dedicated time for you and your baby to meet other parents and carers who would like to socialize, have fun, and work on gross motor development all at the same time! Healthy snacks are provided. For ages 0–18 months.



Other Helpful Information for Families with Kids in North Vancouver


  • Family Services North Shore

  • North Shore neighbourhood house 604-987-8138

  • La Leche League 604-520-4623 (breastfeeding support).

  • North Shore community resources 604-985-7138

  • Impact North Shore 604-988-2931

  • North Shore Women's Centre 604-984-6009

  • Parent support services 604-669-1616

  • 24-hour crisis line 604-872-3311

  • 24-hour women's crisis line 604-987-3374

  • Poison Control: 1-800-567-8911

  • Helpline for children 604-310-1234

  • Infant Development Program (birth–3 years old) 604-986-1358

  • North Shore Pediatric Resource Team, 604-904-6200, Ext. 4167


In summary, North Vancouver is a fantastic place for families with kids. With its beautiful parks, fun activities, and supportive community programs, there's always something exciting to do. Whether you're exploring nature trails, playing at playgrounds, or joining in on community events, there's plenty of opportunities for family fun. So, come and enjoy the adventures that North Van has to offer with your kids!





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