Family-Friendly Summer Fun in and around Metro Vancouver

Summer has finally arrived after months of gloom. The grey clouds have (mostly) cleared and we’re ready to enjoy Vancouver at its best. You won’t find travel plans filling my summer calendar; I’ve waited months to catch a glimpse of the sun and now that it’s arrived I intend to take full advantage of all the family fun beautiful British Columbia offers. I’ll save my travel budget for February’s dreariness, thank you very much.

The Healthy Family Expo’s Summer Family Fun Guide 2018 is a great resource for local families. Packed full of info on attractions in and near the Metro Vancouver area, it provides a glimpse of what families can expect when they visit Maplewood Farms in North Vancouver, West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish, the Britannia Mine Museum in Britannia Beach just south of Squamish, and Destination Cultus Water and Adventure Parks.

We were lucky enough to enjoy each of the five attractions featured in the Summer Family Fun Guide thanks to the Healthy Family Expo. I was a little concerned about the age gap between Grady and Poppy (would Grady at almost-seven enjoy the attractions with Poppy at just two? Would Poppy be able to participate in the fun that Grady had?), but my fears were unfounded. Each of the attractions we visited appealed to a wide age range to include family members of different sizes. The cherry on top of this fun-filled sundae was the music we enjoyed during the drive to our adventures. Jessie Farrell’s new album, Sparkle & Shine, was the soundtrack for our car trips. The nature-inspired tracks are perfect to listen to as we travel to our outdoor adventures. The tunes are catchy and upbeat  and I have found myself humming "Ladybug" at work on more than one occasion (hashtag: mom life / shrug emoji). You can preview and download this album on Apple Music or order the CD online, and also catch Jessie & The Gumboot Kids on CBC Kids!


Cultus Lake Waterpark has been around as long as I can remember but I’d never been. The Cultus Lake Adventure Park was added in 2014 and together the two form Destination Cultus. As I planned my route online, it looked like quite the trek but once we got on the highway it was smooth sailing and we reached the park in just over an hour. Pro tip: if you park at the Adventure Park (the first exit off the roundabout) you’ll pay more than double the rate of the Water Park lot. It’s closer to the park, and it’s a bit nicer because it’s shaded, but you pay for it. Both parks are welcoming and inclusive of riders of different age groups, from the Honey Pots (think Disneyland’s teapots) to the Runaway Mine Train roller coaster in the Adventure Park and the Tots Castle to the Valley of Fear in the Water Park. Everyone can participate, and everyone can have fun. Make sure you buy your gem bag (available for $5 at all ticket booths in the Adventure Park) and visit the Wilderness Trail to pan for gold and gemstones.


Maplewood Farm has long been a family favourite. I’ve been taking Grady since he was old enough to toddle after the goats in the goat enclosure. This was Poppy’s first visit and it did not disappoint. My city gal’s mind was blown at every step, from the Shetland ponies where she exclaimed, “yook at dat cow!” to the potbelly pig pen where she shrieked, “yook at dose puppies!” Grady loved the autonomy of interacting with the animals, practicing his patience so the roaming chickens would come close to investigate, and braving the rabbit run all by himself. The highlight is always the goat enclosure where the kids can play with the goats. We camped out under the cherry tree for an hour while Grady fed the goats cherries he picked up off the ground and Poppy tried to boss around a herd of unwilling goats.


I’ve been driving past the Britannia Mine Museum since I was a little kid driving to Squamish to visit family. Being the first of my siblings to spot the giant mine truck from the highway gave the ultimate road trip bragging rights. Finally being able to visit and cross it off my childhood bucket list was a dream come true. They caution against bringing children younger than three and I have to agree. It wasn’t unsafe to have Poppy there with us but it did hamper our enjoyment a bit. There’s some walking on uneven ground, quite a few steps, some loud noises, and some portions of the tour are in total blackness. She and Grady both loved the panning for gold, though, and Grady learned a lot. Out of all the places we visited, it was the only one where I felt Poppy was maybe a bit too young to participate. I had a silly smile on my face the whole time we were there, even while wrangling a feral toddler. Taking a picture with my kid beside the giant mining truck felt like a full circle moment. Grady’s already talking about visiting for Easter because one of the mine employees told him a dragon visits to leave eggs for the kids in the mine tunnels.


I hadn’t heard much about the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish, which I count as a personal failing seeing as my great uncle was a steam and diesel electric train engineer, and actually drove the Royal Hudson during Expo 86. Steam Train, Dream Train is on heavy rotation in our bedtime story routine so both kids were thrilled to check out the trains. Walking around the elegant Royal Hudson 2860 was exhilarating, not only for the kids. The sheer magnitude of the steam engine and intricate detailing are breathtaking. The WCRHP is interesting and informative for train buffs but manages to be engaging for the little ones as well. The mini ride-on train provides a nice view of the train yard, and the sandpit and wooden train are great for some decompressing playtime after keeping little hands to themselves for so long.


We're lucky to have so many family-friendly attractions within day-trip distance of Metro Vancouver. It's easy to plan fun adventures that don't require a day of driving, and don't break the bank, meaning your travel fund can overflow into your ice cream fund and everyone wins.

Boobyball Mini with Rethink Breast Cancer

Rethink Breast Cancer is bringing Boobyball Mini: A Next Gen FUNdraiser to Vancouver this Saturday, April 22nd. This fairytale bash has been planned with kids and parents in mind. Kids are welcome to wear costumes and will be entertained thanks to activities planned by sponsors such as Gap Kids, Indigo, and Panago. Parents will enjoy complimentary cocktails and Kim Crawford and Meiomi wines. As my friend so succinctly put it: think of it as a toddler gala...with an open bar.

Rethink Breast Cancer is the young women's breast cancer movement. Young adult cancer is generally thought of as cancer that is diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 39. Think of what you're doing in your twenties and thirties. Going to school, starting a career, buying a home, finding a partner, having babies. (Listen. I'm not saying you should be doing all or any of these things. If you don't want to buy a home or find a partner or have babies, more power to you. I'm making some generalizations for the sake of my post, cool? Cool.) Young adult cancer can derail these plans. The treatment options for a woman in her sixties, who is done having babies, should be different than the treatment offered to a woman in her twenties or thirties who may want the possibility of children after cancer. Rethink Breast Cancer offers age-appropriate support and resources for young women with breast cancer.

Boobyball Mini: A Next Gen FUNdraiser is headed to Vancouver!

The afternoon affair will be a one-of-a-kind event with great entertainment, music and décor set to an enchanted forest theme. Mingle over cocktails while kids explore our fairy-tale forest.

All proceeds from this event will go directly to Rethink Breast Cancer’s mission to empower young people worldwide who are concerned about and affected by breast cancer including some resources for families dealing with cancer.

Vancouver Boobyball Mini: Enchanted Forest tickets are available here.

Use code BBMTEAM for 25% off ticket prices.

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017
3:00 - 6:00pm

Heritage Hall
3102 Main Street
Vancouver, B.C.

Cancer is an insidious disease. I genuinely don't think any of us can say that cancer hasn't touched our lives in some way. Whether it's a family member, friend, co-worker, or that crazy blogger who won't shut up about thyroids, we all know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. My hope is that we can move away from the traditional fear-driven, commercialized cancer support (don't even get me started on pinkwashing), and start to provide resources, education, and community for specific groups. Young adult women who are diagnosed with breast cancer face unique challenges. Supporting them specifically doesn't take away from the support available to other groups. If you're in Vancouver, I hope you'll consider attending Boobyball Mini this weekend and showing your support for young adult women facing breast cancer.

Let's Faff

I haven't faffed in a while. Shall we faff? Let's faff.

(Don't know what faffing is? It's dithering about. I have approximately 92 important things on my to-do list today and instead I'm blogging about pretty much nothing. I'm faffing.)

Today is St. Patrick's Day! Did you know that St. Patrick's Day is a thing now? I blame Pinterest. I mean, I knew it was a thing in my twenties when I drank green beer and danced jigs all night. But I don't remember it being a thing when I was a kid. My mom didn't put green food colouring in the toilet water or leave gold coins or glitter hidden around the house on March 17th and I don't think my friends' parents did either. I don't remember feeling like my family was left out of the St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Apparently now it's a thing and kids expect leprechaun magic and look, I'm all about celebrating imagination but I just don't have it in me this year. This year we all have head colds and it's rainy and miserable. Maybe next year the leprechauns will visit. Am I a St. Patrick's Day Grinch? What are you doing today? I promise I'm not judging you if you're going all out with leprechaun trails and four-leaf clover hunts. You do you.

Speaking of head colds, Grady has had a very low key spring break so far. I had big plans for playdates and adventures but I don't want to invite his buddies over to catch our germs. We've managed a few fun projects (we baked a triple chocolate pie for Pi Day) but the rain is keeping us inside and the colds are keeping us exhausted. The colds and little Miss Poppy No-Sleep.

We did make it to Home Depot yesterday for a fun DIY workshop though (and I definitely earned some Cool Mom points when I let Grady use all the tools). Did you guys know about the Home Depot Kids Workshops? Home Depot hosts free workshops for kids aged 5-12. I imagine the schedule varies from store to store (so you should call ahead) but our local Home Depot is doing one every morning from 10-12 for the entire two weeks of spring break. You just show up and they've got tables and projects set up for building. They supply the materials, tools, and instructions and you just have to supervise your kid and help make the magic happen. Grady used a hammer, screwdriver, and wood glue yesterday like a pro. He got a little apron to wear and a pin for completing his project. He loved it and it kept him occupied and interested for a full hour (no easy feat). Then we brought it home and he spent another hour at home doing the paint job. We're definitely going back to do more building and collect more pins.

How are you keeping your littles occupied during spring break? I need some ideas for next week!


Learning to Embrace My Body

I saw Taryn Brumfitt speak at Leading Moms in 2014 and I've followed her online ever since. She's enthusiastic, thoughtful, and engaging, and her message is one that speaks to me both as a woman and a mother.

We’re on a quest to end the global body-hating epidemic.

The Body Image Movement (BIM) is an internationally recognised crusade that was founded on the belief that your body is not an ornament, it’s the vehicle to your dreams. BIM believes that everyone has the right to love and embrace their body, regardless of shape, size, ethnicity or ability.

Taryn is bringing Embrace to Vancouver this weekend for two screenings on February 26th (more info and tickets here). She's also hosting a question & answer reception after the second screening and I encourage you (woman, man, mother, childless) to check it out. It pains me to think of my children (any child) growing up feeling inadequate or worthless because of the shape, size, colour, ability, etc. of their body. I want to learn as much as I can about body positivity so I can help my babies, and all the babies, feel secure and confident in the body they've been given.

Partial proceeds from the Vancouver event will support G Day, a national rite of passage event series that supports positive body image, self esteem, leadership, and supportive peer and family relationships for tween girls.

Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre, Arts Club Theatre Company
162 West 1st Ave, Vancouver (Olympic Village)

Date & Time
February 26th at 12 noon (screening only) and 3:00 pm (screening & reception)