Well, it hasn’t rained for a few days, so I think it’s pretty safe to say that summer has arrived in Vancouver. (Kidding!)
If your kids are anything like mine, they spend the spring waiting for the rain to stop, then as soon as the sun comes out, they complain that it’s too warm! You just can’t win!
Or can you? Why not give them the best of both worlds and let them enjoy the sun while getting wet and refreshed in one of the free water parks in Vancouver? Granville Island and Stanley Park are always popular spots, but if you are willing to venture out a little further, they’re are tons of water parks out in Surrey and Richmond. Here are my family’s favourites. What are yours?
Top 5 Free Water Parks in Vancouver
Granville Island Water Park is the biggest free water park in the whole of North America.
Located on scenic Granville Island, this park is an incredibly popular spot to take the little ones on hot days. The park is filled with colourful water pipes, fire hydrants, and sprinklers for kids to get wet in, as well as a large water slide for the more adventurous.
The park even has a special area dedicated to toddlers, so they’re not constantly getting knocked over by the overexcited big kids.
Next to the gigantic play area, you’ll find a nice grassy patch for picnics, and clean washrooms are available in the adjacent community centre. Plus, don’t forget to explore Granville Island Public Market, the Kids Market, and take a ride on the aquabus!
Date: Open weekends from the Victoria Day long weekend in May until the end of June, then seven days a week from July until Labour Day in September
Location: 1318 Cartwright St., Vancouver
Park Hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Variety Kids Water Park is situated in the heart of Stanley Park, next to the seawall at Lumbermen’s Arch.
A prominent feature of the park is the water canons and geysers scattered throughout—kids love to drench each other (and their parents) with them. There are also fire hydrants, candy cane shaped pipes, a waterfall, a boat sculpture, and sprinklers to keep them occupied. When they’re done, they’ll love drying off in the air dryer—no need to bring a towel!
The park also has an ankle-deep wading pool with some lighter features suited to toddlers and disabled children
Stanley Park itself is a great place to spend a day and is filled with grassy areas, trails, concession stands, picnic tables, wheelchair-accessible washrooms, and more. Nearby you’ll also find Vancouver Aquarium, the miniature train, and train station playground.
Date: June 15 – Sept. 1
Location: 1166 Stanley Park Drive, Vancouver
Park Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Bear Creek Park in Surrey has a great little water park that includes ground sprays, spray poles, water guns, seating for parents, and a special gently flowing water area for preschool-age children.
You can activate the water system by push buttons, between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., whenever it is warmer than 20° Celsius outside.
The park has all of the usual amenities, as well as a cool miniature train ride, which the kids will love.
Date: May 15 – Sept. 30
Location: 13750 88 Avenue, Surrey
Park Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Steveston Community Park in Richmond features a wonderful water park with two areas: one designed for preschool age children, while the other is a little more advanced for school-age children. This water park is one of only two water parks in the Lower Mainland able to meet the needs of those with mobility challenges.
The park also features a great playground, as well as picnic benches, wheelchair-accessible washrooms, and lots of tree shade.
Date: Open Victoria Day long weekend in May until Labour Day long weekend in September
Location: 4111 Moncton Street, Richmond
Park Hours: 6:00 a.m. – 8:45 p.m.
Erma Stephenson Park in Surrey has a fun-nautical themed water park, featuring a fishing boat, mast spray jets, water cannons, fish loops and custom fish.
You can activate the water system by push buttons, between 10:00am and 9:00pm, whenever it is warmer than 20° Celsius outside.
Next to the water park you’ll find lots of picnic tables and open space to lay out a blanket for a picnic.
The central area of the park features a baseball diamond and soccer field, as well as a picnic shelter for group outings. You’ll also find a walking path that loops the soccer field, ideal for a stroll in the park.
A washroom building is available for changing, as well as lots of parking accessed from 109 Avenue.
Date: May 15–Sept. 1
Location: 15920-110 Avenue, Surrey
Park Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
To find more great activities to entertain the kids this summer, make sure to check the events page on ChatterBlock.
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