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Top 5 Playgrounds in the North Shore

Published Mar 17, 2020

The North Shore is home to some fabulous parks. In this post Pilar Alba, a local, reviews the top 5 playgrounds in the area. If you haven't checked these out, you definitely should soon!

Saint Andrews Park

Tucked away in the corner of 11th street and St. Georges, Saint Andrews Park is by far one of my favourite playgrounds in North Vancouver. It is fully gated and it has a paved track around it, so you can sit down and watch your little munchkins go around and around in their bicycles/tricycles or “Flintstone style” in one of the push cars that are available at the park for anyone to use without any worries

The park also has two sets of swings, one for babies and one for older kids; a big sand box with buckets, shovels and other plastic toys that are there for everyone to share (or not, depending on the kid in question); and another even bigger space were kids can play with sand and water during the summer.

Lastly, there is a grassy area ideal for kicking a ball around or having a picnic, but watch out for super fast kiddos going down the little slope on their plastic vehicles (the slope is my son’s favourite feature of Saint Andrews Park). All of this within a safe and enclosed space where there’s enough to keep you busy all morning/afternoon!

Cates Park

Located in the 4000 block of Dollarton Highway, this waterfront park is simply stunning. You can easily spend a couple of hours here, although I typically recommend dedicating an entire day to exploring the many features that Cates Park has to offer.

Cates has an amazing playground divided into two areas, one for little kids and one for older kids; complete with swings, slides, climbing walls, activity walls, and a seesaw big enough to fit 6 kids (or 4 adults who are not in the least worried about everybody staring, simply because it is too much fun!)

Cates Park also has many large grassy sections ideal for playing with a ball, throwing your Frisbee around, or having a picnic. On the other side of the playground there is a little concession where you can buy fast-food and ice cream during the summer.  You can catch some live music during the Cates Park Summer concerts for free, but the fun doesn’t end with the change of season; all year round you can go down to the beach and look for shells, little crabs, star fish (just remember to leave them as you found them), and jelly fish. The water is crystal clear so you can absolutely go for a swim. Or if you prefer to stay dry, there is no shortage of trails around to explore.

With plenty of parking and washrooms available, Cates Park is an amazing place with gorgeous views and lots to do with your little munchkins. 

Inter-Bicycle Park

When I heard that North Vancouver had recently been declared “The best riding spot ever” by the Mountain Bike Magazine, it came as no surprise. Besides the waterfront trails, the Inter-Bicycle Park is one of the reasons the North Shore has such a strong cycling communit Located between Lynn Creek and Seymour River, accessible from Lillooet Road, this park is surrounded by various sports fields and trails.

Inter-Bicycle Park is an ideal place for both beginners and more skilled riders, so you can bring your little ones to practice on the easy slopes and let their big brothers (sisters) to attack the hard runs. There are about 3 different levels of difficulty, and the trails connect with Richard Juryn Trails and Seymour Greenway so parents can enjoy a brisk walk on the trails as well.

Inter-Bicycle Park is a great place that your kids will appreciate and where all the family can have tons of fun, just don’t forget to be safe and make sure your kids wear the proper riding gear so they are protected!

Source: KidsBikeCanada

John Lawson Park

You can find this beautiful park in West Vancouver on Argyle Avenue between 16th and 17th. The waterfront location offers unparalleled views of the Lion’s Gate bridge and Stanley Park. You can bring your family for a picnic, a swim in the ocean, or simply to enjoy the newly renovated playground.

The playground features a pirate ship, a train, a sort of funky tree house, a water park (open from May long weekend to Labor Day in September) and a xylophone, among others toys.

The architecture is creative, colourful, and very imaginative, and has been nationally recognized with an award for excellence in landscape design.

This is by far my favourite park/playground in West Vancouver and my two highly energetic boys (ages 4 and 7) approve as well since there are plenty of things to climb on, large grassy areas to run on, and an ice cream parlour two blocks down, yum!.

There’s plenty of grass to play on or lay a blanket and take a nap under a tree, as well there’s a large area with picnic tables and bring your own charcoal barbecues.

Source: West Vancouver

Bridgeman Park

Located on Lynnmouth Avenue, this is a park where you can bring your furry friend along! (preferably a dog, but who am I to judge?) It has an off-leash trail alongside the creek; just take note of the signs for on-leash areas.

Bridgeman Park is also a kid friendly hiking trail with easy flat areas for the little ones and perfect wide paths for your older children to ride their bicycle and even for mums/dads to bring their strollers. So, it is basically a place where the whole family can enjoy themselves.

The little playground has a couple of awesome (yes, I’ve tried them) slides, climbers, swings, etc. 

Surrounded by beautiful trees, it is the perfect spot for making my kids lay on the ground while I make a rain of dry leaves fall on them during autumn. It actually feels tucked away from the city, although it is very close to Hwy 1 and the trails eventually connect with Lynn Canyon and Lynn Headwaters. Enjoy!


If you liked this post, make sure to check out our other posts on the best Vancouver activities with kids!

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