Vancouver parents really don’t need to be reminded that we get a lot of rain around here—you’re well aware, I’m sure. I also realize that finding activities to fill up rainy days and weekends can be somewhat of a challenge. And let’s be real, all indoor play places are not created equal. They offer different levels of cleanliness, options and accessibility. Luckily, the following list of 5 possibilities comes highly recommended by locals who consider these a sure thing. So, check out one, or all – and be sure to try my bonus recommendation for fun. Happy playing – just a few short months until spring!
Extreme Air Park
With locations in Richmond, New Westminster and Coquitlam, this indoor activity centre offers the ultimate in adventure, entertainment and mile-high fun for the entire family. For younger kids they offer a wall-to-wall trampoline park and the “foam zone”, which is the world’s largest foam pit; for older kids, there’s an air zone for adventurous types, zero gravity basketball, 3-D dodgeball, a halfpipe, vertical volleyball and more. Get some exercise in the extreme workout course while your kids play, or join in for some quality time and let loose for a while. A favourite with kids, Extreme Air Park comes highly recommended. Visit richmond.extremeairpark.com for more info on pricing, activities and location.
Promising to inspire, teach and offer quality climbing programs for adults and kids aged 5 or older, Climb Base5 in Metro Vancouver is a wonderful way to burn off some rainy-day energy while introducing a new and exciting activity to your child. Offering drop-ins, long-term program options, spring break camps and birthday parties, Climb Base5 is a great family activity that just might turn into a lifelong hobby. Visit climbbase5.com for more information.
Killarney Leisure Pool
A great indoor play place doesn’t mean you have to stay dry! As I said, we Vancouverites are used to the wet, so why not head to an indoor pool with lots of fun kids’ amenities to encourage activity and a whole lot of fun. This hidden treasure has floor to ceiling windows providing natural light and boasting gorgeous mountain views, a relaxing lazy river, a big kid water slide and tons of kids’ toys. Also included? A hot tub, steam room, and did I mention the stunning mountain views? Even better, it’s an ozone-treated pool with reduced chlorine levels and a reputation for cleanliness, making this a favourite among parents. Visit vancouver.ca for all the info.
4Cats Art Studios
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Located in multiple studios in and around the Vancouver area, the 4Cats Art Studio will be a hit with your kids. Offering a ton of terrific kids’ classes, this indoor activity will provide children with a creative afternoon full of artistic pride and accomplishment. Your little ones will beam as they work on their chosen art project and you’ll have some wonderful new artwork for your home as a takeaway. Offering one-day workshops or longer-running programs, there are an array of artistic mediums to choose from including clay work, drawing, mixed media, painting and more. Within these options include specialty classes that provide opportunities for kids to assert some independence and pick a class that excites them. (I’ve booked my daughter’s 6th birthday here! A splatter party with a unicorn theme.) Visit 4cats.com for all the details, pricing and locations.
West Coast Mini Putt
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Golfing has become exceptionally popular with kids in the past few years, and mini golf has always been a great way to have a little family fun. West Coast Mini Putt has taken indoor golf to a whole new level with black lights, art and a little added pizazz, making it fun for your kids and you too, because let’s face it, not every kid activity is! Offering an entertaining 18-hole course, this venue is great for families, groups, birthdays and any kind of event. Located in Richmond, this activity will give you a few hours of non-stop fun. Visit westcoastminiputt.com for all the info.
Bonus Idea: Play in the rain!
Okay, so I know this one isn’t actually an indoor play area, but hey – this is Vancouver, and I’m a Vancouver mom, so I know very well that there are tons of parents out there that don’t care about the rain or the slightly colder temps. One of the things I love about this city is how much we relish playing outdoors. My daughter, (who’s in kindergarten), spends an entire morning each week outside exploring the forest with her classmates, rain or shine. Mostly rain. It’s teaching her to love the outdoors no matter the conditions and to prepare her clothing and her attitude accordingly. So, if you don’t mind the rain, get your kids out to the seawall or onto some trails for a walk; enjoy some beachcombing at a popular water spot, or grab a ball and visit a park. Smell the crisp, clean air and bask in the beauty of this city.
Rain or shine, Vancouver is pretty great. That being said, some days you might just want to stay in, warm and cozy, while you enjoy some time with your family. These 6 indoor options are a change from your everyday indoor play area and offer more involvement for the entire family.