When it comes to kids, there’s no shortage of opportunities for extracurricular activities. Throughout Vancouver and the surrounding region, there are options to suit every preference from athletic to artistic, and everything in between. But if the usual suspects aren’t holding a lot of interest, and you and your children would like to explore something brand new, we’ve done some digging and found a host of different options for a variety of ages and interests.
Mind Your Manners
Could your kids use a primer on their manners? From restaurant rules to the basics of polite conversations, there’s a variety of local organizations that offer up age-appropriate etiquette classes. Elizabeth Etiquette offers lessons for adults and kids, with a series of group classes divided by ages, from kindergarten age up to teenage years. Keep your eyes open at your local library and recreation facilities, too – workshops for etiquettes are sometimes on offer from local experts.
A Stitch in Time
There was a time when most kids learned how to sew – or at least the basics: how to replace a button or fix a hole in a pair of pants. But these days, it’s fast becoming a lost art. The New Westminster based Sew Good offers classes for both adults and kids, covering everything from sewing machine basics to learning how to choose and use patterns. Have a budding fashionista or designer in your house? They may enjoy a few formal lessons to get their skills going.
Roll Up the Fun
Remember Saturday nights spent at the local rollerskating rink? Wish your kids had a place to lace up a pair of skates and go for a spin? They will soon. The Central City Fun Park opens near the Pattullo Bridge in Surrey in a few short weeks. Created by the owners of the previous Stardust skating rink, so they know a thing or two about making a great skating destination. (And if rollerskating isn’t your thing, the facility has arcades, bowling and more.)
Get Your Hands Dirty
Wish your city kids could learn what it’s like to grow your own food, live on a farm, and try their hand at cooking? There are great opportunities around to do just that. At Southlands Heritage Farm, well known for their pony camps, kids can register for Farm Camp. Depending on the current theme, the time can include feeding chickens, learning about seeds and plants, navigating with a map, and homesteading skills such as knitting. At Sprouting Chefs, kids can register for after school programs or camps that offer them the chance to work in the garden, learn about where food comes from and cook their own meals. (PS to the teachers: they have some unique programs for local schools as well!)
A World of Imagination
Keen to get your kids off their screens but know how much they love fantasy games? Why not give them the chance to explore the original fantasy game: Dungeons & Dragons. RainCity Games (with locations in Vancouver and New West) offer a variety of sessions, including a youth D&D game workshop. The two-hour game is a one-shot (versus an ongoing game) that gives kids of all experience levels – including beginners – a chance to check out some gaming skills. Open to kids aged 8 to 12, the session runs for two hours, with sessions running regularly. Check out their event schedule (click on the New West option) for all the details.
Skateboarding into the Sunset
Does your kid want to skateboard but you don’t have the skills to teach them? No problem. Go Skate can fill in the gap, with lessons for kids at local skateboard parks or at home. Classes run regularly or book some one-on-one lessons with an expert to get a jump on your learning. (And if you always wanted to learn yourself, don’t worry – they offer lessons for everyone from “4 to 104” and from all levels beginner to advanced.) Aside from being a great opportunity for physical activity, it also provides important lessons on patience and the value of practice.