Let’s face it, there are only so many rain-free days for us Valleyites in the calendar year – I want to make the most of every beautiful day, even if it means just relaxing with a good book under a shady tree on our new deck.
And can you believe we’re almost halfway through summer break? Sigh. If I don’t plan some great local adventures now, I’m bound to fall in the rut of doing the same ol’ thing.
Enter our annual summer bucket list.
Every year, I take some time to jot down all the ‘summery’ local events and activities we want to soak up before it’s time to head back to school.
Want to make one of your own, but need some ideas to get started? Don’t fret, we have you covered.
Here are 25 fun things to put on your 2017 Fraser Valley Summer Bucket List.
1 – Abbotsford Agrifair – Whether you’re planning a staycation Aug 4-6 or a weekend visit to ‘the Valley,’ the Agrifair is the place to be! From the thrilling car-crunching demolition derby and hilarious laughing logger’s to the racing ducks, tasty carnival fare and exhilarating midway games, there’s lots of fun to be had for all ages. Psst… enter to win a family pass worth $85 HERE.
2 – Local Escape – William’s park, located at 68th Ave and 238 St in Langley is one of our favourite local escapes from the daily grind. It’s a beautiful park featuring a great picnic shelter perfect for family BBQ’s, a playground, and a small network of trails that lead to a creek – perfect for splashing around in. Pack a picnic, a blanket and plan to spend the whole day.
3 -Valley Sweet Spot – Go for a scenic country drive and visit Campbell’s Gold in Abbotsford. In addition to finding lots of ooey-gooey golden honey, this Valley gem is the only place around that produces the ancient elixir – mead. Tasting room is open Tues to Sunday.
5 – Picnic in the Park. Grab your loved ones and a picnic basket filled with local goodies and roll out a blanket under a shady tree at Campbell Valley Park. Don’t forget to pack some birdseed to feed those little dickey birds on the trial. They will literally fly onto the palm of your hand.
6 – Shop til you Drop. Browse through the eclectic array of little shops in Fort Langley and stop for Lunch at Beatnik’s Bistro — they’ve got an amazing patio that fills up quick!
7 – Make a splash. Pack the sunscreen and head on over to the Cultus Lake Water Park for lots of slippery fun in the sun. Worried your wee-ones are too little? There’s a fantastic pirate-themed splash park for the kiddies to cool off in.
8 – Cool your Jets. Beat the heat at your local spray park. Make sure to pack an umbrella or shade tent to steer clear of heat stroke.
9 – See the Stars. Put your jam jams on and enjoy family movie night under the stars at the Twilight Drive-in Theatre in Aldergrove.
10 – Blast to the past. Go back in time (about 100 years) with a trip to the Historic Stewart Farm. Learn how our ancestors once lived and try some made-from scratch butter on site.
11 – Take a Little Dip. It’s about that time of year when all the outdoor swimming pools open for the season. Our personal favourite is the Port Kell’s pool because of the location and the cost- it’s free!
12 – Sleep in the Fort. Connect to your cultural heritage and experience life inside the fort as only the Hudson’s Bay Company employees could by spending a night or two in an oTENTik tent. This is glamping at it’s finest!
13 – Farm-Fresh Fun – Take a self-guided tour with the Circle Farm Tour here in the Fraser Valley. Circle Farm Tour is basically a road map that directs you to a variety of specialty farm-gate vendors; open-air markets, charming eateries, heritage sites, fairs, and other special events. There’s a brochure and map for each participating community.
14 – Walk on the Wild Side – Check out the lions, tigers and bears, oh my, at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
15 – Family Face Off – Challenge your clan to a game of outdoor miniature golf at Castle Fun Park.Afterwards, don’t forget to ride the go-carts!
16 – Fun at the Fair – Cultus Lake Adventure Park is BC’s newest and most incredible Theme Park. Visitors to the park are immersed in a world of vibrant colors and interesting characters with state-of-the-art rides and attractions.
17 – Camp Sunnyside – It’s an annual family tradition, and it’s one I’m quite looking forward to this summer. We always book a few sites at Camp Sunnyside, which is a step above ‘real camping’ and a step below ‘glamping.’ There are heated washrooms on site (with hot showers), a little convenience store, playground and you’re close to the water.
18 – Blanket, Book & A Cuddle – As you can see by all our listlicles and bucket lists, we’re a pretty busy family. It gets tiring do a lot, all the time, so a day of doing nothing but sprawling out on a big blanket, under a shady tree with a book sounds Heavenly. A great spot to do this is Derby Reach.
19 – On a Bicycle Built for 2 (or more) – One of the most fun ways to experience Harrison Hot Springs on land is by renting a quadricycle. Jason and I rented one last summer and were in hysterics the entire time we pedaled around town. I think we should return this year and bring our girls – they’ll love it!
20 – Bargain Hunting – Check out the classifieds or Craigslist to see where the best garage sales are happening in your hood. Weekends in the summer are garage sale prime time. Just head there early to get the best deals. Remember to bring cash and comfortable shoes.
21 – I’m on a Boat – Pack your flippy-floppies and head for open water at Harrison Lake in a canoe or hyak. We’ve rented a hyak from Killer’s Kove Boat rentals in the past and give it to paddles up.
22 – All Aboard! – Take the kiddies for a miniature train ride at Bear Creek Park. Afterwards, try your hand at a round of mini golf. Molly and Zoe love to ride their scooters through the beautiful trails.
23 – Secret Island – Pack our bikes and head to beautiful Barnston Island. This rare gem, located in the Fraser River between Surrey and Pitt Meadows, is small enough to ride your bike around. Note: The island has no direct road access – a shorty 5-minute ferry route from Surrey on 104 Avenue across Parson’s Channel is free.
24 – Back to the Beach – It goes without saying that one’s summer isn’t complete without several trips to the beach. We’re so lucky to live pretty close to both White Rock and Crescent Beach – both of which have their own unique charm. This year I’m going to ditch the diet and say YES to the fish & chips.
25- Movie Under the Stars – Fresh Air Cinema returns this summer with FREE outdoor blockbusters, comedies and cult classics throughout the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver areas. Stay tuned for their 2017 listing and find updates on upcoming shows HERE. It’s probably going to get chilly, so prepare to cozy up.
And there you have it, 25 fun-tastick things add to your summer bucket list for 2017. Make sure to follow us on Instagram @TheValleyMomso you can stay in the loop of all the bucket list goals we attempt to accomplish. Also, don’t forget to enjoy the simple act of doing nothing at all this summer. I find that if I pack too much in, I start to get a little crabby and the days fly by so fast.
I need to schedule time to do lots of this too…..
Need some rainy day inspiration too? Check out our Rainy Day guide.