Looking for a little fun and adventure this spring break beyond the Valley?
Well, I’ve been doing a little digging by chatting with parents, including some of the top influencers in the Tri-Cities area, and uncovered a great roundup of Metro Vancouver’s best-kept tourism secrets that will appeal to families from all over.
And for anyone considering a move to the area, what better way to decide if it’s a fit, than to hear from families who already call the Tri Cities home-sweet-home?
The region is situated in the centre of Metro Vancouver making it easy and convenient to get to and from.
Its mountainous backdrop is forever visible as one explores lakes, parks, running, biking and hiking trails. Major shopping centres, restaurants, and other local amenities, are found throughout.
From Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam to Port Moody (along with the villages of Anmore and Belcarra), these eight tested and true hot spots come highly recommended from local parents who definitely know their stuff.
1- Lion’s Park ~ Salma Dinani Dewji, Blogger, Mother of 2
Lions Park is an outdoor oasis just outside downtown Port Coquitlam at 2300 Lions Way. From plenty of open areas for little ones to run and public washrooms, to a covered picnic shelter and an expansive playground and trail, it’s no wonder it’s the number one choice for blogger Salma Dinani Dewji of www.thewritebalance.ca. This stylish family can often be spotted spending quality time there, unplugged.
“It’s tucked away in Port Coquitlam, but it’s an amazing park that the kids just love!” said the Coquitlam resident.
“There’s everything you would want in a park plus a lot more including a zipline and a spray/water park. Definitely a hidden gem.”
2- Buntzen Lake ~ Britta Nitychoruk of Port Coquitlam, Model/ Makeup Artist, Mama-To-Be
Buntzen Lake, located just North of Anmore and a 45-minue drive East of Vancouver, is a nature lover’s paradise.
At this picture-perfect locale, you’ll find hiking trails suited for all levels of experience and physical abilities, as well as ample space to unfold a blanket and enjoy a picnic amidst the beautiful lush scenery.
Vancouver model/makeup artist and mama-to-be Britta Nitychoruk purchased a home in Port Coquitlam last year with her husband, Joe.
The expectant mom says it’s the blend of an urban lifestyle and ample outdoor space, including parks, trails and lakes that makes living in the Tri-Cities so desirable.
“There are so many beautiful parks and beaches nearby. I can’t wait to take my little one to Buntzen Lake for a nice BBQ with the family in the summer – it’s one of our favourite spots to enjoy as a couple, and soon, as a family of three.”
Simply plug 5000 Sunnyside Road, Anmore into your GPS to find this slice of Tri-City paradise.
3-Coquitlam Crunch ~ Michelle Polat of Coquitlam, Restaurant Owner, Mom of 3.
Consider the Coquitlam Crunch a shorter, less intense version of the Grouse Grind – one that you can feel comfortable bringing the whole family, even Fido, along.
When Michelle and Ib Polat aren’t busy operating their bustling restaurant (The Sixth Street Grill, located at 413 6th Street in New Westminster), or chauffeuring their three children, Lorin, 8, Jamal, 15 and Aiden, 12 to dance, basketball, gymnastics, etc., they love t head to the this trail, considered Mother Nature’s stair climber, over at 2665 Runnel Dr.
The best part — not having to pack up the whole clan in their caravan to get there.
“We love that it’s within walking distance from our house,” said Michelle, who has resided in Port Moody the past 15 years.
“It’s an easy hike that all three of my children can participate in, and it only takes around an hour and a half to complete.”
In addition to great trails like the Coquitlam Crunch, Michelle says what she enjoys most about her community is how ‘walkable’ it is.
“Everything is so close – you can to go the beach, hiking trails – my kids can walk to school and their extra curricular activities, it’s just a really great place to live and raise a family.”
“I love that you can see lots of wildlife out here,” chimed Ib, who notes it’s not uncommon to come across grazing deer or bunnies.
“We also have easy access to transportation like the busses and sky train – it’s no wonder it’s such a desirable place for young families to live.”
4-Rocky Point Park ~ Ricky Shetty of Burnaby, Blogger, Father of 3
Dubbed Port Moody’s most popular family daytrip destination, Rocky Point Park offers a plethora of amenities, including: a recreational pier, outdoor pool (seasonal), skateboard park, bike trails, playground, boat launch, Oll Mill Boat House, hiking trails, wildlife viewing, a spray park and more. You could easily spend a whole day at this park and not get bored.
When Ricky Shetty, aka. Daddy Blogger, isn’t globetrotting with his wife Anne and their three young children, the Burnaby resident loves heading out to Port Moody to spend time at this park.
“Our favourite place in the Tri-Cities is Rocky Point Park, which is only a 15-minute drive from our house,” he said.
“We love the children’s playground, especially the double swing that Rianne and Ryan can swing in together.”
After playing at the park, this globe-trotting family (currently on assignment in South Africa) likes heads to the wharf for a cool treat.
“The views from the wharf are spectacular. Plus, they have delicious ice cream at Rocky Point Ice Cream just next to the playground. ”
Jami Dunlop, Blogger, Mom of 3
It’s also a fan favourite for influencer Jami Dunlop, known for her award-winning blog Styling the Inside.
“The scenic views of the Burrard Inlet, and mountains make Rocky Point Park feel like you’re far away from the city,” said the Coquitlam mom of three.
Like the Shetty’s, Jami’s family usually cools off with any icy treat after exploring the grounds.
“We love treating ourselves to Rocky Point Ice Cream located at the park and the occasional fish and chips from Pajos. We love it here so much this is where we spent my birthday last year and Family Day!”
This popular park is located at 2800 Murray St in Port Moody.
5- Como Lake Park ~ Tairalyn, Blogger, Mom of 2
Come springtime, this Coquitlam outdoor haven comes alive with vibrant cherry blossoms, chirping birds and the sound of laughter from little ones.
Visitors can work up a sweat by walking the one-kilometre lakeside loop trail, which leads to an open grass area popular for picnicking, or spend the day at the lake fishing for rainbow trout.
For Tairalyn, aka. Little Miss Mama, Como Lake Park offers something for everyone in their clan.
“We love it as it seems to have it all for everyone in the family, little or big,” said the popular Coquitlam mom blogger.
“From a 1 km lake side loop stroll, ducks (because who doesn’t like to feed the ducks) and a brand new play centre and park for the kids. It’s got washrooms, picnic tables throughout and the newest addition are some adorable community book exchange little libraries. We love, love Como Lake Park.”
Como Lake Park is located at 700 Gatensbury St, Coquitlam.
6- Coquitlam River ~ Tim & Olive, Bloggers, parents of 2
Those lucky enough to call the Tri-Cities home, like Tim and Olive from www.timandolive.com, don’t’ have to venture far to feel as though they’re far away.
The serene Coquitlam River offers a 3km hiking/biking trail that leads to a scenic waterfall, commonly referred to as Crystal Falls.
“In October you can see hundreds of salmon swimming upstream, and in the summer you can wade in the water,” said Olive.
7- Queenston Park ~ Hillary (Hillary with two Ls), mom of 2
If you’re looking for a place for your little monkeys to burn off some energy, Hillary from www.hillarywith2ls.com (that’s two ll,’s please) recommends heading to Queenston Park.
“My family loves to run out our beans at Queenston Park in the Burke Mountain neighbourhood of Coquitlam, ”said the Tri-City mom and lifestyle blogger.
The active portion includes a sport court for basketball and ball hockey. The playground is the highlight of the park
“The playground is elaborate and well-suited for kids of all ages, and the extra long slide (it’s built into the side of a hill!) is a big hit with the daredevil crowd.
You can find Queenston Park at 3415 Queenston Ave, Coquitlam.
8- Indoor Track at Port Moody Recreation Centre ~ Reg Lok Von, Mom of 2
White there is an abundance of parks and trails to choose from in the Tri-Cities, sometimes it’s a bit nicer to have a roof over your head when the mercury drops.
For blogger Reg Lok Von of Valeio, the indoor track at Port Moody Recreation Centre, located at 300 Ioco Road, is a nice option to have that’s close to home.
“We like going to the stroller-friendly indoor track,” she said.
“We get creative with our movements and use them to ‘race’ with each other down the big track. It allows them to expend their energy in a fun and positive way, while I sneak in some cardio exercise of my own. There are also smoothie bars and healthy restaurants within walking distance for post workout.”
For those looking to call the Tri-Cities home-sweet-home, finding an affordable option that is located in a central location, close to transit, schools, parks and shopping is a rarity in this crazy real estate market.
Usually when we think of living in an area with all of those amenities surrounding us we think of Vancouver or Burnaby, but unfortunately, prices of homes in these neighbourhoods are out of reach for many. With affordable homeownership in mind, Parc East invites buyers to Port Coquitlam.
What makes Parc East even more appealing is that it offers a limited edition of homes suitable for many different buyer types. The one bedroom and one bedroom and den plans are perfect for those just entering the real estate market, while the two bedroom and two bedroom and den homes provide large interiors suitable for young families and those looking for something more comfortable to downsize into.
For more information on Parc East, visit www.parceast.ca. VIP registrations are now open and VIP registrants will have an advanced opportunity to purchase this limited collection of homes.
ValleyMom.ca is pleased to partner with Parc East to give away a $100 gift card to Coquitlam Centre. Head on over to our Facebook page to enter HERE. This contest is not affiliated with Facebook. You must be 18+ to enter. A winner will be chosen at random on April 1/2017.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post