With all this beautiful early summer weather, I bet you’re eager to get outside to bask in the glorious sunshine and some of your favourite outdoor activities.
As a mom blogger, I try to get out and explore as many family friendly hot spots as possible with my own clan … well, whenever the weather and time permits.
Between Vancouver and Harrison Hot Springs, We have discovered some really great local spots that are an hour or less away from home.
There are so many to share, which is why I’ve created this 3-part mini-series.
Without further adieu, here are our 5 favourite local day trip destinations: Part 1.
1-Have a Berry Good Time
I have always had a sweet spot for Krause Berry Farms, located at 6179 248 St. in Langley.
Aside from berry picking, there’s so much to experience. From the playground and petting zoo to the little store that makes those famous sky-high berry pies to the western themed wine tasting room and eating area that serves the most amazing waffles, there’s so much to do… err, taste. You can easily spend the day discovering everything that this valley gem has to offer.
VM Tip: Don’t forget to bring the sunscreen and your appetite!
2-Shop until you Drop
Fort Langley is just a quick 10-minute trip for us, so as you can imagine, we visit quite often.
In addition to the famous Fort Langley National Historic Site that offers all kinds of fun and education seasonal events and tours, the village is a great spot to go shopping for eclectic treasures. Browse through the eclectic array of little shops, including two sugar-laden old fashion candy stores, thrift shops, boutiques, antiques and much more. There are also a plethora of great dining spots, including the oh-so-popular Beatnik’s Bistro — they’ve got an amazing patio that fills up quick with tourists and locals.
VM tip: If you’re parched, order Beatnik’s sangria. It’s made with Valley Girl wine. Jason also wants me to tell you to get the Beef Dip. “It’s the Beef Dip you’ll ever have!” he says.
3-Make a Splash
Pack the sunscreen and head on over to the Cultus Lake Water Park (June 4 to Sept 5) 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.
We took both the girls last year and they were able to go on the majority of slides with us, making it a fun family day out in the valley.
The water park is located at 4150 Columbia Valley Hwy. in Cultus Lake.
VM Tip: To save $$$, option to go after school weekdays in June after 2:30 p.m. Tickets are just $12, plus parking is free.
4- Island Escape
Escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and spend a full day at Granville Island — a place moulded by a fascinating history, buzzing with a colourful artistic community.
This living, breathing urban oasis is filled with fine waterfront restaurants, theatres, galleries, studios, unique shops, cafes and some of the most spectacular fresh food market you’ve ever seen. Add a vibrant and diverse mix of people and activities, and you have a destination so dynamic, no visit to the city is complete without spending at least a day here.
Browse the aisles and sample local and exotic flavours from the very best farmers, bakers, butchers and fishmongers at the Public Market.
There’s also plenty of fun for kids large and small, with the Kids Market selling all manner of kids’ delights, the giant indoor Adventure Zone, magic, juggling, live turtles, party gifts, the Water Park, and lots more.
VM Tip: Avoid bringing a big bulky double stroller if you plan on taking a water taxi. We learned this lesson the hard way. While we were able to get it on, it took up most of the room on the boat and was a little awkward with for the fellow passengers. Also, head there as early as possible. The day goes so fast!
5. Walk the Wharf
When we want to feel like we’re on holidays without venturing far from home, we love to head to Steveston.
This active West Coast fishing community offers a variety of pubs, museums, and a fish market. Just a 45-minute drive from Langley and part of the suburb of Richmond, Steveston sits at the mouth of the Fraser River and was once the largest fishing port and cannery centre on the West Coast. Today, the canneries are no longer in operation, but it is still home to the largest salmon run in North America and to the largest fleet of commercial fishing vessels on the BC coast.
Molly and Zoe love going down to the wharf and watching all the Vancouverites at the docks buying prawns, crab, halibut, cod, and salmon fresh from the boats.
There are lots of great stores, ice cream shops, cafes, etc. to check out.
VM Tip: Bring comfortable shoes for everyone. There’s plenty to explore by foot.
And there you have it, the first edition in our new series on local day trip destinations. Please feel free to share this post and add our ideas to your own personal daytrippin’ bucket list for spring and summer.
So, buckle up and get ready for some local adventures the whole family is sure to enjoy!
VM Tip: Make sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter so you don’t miss the next edition of our exciting day trip series.
Where do you like to for a day trip in and around the Fraser Valley with your family? Share your favourite spot in the comment section below!