Summer has (finally)arrived! Bring on the lazy days of no homework, lunches and flexible(ish) bed times.
It’s also the perfect season to play tourist in your own backyard. Lucky for parents, the Fraser Valley is sizzling with all kinds of fun and adventure that’s sure to delight everyone in your clan. So slather on the SPF, strap on some cute sandals and get ready to play tourist in your own neck of the woods with our BIGGEST Summer Bucket List yet! Here are 50 fun-tactic ideas to add to your summer bucket list for 2019.
Ready, set, summer!
1-Blast to the Past. Go back in time (about 100 years) with a trip to the Historic Stewart Farm. Kids 12 and under can pick up their free Heritage Kids Summer Passport (after June 29) and collect stamps just by exploring the site before Sept. 3 to win a prize. This is such a fun way to learn how Surrey’s pioneers once lived and try some made-from scratch butter on site. There is ample space for picnicking and lots of great ‘Instagrammable’ spots.
2-Shop till you Drop. Cloverdale Market Days is one of the largest open-air markets in the Fraser Valley showcasing unique items from local BC Artisans and treasures from downtown Cloverdale merchants and over 120 vendors as well as live entertainment and food trucks.
3-The Boat Life. Rent some of the finest watercraft available on the lake at Cultus Lake Marina. Experience the lake life with an exciting ride on one of our Yamaha Wave Runner Jet-Skis, or relax on the water with up to eleven people by renting one of their powerboats, along with a number of accessories to suit any desire! Boating License is not required!
4-Big Red Barn. We recently stumbled upon the Langley Nature Centre and were met with welcoming, knowledgeable volunteer hosts who showed us special features of Campbell Valley Park. There are exhibits and activities for visitors of all ages that await inside the big Red Barn, including: real specimens of bobcats and owls; pond creatures; children’s crafts (a new craft each week); games and books about local wildlife; discovery kits for forest and pond explorations , and so much more!
5-Leapin’ lizards. Take the kiddies to the Urban Rescue Safari in South Surrey to check out the amphibians and creepy crawlies.
6-Be a beach bum. Enjoy some tasty fish n’ ships beach-side at White Rock and then burn off the calories with a stroll along the sand as you look for teeny-tiny crabs.
7-Have a berry good time. Swing by Krause Berry Farms to pick up a fresh berry pie and pick your own flat of berries. Another great spot for berry picking in ‘the Valley is Driediger Farms.
8-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 bird seeds to feed those little dickey birds on the trial. They will literally fly onto the palm of your hand.
9- Get Outta Town. Cozy up in a cozy cottage like we did at Cotton Tail Cottage.
10-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.
11-All aboard! Take the kiddies for a miniature train ride at Bear Creek Park. Afterwards, try your hand at a round of mini golf and then cool off in the pool or splash park.
12-See the stars. Put your jam jams on and enjoy family movie night under the stars at the Twilight Drive-in Theatre in Aldergrove.
13-Splishy-Splashy. Want a fun waterslide experience that’s close to home and won’t break the bank? Head on over to Aldergrove to experience the Fraser Valley’s newest and most unique waterpark – the Outdoor Otter Co-op Experience.
14-Fun on the farm. Teach the kiddies about sustainable dairy farm practices with a visit to The Bakerview EcoDairy farm.
15-Take off! Check out the Langley Museum of Flight and let your imagination soar.
16-Make moola and more room. Throw a garage sale to de-clutter and teach the kiddies about making a buck or two.
17-80’s style entertainment.Make a slip n’ slide out of garbage bags for hours of cheap entertainment that will remind you of your own childhood.
18-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!
19-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 a oTENTik tent.
20-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.
21-Before the iPhone there was…the Aldergrove Telephone Museum & Archives is a restored BC Telephone Company building, located at 3190 271 St. in Aldergrove.The highlight of this little piece of Fraser Valley history is its step-by-step switch display, which demonstrates how an antique switchboard would process a phone call.
22-Walk on the wild side. Check out the lions, tigers and bears, oh my at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
23-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!
24-Old school movie marathon. Chances are there’s going to be a rainy day or 50 this summer. When the drops come down, head on over to Willow Video (yes, there are still actually video stores around) and rent a bunch of summertime classics. And speaking of rainy days, you’re bound to find something to do on this list HERE.
25-Find a sweet spot. Keep your wee ones as busy as bees with a trip to the Honeybee Centre in Surrey.
26-Out of this World. Have you been to Museum of Surrey in downtown Cloverdale yet? This free museum is a haven for LEGO® lovers! Immerse yourself in their new exhibit ‘Worlds of Wonder’ in the feature gallery ‘Worlds of Wonder’ before it ends on Sept. 8. Admission is free.
27-Fun at the fair. Cultus Lake Adventure Park is B.C’.s newest family theme park located just one hour outside of Vancouver and right across from Cultus Lake Waterpark.
28-Day at the Springs. For most Valleyites, Harrison Hot Springs is short trek — one you certainly don’t want to miss. Float on an inner tube on the sparkling Harrison Lake and enjoy a picnic on the sandy beach or lunch at one of the quaint eateries. Read about our staycation at Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa.
29-Hootie-hoo. Visit the owls at the OWL Orphaned Rehabilitation Society in Delta. This non-profit organization is dedicated to public education and the rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned birds.Guided tours are by donation, are approximately 30 minutes long, and leave on the half hour, with the last one going out at 2:30 p.m.
30-Nature Therapy. Nestled beside Green Timbers Urban Forest, the Surrey Nature Centre is a place for kids and adults to explore nature in Surrey. Check out the various outdoor and indoor drop-in activities, spend time in the Exploration Room and sign up for nature programs.
31-Moms Gone Wild. When life feels boring, too cozy, or is just missing something, it’s a signal to push at the edges of your comfort zone. Imagine what a little nudge (or a big ‘ol leap) into a new aerial adventure will bring. Fun? Challenge? Adrenaline? At WildPlay in Maple Ridge, that’s only the beginning. Let your fear out to play.
32-To Market, to Market. Cloverdale has been home to the flea market for 45 years and over 7 million customers have passed though it’s gates. Situated on the famous Cloverdale Rodeo Fairgrounds, it is a well- known institution in the Fraser Valley. Here, you will find a fantastic mix of people and products among a bustling, vibrant community of market sellers and their customers.
33-Go Fish! Head to the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery in Abbotsford for a self-guided tour, to view the fish and fishing exhibits, experience the live stream display, and poke around the walk-in beaver lodge.
34-Turn Back Time. Clayburn Village in Abbotsford was the first “company town” in British Columbia, a town built by the Clayburn Company to provide employee housing and services. It supported three stores, a bank, a school and a church. Through a century, Clayburn remains as a secluded little village, reminiscent of the turn-of-the-century English village atmosphere of the times, with brick buildings with neat gardens, surrounded by white picket fences.
35-Power Trip. Finally make that trip out to Mission to check out the Powerhouse at Stave Falls Stave Lake Dam. Here, you’ll take a walk through a 100 year old powerhouse and enjoy the historical displays, electricity demonstrations and many interactive exhibits. This former generating facility is also a National Historic Site of Canada filled with archival photos, artifacts and the original mechanical and electrical components which helped power the province.
36-Home of the Fairy Houses. Redwood Park, one of Surrey’s most spectacular nature destinations, boasts a large forest of exotic trees, over 5 kilometres of scenic nature trails, a wheelchair-accessible playground and several rustic picnic shelters.
37-Choo Choos. Go on a journey through time on Surrey’s Heritage Rail in downtown Cloverdale. Located across from Surrey Archives and Museum of Surrey, the restored BCER Interurban 1225 or 1301 leaves the Cloverdale station on weekends, for a return trip to Sullivan Station. Tram rides run each Saturday & Sunday to the end of September.
38-Kilby Historic Site. Located near the junction of the Harrison and Fraser Rivers, the Kilby Historic Site stands as the only reminder of the once thriving community of Harrison Mills, British Columbia, Canada. Step back in time and enjoy a leisurely tour of the Kilby Historic Site with its magnificent 1906 General Store Museum. Visitors will view a fascinating gallery of product packaging dating back to the 1920s and 1930s.
39-Step by Step – Although there are not really 1001 at 1001 Steps in White Rock, there are a lot! The top of the steps is located at the western most point of 15A Ave, off 126A Street. From there, the zigzag of steps takes you down 40m in elevation to a pathway that parallels the Burlington North rail line. About 200m along the trail you’ll find an underpass which provides access to the beach. The pathway and steps offer spectacular ocean views, with opportunities for viewing harbour seals and other wildlife.
40-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.
41- 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!
42-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.
43- 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!
44- Secret Island. Pack your 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.
45- McBurney Plaza Summer Series. McBurney Plaza (20518 Fraser Hwy) in downtown Langley will be hoppin’ this summer with incredible live entertainment, fun activities and amazing giveaways. Learn more about the McBurney Plaza Summer Series here.
46-A is for Alpaca. Want to get up close and personal with one of these furry tall beauties?Kensington Prairie Farm in Langley offers educational tours on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, weekly at 11:30 am and every second Sunday at 11:30 am. Learn everything from the origin of Alpacas and Camelids to the shearing process ‘from fibre to fashion’ and the 6 point grading system.Tours must be booked in advance and operate in a first-come, first-served manner. Each tour has only 10 spots available, so make sure to book your spot while its free!
47 – Ride the Chilliwack River. Experience a real West Coast adventure just one hour from Vancouver with Chilliwack River Rafting. Whether you want family fun, super natural BC scenery, or adrenaline-pumping whitewater, their experienced and professional crew will ensure a fun trip for everyone.
48-Tunnel tour. Head to hope to explore the Othello Tunnels. This popular tourist attraction provides viewing, walking, fishing and picnicking opportunities. The hiking trail links to the historic Hope-Nicola Cattle Trail.
49- Jump Out of a Plane. Less than an hour drive from downtown Vancouver, Skydive Vancouver’s drop zone is a privately owned airpark dedicated to skydiving operations. Situated in the heart of the beautiful Fraser Valley in Abbotsford with panoramic views to Vancouver, Mt Baker (USA) and Vancouver Island from jump altitude, Skydive Vancouver’s scenery is world class. The drop zone has been an active skydive centre since the 1950’s, making it one of the first skydiving facilities in North America.
50-Magical Caves. Did you know that Chilliwack is home to Chipmunk Caves? First off, please keep in mind that the Chilliwack River Valley is a wilderness area, not a theme park. Only experienced mature hikers should attempt to explore the hidden Chipmunk Caves, which are squirreled away – cheesy pun intended! To get there, park your vehicle at the yellow gate just off Chilliwack Lake Road and hike to the end of Chipmunk FSR. Note: if you cross over the foot bridge, you have gone too far.