Summer has finally arrived, which means sunshine, days spent at the water park, picnics and BBQs.
I recently took some time with my family to jot down all the ‘summery’ local events and activities we want to soak up before it’s time to head back to school. Need some inspo to create a list of your own? We got you.
To help you make the most of your break, we’ve created the ultimate Fraser Valley summer bucket list, which is filled with lots of fun, local and affordable ideas.
Here are 30 ways to live it up over the next few months with your fam in the Valley!
1 – Picnic in the Past. Historic Stewart Farm in South Surrey is now offering a free picnic kit to borrow for your next visit to this picturesque historic site. Call 604-592-6956 to book your vintage picnic basket, checked blanket, scavenger hunt and an old fashioned activity of your choice. Psst. this Instagrammable spot is perfect for family photos!
2 – Water Adventure. Massive water slides, a wave pool, lazy river and aquaplay structure make up the new Otter Co-op Outdoor Experience, one of many features at the Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre at 27032 Fraser Hwy. Save the date: Regular public swims will begin Monday, July 16.
3 – Discover Nature in the City. 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 and sign up for nature programs. Nature Story Times are held daily at 10:30 a.m. in the Sky Room. You can even borrow a fishing rod (for free!) and try your hand fishing at Green Timbers Lake.
4 – A Journey Back in Time. Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society invites you to embark on a journey back in time. Ride the rails and experience those times that helped shape our region into what it is today. Tickets can be purchased at the Cloverdale Station. Go to our Ticket Information page for more details.
5 – Party on! Pier. Get your lawn chairs ready for another summer of live music at the Pier in White Rock! The concert series Main Stage will be located on the White Rock waterfront near the iconic White Rock Pier and will happen every Thursday during July & August from 6:00 – 10:00pm with two special Saturday shows: July 15 in the Five Corners shopping district of uptown White Rock and the grand finale at the beach on August 19.
6 – 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.
7 -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.
9 – Now That’s Shady. 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.
10 – 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!
11 – 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.
12 – 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.
13 – See the Stars. Put your jam jams on and enjoy family movie night under the stars at the Twilight Drive-in Theatre in Aldergrove.
14 – 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!
15 – 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!
16 – Walk on the Wild Side. Check out the lions, tigers and bears, oh my, at the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
17 – 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!
18 – 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.
19 – 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.
20 – 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.
21 – 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! Psst….Check out our post about the Harrison Festival of the Arts, which runs July 6-15.
22 – 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.
23 – 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 two paddles (or floppy floppies) up.
24 – 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.
25 – 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.
26 – 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.
27- I Carried a Watermelon. I have always said, ‘Why don’t they ever show ‘Dirty Dancing’ at one of those outdoor movies? Well, guess what? It’s happening July 6 at 9 pm at Douglas Park, 20550 Douglas Crescent in downtown Langley. Bring your chairs or a blanket, play some games, and meet new friends. Activities begin at 7:30 pm and the movie begins at 9:00 pm. Bring your own snacks or buy food at the concession. Click the link to see all the movies lined up for summer.
28- Oh My, What’s in the Sky?. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada returns to Aldergrove Regional Park on Saturday, Aug. 11 at 8 pm for the Perseids meteor shower watch.Enjoy lantern-lit trails, games, crafts and other entertainment. Camp overnight to extend your star gazing experience. $2 per person
29- Fabulous Farm Race. Team up with friends, coworkers or family in this fun race around the Historic Stewart Farm on Aug. 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Bring your smartphone or tablet to record your race to pump water (no taps here!), do laundry without a washing machine, dress like a pioneer (they didn’t have zippers) and more. There’s prizes and bragging rights to be won! Be sure to check-in at the welcome table by 2pm to ensure your spot.
30 – To Market, to Market. Take the kiddies to the Cloverdale Flea Market for the ultimate treasure hunt, which offers an eclectic mix of goods for sale, from electronics, household items, hand-made crafts and artwork, to jewellery, clothing, and collectibles. Everything you need and some things you didn’t know you needed…it’s all here.
And there you have it, 30 fun-tastick things add to your summer bucket list for 2018. 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.
Need some rainy day inspiration too? Check out our Rainy Day guide.