Best playgrounds in New West: what are your favourites?

This Saturday, June 16, the new Westminster Pier Park will open with a celebration from 11 am to 3 pm. There will be lots of fun, family-friendly activities, food and live music. The upcoming event makes me marvel at how lucky we are in New Westminster when it comes to outdoor play areas. The new Pier Park will feature two playgrounds, a concession, washrooms and playing fields, all in a beautiful waterfront setting. But it’s just the latest addition to many fantastic playgrounds around the [...]

Favourite playgrounds in New Westminster

This Saturday, June 16, the new Westminster Pier Park will open with a celebration from 11 am to 3 pm. There will be lots of fun, family-friendly activities, food and live music.

The upcoming event makes me marvel at how lucky we are in New Westminster when it comes to outdoor play areas. The new Pier Park will feature two playgrounds, a concession, washrooms and playing fields, all in a beautiful waterfront setting. But it’s just the latest addition to many fantastic playgrounds around the city. Here’s the highlight reel of some others:

Moody Park

Located in Uptown, Moody Park has a playground, spray park, outdoor pool, tennis courts and playing fields. There are also washrooms and picnic benches along with lots of shade.

Why I love it: the location makes it the ideal place to stop off while running errands with the kids. Royal City Centre is right across the street and there are many eateries, businesses and shopping outlets — not to mention the public library — in the area.

Hume Park

Hume Park, located in Sapperton, was recently renovated. It features a large playground for school-aged kids with a separate area just for the little guys. The playground is nestled between an off-leash dog park (with plenty of trees and benches), an outdoor swimming pool and a spray park. There are also picnic benches, playing fields, washrooms, tennis courts and plenty of trees for shade.

Why I love it: the large play structure has a wide variety of challenges for older kids (it struck me as a decided response to recent criticisms that today’s playgrounds are too safe.) But my three-year-old was able to enjoy it as well. His younger brother, meanwhile, was happy puttering away in the toddler area, undisturbed by older kids.

Grimston Park

The West End’s Grimston Park has a recently rebuilt playground, a wading pool, tennis courts, washrooms and playing fields. The wading pool is open from noon – 4 pm, July to Labour Day, and has a lifeguard on duty during those times.

Why I love it: the climbing structure is very well designed. My two-year old can easily climb all the way to the top by himself (the look of triumph on his face after he completes this feat is priceless!) In fact, there is no part of the playground that’s not accessible to him. And yet, the school-age kids we see there are able to use the equipment in a way that challenges them as well. It allows all ages to play together.

Queen’s Park

Located in the heart of the city, New Westminster’s biggest park has one playground for little kids and another for the older ones. There’s also a spray park, a concession stand and washrooms, located among trees, picnic benches, grassy areas and flowers. But the highlight, from Victoria Day to Labour Day, is a petting farm filled with critters willing to have little hands tug at their ears.

Why I love it: the petting farm is fantastic with a variety of animals and knowledgeable volunteers, and it’s free (with a donation box at the exit.) The parking is abundant and free. And the size of the park makes the sights and sounds of the city fade away, letting me relax.

I lived in Vancouver for years before moving to New Westminster in 2008 and I’m hard-pressed to think of even one outdoor play space for kids that’s comparable to the playgrounds that New West offers.

What’s your favourite playground in New Westminster and why? Do you enjoy one of the ones I’ve listed here or did I miss a fabulous one that you want to share with everyone? Let’s hear it in the comments!

Linda M. Tobias

Linda M. Tobias is a really valued member of the Tenth to the Fraser community. Interested in joining our pool of writers? Please see these submission guidelines.

4 comments

  1. I don't have much experience with the playgrounds in New West, but I'll offer you a thought an an outdoor play space for kids in Vancouver. My favourite place to take the kids when we lived in Vancouver, and a few times since, is the stretch of False Creek between Cooper's Park under the Cambie Street Bridge through to George Wainborn park just before the Granville Street Bridge. There are 4 playgrounds in that stretch – at Cooper's, 2 at David Lam, and one at Wainborn – and plenty of things to entertain kids on the journey between them: steps to jump off, fountains, open spaces, hills, boulders to climb on… just fun places to play and explore. The playgrounds, as well, cater to a variety of ages. And, if your kids are playground-ADD like mine, the variety of them will keep their attention for a good long time. We used to make an entire afternoon out of the journey from Yaletown Skytrain and back again via the bridge-to-bridge seawall loop.

  2. Grimston Park is a hit with our daughter. It is also a special place for me because I remember clearly playing there often when I was a kid many years ago. I love the thoughtfulness of the new structures and the whole experience of the park. Plus it is very close to good friends!

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