Local (and Cheap!) Family Adventures

Spend more time with your family without breaking the bank.

I will be the first to acknowledge that we are an actively scheduled family. My kid is involved in tonnes of activities, as are my husband and I. We like it. We are good at it. We do stuff.

These activities that are, for the most part, solo endeavours, so we make a point of doing unscheduled adventures together. And this year, to make the most of this precious family time, we’ve resolved to keep it local and adventure in New Westminster. Which, to be honest, is pretty darned easy to do.We spend a lot of time at a variety of playgrounds, but what about slightly more structured activities? Here are four of our go to family adventure destinations in this fair city.

Fraser River Discovery Centre

I love the FRDC. Like crazy love it. Like love it so much that I am simply stunned when it isn’t full to bursting when we go explore it. How lucky are we to have this incredible resource right in our backyard? The FRDC is my go to ‘it’s too rainy, too hot or fortheloveofgodzillagetoutofmycondobeforeithrowyouallintheriver’ kind of place. The kid and I could, and have, spend hours in the Discovery Zone alone. Puppet shows, digging for treasure, learning about pollution, puzzles and games. And, of course, Sturgeon George. The gift shop is also my secret stash for great gifts for everyone (they have a sturgeon stuffie. STURGEON STUFFIE!)

Family Storytime at the NWPL Main Branch

We are readers. We consume books like ravenous beasts. The kid, the dad, and I love them. Which is why the weekly Family Storytime at the library is such a hit. We can go together and embrace the written word together, discover new authors, learn a few things and sing some songs.

Bike track at Ryall Park 

As residents of Quayside, we’re pretty pumped about the idea of a pedestrian bridge. We adventure in Queensborough a lot, particularly the Ryall Park area. The bike track is on our list of things to conquer. We’ve been a little lax on getting our kid to embrace two wheeled adventuring, but this track is sure to get him on board with it. And let’s be honest, in the Lower Mainland there really is no season where you can’t play outdoors. And our bikes have been getting dusty. Kind of easy to check off two resolutions at the same time at this place: play together and ride together. And if we don’t want to bike when we get there, the playground right beside it is one of the best in the city. Rain or shine. Because you can never be too wet to play.

Art Gallery at Queen’s Park 

I may be slightly biased towards this one, but I really do think hitting an arts gallery is a great activity to do with the family…with kids at any age. Wander around, talk about the art and how it was created and then go home and be inspired by what you saw. Create something as a family. And if traditional visual art doesn’t float your boat, the New Media Gallery certainly will.

Erin Jeffery

An actor by training and a communicator by trade, Erin has a thing for language. She is the Communications Coordinator for Uptown New Westminster BA as well as providing marketing and communications assistance for other fabulous clients. She first developed her passion for New Westminster and its environs as the Account Manager at Hangar 18 Creative group in charge of the visual identity redesign of River Market. She is the Vice President of the Board of the Arts Council of New Westminster where she uses her 'jazz hands' to get people as excited about the arts as she is. She is involved in the Ecole Qayqayt community school PAC, plays football and has her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre, Concentration Acting from the University of British Columbia. She is a New West resident who is proud of her city, passionate about the arts, and a bit too obsessed with cheese. Follow her on Twitter at @erin_jeffery.

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