Winter is a tough month for families in Vancouver, BC. The rain has everyone stuck inside and usually after the crazy Christmas spending, people are looking to save some dollars.
I am always on the hunt for where I can take Zara to run around indoors, for FREE or for the price of a coffee at Starbucks, on the weekends.
Here is a list of a couple of my favorite places to hang out with Zara for FREE or economical cost in Vancouver.
Oakridge mall : This is one of my favorite malls for multiple reasons. It’s accessible by skytrain and has free parking. The play area is a simple carpeted area but Zara has a blast running around. They also have some coin operated toys in the area that, Zara loves, jumping in to. The play area is also located right by the Lego store, which is a dream for my girl. The LEGO store has a set up of LEGO, that Zara has thoroughly enjoyed. There is also a Vancouver Public Library in the mall if you are feeling like grabbing a book or story time. For meals, there is a White Spot or multiple choices at the food court. Unlike other malls, I find Oakridge busy but not crowded and it is small enough that you are not walking a mile to get to the bathroom!
Trout lake Community Centre: I have written about Trout Lake in one of my previous posts, and it is one of our favorite spots to visit. You can read about it here. The play gym is $3.00 for drop in and runs from 10am to 12pm, Sunday to Friday. You can also buy 10 tickets for $24.00 and save some dollars to treat yourself to a coffee. When you need a large area for your kid to run around on a rainy Sunday, this the place to go. Last Sunday, they had a bouncy castle set up, and Zara was totally blown away. They also have a cute little cafe, serving local baked goods, sandwiches, coffee and ice cream! Covers all the food groups!
Ikea: I recently learned that Ikea supports refugees, so I feel good about spending my money here. Also, the Ikea restaurant has really upped their game on the quality of food. The breakfast is $2.99 and comes with cage free eggs, potatoes and turkey sausage. The lunch and dinner menu is more than just Swedish meatballs and has a lot of variety at reasonable prices. Kids meals are $2.99 and Zara is a huge fan of their Mac and cheese. And did I mention they have wine??!! They have seating with little play areas in the restaurants so the kids are not confined to a high chair.
There is a ball pit play area for potty trained kids, while parents shop. The toy section has a display toys that Zara loves to run around and play with.
Family dinner night anyone??
Fraser River Discovery Centre: The first time I visited the centre I was in awe of how family friendly it is and how much Zara enjoyed it. You can read about my experience here. Adults are $6.00, children 2 to 12 are $3.00, and under 2 are free. With Family day around the corner, they have hands on exhibits to explore including: make a mess at the residue ramp and digging for artifacts in the archaeology bin. Did I mention it’s FREE?
What are your favorite places to go in Vancouver in a rainy day, that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?