Valentine’s Date night : Where to go in Vancouver

Valentine’s day is around the corner! I have compiled a list of my fav restaurants for you mommas and dadas that are looking for date night ideas and BONUS, two of them are kid friendly in case it turns into a family affair!

Here are our fav restaurants:

The Keg: I can honestly say I have never had a bad meal here. When Rj and I first started dating this was our go to date restaurant. Last year Rj and I celebrated our ten year dating anniversary with a dinner at the Keg and we were not disappointed. The Keg is also kid friendly, so if your little one is tagging along on your valentine’s date, this the place to go.

Ahi Tuna and Creme Brûlée YUM

Ahi Tuna

Lupo: Lupo made Rj and I feel at home. It is actually set in a house and it felt like we were visiting a friend’s house. The food is Italian and the flavors are authentic and divine. Make sure to try the beef short rib and the lamb.

Lamb shank, Beef Short rib, Tiramisu, Beef Carpaccio

Wildebeest: This restaurant serves unique flavors and dishes but I promise you the tastes will blow your taste buds! If you see the lamb on the menu try it!!

Lamb shank, Beef Short rib, Fried chicken bites

Merchants : This is our favorite restaurant to go to when we are craving fresh oysters. They also change up their menu often and feature seasonal dishes, to appeal to various taste buds.

Seasons in the Park: I love Seasons in the Park! We got married at Queen Elizabeth park and we had our reception here, so Seasons holds a special place in my heart. We celebrate every wedding anniversary with a dinner here. The views are spectacular and enough of a reason to visit. We have always gotten great service and loved the meals here. Bonus! They are kid friendly and have a kids menu. So if you can’t find a baby sitter, you can still enjoy a dinner out.

Lobster and Prime rib, and Mac and Cheese

What are your fav places to go? Are you planning a date night with your spouse or celebrating with the family? Comment below.

Please note this is not a sponsored post (I wish it was). All opinions are based on my personal experience.

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Free/Cheap Rainy Weekend kid friendly spots in Vancouver

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?

The Fraser River Discovery Centre (FRDC) : Educating the Minds of Tomorrow

When Rj and I found out we were having a girl, I was ecstatic. Rj was happy, but he was worried that he wouldn’t have anything in common with her. Fast forward 2 years and some months and Zara is a daddy’s girl through and through. They are two peas in a pod and their bond is amazing. Zara loves anything with wheels and prefers to play with cars rather than with dolls. In fact we have one doll and A LOT of cars in her toy box.

So, when I received the invitation to visit the Fraser River Discovery Centre (FRDC), to join them for their Christmas celebration, ‘Fishmas a Winter wonderland’, I was excited. Rj is an avid fly fisherman and his dad was a fisherman, so the Fraser River was a part of his life growing up. This was a chance to introduce my daughter to a part of British Columbia’s history, educate her on its impact on our province and get her interested in fishing.

The Fraser River Discovery Centre did not disappoint.

The space is large and beautifully laid out. It is two floors, and had lots of room for little ones to run around and explore.

The exhibits, are informative and made learning fun. Zara’s favorite to my husband’s delight was Sturgeon George. It is a replica of a Sturgeon and the exhibit walks you through their life cycle.

For Fishmas, they had an array of interactive displays set up run by volunteers, like ‘ice fishing’, making mini snow-globes, coloring, etc. They also had an interactive puppet show written by one of the employees, Julie!

Downstairs, to our amazement is a large toddler playroom, with a projector screen cinema. There are a choice of educational and fun shows that you can request the staff to play for you. The Toddler room, also has tons of room to sit for parents while the kids play with toys or watch the show.

Verdict: We spent almost 2 hours in here and Zara had a lot of fun and when she is entertained, I can let my hair down and enjoy myself! I found the staff and volunteers, to be super friendly and accommodating. In my opinion it was worth the drive down from Vancouver, and a great respite from the rain and cold temperatures outside. The Fraser River Discovery Centre is a not for profit society and supporting a cause, whose goal is to educate the minds of tomorrow, is close to my heart. At the same time, watching my husband and daughter bond over common passions is priceless.

Check out the The Fraser River Discovery Centre for a list of events.

Please note that I was invited to visit The Fraser River Discovery Centre and write about it. In return, I was compensated with free entry. All opinions in this post are my own.

What I am thankful for this Thanksgiving…

Thanksgiving is an interesting holiday to me. I did not grow up with it and was introduced to it when I moved to Canada. Younger me never really paid much attention to it especially as my family did not celebrate it. As I got older, Thanksgiving was all about turkey and pumpkin pie with friends. 


Now that I am a mother and in my late 30s, I am intrigued by what the real significance of this holiday is. I find the concept of ‘giving thanks’ and ‘counting your blessings’ so very important now. I want to teach my daughter the meaning behind this holiday. So I have compiled a list of what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving:

1.  I am thankful for this country I live in. 
My parents could have moved anywhere in the world. I was a child so I did not have a say in where we were going to live. I am thankful that we came to Canada. With everything happening in the world recently, natural disasters and shooting rampages, I am thankful that I live in a country where this is not the norm. Canada is far from perfect, but I feel safe here. I don’t worry about being shot at while I am at concert or being stranded during a natural disaster. 

I am thankful I get to raise my daughter in this country.


2. My family

Families are not perfect. Every family has its ups and downs. I may not have a great relationship with my parents, but I am thankful for the strong relationships I do have with other members of my family: my brothers, my sister in laws and my friends.

I never thought I would meet and marry a man like my husband. We have had our ups and downs but in the end it has strengthened our relationship. 

I never thought I would become a mother. But I am so very thankful for the baby girl that has given me the privilege of being her momma. I get to wake up everyday to this beautiful smiling face, who thinks I am her whole world. I am thankful for the awe in my daughter’s eyes.

3. Roof over my head and food in my belly

I usually take this for granted. But there are so many people in this world that don’t have this. We live in one of the most expensive cities in the world and I am grateful that my family and I have a place to call home. I am grateful that we have the ability to buy the food we want, without thinking too much about it. 

So this thanksgiving, as we are drinking our wine, eating our turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, take some time to reflect, and be grateful. 

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? 

Bambini’s’ Playroom: The new kids on the block

The rain is back in Vancouver and it looks like it is hear to stay. My daughter is very high energy and on our days off together, I am always looking for places we can go, where she can explore, play and learn. In the summer there are a lot of options outside. In the fall/winter I am on the hunt for indoor play areas, preferably one near a coffee shop!

There is a new indoor play room that has recently opened its doors on Main Street called Bambini’s Playroom. This is there opening week and right now admission is free. Zara and I visited Bambini’s Playroom today and here is our review. 

First Impressions: We were greeted at the door by one of the owners, Amy. Amy is a mom of two, with 10 years of childcare experience. She took time to talk to every parent and child walking in the door.  She has a positive energy about her and you can tell that this is her passion project. 

The space: The space is fairly spacious and very welcoming. There is an arts table set up with paint and paper for kids to use. There is another table set up with alphabets  and a train/track set. The current theme of the room is ‘Camping’ and they have a tent with felt campfire logs set up for the kids to explore. Amy explained to me that the theme will change based on seasons. They are working on a fall season set up next. The space is also available for rent for birthday parties. 

How it works: The Playroom is designed for ages 0 to 5 years. Kids are welcome to explore, play and learn with parent/adult participation.  Amy, the owner engages with kids and helps them play and learn. Amy also runs a circle time for the last 20 mins before closing. 

Hours: Currently the hours are Monday to Friday 9:30 am to 11:30 am and 2 pm to 4 pm. Sat 9am to 11 am( this Sat, Sept 30 is 10 am to 12pm)

Fees: As this is their opening week, all admissions are at no charge. Tomorrow is the last day. Generally fees are $12 per drop in. Or you can get a pass for 10 sessions for $90. Birthday rental prices are available on their Facebook page. 

Verdict: I love supporting local businesses. Bambini’s is a one of a kind play room for this area. It is a good respite from the rainy weather and I felt that my daughter was fairly interested in the toys and activities. She actually did not want to leave. I also like the fact that there is a caregiver on the floor, engaging with the children. The circle time was awesome and had the children pretty focused. 

I like that there is a age restriction. I have found some of other play areas that I have been to, that I always have to watch out for Zara to not be rail roaded by an older child.

My favorite thing about Bambini’s Playroom is Amy, the owner. She has a way with kids and the parents. She makes you feel right at home. I will definitely be back! 

And yes there is a Matchstick coffee pretty close by for us mommas who need the caffeine fix. 🙂

The next couple of weeks are going to be pretty rainy. So go ahead and visit Bambini’s Playroom on 4879 Main St. And don’t forget to take advantage of tomorrow, Saturday Sept 30th’s, free admission. Have a fun weekend!

Please note this is not a sponsored post. I am not paid by or affiliated with Bambini’s Playroom. All opinions in this post are based on my personal experience. However, Amy is aware that I will be writing this piece, so feel free to comment and share your experience, suggestions and I will pass them along to her.