Winter in Metro Vancouver can be breathtakingly beautiful, and the best way to take it in is to get outside! We love spending time outdoors this time of year, exploring with our kiddos. It’s amazing how much the landscape changes – leaves are gone, trees are covered with ice, and everything is just a little bit sparkly, especially when the sun shines. To inspire you to ditch the blanket, couch, and cozy fire, here are five walks to take with your kiddos this winter in Metro Vancouver.
Remember to always check weather forecasts before heading out in the winter. You can also check with park or city websites to make sure the trail you want to take is open. Safety first!
1. Rocky Point Park, Port Moody
Rocky Point is one of our go-to favourites in the spring, summer, and fall, because of it’s easy meandering paths, awesome playground, and beautiful views. So why should winter be any different? Make sure to head out on the pier for sweeping views of the inlet. portmoody.ca
2. Brae Island, Fort Langley
We love the trail that loops around Brae Island for lots of reasons — it’s a fairly short loop and nice and flat, so little legs won’t get too tired, there are some pretty views out onto the Fraser River and Bedford Channel, and it’s nice and close to some of our favourite coffee shops for a warm drink when we are done! metrovancouver.org
3. Deer Lake Park, Burnaby
A stroll around Deer Lake Park in Burnaby on a wintery day is delightful. Deer Lake always looks the most beautiful in the wintertime. We like to start at the east side of the lake, there’s a large parking lot off of Sperling Avenue, south of Canada Way. The entire loop will take about an hour, maybe a bit longer with little legs. Be careful on the boardwalks during the winter, as they can sometimes be a bit slippery when they are covered with snow and ice. burnaby.ca
4. Capilano Canyon & Cleveland Dam, North Vancouver
For a more challenging walk, head out to Capilano Canyon and the spectacular Cleveland Dam. Park at the dam and cross over it to start your trip. If you hear rushing water, stick your head over the side to view the water coming through the dam to the canyon below. This time of year the water is always pretty shades of blue and green. Continue on the trails, cross over the pipe bridge and you’ll end up right near the hatchery (stop in for a visit if it’s open). Continue along and you’ll be back at your starting point in no time. vancouvertrails.com has a great overview of this loop, so check it out before you go. metrovancouver.org
5. Granville Island, Vancouver
Sometimes the perfect place for a winter walk is somewhere you can duck in and out of heated shops, which is why we love heading to Granville Island for a winter stroll. Pop into the public market and wander the stalls of amazing produce, baked goods, and artisan wares. Head out to the waterfront and watch the busy Aquabus darting back and forth. Stop by the Kids Market, the big outdoor playground, or just wander around and discover all the various shops. You can grab a map at the information booth, but it’s not really necessary — Granville Island is not very big, so it’s best to just wander and explore. If you’re lucky you may even catch a glass blowing demonstration, or an artist working on their next masterpiece. granvilleisland.com
Bonus: Your Own Neighbourhood
We bet you have a favourite trail or walk nearby your house, so why not take a stroll during the winter months. It’s really interesting to see how nature changes this time of year. What’s different about the trees? The ground? Do you see any birds or animals? See what your kiddos notice, or make it extra fun with a winter scavenger hunt.
Tips for winter-weather walking success:
- Dress your whole brood (you included) in layers of warm clothes, bring along a backpack to hold discarded layers if it ends up being warmer than expected.
- Wear shoes that have a good grip on the bottom to prevent slips and falls.
- Check park or city websites to make sure the trail you want to take is still open and safe to take (we linked them all above).
- Stay home if there is any inclement weather predicted.
- Make sure to stop somewhere when you are done walking for a nice warm cup of hot chocolate!
Yo, mama! Looking for more winter fun? We’ve got you covered:
- Things to do in Metro Vancouver in January
- 50 free and low-cost winter activities
- Winter Farmers’ Markets
By: Michelle Hughes