We’re very pleased to have a guest post this week, which is part one in a three-part series. Tasha, the author behind the mommy blog Crushed Cheerios, took her two boys along the Expo Line to see what they could see and do what they could do! She has some great ideas and suggestions for loads of fun that can work for families using the TransLink system around Metro Vancouver. Stay tuned for her adventures on the Millennium and Canada Line coming soon!
SkyTrain Line Adventures: Expo Line
Looking for fun things to do around town?
Hop on the train and pick one of the many stations along the line to explore!
Waterfront Station :
- SeaBus – The SeaBus runs every 15-30 minutes and goes from Waterfront to North Vancouver. The ride itself is a favourite of my toddlers but there’s also the Lonsdale Quay to explore, including a ball pit (free entry!) upstairs and some shops to browse. A short walk away is a park with views of the water with many boats and container ships going past.
- West Coast Express Train – While we’ve never gone on the train, we love watching it arrive and depart the station! It’s a commuter train and only runs during weekdays in peak directions so we’ve never taken it. It also has a (separate from the SkyTrain/bus) fee and from what I’ve heard, not stroller friendly. You can watch it from the walkway that leads to the SeaBus.
- Harbour Centre – Take a trip to the top and view Vancouver from high above the crowds!
- Canada Place – Stroll around Canada Place / Seven Sails. Depending on the time of year, you can see the cruise ships coming into port. The Olympic Cauldron is a short walk. And there’s access to the Sea Wall if you’re up for a longer walk.
Granville Station :
- Vancouver Public Library – They have an expansive kids section with a small little play area (best for the younger-than-3-years group) and have many story times or activities for children.
Stadium Station :
- Chinatown – Take a walk and get immersed in the culture. There are night markets during Summer months.
- False Creek – A great place to walk to see the boats and dragon boaters. You can walk for kilometres in either direction along the smooth, flat, paved paths that have many parks along the way.
Main Street / Science World :
- Science World – We have memberships for Science World and we go frequently. There is lots to do and see and touch!
- Ferry Ride – A fun ride! You can take the ferry from next to Science World and go to Granville Island (technically not walking distance from a skytrain station – so I won’t go into much details but there’s the Kids Market and lots of buskers, magic shows, etc to look at. In the summer, there’s a water park. And there’s a few playgrounds to visit throughout the year)
Broadway Station :
- Commercial Drive – Plenty of interesting shops to browse through. There’s a few kids stores that carry things that aren’t found in the big box stores, like TRU and Target etc.
- Trout Lake – Community centre with drop ins, pond and playgrounds.
Patterson Station :
- Central Park – Playground, walking trails, duck pond and an outdoor swimming pool. Lots to do!
Metrotown Station :
- Metrotown Mall – We love to go on the train that goes from one end of the mall to the other. A few times, we’ve gone to the mall JUST for the train ride! It’s small though – no strollers allowed on busy days. Sometimes when it’s quieter, the conductor will allow you to fold your stroller and put it in one of the train cars. We also like to go wander through Toys R Us and the Disney Store. There’s also three Starbucks and two Tim Horton’s there… Just saying.
- Bonsor – There’s a playground and skate park. While we’ve never found the skate park empty to let Dean roam, he does enjoy watching people do tricks (and bails!) on the ramps. The playground is perfect for his age (2.5 years old) but also challenging enough to keep older kids busy!
- Taylor Park / Byrne Creek / Ron McLean Park – Just off of Edmonds SkyTrain station is three park areas combined in one place! Playgrounds, wading pool (summer months when a park leader is on site), trails and fields!
- Edmonds Community Centre – It’s about a 20 minute walk, but well worth it! There’s a great indoor pool – We drive past two pools from our house to this pool because it’s amazing! It’s warmer than most and it has a lazy river and a kids play area. There’s drop in programs there. And they also have a free indoor playground that’s not usually too busy.
New Westminster Station :
- Shops at New Westminster – Right at the SkyTrain station, there is numerous shops and places to eat. Spud Shack is one of my favourites! There’s also two Starbucks and a Tim Horton’s at the station. On the concourse level, there is a play area for children with slides. It’s covered from the rain and has heaters for those cooler days.
- Quay boardwalk – This is our “go-to” outing. We take a walk along the boardwalk to any (and sometimes all) of the three parks. There’s sand volleyball fields, sandy “beach” (think a gigantic sandbox) to sit under umbrellas, lots of benches and chairs to stop for a snack. It’s flat and paved so my son LOVES speeding along with his bike. It’s decently straight so I can keep sight of him, even when he leaves me in the dust. And there’s frequently trains that go by – we always love watching them from close up! There’s also the…..
- River Market – There’s a few shops and some places to get food. There’s an upstairs area for younger kids (0-4 years old, I would say) The Circus School is great, but they don’t have very many drop-in time slots. Though, it’s still neat to watch the classes as they learn to do fancy aerobatics!
Surrey Central Station :
- City Centre Library – This library is walking distance from us. We LOVE going here, even if we don’t have our books to return to get new ones! There’s lots to do and explore inside. The library’s children section has fun rocking chairs, benches with treasures to view through peepholes, activity wall-mounts and pillows to cozy up on.
There’s plenty of other parks, walking distance from the SkyTrain stations that I haven’t listed but there’s just too many!
Do you and your family have any other favourites?
Author: Adrienne Coling