On Sunday we headed up to Kilmer Park to enjoy the beautiful weather. Kilmer is one of the more tame of North Vancouver’s water parks, and is definitely not as busy as the others. Given that Aiden finds water parks overwhelming (he doesn’t like to get his hair wet), it’s nice to give him an opportunity to test his own limits in a more tame setting.
Damien, on the other hand, has no issues with water. Never has. We’ve given both of these boys the same experiences, so it just goes to show how much is nurture vs nature. Anyway, my little water baby dove right into the water park, sitting and splashing in the water and having me finger walk him through the spray over and over (which must have been hitting him right at face level!).
Despite his teething, he had a good afternoon. It was one of the only times in the last week (as well as a nice Friday) that he was more like his happy self. I can see us spending many afternoons at Kilmer this summer!
We make a point of involving our family in as many community events as possible. In part, it’s a great way to fill up the weekend for two boys who need to get out and be active, and in part because it keeps us connected with where we live. We take great pride in being a part of North Vancouver.
Today, despite the rain, we headed up to Lynn Valley for the Lynn Valley Days parade and festivities. We have been faithful attendees at Lynn Valley Days for at least 3 years now, sometimes arriving early for pancakes or staying to have lunch. Though we don’t care much for visiting all the booths in detail, we love the parade: the firetrucks (though Aiden hates the sirens), the bands, the dancing and the enthusiasm of the whole experience. Toss in some snacks (and candy) and you have a happy family – even with the rain!
After the parade, Aiden spent some time on the train ride and in the bouncy castles, though eventually we did decide to call it a day with the ongoing sudden downpours making our outdoor activity a little less relaxed than normal!
Damien had a great time checking out the parade – a little more involved than last year when he slept through the whole thing (he was only a week old).
I feel like I have a photo album full of deliriously happy Damien just swinging away. Of course that’s not true, but we have spent a lot of time at the park yet and I am quite pleased to have something to do with Damien while Aiden is off playing!
Damien perks up the second he sees the swing and happily kicks away and smiles while he’s in it – at least part of the time. He is a rather serious fellow still.
Aiden has always been quite afraid of the swing. He always tensed up with quick movements or changes in height, even as a young baby. He hated going down the stairs! Putting it all together over time, I think it has a lot to do with his inner ear and the sudden change in pressure. There was a brief time when he’d swing a little bit, but now he barely moves more than a couple of inches when he’s seated, as you can see from the photo below showing the arc of both boys:
Just down the street from the Butterfly Gardens in Victoria is the famous Butchart Gardens. Though not originally on my list of things to see with Aiden, its proximity to the Butterfly Gardens made us change our minds. Additionally, I was hoping to give Aiden something ‘fun’ to do (as opposed to another ‘observation-type’ activity with a visit to the Rose Carousel.
Despite my best intentions, Aiden was too afraid to go on the Rose Carousel (which was an extra fee). Going a whole weekend without a nap (while still normally napping), Aiden spent most of the trip in the provided strollers (nice perk!), though he did walk and explore the Japanese Gardens, up and down the twisting paths and stairs.
A visit to the gardens is not something to be taken lightly. It’s an expensive trip, quite outside of Victoria, though many of the tour buses make a stop there. There are many dining options – from cafeteria-style to cafe to sit-down eating – making it possible to extend your visit with kids who may not appreciate the gardens as much as you do!
The gardens does offer a Family Discovery Walk pamphlet geared to much older kids. If I were to make a suggestion, it would be to make a second pamphlet for younger kids that is more of a scavenger hunt with pictures of flowers or landmarks that they have to seek out; would be a fun way to get them involved.
See all our photos here.
Earlier in the summer, we paid a visit to the playgrounds of Dorothy Lynas Elementary in North Vancouver, up towards Mt. Seymour. One of the more impressive school playgrounds, there are several separate play areas for kids to explore in amidst several natural elements in the landscaping. The playground offers ample area to run around, some paths to explore, some trees to navigate and build fantasy worlds around as well as several play structures.
One of the newer areas is a more abstract climbing play area that was far too old for Aiden and a little baffling as to how it ‘works’, so it’d be interesting to see what kids make of it. The standard playground featured a great ‘circuit’ design that must be popular with kids (I love playgrounds that let children play tag without having to get off the structures). The slides are not very big, which was the only downside for my slide-loving toddler.
See all photos here.