Brockton School Playground

Brockton School is a private school in Lynn Valley. We paid many visits to the playground last year while Aiden was taking Pedalheads. Since the class was short, and Damien was with me, we spent a lot of time playing on the play structures. 

The playground offers older play materials, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I find some of the older play equipment is more fun than all the new “safe” stuff. There were lots of play options for kids of many ages.

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Bearfoot Playground Comes to Lynn Valley

In 2013, Lynn Valley Village became an even more inviting place for kids with the addition of the Bearfoot Playground, an indoor play centre that was envisioned as a place where kids could play while parents could socialize, creating a more parent-friendly space than other alternatives in North and Wst Vancouver (Go Bananas, Fun 4 Kidz).

Bearfoot manages to fit a large play structure into what on the outside seems like a small place, but inside feels quite spacious. There is a large slide, a climbing area, a play house with play kitchen, a ball area, a train table and a toddlers-only enclosed area. In addition to these spaces, there is an arts room and a cafe featuring healthy snacks for kids, coffee and snacks for adults. 

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As a stay-at-home mom, I was encouraged by the addition of Bearfoot to the North Shore. Though pricey, there are days when I’d pay just about anything for a place where the kids can let off some steam and I can sit down for a bit. Bearfoot is one of those places for us, though with 2 kids it’s not always possible to sit for very long anyway! Damien can’t get up the climbing structure on his own and there are always little spats to break up. 

When Bearfoot first opened, there were more staff on hand to monitor the play areas and even engage with the children, giving parents a chance for a break, but we haven’t seen this in recent visits. While the whole play area is way cleaner than any other play centre, the centre could use some tweaks like a proper floor in the play houses (kids trip on the wood and the foam mats added make tripping worse), gluing down the tracks on the train table, and a more thorough use of the art room. The art room is left mostly disorganized with used paper mixed with new paper and markers mostly without lids on. I can imagine this is a bit of a losing battle, but I think it’s a problem that could be solved and a room that could be more engaging if set up properly. 

All in all, we’ve been happy with our Bearfoot experience and are glad to have an option for rainy days (particularly long afternoons)!

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Lynn Valley Optometry is Great for Kids

A couple of years ago, I decided to switch to a new optometrist. I have a really difficult time finding new glasses and had previously tried two optometrist / eyewear stores that I was kind of unhappy with. After checking out Lynn Valley Optometry with my family during one of the Lynn Valley Village community events, I decided to give them a shot.

I have had great experiences with Dr. Shajani and the entire staff, and have been extremely pleased with their selection of frames and lenses. In particular, I have been pleased with the instruments in place for eye health assessments and in their advice on issues from dry eyes to laser eye treatments. My kids have been seeing Dr. Alison Leung, who does a surprisingly thorough assessment for young children, including our initial assessment when Damien was 1 year old. Both kids actually enjoyed the process.

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In our last visit, both kids walked out with toys and with free sunglasses, and they’re pretty styling sunglasses! They honestly put mine to shame. Here they are enjoying their shades in the kids play room:

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Who can resist these sunglasses? I mean really, I want a pair!!

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Why Damien Loves Parades

It’s easy to sum up why Damien loves parades: “two lollilops”. 

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Lollipops, music, and popcorn for snack. What more can a 2 year old ask for?

This was photographed at the Lynn Valley Days parade, which was huge this year, but almost too much so. We left the parade after an hour or so (huge gaps, but well done), it kept going, but the rest of the celebration was way too insane. There were simply too many people and not enough activities. The kids waited in ridiculous line-ups for the bouncy castles and there was only one food vendor, with two lines to get food – one for tickets, one to pick up the food. Bad call on that one. Use food trucks next time!

Enjoying Lynn Valley Days

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!

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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).