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.
A short walk from where we live is an unused elementary school, Ridgeway Annex. Once Ridgway school was upgraded, Ridgeway Annex was closed and may be redeveloped in the future. Until then, it features 2 playgrounds:
Though the playgrounds are not the newest, they retained a lot of charm for my nearly 3-year-old. He loved the little junior area with the mini yellow slide to climb up and the twisty slide to go down. The climbing structure was a little big for him, though he was able to use it to still enjoy the slide.
Address: 450 East 5th St, North Vancouver
Bridgman Park is a beautiful area to take a walk along Lynn Creek. You can take a 5.5km loop around the river or follow the trail right up to Lynn Canyon. The area is very popular for dog walkers. We went one day to explore the playground.
The playground is not very large and is nestled in the trees, so it’s quite shady. The playground is a little on the older side, but it’s serviceable. Aiden spent a few minutes playing there, going down the slide and climbing the different areas, but he soon grew bored of it and the total lack of other kids. That’s usually not an issue for him at the park, so I’m going to say this one was too tame for him (small slide, no really interesting play structures).
I think this is a great area to take your kids for a walk, especially as there is an on-site washroom, but it is not a great location just for the playground.
Bridgman Park is located on Keith Road before it turns into Mountain Highway.
One of the newest playgrounds in North Vancouver was built in the 16-acre Heywood Park. The new playground is touted as an “adventure play park” complete with a zip line, a stilt walk, king of the castle hill and play structures that incorporate both nature and whimsy. It’s probably one of the most creative parks I’ve seen in the lower mainland.
The zip line was missing the handle / seat when we were there, disappointing almost every kid that came during our stay. That aside, there was still a lot to play with. There are 2 play structures: one for younger toddlers and one for older toddlers, young kids. The elder play structure uses wood-like building materials with animals hidden in hide holes at the bottom level. Similarly, the sand play area incorporates swimming fish into its theme.
The park includes washroom facilities and hiking trails as well as a stream.
Accessible from MacKay Ave or Hamilton Ave (parking lot) off W 16th St / Marine Drive in North Vancouver.
The playground at Grand Boulevard Park was recently re-launched earlier this Spring. The playground now features a large play structure good for older toddlers and young children, skewing a little older for some of the play features. In addition to the play structure, there is a swing set and swing seat and a special toddler area.
The toddler area features a sand box with sand exploration table and a very small play structure. Unfortunately, the exploration table was made too high, making it inaccessible for toddlers (kind of missing the point). The large climbing structure only really offered a slide to the younger toddlers with the rest being too advanced.
This isn’t my favourite park for this age-range, but I can see that it is going to be a popular play area. Since the park is attached to well-used fields, there is a lot of greenspace to run around in and a full washroom. This park is great for families with kids of varying ages.
E 13th St between Moody Ave and W Grand Boulevard (parking lot accessible off 13th)