My checklist for the perfect picnic-spot has morphed over the years. As a young 20-something, a good view and a heavy dose of ambiance were essential for any picnic option to be deemed perfect. Now, while I do love a great view, I am looking for a place to entertain my kids and a picnic table (or grassy area) near enough I can get dinner set up without losing sight of said children. With my new criteria in mind, I went on a hunt for the “perfect” picnicking spots in Vancouver. Now we all know of the gorgeous picnic options in Stanley Park, Spanish Banks, Granville Island, Queen Elizabeth Park, and English Bay. But have you visited any of these lesser-known picnic options around Vancouver?
Cooper’s Park (1020 Marinaside Crescent) – this park offers up not one but two playgrounds. In fact, one of the playgrounds (intended for older kids) is actually under the Cambie Street Bridge which makes it the perfect spot no matter what the weather! The park is just off the Vancouver Seawall which means perfect ocean views and loads of people-watching entertainment. If you have a four-legged furry member of your family, be sure to bring them along for the picnic as there is a terrific off-leash dog park.
Creekside Park (1455 Quebec Street) – there are few views that can top the one found at Creekside Park. Overlooking Science World, BC Place & the water, this park is already high on my must-visit list. Kids will be entertained by the skateboard / scooter area, basketball courts, bocce ball, playground, and winding paths & grassy areas. The one (minor) downside to Creekside Park is there isn’t a ton of shade (but there is a covered picnic table area). So either bring a portable beach umbrella, or save this park for a day with some cloud cover.
Granville Loop Park (1435 West 5th Avenue) – we’ve all driven by it, but how many of us have stopped to explore the park hidden in the amongst the bases of the on-ramps to the Granville Street Bridge. The unique geography creates for a park full of hidden areas to both play & relax. The water features, expansive lawns and playground make the Granville Loop Park perfect for a summertime picnic.
John Hendry (Trout Lake) Park (3300 Victoria Drive) – many of us have experienced the Trout Lake Farmers’ Market but have you ventured past the stalls and explored the park behind? This park offers up a massive lake, TWO playgrounds, loads of walking paths, a forest of tall shade-producing trees, and grass fields for miles. This is another park which welcomes the 4-legged members of your family. Let the kids run themselves ragged before your family picnic.
Maple Grove Park & Pool (6875 Yew Street) – a pool, playground and shady trees to picnic under? What more could we ask for? The wading pool at Maple Grove Pool is perfect for the little ones just gaining comfort in the water. The massive trees provide ample shade to set up shop and serve a delicious picnic. After everyone is water-logged from hours in the pool, head over to the park for a climb on the playground or the massive tree stumps.
By the way, if one of your top picks didn’t make it into our top 5 list, please let us know! We are always eager to try out new spots. Here’s to a summer filled with tasty picnics & happy kids.