I love exploring new areas and planning fun days for my family, but I hate planning an event too far ahead of time. I just never know when my kids are going to get sick, or when we will all wake up exhausted and want a relaxing day around home. But, on days when the weather cooperates or we want to get out of the house for a whole day, I like to have a plan in my back pocket so we can just pack up and go.
One afternoon in December, we decided to make an impromptu trip out to the Museum of Surrey to check out their Christmas Tree Festival. On this particular day, my kids were especially hungry and ate through the snacks I packed super fast, and I wished that I had a better idea of what was available in terms of food, playgrounds, and other nearby attractions so we could spend more time in Cloverdale before heading home. Thus, the idea to explore different neighbourhoods around Metro Vancouver was born. Every few weeks, I’ll be posting about a new neighbourhood adventure with all the information necessary for a successful family outing.
After years of planning and leading field trips for groups of students from preschool to high school as a teacher and summer camp leader, there are a couple of features I think about when heading out for the day:
1) How will we get there?
2) What activities are available to us?
3) Where will we eat?
Up first on our list of adventures is a place we know well: Port Moody!
Your next adventure: Port Moody
Port Moody is located about 40 minutes from downtown Vancouver (by car) and easily accessible by skytrain or West Coast Express. There are a lot of young families living in the area, and new family activities are popping up all the time. Rocky Point Park hosts a variety of events, festivals and afternoon concerts throughout the year.
Make Rocky Point Park (2800 Murray Street, Port Moody) your destination since it is right in the middle of the action!
- Skytrain: Get off at the Moody Centre stop. You will need to walk over an overpass to get from the station to Rocky Point Park
- West Coast Express: Get off at Moody Centre and walk over the overpass from the station to the park
- Parking: There is a free parking lot located at Rocky Point Park and free street parking along Murray Street. Be aware that the parking lot fills up fast– especially when the weather is nice or there is an event happening at the park. Alternate parking is available at the West Coast Express lot or along other major streets like Clarke or St. Johns.
There is so much to do in Port Moody!
Outdoor Play: At Rocky Point Park, there’s a wooden playground, a splash pad (open May-September), and a skate park all in a small radius. With wide open grass fields, it’s also a great place to kick a ball around, fly a kite, or relax on a blanket! Additionally, there is an outdoor pool open May-September if you fancy a swim on a warm day.
Water sports: Rent a kayak or paddle board from Rocky Point Kayak from April-October. If you have your own boat, there’s a boat launch available right next to the pier at the park.
Explore: Walk out to the end of the pier and take in the beauty of the Burrard Inlet, look for sea otters or fish swimming by. Stroll along the Shoreline Trail which takes you from Rocky Point to Port Moody City Hall, Port Moody Library, and PoMo Farmer’s Market (open Sundays from November- April). Most of the trail is paved, but there are some narrow spots if you follow the water that isn’t great for strollers. An alternative is to stay on the paved paths along Murray Street.
Indoor Activities: Head to the Port Moody Station Museum to learn about the history of Port Moody and check out their newest exhibitions. The Museum is conveniently located right next to Rocky Point Park and is open Wednesday-Sunday. Little adventurers might enjoy a trip to Little Bean’s Play Cafe, an indoor play centre and cafe located about a 10-minute walk from Rocky Point Park on Kyle Street.
Facilities: Rocky Point Park has indoor washrooms and changerooms available adjacent to the splash pad.
Where to Eat/Drink
At the Park:
- Pajo’s. Open during the summer months. Serves fish and chips, primarily.
- Rocky Point Ice Cream. Open year-round. Best known for their ice cream (made in-house and so delicious), but they also serve warm beverages, which are perfect for cooler days. I like to grab a London Fog on our trips to the park during the winter
- The Canteen and Creamery. Open year-round. This spot is also owned by RP Ice Cream but serves sandwiches, soft-serve ice cream, and pastries.
- Picnic! There are plenty of picnic tables available at the park, in addition to lots of open space to sit. There are also two covered areas that can be reserved for events/parties, or used on a first-come basis if there is no reservation.
Across the street: Directly across from Rocky Point Park is the popular Brewer’s Row. Breweries have become increasingly family-friendly over the years, and the ones on Brewer’s Row are no different. All of the breweries allow children and have both indoor and outdoor seating areas. Most of them serve snacks, non-alcoholic drinks and some have board games/activities for kids. On weekends, many of the breweries also have food trucks outside that rotate on a weekly basis. More information can be found on the individual sites of the breweries.
Check out some other family-friendly breweries here!
10-15 minute walk:
- The Hard Bean Brunch Co for a full meal.
- Spacca Napoli for incredible pizza
- Gabi and Jules for the delicious pies, pastries and beverages. This is one of our favourite Port Moody spots and a place where I always take visitors and friends!
- There are a plethora of other cafes and small restaurants along Clarke Street. All of them are delicious and would make a great stop for a bite to eat or a drink along the way.
Where should we head next? Submit a neighbourhood and your favourite spots to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add it to our list for Your Next Adventure.