After this past RAINY, RAINY, RAINY weekend on the North Shore with my two little ones, I was inspired to re-post an updated version of my Rainy Day Outings blog post from about a year ago at this time.
If you’re looking for some choice indoor options for your toddlers to blow off steam, check out our top 5 favorites! Our kids have tested out each one dozens of times.
The ballroom on the second level of Lonsdale Quay is by far my girls’ favourite weekend outing on a rainy day. After being closed for repairs for what seems like eons, the ballroom has FINALLY been re-opened. We throw on Muddy Buddies for the walk & bus ride to the Quay, and the girls are usually entertained for at least an hour by the stairs, slide & tons of colourful balls, as well as the rides & playhouse in the adjoining playroom. Grab yourself a coffee or hot chocolate and relax on the bench outside the ballroom where you can observe through the glass. And when your kiddies are done with the ballroom & rides, the market down below provides at least another hour of entertainment & yummy food options!
I discovered the Toddler & Me Drop-In at Mickey McDougall Rec Centre when my eldest daughter was about a year & a half old, and it became one of our go-to places to burn off some steam on weekdays. It’s open to kids aged 0-5 and costs $4 for 1.5 hours of play any time between 9:15-12:30 Mon to Fri, and 4:30 to 6:30 pm on Thurs (only $2). Tickets must be purchased down the street at the Harry Jerome Rec Centre, and buying a book of tickets provides a cheaper & more convenient option if you plan to visit multiple times. The drop-in play space is a large room with many different play areas, including indoor playground toys, ride-on cars, walkers, play kitchen, story corner, craft & snack tables, music & song times and a large trampoline. Relatively healthy & inexpensive snack & drink options are also available for purchase.
This is a fantastic 1-hour drop-in activity for kids aged 1-5 . The enormous gym is chock full of equipment for climbing, swinging, bouncing & more, including balance beams, padded blocks & mats, large & mini trampolines, and a huge foam block pit for the more adventurous kids. This is a popular activity & space is limited, so be sure to secure your spot at the front desk up to one hour in advance. $6 per child, and must be accompanied by a parent.
Sept to Dec Drop-In Times: Mon 10:45 – 11:45 a.m., Wed 12:15 – 1:15 p.m., Thurs 11:45 – 12:45 p.m., Fri 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Sun: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (times vary on holidays).
Love, love, love Gymboree on the North Shore (near Capilano Mall). The space is open & bright, the staff is always cheerful & welcoming (remembering each child’s name & making them feel special), and the padded climbing equipment & music classes provide endless entertainment for kids aged 0-5. With two kids under 4, my favourite thing about monthly membership at Gymboree is the open gym times that are included Tuesdays (9:30 a.m. to 12:30 pm), Wednesdays ( 4:30 to 6:30pm) and Thursdays (3:30 to 5:30 pm).
Starbucks in Edgemont Village is our family favourite for a rainy weekend morning, as we can enjoy a coffee and newspaper while our little ones are busy playing with the pretend food in the miniature kitchen. The staff at this location is particularly used to catering to babies & toddlers (with a preschool located 1/2 a block away), and they’ve got very helpful amenities like a button-operated front door, change table, large private washroom that can fit even a large double stroller, miniature paper cups with lids & straws for toddlers, and free WiFi. I’ve even seen the staff bring out stickers on occasion to calm a tantrum or two!
Enjoy all that our lovely North Shore has to offer…rain and all!