Growing up in Vancouver, nothing said summer to me like a visit to Playland. The iconic amusement park on East Hastings has been a seasonal staple for local families for generations. When I had my own children I was excited to share the experience with them. I had questions, though. When would they be old enough? Would I be able to go on rides with them? And would they love it as much as I do?
My children have always been little daredevils, so Playland was an instant hit with them. There are some things you should know before you go, though. To help you out today I’m sharing my tips for taking toddlers to Playland.
Taking Toddlers to Playland
- How Old? – I brought my kids to Playland for the first time when they were around two years old. As I said, they were both daring and enjoyed themselves. You know your kids best, though. An adventurous one-year-old may have a good time, while a timid three-year-old may not. And while a baby probably isn’t going to get a lot out of it, there are things they can do if they’re coming along with an older sibling, and their admission is free. Speaking of which …
- Save Money – Kids three and under enjoy free admission to Playland. If your child has a summer birthday, make sure you visit before they turn four. As a parent you can purchase a Guardian Pass rather than a regular pass and save over $10. Up to two adults can buy a Guardian Pass per child 12 and under, doubling the savings if you bring your partner. If you have a four or five year old who is under 48″ tall you can also ride free with them on certain rides.
- Height Limits – There are rides for kids under 36″ tall, but they’re limited and in most cases an adult is required to ride. Younger, smaller children can ride Balloon Explorers, Honeybee Express, the Merry-Go-Round, the Teacups and the Super Slide with an adult. Kids over 36″ can ride some rides unaccompanied, and can enjoy a much broader array of rides with an adult including the Westcoast Wheel and Scrambler.
- Food – There are plenty of kid-friendly food options at Playland. Cheese Please in Kids Playce offers kid-friendly grilled cheese. And there are other concession stands with treats and hot dogs. At Triple O’s you can get a kids meal. I haven’t seen it listed on the menu, but if you ask it’s on offer and comes in a special box. I really recommend bringing food from home, though. It’s much cheaper. Plus, you may not want to offer a lot of unfamiliar, greasy food to a kid before they get on a fast ride.
Find out more about Playland, including hours and admission rates, at www.pne.ca/playland.
Have you taken your toddlers to Playland? Please share your stories and tips!