Looking for the best way to enjoy a spring stay-cation with your family? We’ve put together five amazing local adventure ideas that are sure to get your family out of the house and having fun, no matter where you live in BC! Going on local day trips is a great way to discover the best food and fun your region has to offer – plus, it gets you outside and chatting with local farmers and food providers! These experiences are a smart way to teach your children where their food comes from – and your journey is sure to be delicious.
Farmers’ markets: A trip to your local farmer’s market is the perfect activity for families of all ages. Farmers’ markets are full of colour, locally made goods and fresh ideas as well as familiar faces. If you’ve already made a habit of taking your family on a Saturday shop at the farmer’s market, March break is a chance to enjoy a more leisurely visit: bring your camera and go on a photo scavenger hunt, or challenge everyone to try one thing at the market they’ve never tried before. Whether you’re visiting award-winning markets in Prince George, Armstrong or somewhere in between, there’s bound to be a market (or two) near you – try our handy locator to make trip-planning a piece of cake.
Cycle Tour: A DIY bike tour to visit a local farm is a refreshing way to learn how the food you love is made – and kids especially will love meeting the animals (not to mention taste-testing the products!). Taking a tour at your own pace lets you decide how many producers you’d like to meet, and slow down when you find a farm your family loves. Our favourites include Morningstar Farm on Vancouver Island; and Salt Spring Island Cheese – it’s just a short bike ride from Fulford Harbour, and the ferry ride adds to the fun. For folks in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, Circle Farm Tours’ free maps and self-guided tours make it easy to plan a bike trip your family will love.
Play Cafés: If it’s a rainy day it doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors – take your little ones to a play café! BC is full of family-owned local cafés that balance cosy play spaces with delicious local dishes for parents to enjoy. In and around Vancouver, Sweet Salt Bakery offers children a play bakery of their own (and artisanal treats!). Circus Play Café lets you send your kid to the circus while you enjoy ethically sourced nibbles. On Vancouver Island, award-winning My-Chosen Café in Metchosin lets kids get up close and personal with goats, chickens and ducks. Playgrounds Café in Prince George boasts locally-roasted coffee and 2,000 square feet of play space, while the Big Feast Bistro in Maple Ridge focuses on a locally-sourced menu – and imaginative play toys for your little ones.
Plant nurseries: Grow your gardening skills with a trip to your local plant nursery or gardening shop – your children can choose seeds and plants to get a kitchen garden started while chatting with local growers. To find a nursery near you, try this locator – and be sure to call your nearest garden shop or nursery to inquire about free workshops and classes for you or your kids. For families in the Lower Mainland, West Coast Seeds offers organic and heritage seeds (and lots of great advice for starting a kitchen garden) Further afield in Sardis, you can learn about BC’s wild heritage plants by appointment in their agro-forest.
Family Farms: Take your kids for the day, or for a stay-cation – a visit to a local farm is a sure-fire crowd pleaser and a lovely way to meet local farmers. Farm Kids City Kids has great resources for families planning a trip on the mainland, including this farm locator tool. For families looking to visit Vancouver Island or Gulf Islands farms, this list is a great place to get your trip started. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how many BC wineries offer family accommodation and activities for little ones – we’ve rounded up a few ideas for you here that are bound to get you excited for spring break.
Photo credit: Flickr user Grant Hollingworth (original: http://bit.ly/1LCoDh6) CC License 2.0