Spring break is just about to kick off and students across Richmond are gearing up for a two week holiday.
Throughout the city there are a variety of unique activities for all ages from art classes to writing workshops to order activities and local day trips.
Richmond's forecast promises some sun and warm temperatures coming up, so why not head outside to enjoy the early spring days?
Did you know that Richmond has a walking group? On Saturday, March 16 at 10 a.m., take a stroll along the North Arm of the Fraser River on this serene walk on Sea Island that is a pleasure for airplane and bird-watching enthusiasts. Meeting spot: North end of McDonald Road at the McDonald Beach parking lot. More details about the walking group can be found at www.richmond.ca/walk.
For something a little more “wild,” join in on a one-hour naturalist-led tour at Richmond Nature Park and learn about the plants and animals that live in it. This 200-acre natural haven includes four walking trails, giving visitors the chance to encounter plants and animals in bog, forest and pond habitats. For more information about the free tours, visit www.richmond.ca/naturepark.
Or, go for an adventure at Terra Nova. The unique adventure play environment located at Terra Nova Rural Park has two distinct “zones” to capture the imagination. First, the paddock, which was once home to horses and stables has zip lines, swings and a huge hillside slide. The homestead, which was once the site of a farm house, has a 10-metre tall tree house with a rope ladder and spiral slide, a timber structure and a rope walkway.
For a different sort of outdoor activity, check out Richmond’s annual 10-day, outdoor carnival is returning to Lansdowne Centre next week. From March 20th to 31st, the shopping centre’s parking lot will be taken over by rides, games, a huge ferris wheel and plenty of carnival treats. More details here.
Learn something new
Just because school is out for a couple of weeks, doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to learn something new around the city.
On Sunday, March 17, join author Julia Nobel as she leads a writing workshop at the Brighouse Branch of the Richmond Public Library before the release of her brand new book entitled The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane. Suitable for 8-14 years and registration is required. Contact the Richmond Public Library for more details.
Want to learn more about media arts including photography, digital drawing and music? Check out one of the Richmond Youth Media Arts drop in sessions, suitable for youth aged 13 to 24. Thursday, March 21 and 28 from 3 – 5 p.m. or Saturday, March 23 and 30 from 12 to 4 p.m. at the Richmond Media Lab, 7700 Minoru Gate.
Try an indoor sport
Head on over to Minoru arenas and skate in the dark, until cool lights during cosmic skating sessions. Regular rates apply. More details including the skate schedule can be found at www.richmond.ca/arenas.
Or, climb to new heights at the Olympic Oval’s 44-foot climbing wall. The wall features three main sections: a 22-foot beginner’s wall, a 33-foot intermediate wall and a 44-foot overhanging corner section.
Other indoor activities at the Oval include group fitness programs, hockey, stick and puck, volleyball and batting cages. Check out the Oval’s website for more details on drop in activities.
Finally take a dip at Watermania’s wave pool with interactive water features that include a giant tipping bucket, a fun tot slide and a variety of sprayers and water wheels. Diving boards open every day and large water slides open for spring break 12 to 9 p.m. every day. Those looking for more of a work out can visit the fitness centre or swim laps in the competition pool, followed up with a visit to the steam room or sauna.
Go beyond Richmond
To get out of the city but still stay close by, check out Delta’s Reifel Bird Sanctuary. The protected area includes wetlands, marshes and dikes that’s a spot for many migratory birds. There are several kilometers of trails through diverse coastal habitats, many scenic lookouts and a constantly changing mix of bird life. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children and seniors.
If you’re keen to venture over a couple of bridges, check out North Vancouver’s natural paradise this spring break. North Vancouver has a plethora of outdoor stuff going on, but the best value – it’s totally free – has to be Lynn Canyon Park and its suspension bridge.
Way cheaper than its slightly bigger cousin at Capilano, the Lynn Canyon version is still scary enough at 50 metres above Lynn Creek – the height of a 15-storey building – to get the hard-to-please younger ones excited.
And Lynn Canyon Park itself is one of the gems of the District of North Vancouver, with a forested park that features stunning creek and waterfall views and hiking trails through the temperate rainforest. More information is online at LynnCanyonEcologycentre.ca.
While you’re in the area, take the kids a little further west along Highway 1 to the Capilano Salmon Hatchery, on the Capilano River in Capilano River Regional Park. With more than 400,000 visitors annually, the hatchery is a popular spot for tourists and, the good news again is that, it’s free.
Or, head up one of the North Shore mountains this spring break to catch the last bit of winter. Seymour, Cypress and Grouse mountains all offer opportunities to ski, snowboard or snowshoe in a winter wonderland. For something unique, check out the 24 Hours of Winter at Grouse Mountain. Celebrate on the slopes from sundown to sunrise. Dance, ride or skate the night away under starry skies as DJs spin your favourite tracks. Glide down The Cut while taking in a spectacular Vancouver sunrise or enjoy one of the many round-the-clock activities. More details here.
For a list of spring break activities hosted by the city, check out www.richmond.ca/springbreak
With files from Alan Campbell