It’s the second week of spring break in School District 43.
And, if you’ve got bored kids at home who are spending too much time on their screens, consider our Top 10 gems for outdoor family-fun in the Tri-Cities:
1. Queenston Park: Built in 2015, this $1-million neighbourhood park on Coquitlam’s Burke Mountain has part of its playground — including its slides — constructed into the hill. Address: 3415 Queenston Ave., Coquitlam
2. A&W: Featured as a filming site, this eatery is one of the smallest stand-alone A&W restaurants in North America. Address: 2526 St. Johns St., Port Moody
3. Mackin Park: One of the oldest recreation spaces in Coquitlam, this Maillardville park recently underwent more than $1 million worth of upgrades. And there’s plenty to keep kids busy including a playground, scooter/skateboard bowl and a walking/running loop. Or take a seat on the bleachers to cheer on the Coquitlam Little League players at Mackin Yard. Address: 1046 Brunette Ave., Coquitlam
4. Sumiqwuelu: Formerly known as Riverview Hospital, these historic Coquitlam grounds — of which the Kwikwetlem First Nation has a land claim — are home to the largest filming location (outside of a studio) in North America. Vancouver actor Ryan Reynolds highlighted Centre Lawn prominently in Deadpool 2. Address: 2601 Lougheed Hwy., Coquitlam
5. Belcarra regional park: Lace up your hiking boots and hit forested trails at this Metro Vancouver treasure, but be sure you know the terrain level before heading out. Our pick is the Admiralty Point route that has great views of the Burrard Inlet, stretching from Port Moody to Vancouver. And check out the historical plaque and sandy beach at the end. Address: 2375 Bedwell Bay Rd., Belcarra
6. Evergreen Extension: Catch SkyTrain from the Lafarge-Douglas station in Coquitlam for a public art tour. Coquitlam has 11 pieces installed at its four stations — beginning with “TransLake” (aka the frog) — while Port Moody has art at its two stations: Inlet and Moody Centre.
7. Mundy Park: Besides its nature trails, ball diamonds, updated playground (on the west side) and bike skills park (on the east side), this 435-acre park includes one of the most popular spots in the Lower Mainland to play disc golf. Also known as frisbee golf, the nine-hole course is located near Spani Pool. Address: 655 Hillcrest St., Coquitlam
8. Port Moody Station Museum: See and feel what it was like to be a soldier during the First World War by touring the McKnight Centennial Trench, located just west of Rocky Point Park. Built in 2015, this replica trench pays tribute to Canadians who made the ultimate sacrifice. As well, hop on the restored 1921 CP Rail car, the Venosta — a nod to Port Moody’s rail history. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and noon to 4 p.m. on weekends. Address: 2734 Murray St., Port Moody
9. Ioco Townsite: This year marks the the 100th anniversary of Ioco (an abbreviation of the Imperial Oil Corp.), a townsite north of Port Moody that was created by the refinery in 1915 to house its workers. Tour the abandoned grounds that, in the 1920s, had nearly 100 homes, a grocery store, community hall, tennis court, lawn bowling green and two churches.
10. Blakeburn Lagoons: Opened as a public park in 2018, this 27-acre award-winning space was transformed by the city from two waste settling ponds into one of the best walking/running sites in the Tri-Cities with 1.6 km of looped trails. It’s also a great place to watch for wildlife. Address: 2900-block of Elbow Place, Port Coquitlam