Stanley Park

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012

Visiting a place of history can be very exciting and a great learning experience. Vancouver, Canada was the host to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. This has lots to offer and is very easy to get around in on your own. Vancouver is home to the famous Staley Park, http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park.aspx. Stanley Park is considered by many to be the jewel of not only the City of Vancouver and would like to confirm that as my children and I on a fall day never ran out of things to do in the six hours we were there before we got tired. The park offers so many things to do we didn’t even see it all.

Stanley Park is one of the city's main tourist destinations, attracting approximately 8 million visitors each year. Featuring numerous beaches, miles of well-maintained paved and dirt trails, Canada's largest aquarium and an array of can't-miss kid-friendly spots (including a pool, water park, miniature railway and more), this 1,000-acre haven is recognized as one of the greatest urban parks in the world. See as it is so large we spent time mostly walking around and enjoying the beauty of this park. It would also be a great place for a bike ride around the point with children.

On our walk we explored the totem poles and talked with the kids on what they are and how they can tell stories. It was fun to see them start to recognize some of the shapes and animals.

We walked the shoreline while the tide was out and explored the sea.

We found were people had made art out of the rocks and driftwood on the beach and took time to try to make our own art. This was enjoyed by the children and it couldn’t have come at a better time since their legs were getting tired.

We walked the trails and found art creations in the forest. We also walked to the lake were we saw ducks and a turtle. There is a beaver home in the lake so we got to learn about animals and saw trees the beavers had cut down. It was an enriching experience for all.

I know we could go back again and spend just as much time at the park and not see anything we saw on that day. It ranks high on places to visit with the children in nature. Plan a day a go visit.

Stanley Park offers an aquarium and steam train which would be great for kids. There are also horse drawn tours of the park. There is a wonderful rose garden we drove by and it would be an awesome place to capture and update a family photo. Check out website above to find out more and enjoy your trip to Staley Park where there is so much history to learn.

Sea Lion Caves ~Florence

Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012

There is something about the sea that draws many people to it. On the Oregon coast there are Sea Lions to see which can be a big reason to venture to the sea. The Sea Lion Caves are located about 11 miles north of Florence and are quite the sight and smell, http://sealioncaves.com/home/. There is a cave which you can go down into to see the Steller sea lions. It is a remarkable thing to see in nature and something to appreciate and treasure for many years.

Park can be a bit tricky and somewhat unsafe for children if you ask me. It is across the street from the Sea Lion Caves entrance and the street needed to be crossed is the busy highway 101. There is no crosswalk either. So please hold on to the little ones and make sure everyone is safe.

Once at the entrance you enter into the gift shop and buy your ticket into the cave. (The day we were there they were having issues with the elevator and therefor were never able to go into the cave that day since we were only in the area for the day and were not going to wait all day.) Once the ticket is bought you go down many stairs, which you will have to come back up to leave. Once at the bottom you can go to the left and see the Sea Lions from the viewing deck swimming and beached on some rocks. The sounds they make are pretty cool too to hear.

To the right at the bottom of the stairs is the path to the caves. There you take an elevator down into the cave.

Since it is the coast a jacket is recommend to have on hand should you or the kids get cold. Due to the stairs I would not recommend any strollers or children who might have difficulty with stairs or steep pathways. Over all there are about 200 stairs from start to finish. That right, 100 each way. If this is to great then bring a good camera or binoculars and look out from the parking lot to see the sea life swimming around without paying.

After you’re done you have to exit through the gift shop so watch out if the kids are wanting you buy something you might just get stuck!

Pike Place Market

Tuesday, Oct 9, 2012

Have ever wanted to know about what happens behind the scenes at the famous Pike Place Market or wanted to understand the history of it? http://www.publicmarkettours.com/#whattoexpect. While this is a great tour and very informative I would have to say it is better suited for older children. It would be fine for small infants if in some sort of caring harness. The market is fun to visit and enjoy with children all ages and if a child is good for an hour then the tour might work for them as well to enrich the experience. See the fish tossing going on. Maybe even try to catch a fish. Bring home some beautiful flowers. A bunch like the one in my photo was on $10 each. I wish I was closer to be able to have fresh flowers all the time!

Ticket Prices are fair and a 10% of sales goes to benefit the Pike Place Market Foundation.

The Market is open almost every day of the year. Winter, spring, summer and fall, Pike Place Market is open seven days a week, closing only on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Our merchants set their own hours, so it's a good idea to check the shopping and dining guides before coming to visit a specific shop or stall. Generally, restaurants may open earlier and stay open later, while during the peak farm season, farmers are frequently set up and ready to sell by 8:00 a.m.