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The Local Guide for Active Urban Families

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march/april 2016 spring break fun | travel & adventure



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travel &adventure gu tips, resources, and valuable information for local and international family travel and fun!

Brought to you by Featuring tips and recommendation from for your best family vacation

March/April 2016


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• camp guide • spring break top story

Break 16 Spring travel Fun Events for &adventure! the Whole Family

from the editor 6 7 8 13 16 18

Photographed by Dylan Doubt


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on our cover... Daria 9, snuggles in for a night of camping!

From Our Family to Yours Contests Cool Finds Time Out Community Calendar Last Look Foam Paint Fun


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Camp Guide Sleepaway Camp Listings

tips, resources, and valuable information for local and internationa family travel and fun! l

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mendation for your best family vacation

next issue may/june • Preschool & Daycare • Kids & the Arts • Camp Guide part II: Day Camps

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March/April 2016


from our family to yours

families westcoast

Here at WestCoast Families, we know that this time of year can be draining for all of us. We’re craving the great outdoors, we miss the sun, and work feels like it will never end. It’s the perfect time to start planning a vacation with the whole family! Whether travelling abroad or looking into a more local staycation, we have you covered with our annual Travel and Adventure Guide, led by the travel expert, Claire Newell of Travel Best Bets. She has some fantastic articles to help you plan your escape, including advice about Europe, local exploration options, and how to stay safe when touring a country other than your own. And don’t miss our advice on what to pack! Part of our new monthly themes means our March/April issue is also our annual Sleepaway Camp Guide. Want to know about some of the coolest camp options locally? We have you covered. And we’re also looking at the best way to have fun during spring break so the whole family stays active and entertained. So pack your bags, kick back with our latest issue and happy trails!

Managing Editor Andrea Vance Assistant Editor Kelly S. Thompson Contributing Editor Jodi Iverson Art Director & Layout Krysta Furioso Administration Jennifer Bruyns Accounts Receivable & Payable Jennifer Brule

Assistant Editor

Advertising 604.249.2866 Published by National Families Network Publisher: Andrea Vance

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this month at • Spring Break! • Family Travel & Adventure resource guide with info and live links. • Don’t miss our fun BLOG and sign up for the WCF email BLAST too.

For submissions to our community calendars, please email To share your feedback, please email Contributors Jennifer Bruyns, Krysta Furioso, Jodi Iverson, Claire Newell, Kelly S. Thompson, Andrea Vance All contents copyrighted ©. Written permission from the publisher is required to reproduce, quote, reprint or copy any material from WestCoast Families Mailing address: 1215-C56 St. Box 18057 Delta, BC V4L 2M4 T 604 249 2866 | F 604 676 2802

wcf presents Healthy Family Expo Fun filled day for all families with kids 0-12. Information and activities for healthy, active, eco-friendly family living. March 6, 10am-5pm Vancouver Convention Centre East, Hall B *use code WCF241 for 2-for-1 admission online!


Kidsport Delta Gift of Sport Fundraising Dinner With Keynote Speaker: Mitch Berger, plus live entertainment and auction. April 30, 2016 Tsawwassen Springs Ballroom

Early Years Festival Free event for parents, caregivers, and educators of children aged 0-6. April 16, 10am-3pm Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, Surrey


Visit us online for new contests every issue! families westcoast

Loving the Arts! The Lower Mainland is thriving with arts and culture, and with our upcoming Kids in the Arts issue in May/June, we want to feature some of our readers! Do you have a child who loves the performing arts? Circus performer? Actor? Dancer? Singer? Check out our website and tell us why your little one should be featured in our next issue! Deadline to enter: March 30, 2016. Enter at

Readers’ Choice

2016 readers choice

We want to hear from YOU and find the best the west coast has to offer for families. The WCF Readers’ Choice is back, and this time we’re going local. Nominate and vote for your Lower Mainland favourites in any category so we can share with our readers. WIN great prizes too! Learn more and enter at

March/April 2016


westcoast finds Go Travel Packable Bags Trudging with heavy luggage after vacation exploration can be exhausting, but we need some kind of bag to carry around the essentials. Look no further than Go Travel packable bags. This line of bags packs up super small when not in use and is so light, you’ll be able to fill your baggage allowance with souvenirs instead! | $35 and up

A Morbid Tale Camp Pillows Kids love having something to take with them to camp (or when travelling on the plane!), so we love these Toronto-made pillowcases with awesome camping themes. Campfires, deer antlers, lanterns and more are silkscreened by hand, and you’ll love the selection of stylish yet whimsical patterns that will look great at home too. | $14


Vionic Shoes When travelling, comfort and style don’t always go hand in hand, but thankfully, Vionic makes light and portable orthopedically supportive flats, boots, and sandals to make long walks of sightseeing a breeze at any destination. Tons of colours and styles to choose from with arch support and orthotic insoles, and easy to fit into luggage! | $85 and up

Big Bosco Luggage Tags These luggage tags and passport holders are all made from fine leather right here in Port Coquitlam. Each item is personalized with the owner’s initials, meaning your bags won’t be confused amongst others on the luggage carousel. There are tons of patterns and colours to choose from, even Minions for the kids! $20 and up

March/April 2016


camp memories Returning from sleepaway camp, kids often feel a tinge of sadness having left all the fun and activity, not to mention the new friends they made. Here are some easy ways to keep the memories alive! by Kelly S. Thompson

Teddy Bear Turned “Yearbook” Have your child bring a plain, smooth-fabric stuffed animal to camp, or have your child’s favourite stuffie sport a stylish white tee! Then with a permanent marker, your little one can have friends etch signatures, jokes and pictures that are forever treasured.

Photobook No matter what device your child has used to capture memories, go “old-fashioned” by printing out some photos to paste into a book, complete with journal entries to capture each moment in time.

Power Stick Those of us who attended camp know that most of the fun is had in the woods! Have your child pick a branch from the woods (which has already fallen to the ground… no damaging trees please!) and help them carve the camp name and date into the stick. Your child can then decorate with paint, feathers, stickers and more.

Website Kids are all about technology, so teach them to use that technology with creativity. With a little help and parental controls, kids can have fun making their very own website or blog to pay tribute to their experience at camp, while friends can comment and share their stories too.


Paint It! Have your child imagine their favourite part of camp, then grab some paints, a cheap canvas and set to work! Let their imaginations run wild as they depict nights roasting s’mores and swimming in the local lake.

Make a T-Shirt The possibilities are endless! Take a trip to the craft store for supplies and set to work with crystals, fabric paint, dye and more. Then let your child write on the back with their favourite camp memory or the date and location.


Scrapbook There’s nothing better than a good ol’ scrapbook! Let your child pick stickers, photos, labels and paper to make their very own collection of camping memories that also encompasses their artistic talents.


camp guide

Check out all the amazing sleepaway camps in this issue and online at

March/April 2016


2016 camp guide




travel &adventure guide


Display until December 2016

tips, resources, and valuable information for local and international family travel and fun!

Brought to you by Featuring tips and recommendations from for your best family vacation


travel & adventure guide


travel &adventure guide


hether you like to stay close to home, explore the furthest corners of this amazing world, or somewhere in between... the 2016 Family Travel & Adventure Guide has great ideas for you. For the third year in a row, we’ve partnered with Claire Newell of Travel Best Bets right here in Vancouver. Together we’ve gathered the best ideas, resources, and valuable information for you, our reader, to plan your next great family adventure. The family vacation is where memories are made. And now it’s your turn to create those same experiences for your family. Whether it’s a long weekend getaway or a month overseas, the 2016 Family Travel & Adventure Guide is a must-read for everyone. Check us out online too, for the full Family Travel & Adventure Guide, and live links to all of our features and advertisers.

on our cover... Dylan, 10, has his eye on adventure! Photographed by Dylan Doubt |

Publisher & Managing Editor For more information on Claire Newell and Travel Best Bets, go to

Inset: Claire Newell by Michelle Moore Publisher & Managing Editor, Andrea Vance Assistant Editor, Kelly S. Thompson Contributing Editor, Jodi Iverson Art Director & Layout, Krysta Furioso Administration, Jennifer Bruyns Accounts Receivable & Payable, Jennifer Brule Advertising,

4 8 12

Hidden Getaways Vacations in our own beautiful backyard Europe with the Whole Family Top European destinations Southern California Loving Surf, sand and relaxation

6 10 14

Travel to Hawaii Paradise on a low Canadian dollar Safety Overseas Travelling abroad in uncertain times Staying Healthy When Travelling Tips for staying well

travel & adventure guide



travel &adventure

hidden BC getaways vacations in our backyard

by Claire Newell of Travel Best Bets

When planning a vacation, we tend to think of the popular vacation spots. But the perfect trip might be where you least expect it, hidden under the radar, occasionally only known by locals. Sometimes the perfect getaway may be just a few hours drive from home, waiting for you to discover it. So when planning your next vacation, keep an eye out for these hidden gems located right here in our beautiful province. Radium Hot Springs

Galiano Island

If you and your family can’t decide between a relaxing getaway and one filled with outdoor activities, Radium Hot Springs may be just the place for you. This small village, located on the “warm side of the Canadian Rockies,” is big on photo by Pat Williams hospitality and old-fashioned charm. It has a ton of outdoor activities to entertain the whole family, including golf, biking, hiking, wildlife viewing, and horseback riding.

If a quiet family getaway is what you are looking for, don’t miss Galiano Island. This island is actually one of my favourite places to visit in the province, and since it’s only a short ferry ride from Tsawwassen, it’s an easy escape from everyday life. The 55-minute ferry takes you to Sturdies Bay on the southern tip of the island, where the tiny yet charming harbour village of Galiano awaits. The whole family can delight in exploring the village that’s full of charisma, shops, art galleries, and restaurants.

Of course, this town is most famous for its mineral hot spring pools. Make sure you allow time to relax in these gorgeous, natural thermal pools that are rejuvenating in every sense of the word.


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photo by Steve Voght

There are lots of outdoor activities including kayaking, fishing, swimming, and wildlife viewing, so don’t forget to bring some binoculars. Another fun activity for the family is beachcombing at Galiano’s 69 shore access points. And you can’t miss a visit to Bluffs Park for a panoramic view of Active Pass and the other Gulf Islands. Even though this tranquil island can be explored in a day, you might be tempted to stay the night. The Galiano Oceanfront Inn & Spa is a perfect place to relax after an activityfilled day. Relax and enjoy the beautiful sunsets in the comfort of your ocean view room.

Pemberton If you and your family are into outdoor sports, this place will not disappoint. Pemberton is one of those rare destinations with year-round outdoor recreation for all ages. It’s located an hour north of Whistler and is much less busy, especially during peak-season. Here you’ll find something to do any time of the year. From late spring to early fall you can enjoy everything from horseback riding, biking, hiking, camping, golfing, and rafting or perhaps skydiving, swimming, and even jet boating. During the colder months you can go skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and dogsledding among many other activities. What I find most unique about this destination is that it has more horses per capita than any other region in BC, so you can imagine there are lots of riding trails to be enjoyed. You can’t miss the guided horseback tours that are available for every level and will take you through the Pemberton Valley fields to enjoy the beautiful scenery. So, consider a visit to Pemberton to enjoy its year-round activities and perhaps you’ll find your inner cowboy (or girl) as you discover this unique town!

photo by Bill Wilson

photo by Steve Voght

Naramata If a lakefront getaway is what you’re looking for, consider a trip to Naramata in the beautiful Okanagan Valley. Located next to much busier Penticton, this tranquil community of just over 2,000 people is perfect for a relaxing beach vacation, and what I think is one of the most unique Okanagan destinations. In this small town there’s more to do than tour over twenty boutique wineries and vineyards, which is considered the main attraction of the area. There are many activities in Naramata that are great for kids, making it a fantastic location for multigenerational families. Naramata has lovely sandy beaches, stunning wine touring, and a popular lavender farm. But there’s also a chance to swim the waters of the Okanagan Lake and have a picnic on the beach, visit the many farms and orchards and local galleries, or better yet, see the work of the artists in their own studios. Or active families might enjoy hiking or mountain biking along the trails that surround the town. When visiting, don’t miss driving along Naramata’s many tree-shaded streets and take in the spectacular views of the lake that are especially stunning at sunset.

Savary Island Savary Island is a beach getaway paradise fit for those looking for an adventure. The island is a short water taxi ride from Lund, on the Sunshine Coast. It’s a bit difficult to get to if you are coming from Vancouver, but once you arrive, you’ll see why it’s worth the trip. Savary Island offers gleaming white sand beaches and stunning ocean and mountain views and most amazingly, due to the warm southern tide, its water is the warmest north of Mexico. Here you can get the family disconnected from their phones and electronics to truly spend quality time together, as the island itself does not have power and there’s no car service. The best way to travel within the island is by bicycle. Savary features several beaches where you can swim, kayak, water ski, or even scuba dive. When visiting, don’t miss South Beach, Duck Bay, Sutherland Beach, and the Malaspina Promenade. There are several B&Bs, cottage rentals, and a private campsite on the island. A good place to stay is the Savary Island Resort, as it offers modern luxury suites that are only steps from the beach.

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Keep Hawaii on Your Bucket List Visit paradise on a low Canadian dollar by Claire Newell of Travel Best Bets


awaii has long been a top destination for West Coast families looking to escape winter, thanks to its stunning beaches, sparkling blue water, kid-friendly activities, and short, non-stop flights. But when the dollar hit an 11-year low at the end of 2015, Canadian travellers started worrying they’d been priced out of vacationing in this popular oasis. The good news is they don’t need to hang up their leis just yet. Canadians inject more than $1 billion per year into the state’s economy. Resorts and airlines want to attract Canadian tourists, so they’re offering some great deals to close the currency gap. Even with the waning loonie, Hawaii is still doable on a budget.

Fly Flying a family of four or more people internationally can be a pricey concept. That’s why it’s important to research all options before choosing a flight or accommodation. WestJet and Air Canada partner with resorts to offer some amazing packages. You might not always get to stay in your “first choice” hotel, but these deals can help families shave well over $1,000 off the total cost of a Hawaiian vacation.


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Stay When travelling to Hawaii with children, it’s a good idea to book a condo or hotel suite with a kitchenette. Eating out on any of the islands is expensive, even when the exchange rate is decent. Condos also tend to give families more space than hotel rooms.

When searching for a condo, use a reputable website and do your homework. VRBO, Vacation Rentals By Owners, is a great option and includes reviews. After more than two decades in the travel industry, I avoid Craigslist after hearing horror stories: the building doesn’t exist, the person who posted the ad doesn’t own the condo, or no one showed up with the keys. Nothing will spoil your

getaway more than having to book an expensive week’s worth of hotel accommodations the day you arrive. Always check references!

Play When it comes to choosing an island, Oahu, Maui, Hawaii Island, and Kauai are all family-friendly options. Molokai and Lanai are also beautiful, boasting unspoiled beaches and natural beauty geared more to adults. Families need a selection of activities for all ages and each island delivers in unique ways. Pick your island based on the experience you want and not solely on budget, because each has a range. Oahu’s famous Waik ik i neighbourhood guarantees an action-packed vacation with resorts, shopping malls, restaurants, and more. It’s home to the Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki aquarium, which both kids and adults can enjoy. There’s even more to see under Waikiki’s waters. Visitors looking for an adventure can hop on an Atlantis submarine and check out reefs, sea creatures, sunken airplanes, and shipwrecks. If you don’t like beach crowds, try to visit during the off-season: mid-April to mid-June and September to mid-December. Maui caters to tourists, so there is no shortage of

things to do. Known for its stunning beaches, the Valley Isle offers some amazing chances to enjoy nature for very little money. The Seven Sacred Pools, or the Pools at Oheo Gulch, are located 15 minutes outside Hana. Families can take a dip in majestic pools surrounded by lush trees and bamboo for only $10 USD per vehicle. Hawaii’s Nature Center and the Maui Ocean Center are also great places for little ones to learn about the state’s natural environment. Of course, snorkeling, surfing, shopping, dining, and beach days are also part of any Maui vacation. Make sure to go to the Old Lahaina Luau, a must-do for families looking to experience a traditional luau that’s worth the splurge.

Kalalau Trail offers the most spectacular scenery on Kauai. It’s an 18-kilometre hike that starts at Ke’e Beach and crosses five different valleys. The reward at the end is a swim at the secluded Kalalau Beach. This trail isn’t for youngsters, but it’s a great option for families travelling with teenagers.

Hawaii Island, or the Big Island, is more than double the size of all the other islands combined. For this reason, many activities involve taking day trips. Families can visit Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and walk through a 500-year-old lava tube. Visitors can swim with manta rays, ride horses, hike to 442-foot tall Akaka Falls, or have a low-key day lounging on the white sand at Kauna’oa Beach.

No one wants to cook every meal while on vacation, but eating out doesn’t have to break the bank. Venture outside your resort for cheaper prices and don’t forget that coupons are big in the US, so shop around with the help of the Internet.

Kauai is a lush, green paradise and the most relaxed and rugged of the top four islands. It gives families the chance to lounge on beaches, hike, and explore beautiful gardens together. The

Dine There are many ways to save money on food while vacationing in Hawaii. The first big one is to book accommodations with a kitchen or, at a bare minimum, a mini fridge. Head to the nearest grocery store for easy meals and snacks.

The dollar shouldn’t stop you from vacationing in Hawaii. Families can still have an enjoyable getaway in this tropical paradise without spending all their savings. Start researching early to take advantage of deals and the whole family will be saying “aloha” in no time.

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travel &adventure

head to europe with the whole family top european destinations By Claire Newell of Travel Best Bets

A lot of parents think Europe is off-limits for family vacations, reasoning that children can’t possibly appreciate the history, art, and cuisine that the continent has to offer. Wandering around a city for hours, meandering from art gallery to art gallery, and having late, romantic dinners might be off the itinerary, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend every day at a water park or eat all meals at McDonald’s. Europe offers a great balance of fun for adults and children. Check out three of my top locations for family European vacations. Prague

photo by Roman Boed

The Czech Republic’s capital is nestled in the heart of Europe. Prague’s magnificent architecture, picturesque streets, and Vltava River make every neighbourhood look like a painting. Winter is a beautiful time of year in the “city of a thousand spires,” a nickname garnered from the ornaments that adorn the gothic and neoclassical rooftops.

Prague Castle - This UNESCO World Heritage site is the perfect place to go exploring. At more than 70,000 metres squared, it’s one of the largest castle complexes in the world. I suggest the shorter tour option for families, as a visit to Prague Castle involves a lot of walking, which might prove too much for little feet. In the summer months, make sure to visit the gardens and deer moat. Kids will love running through the moat’s enclosed tunnel.


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Old Town Square - The 600-year-old Astronomical Clock in Prague’s Old Town Square leaves everyone enamoured with its golden, shifting gadgets, as it puts on a show each hour that includes four evil characters, the 12 apostles and a live trumpeter. Then head to a café for a snack and soak up the eclectic show of musicians, vendors, dancers, and colourful buildings in the square. You can also visit nearby St. Nicholas Church, Rococo Kinsky Palace and the Gothic Tyn Cathedral. Some say Gothic Tyn was Walt Disney’s inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle! Charles Bridge - To spend some time near the beautiful Vltava River, head to Charles Bridge. This Gothic sandstone masterpiece is more than 600 years old and connects Prague’s Old Town and Lesser Town. Kids love peering up at the 30 baroque statues adorning the bridge. But the real highlight involves racing up the two towers at either end for a bird’s-eye view of the city. Kid-Friendly Favourites - Prague is also famous for its marionette shows. Make sure to let your children pick out marionette souvenirs, which come in countless characters. The city is also home to a planetarium, the largest waterpark in central Europe, and a zoo.

Dublin Internationally, Ireland might be best known for pubs and beer, but it’s also a top family vacation destination. Live music, spectacular views, welcoming locals, and endless kid-friendly activities make the country’s capital an ideal place to start an Irish adventure.

photo by Moyen Brebn

Barcelona Barcelona is a vibrant and playful Spanish city. This Mediterranean oasis boasts kilometres of sandy beaches and emerald blue waters that tourists can enjoy between March and October. An amusement park and aquarium are also great options for families wanting to divide their days between discovering the city’s rich history and participating in more kid-focused activities. Park Güell - A UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Gaudi’s well known works of art, Park Güell will leave you feeling like you stepped through the looking glass into Wonderland. The park is located high above the city and offers spectacular views. Wandering around Gaudi’s mosaic walls, animated buildings and winding roads gives families the perfect break from the bustle combined with spectacular sunsets. Make sure the kids get to visit with El Drac (the dragon). Las Ramblas - You can’t leave Barcelona without taking a stroll down Las Ramblas. Your kids won’t know where to look as you pass by artists, buskers, mimes, and vendors. Canopied with lush trees in the summer, Las Ramblas is a beautiful place for a stroll and a great way to watch Catalan daily life in action. Take the kids to Mercat Rambla de Sant Josep/La Boqueria market for fruit, veggies, flowers, and sweets. Transbordador Aeri del Port (Port Cable Car) - A ride on the Port cable car is the best way to see Barcelona, but it’s not for travellers who are afraid of heights. The route is just over 1,000 metres long and cars soar to over 600 metres high. This experience will make your kids feel like they’re flying in Willy Wonka’s glass elevator. L’Aquarium Barcelona - Stroll beneath the sharks in an 80-metre-long underwater tunnel. Barcelona’s aquarium has a large oceanarium, 11,000 animals and 450 different species, making it the perfect place to explore Mediterranean sea life. If you’re travelling with younger children, spend some time at the Explora! space. Kids can play interactive games to learn about nature.

Imaginosity - If you’re visiting Dublin with kids under the age of nine, this museum is a must. Your little ones can spend hours in art workshops, experimenting in professor Squiggly’s Water Lab, visiting the village market, and pretending to work at a diner, butcher, or post office. Or they can play with puppets, practice math, try on costumes, and participate in role-play. Viking Splash Tour - See the sights by land and water on this thrilling tour of Dublin. Kids love hopping aboard an amphibious vehicle and parents enjoy the fact that they can fit some Irish history into the trip while keeping their little ones entertained. The tour stops at Trinity College, Christ Church Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Viking Dublin, Medieval Dublin, Georgian Dublin, Government buildings, the Dublin Docklands and much more. Tours run rain or shine, but stop for a short period between mid-December and February. Phoenix Park - At 1752 acres, this park is one of the largest in a European capital city. If you’re visiting Dublin in the summer, pack a picnic and spend some time wandering around the Victorian People’s Flower Gardens. There are many beautiful ornamental lakes and flowerbeds. The park also has a children’s playground, allowing parents to take in idyllic scenery while their children blow off some energy. Other park highlights include a prehistoric burial chamber, the Wellington Testimonial, the Papal Cross, and the Phoenix Monument. Castle Stay - Ireland has tens of thousands of castles that children love to explore and parents enjoy learning about. Visit Malahide Castle and Gardens, one of the oldest in Ireland. Or spend some time at Dublin Castle, located in the heart of the city. While these castles are only open for visiting, many others have been converted to hotels. You might not want to stay in a castle for your whole trip, as it can get pricy, but a few nights can be a treat! Clontarf Castle Hotel is located in Dublin and has a rich history that dates back to 1172. Kid-Friendly Favourites - Visit the Ark for concerts, performances and films. It’s one of Europe’s first cultural centres for children. Or spend an afternoon visiting with more than 400 different animals at the Dublin Zoo. It’s located in Phoenix Park, so you can combine a morning at the zoo with an afternoon stroll and picnic.

Kid-Friendly Favourites Barcelona has some great beaches, so if you’re visiting the city in the summer, a beach day with the family is a must-do. Barceloneta is the easiest beach to get to, as it is located in the city centre. It is also quite touristy and busy for this reason. Head to the Port Olympic area for more low-key beach day options. If your teens tire of touring around the city, take a break by spending a day at Tibidabo Amusement Park. travel & adventure guide



travel &adventure

safety overseas

Claire and family in


travelling abroad in uncertain times by Claire Newell of Travel Best Bets

Due to the terrorist attacks that took place in Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, France, and Mali towards the end of 2015, I’ve been asked to comment on the safety of travel more in the last few months than at any other time in my career. I’ve always wanted my kids to see Egypt’s pyramids, but would I take them to Cairo right now? No—for the same reason I wouldn’t fly my family to Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, or Yemen—I don’t want to endanger their lives. I would, however, bring my son and daughter on a trip to Paris. The Paris attacks, in particular, hit home for a lot of families who have visited the city. People are now asking, “If it can happen in Paris, is it safe to travel at all?” For me, travel isn’t just a job; it’s also a passion. While I would never take my family to a war zone, I believe people shouldn’t allow acts of terror to prevent them from seeing the world. I’m not afraid to go to Paris. In fact, I hope to visit the city while on vacation in Europe this summer. In reality, there are big and small risks when travelling, no matter where you go, so tourists shouldn’t avoid cities out of fear. They simply need to take precautions—before and during travel—to stay safe.

To Fly or Not to Fly When it comes to deciding whether it’s safe to travel to a particular destination, I use as my compass. The Canadian government issues four levels of travel advisories: exercise normal security precautions, exercise a high degree of caution, avoid non-essential travel and avoid all travel. If the government tells you not to go to a particular location, you should listen. Your life might depend on it. Fourteen countries currently fall under the “avoid all travel” category for reasons ranging from kidnapping and precarious security situations to armed conflict, political tensions, and terrorism. Those countries include Niger, the Central African Republic, Mali, South Sudan, Burundi, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Iran, Chad, Afghanistan, North Korea, Libya, and Syria. France and Turkey aren’t on the list, despite both countries experiencing terrorist attacks in the last year. The government does, however, recommend exercising a high degree of caution in both countries, due to an elevated terrorism threat. The decision to travel is ultimately up to the individual, but consider that while it might feel like attacks on western countries are on the rise, according

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to the 2015 Global Terrorism Index, 57 per cent of the world’s terrorist attacks occur in only five countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria.

Be Prepared Regardless of where I’m travelling, I take the same safety precautions to protect my family before we even head to the airport. I start by registering our travel plans with It’s a free service offered by Global Affairs Canada, which ensures the government knows where you are in the event of an emergency. The site also sends out alerts about potential dangers and is mobile friendly. On the subject of phones, if you’ve never purchased a roaming package for a trip before, I urge you to do so. Our family always travels with our smartphones because I load a lot of safety apps on their phones. EmergenSee is one of my go-to emergency apps. With the push of a button, it sends live video and GPS location data to professional monitoring centres that can contact first responders. Also, contrary to popular belief, 911 isn’t universal. Help Call connects travellers with emergency services in foreign countries. I.C.E allows you to save medical information and emergency contacts on your phone’s lock screen, so people can access it without your password. In addition to loading safety apps onto our phones, I always leave copies of our credit cards, passports, and itineraries with at least two family members back home. I also keep a mini first aid kit in my purse and a bigger kit in my suitcase. And I talk to my kids about what we can and can’t do in certain countries. For instance, given the attacks in Paris, we might not go to sports events and concerts or other crowded areas that could be targets. There is absolutely no reason to avoid travel because of the recent terrorist attacks. Visiting other countries is a great way to teach your children about the world. Be an educated traveller. Know the risks and take necessary precautions to stay safe. And remember, just because a country is off limits today, doesn’t mean it will always be off limits. I still hope to one day take my kids to Egypt, but for now I’m happy to help them explore the more than 170 countries that are safe to visit.

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travel &adventure

Southern California Loving Surf, sand, and relaxation By Claire Newell of Travel Best Bets


ith average high temperatures rarely dipping below 25 degrees, and less than 50 centimeters of rain throughout the year, the Southern California region is an ideally situated, sunny destination for all ages.

While fewer Canadians are travelling to the US given the sad state of our dollar, demand is still high for SoCal. That’s not a surprise, given that flights to most major cities in the area are less than three hours from YVR; a major plus for families with young children. If you think Disneyland is the only attraction that’s going to keep the kids entertained in the Golden State, think again. Along its stunning coastline, and further inland, there are some fantastic destinations for everyone. Whether you want to relax on a sandy beach, have a family adventure in the great outdoors, or enjoy a meal at a delicious restaurant, Southern California truly does have something for everyone. Three of my favourite cities to visit are Santa Barbara, Newport Beach’s Balboa Island, and of course, Palm Springs; a destination well known for its spas, golf courses, restaurants and shopping, but often overlooked for family getaways.

Santa Barbara: “The American Riviera®” Located on the central California coast, just 145 kilometres from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, the photo by Damian Gadal seaside city of Santa Barbara touts itself as The American Riviera®, and for good reason. Whether you’re looking for a single day of fun or want to fill up an entire week with family-friendly activities, the options abound with a backdrop of pristine beaches, stunning landscapes, and a vast array of outdoor adventure possibilities. Things To Do: • Grab your sunscreen and some snacks and head out to any one of Santa Barbara’s family-friendly beaches, where the adults can sit back and relax while the young ones explore the tide pools. Kid-friendly beaches to try: Miramar Beach, Butterfly Beach, Carpinteria State Beach. • Venture to the Santa Barbara Zoo. With more than 700 resident animals to visit, no one will be bored. Pack a lunch and picnic at one of several open areas, or head over to the Ridley Tree House Restaurant for some familyfriendly menu options. • Chase Palm Park offers four hectares of waterfront adventure. Take a spin on the historic carousel or burn off some steam at the Shipwreck Playground. Places To Stay • Bacara Resort & Spa • Infinity pools and private beach access • Nature trails • Pet-friendly • Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara • Spacious rooms • Great outdoor pool and wading pool • S’mores night

12 travel & adventure guide

• The Fess Parker – A Doubletree by Hilton Resort • Located right across from the beach • Fresh baked cookies at check in and buffet breakfast included • Bicycles for rent • Kids sailing programs, movie nights, arts and crafts Where to Eat • Backyard Bowls Healthy and delicious breakfast bowls filled with local ingredients to keep you energized throughout the day. • Longboard’s Grill Right on the water at Santa Barbara’s famous Stearns Wharf, watch the waves from this surf-themed restaurant while you chose from casual dining lunch items, including fish & chips, gourmet burgers and more. www. • Padaro Beach Grill Enjoy indoor or outdoor picnic-style eating and a sandpit for the kids. Classic menu items include a range of seafood tacos.

Newport Beach: Balboa Island

photo by Ken Lund

Located near Disneyland, and a 15-minute drive from Orange County’s John Wayne airport, Balboa Island is a quaint destination filled with family-friendly fun. The manmade island is just half a square kilometre but jam-packed with activities. While Balboa Island is accessible by car via a two-lane bridge, start your trip with a ferry ride to the island from Balboa Peninsula. Things To Do: • Have some fun on the water when you rent a paddleboard or kayak from Balboa Surf & Style. • Take a ferry ride across the harbour to Balboa Pier and dock at Balboa Village, home to the Balboa Fun Zone, including a Ferris wheel, arcades, and the ExplorOcean nautical museum for kids. Places To Stay There are no major hotels on Balboa Island, but you can check out VRBO for your pick of several multimillion-dollar cottages available for rent, or find plenty of accommodations throughout Newport Beach. • Hyatt Regency Newport Beach • Two kilometres from Balboa Island • Close to Fashion Island • Three pools, waterslide • Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas • Seven kilometres from Balboa Island • Spacious, oceanfront property • Private balconies

Where to Eat • Wilma’s Patio Fresh and homemade menu items. A family-owned restaurant where you’ll find hearty options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. • Dad’s Donut & Bakery Shop Satisfy your sweet tooth at this Balboa Island destination that’s been a staple since the mid-1940s.

Palm Springs Palm Springs lends itself to a fun getaway for all ages. Just a two-hour drive from international airports in Los Angeles and San Diego, the city is full of desert adventures. Things To Do:

photo by Don Graham

• Wet ‘n’ Wild waterpark opens its doors in time for most spring break vacations in March, so you can soak, surf, and slide to beat the desert heat. • The Living Desert is a zoo and botanical garden spread over nearly 500 hectares and featuring the popular Zoorassic Park, a live and interactive show with dinosaurs standing over three metres tall! • Hop aboard the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the world’s largest rotating tramcar, taking you on a 10-minute ride up the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon to an elevation of 2,600 metres. Places To Stay • Marriott’s Desert Spring Villas I • Kids activity centre and teen lounge • Seven pools, championship golf course • Suites with full kitchens • Hyatt Grand Champions Resort, Villas & Spa • Camp Hyatt kids camp for children ages three through 12 • Plenty of onsite dining, including a poolside restaurant • Tennis pro lessons Where to Eat • Blue Coyote Bar & Grill Southwestern food in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, and a close distance to most major hotels. Features a special menu for kids 12 and under. • Kaiser Grille Casual upscale dining with lots of kid-friendly menu options. Located in downtown Palm Springs and featuring a large patio known for its entertaining people-watching. • Cheeky’s Palm Springs Serving up all-day breakfast Wednesday to Monday. The farm-to-table menu changes daily.

travel & adventure guide 13


travel &adventure


healthy when travelling

Travelling is full of excitement and fun, but there are some precautions that Travel Canada recommends before exploring a new country with your family, on top of the usual immunizations.*

by Kelly S. Thompson

US and Europe

Japan and China

Measles, Hep B, Influenza

Influenza, Hep B, Hep A, Measles, Japanese Encephalitis, Tick-borne Encephalitis, Polio

Caribbean Hep A, Hep B, Cholera, Measles, Influenza

Brazil and Chile

South Africa

Hep A, Hep B, Measles, Influenza, Rabies, Yellow Fever

Hep A, Hep B, Influenza, Measles, Rabies


travel tips

Insurance - This may go without saying, but even if visiting the US for the day, the whole family should have health insurance. Avoid wrecking a vacation with costly health bills!

Southeast Asia Japanese Encephalitis, Measles, Rabies, Influenza, Hep A and Hep B, Polio, Typhoid

First aid kit - When emergencies, or even bumps and bruises happen, finding supplies can be an immediate need. Take the guesswork out with a first aid kit that you keep close at hand. Bug Repellent - Considering the number of countries affected by malaria, and the rise in the Zika virus, ensure that your family is protected from potentially disease-carrying insects. Prevention is the best medicine, and saves you all those itchy bumps!

Over-the-Counter Medications - When in a foreign country, over-the-counter medications can be expensive and difficult to access. Pack acetaminophen, ibuprofen, anti-nausea tablets, anti-diarrhea pills, and Pepto-Bismol. Probiotics - The whole WCF team travels with probiotics, a natural defence against tummy troubles that can come with foreign travel. Just be sure to follow directions and buy a product that doesn’t require refrigeration.

*Above are the vaccines recommended by the Canadian government, but there are other vaccines that make for a more pleasant travelling experience. Dukoral is an oral vaccine that protects against E. coli and cholera 2 weeks before vacationing, while those travelling to malaria-infected countries will want to bring anti-malarial medications on the trip itself. The above information is advice only. Before travelling, be sure to check with your doctor to ensure you are receiving the necessary and recommended vaccines.

14 travel & adventure guide

travel & adventure guide 15

Because each family is unique, Transat designed the Family Collection to help you find the perfect vacation. Visit to choose the resort that’s right for you.


Kid-free Events for Mom & Dad!

Kids Swap Meet Cloverdale Fairgrounds March 19, 9am-12:30pm Everything from baby equipment, clothing, games, books to kids toys and so much more. Or rent a table and sell your gently used/new kids items and make yourself a profit! 604.533.1970

Fraser Valley Women’s Expo Chilliwack Heritage Park March 4-6 Highlights of this event include over 200 exhibits, free samples, exciting entertainment, free makeovers, fashion shows, informative workshops, cooking theatre demos, food and wine sampling, career and business resources, decorating and travel ideas, entertainment, health and wellness advice, fantastic prizes, and much more.

Springtime Market Oddfellows Market, Ladner March 26, 11am -5pm See artisans, makers, creatives and vintage collectors all under one roof, as well as a food trucks! There will be door prizes as well. Admission is by donation and kids are free.

International Women’s Day Hycroft, Vancouver March 8, 6-8pm The University Women’s Club of Vancouver is hosting a panel discussion titled “Refugee women-living the story: Information, insights, and inspiration.”

Reclaiming Hope Various venues throughout Vancouver March 12-27, 7:30pm Twelve Theatrical Events to engage communities in identifying and transforming the narrative of fear that permeates our culture. These events will be held at various venues across Metro Vancouver.

Vancouver Gem, Mineral, Fossil and Jewellery Show Pacific National Exhibition Forum March 11-13, various times Unique gems, fine minerals, rare fossils, handmade jewellery, fancy beads and more! Come shop and mingle.

Block Watch Training Session 6355 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby March 31 The Burnaby RCMP Crime Prevention Unit is offering a training session for members of the public interested in becoming captains or cocaptains. Learn about home security, crime prevention, and tips and tricks to recognize suspicious activity. Please pre-register. 604.294.7859

Retail Therapy Boutique & Wine Tour Vanilla Clothing, Langley March 12, 11:30am-6pm Join in for an afternoon of sipping and shopping! $55 tickets include brunch, transportation, samples, tastings, VIP Shopping, discounts with wine tastings/education to complete the day!

Fraser Valley Food Show & Gluten Free Living Show Tradex Exhibition Centre, Abbotsford April 1-3, various times The Fraser Valley Food Show is showcasing the magic of food and cooking. Fraser Valley Food Truck Festival Various locations throughout the Fraser Valley April 2, 9, 16 & 23 Food trucks, artisan markets, live music and more! Admission is free. 2016 Time Traveler’s Bazaar Heritage Hall, Vancouver April 16, 10:30am-5pm Vancouver’s first and only market dedicated to eclectic fashion, vintage clothing lovers, and costumers. Admission is $2 and free under age 14. 14th Annual Early Years Festival Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, Surrey April 16, 10am-3pm All parents, caregivers and children 0-6 years of age are invited to attend this free event. Take part in interactive games, arts and crafts, face painting, and a bouncy castle!

KidSport Delta: Gift of Sport Fundraising Dinner Tsawwassen Springs Ballroom, 5133 Spring Blvd, Tsawwassen April 30 Keynote speaker, Mitch Berger, NFL Alumni & analyst, and SuperBowl champ. Dinner, live entertainment, auction, and more. Supporting KidSport Delta, a nonprofit, volunteer group helping kids in financial need gain access to sport and physical activity. Tickets $125. | 604-889-1060






30 OT FH A P RI L 20 16













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KidSport™ is a non-profit organization that is part of a national and provincial network of community based volunteer groups whose goal is to ensure that kids in financial need have access to the positive experience of







March/April 2016 13

camp 2016

•••••••••••••••••••••••• Advertisers listed in red

sports camps Aspengrove Equestrian Academy


Horses and adventure

Treeline Summer Camps


Ski snowboard camp

Island Escapades

Salt Spring Island

Kayaking, surfing, outdoor sports

SLS Summer Rugby Academy

Shawnigan Lake

Rugby skills

Timberline Ranch

Maple Ridge

Horses and adventure

Webbs Holiday Acres


Horses and adventure

specialized camps BC Family French Camp

Salmon Arm, Chetwynd, Nanaimo

For French immersion students & their families

Camp Goodtimes

Vancouver & Maple Ridge

Children with cancer & their families

Easter Seal Camps

Shawnigan, Winfield, Squamish

Physical or mental disabilities

Eureka Camp Society

Gibsons & Lone Butte

Invisible disabilities

Tamwood Camp

Whistler & Vancouver

ESL & outdoor adventure


Cowichan Lake

Leadership for teenagers

Venture Academy Summer Program


Troubled teens

Zajac Ranch


Life threatening or chronic illnesses

outdoor adventure camps Camp Grafton

Shuswap Lake

Outdoor adventure, leadership

Camp Jubilee

Indian Arm, Mt Seymour

Sports and outdoor adventure

Camp Potlatch - Boys and Girls Club

Howe Sound

Outdoor adventure

Camp Pringle

Shawnigan Lake

Outdoor adventure, leadership, theatre, science

Camp Squeah

Fraser Canyon

Outdoor education

Camp Summit


Outdoor adventure and education

Camp Thunderbird - YMCA


Outdoor adventure, science, French

Evans Lake Summer Camp


Forest education, adventure, leadership

Fireside Adventures

Multiple locations, BC

Outdoor skills training and leadership development


Gambier Island

Outdoor adventure, family camp


Port Moody

Outdoor adventure, leadership, education

Strathcona WYLD Camp

Strathcona Provincial Park

Wilderness youth leadership, education

YMCA Camps

Gibsons & Kamloops

Outdoor adventure


guide listings

• part 1: sleepaway camps religious camps Camp Bow-Isle

Bowen Island

Christian Science, outdoor adventure

Camp Douglas

Roberts Creek, Sunshine Coast

Christian, outdoor adventure

Camp Fircom

Gambier Island

United Church, kids & family camp

Camp Firwood (Bellingham)

Bellingham, WA

Outdoor adventure, Watersports, Bible camp

Camp Hatikvah

Lake Country

Jewish, outdoor adventure

Camp Homewood

Quadra Island

Christian, outdoor adventure

Camp Imadene

Mesachie Lake, Vancouver Island Christian, outdoor adventure

Camp Luther


Christian, fun adventure

Camp Mackenzie

Mabel Lake

United Church, outdoor adventure, family camp

Camp Miriam

Gabriola Island

Jewish, outdoor adventure

Camp Qwanoes


Christian, sports & outdoor adventure

Camp Tulahead


Christian, outdoor adventure

Gardom Lake


Christian, outdoor adventure

Green Bay Bible Camp

West Kelowna

Baptist, outdoor adventure, family camps



Christian, leadership, family and kids camps

Keats Camps

Keats Island

Christian, outdoor adventure, leadership

Camp Owaissi


Anglican, outdoor adventure

Pioneer Pacific Inter-Varsity Camps

Thetis Island

Christian, outdoor adventure

Salvation Army Camp Sunrise


Christian, outdoor adventure

Stillwood Camp

Lindell Beach

Christian, outdoor adventure, family camps

Sunnybrae Bible Camp

Shuswap Lake

Bible camp, outdoor adventure, family camps

arts & technology camps Camp Narnia

Nanoose Bay

Foster imaginations, sharing new experiences

Comox Valley Youth Music Centre


Musical theatre, instrumental, jazz and piano

Debate Camp Canada


Public speaking and debate

Digital Media Academy

UBC Campus

Empowering a generation of innovators

Film & Television School

Galiano Island

Hands-on media training

Guitar Workshop Plus


Music education

More online! Go to to see even more camps! Check back in the May|June issue of WCF for Part II of Camp Guide: Day Camps! We’ve done our best to ensure the information shown here is accurate, but it is always a good idea to check with each camp to confirm

March/April 2016 15

Cowboys and Angels Spring Break Camps Children will enjoy painting a ceramic piece each day at Cowboys & Angels spring break camps! Campers will paint four pieces over the week, allowing them to get as creative as they like to be. They will also take part in arts and crafts projects, play games, and a snack break is included too!



by Jodi Iverson

Spring is in the air and the kids are on the loose! Looking for some fun local ways to occupy your time? Look no further. We’ve compiled some fantastic options for spring break fun for the whole family.

Burnaby Village Museum’s Heritage Adventure Camps Burnaby Village is a place where “History Comes to Life” for campers aged six to nine years old. The weeklong day camps are full of heritage games, arts and crafts, vintage toys, carousel rides and more. History and fun collide to make an educational and unforgettable visit!

Spring Break Camps at Vancouver Phoenix Gymnastics Join Vancouver Phoenix Gymnastics for two weeks of half day and full day camps, which include gymnastics skills building and various themed activities. They offer camps for all ages ranging from three years to 14 years old. Before and after camp care available too!

Rhythm Gym Lots of fun, tumbling and tossing happens at Rhythm Gym, so it’s the perfect place to spend March Break! Spring break camp timings are sectioned according to age, so kids will get out their jumping beans out with a similar age group. With prices between $45-$55 dollars a day, or a longer 4-day camp, it can’t be beat!

Kidtropolis The new kid on the block! Kidtropolis offers almost 18,000 square feet of fun where kids and their adults can immerse themselves in a model city and use their imagination to become doctors, teachers, firefighters…or whoever they want to be. Drop in anytime and let your imagination guide you!

Kay Meek Centre Singer Songwriter Intensive Have a budding Ed Sheeran or Taylor Swift in your house? Check out this two- day intensive for teens 13-18. Students will have the chance to build an original song from the ground up. The class will collaborate on technical and creative elements including song writing, composition, and performance.

Place Des Arts

There’s nothing more interesting than learning about where our food comes from, and that’s exactly what kids will do during spring break camp at the EcoDairy. Broken into two different weeks, these camps are scientific, agricultural and above all, a blast! Crafts, exploration and more for the whole family.

Located just 15 minutes from Vancouver and just off the highway, Place des Arts is a treasure for parents looking for quality arts camps for their kids over spring break! This awesome art education hot spot offers a multitude of choices for all ages including music, dance, drama, visual art, and creative writing, sure to inspire your little artist!



Spring Break at the Cannery Visit the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site in Steveston during spring break for activities, crafts, and games for kids of all ages! Open daily from 10am to 5pm, families can drop in any time to enjoy the many hands-on exhibits about Canada’s west coast fishing history. Pick up an activity booklet to collect stamps while completing a fishy-fun scavenger hunt!

Watermania Looking to make a splash this spring break? Watermania has you covered. Located in the Riverport Sports and Entertainment Complex in Richmond, Watermania is home to two waterslides, a wave pool with interactive seahorse play feature, diving boards, whirlpools and more! Family change rooms and admission rates are available.

POMO Arts Spring Break Camps Spend your spring break full of ART! Pottery, papier-mâché, acrylic painting, sketch comedy, theatre and sewing –they have something for all kids! Offering half day and full day camps with after camp care available.

Headed to Victoria this Spring Break? BC Parliament Did you know families are welcome to visit their BC Parliament buildings? These stunning buildings are located in the traditional territories of the Lekwungen people and face the beautiful inner harbour. While you’re there take a free, guided tour, observe debates, learn about the legislature and enjoy the stunning architecture. There is also a Parliamentary Dining Room where you can enjoy a meal or pick up a gourmet lunch bag and have a picnic on the lawns!

Royal BC Museum The Royal BC Museum is the perfect place to explore for visitors of all ages. Enjoy the current exhibitions including visitor favourite, Wildlife Photographer of the Year, showcasing 100 of the most stunning wildlife photos from 2015. Also on display is John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce! Don’t forget the permanent galleries as well, which include natural history galleries, BC archives, first people’s galleries and more!

March 2015 March/April 2016 2014 17

wcf news March is Nutrition Month, but it’s also a time to focus on healthy living as a whole! On March 6th, the Healthy Family Expo returns to the Vancouver Convention Centre to educate and entertain Lower Mainland families with kids aged 0 to 12 about small steps & simple solutions to healthier, more active, eco-friendly living. With 100+ exhibitors, lots of shopping and food sampling, $10,000 Grand Prize Showcase, and hybrid vehicle test-driving, parents will be occupied for hours. Best of all, you don’t have to leave the kids at home! The fun options are endless in the enormous Active Kid Zone, with a giant hamster ball track, rock climbing wall, fire truck bouncer, run bike and sport ball areas, animal safari with “Dozer” the giant tortoise, and Bobs & LoLo and Jessie Farrell concerts - all included in the price of admission! And WestCoast Families will be there too with a chance to have your child on the cover of our magazine! Don’t miss this fun-filled day designed with whole family wellness in mind!

>> Launch of “Boobs,” An Anthology

>> Life Delicious Urban Wellness Retreats

It’s no secret that our Assistant Editor, Kelly S. Thompson, loves to write. When she isn’t busy whipping up editorial for WestCoast Families, she is hard at work on essays, stories and other creative projects. Her work has paid off with her newest essay appearing in Caitlin Press’s Boobs: Women Discuss What it Means to Have Breasts. Don’t be put off by the title, as this collection of essays is touching and funny, with reflections from women on their femininity, strength, and children. You will read stories of breastfeeding, tales of loss after mastectomies, and resiliency through illness, all issues that women across the world can relate to. Caitlin Press is based in BC and proudly publishes books by British Columbians, and with famous contributors like Nancy Lee and Lorna Crozier, this is a must read. Edited by Ruth Daniell, a fellow graduate of UBC’s Creative Writing MFA program, Boobs is a book destined for many a bookshelf. Grab your copy at the launch on March 15th!

These days, figuring out how to live an authentic and healthy life can be a challenge. With all of us pulled in so many different directions, it can be hard to find the time for self-improvement and focus on our own health instead of that of our children. And there are so many facets of life that are open to stress and anxiety, from the food we cook to the jobs we manage to the ways in which stress impacts our lives. Thankfully, Catherine Roscoe Barr runs Life Delicious Urban Wellness Retreats at STRETCH Yoga Studio. Catherine is a wellness coach who believes in the power of meditation to transform life and reduce stress. Her programs assess several areas of life including fitness, mood, food, and emotions. Catherine runs her sessions in smaller, intimate groups for approximately three days, although she can run personal sessions for larger groups too. Retreats focus on stress management, mind and body connection and self-nurturing in all its various forms. Best of all, tasty meals are included! Check out upcoming dates through the next several months.

>> Healthy Family Expo


>> Dine Out and Make a Difference

>> Variety 50 Vans for 50 Families

There are so many worthy causes in the world that it can be a challenge to decide where to put your time and effort when it comes to donations and fundraising. Thankfully, Friends for Life and A Loving Spoonful have found a way for you to have your dinner and make a difference too! Mark the calendar for a tasty night out on March 10th so that you can contribute to the 22nd Annual Dining Out For Life event, which supports individuals and families living with HIV and AIDS, as well as other serious illnesses. All over the Lower Mainland, restaurants come together to offer 25 per cent of food sales profits to the Friends for Life and A Loving Spoonful campaigns. Partnering with these restaurants allows these charities to continue to provide the care and dedication to the community through their nutrition and meal counselling, therapies, massage, music therapy, yoga, and other amazing programs for those suffering through illness. Most importantly, these incredible organizations offer end-of-life care and meal delivery. There are over 100 restaurants participating and so far, more than $3 million dollars has been raised. Help make a difference the next time you dine.

For those who have disabilities, getting from point A to B can be a challenge due to lack of accessible transport. For families, buying an accessible vehicle is often cost prohibitive, with the upfront price of a car or van with the added expense of lifts or other adjustments to suit the necessary disability. Thankfully, Variety-The Children’s Charity, up ramping up their Major Gifts Campaign of 2016, in which they aim to provide 50 wheelchair accessible vans to 50 families, in coordination with their 50th anniversary. TO round out the theme of 50s, each vehicle conversion costs $50,000. Currently, Variety is able to contribute $7,500 towards a van conversion for BC-based families who have a child with a disability, with the remainder to be contributed from other sources. To make a splash with their fundraising efforts, on February 14th on Global TV, single mom Danielle was surprised on air with a brand new van to help transport her daughter, Tayler, and younger daughter. Tayler was born with Adams-Oliver Syndrome, Tetralogy of Fallot and she is visually impaired. Without a steady income due to her children’s needs, Danielle and her daughter’s lives will expand exponentially with their new vehicle! Donate and contribute today!

March/April 2016 19

community Free Weekend Workshops for Kids & Families ArtStarts, Vancouver and New Westminster Saturdays, 11am & 1pm ArtStarts is pleased to offer free, arts-based weekend workshops for kids and families. Join some of the best artists working with young people for 45-minute workshops that explore a wide range of cultures and artistic disciplines. Fire and Ice Show Base of the mountains in Whistler Village Sundays in March, 6:30pm Dress warm and enjoy this legendary, free outdoor show. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and prepare to be amazed by the live entertainment, including ski and snowboard big air displays, fire spinners, live DJs and fireworks display. Guaranteed fun for the entire family. Miniature Train Rides Burnaby Central Railway Ongoing until October 15, 11am-5pm, Sat/ Sun/Holidays See, hear and ride Miniature 1/8” scale trains. Ride the live steam, diesel and electric trains for family fun. Book your birthday parties and private functions and explore 3 km of track! | Festival du Bois Mackin Park, Coquitlam March 4-6 The Festival du Bois is a family event where you can learn more about BC French Canadian roots, participate in fun activities, indulge your taste buds with delicious cuisine and enjoy some world-class music.


Owl Hoot-enanny Campbell Valley Regional Park March 5, 12noon-3pm Celebrate owls by hooting along with live owls! Unique owl features are revealed at skull, bone, and feather displays, guided walks and crafts. Free family fun, rain or shine. 604.530.4983

Creative Stitches & Crafting Tradex, Abbotsford March 18, 9am-6pm & 19, 9am-5pm This show is Western Canada’s #1 sewing and crafting event, showcasing sewing, scrapbooking, quilting, knitting, and so much more, with handson classes, seminars and shows!

Healthy Family Expo 2016 March 6, 10am-5pm Vancouver Convention Centre East, Exhibit Hall B 3rd Annual Healthy Family Expo is back at the Vancouver Convention Centre. It’s a fun-filled day for Lower Mainland families with kids aged 0-12 offering small steps & simple solutions to healthy, active, eco-friendly living. For a limited time, 2-for-1 tickets available online using promo code WEST241.

Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve Family Nature Festival Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve, Chilliwack March 18 & 19, 10am-4pm Come and check out the nature activities, exploratory walks, touch table, observation station, info booths and crafts for families and kids of all ages. Admission is free.

Healthy Kids Preschool Fair Cameron Recreation Complex, Burnaby March 8, 9:30am-12noon Parents with preschoolers, come and take part in free activities at Cameron Community Centre for fantastic family fun! Exotic Reptile Show Richmond Nature Park March 12-13, 11am-4pm See or handle snakes, lizards, geckos and other scaly, cold-blooded creatures that are occasionally kept as pets, and then talk with people who care for them. This show is suitable for all ages. Admission by donation. 604.718.6188

Local Heroes Surrey Museum March 19, 1-4pm Celebrate local heroes, meet a real fire fighter, dress up like a police officer, and investigate the inside of an ambulance as you discover our local heroes. Admission is free. 604.592.6956 | Relaxed Performance of Go, Dog. Go! Carousel Theatre for Young People March 19 A performance for people with autism or sensory and communication disorders. By adjusting some light and sound effects, providing flexible seating, and being more accommodating to noise and movement from the audience, this makes for an accessible and relaxed performance. 604.669.3410

calendar Enchanted Forest Aldergrove Regional Park March 23, 10am-2pm Venture on a nature quest to look for sprites and leprechauns in the forests. Dress up and bring food to roast on the campfire. Allow one hour to complete all activities. 604.530.4983 |

Critter Capers: Case of the Wandering Egg Belcarra Regional Park March 28, 12noon-3pm A mysterious egg has been found rolling around Belcarra. Can you help find where it has been and to whom it belongs to? Allow one hour to complete all activities. Ages 4+. 604.432.6359

Watershed Creek Fish Release Watershed Park April 17 This annual event is a great way to get in touch with nature! Enjoy activities and crafts while releasing buckets of salmon fry into the creek to create a healthy fish future.

Easter Fair Surrey Museum March 26, 1-4pm Learn about the real Easter Bunny and friends as you visit with local rescue animals, from rabbits to dogs and cats to parrots. It’s not Easter without eggs! Hop around the museum galleries to spy the hidden Easter eggs then enjoy crafts and activities. Admission is free. 604.592.6956 |

MAMMA MIA! Queen Elizabeth Theatre March 29-April 3 Inspired by the storytelling magic of ABBA’s songs, from “Dancing Queen” and “S.O.S.” to “Money, Money, Money” and “Take a Chance on Me,” MAMMA MIA! is a celebration of mothers and daughters, old friends and new family found.

Timberline Ranch Family Festival Timberline Ranch, Maple Ridge April 23 Come and meet the 45 horses and numerous animals, enjoy a homestyle hamburger, watch the live “Western Show,” try out the Challenge Course, and see if you can win a prize in the golf-putting contest! Please pre-register online.

Easter at the Cannery Gulf of Georgia Cannery, Richmond March 26–27, 10am-5pm This event includes an Easter egg hunt, crafts, games and activities for little ones ages 2-12. All Easter hunt participants will receive a goody-bag of treats, plus a chance to explore the historical cannery.

Hummingbird Homecoming Richmond Nature Park April 17, 11am-3pm A naturalist will share amazing facts about these spectacular creatures, show you how to identify different species, and how to attract them to your garden. Admission is by donation and is suitable for all ages. 604.718.6188

Raffi in Concert Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver April 23, 2pm Raffi is a singer, songwriter, producer, author, lecturer, and tireless advocate for children. This concert is best suited for children old enough to talk, sing or clap along, as the live music experience is much louder and very different than hearing the recorded songs at home. 855.985.5000 |

Easter Fun Run & Walk Lumberman’s Arch, Stanley Park March 27, 1 & 2pm This holiday themed fun run offers a 5km Big Bunny Run/Walk at 2pm, as well as a 1km Little Bunny Run/Walk for kids at 1pm. With few inclines and paved trails, everyone is assured a beautiful and stress-free run or walk. The route is for all ages and abilities.

The Jungle Book The Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island April 17-May 1 Human Mowgli is raised by wolves deep in the Indian jungle. In this playful adaptation of the classic coming-of-age tale, The Jungle Book imagines a wilderness all our own atop monkey bars, under slides, and amidst the jungle of a neighborhood playground. Recommended ages 6+.

Goodbye Chums! Kanaka Creek Regional Park April 24 Help salmon by keeping their watersheds clean. Learn how through games and activities and then celebrate salmon by releasing fry to the wild. Admission is free. 604.530.4983

FOR MORE amazing Spring events, go to and check out our events calendar and listing pages. March/April 2016 21

last look Foamy Fun

by Jodi Iverson

three ingredient foam paint

Spring Break is upon us and the reality of living in the Lower Mainland is we will need some fun, indoor activities to keep the kids (and us!) amused on long rainy days. This is a simple and fun DIY that is suitable for kids of all ages.

materials • White Glue • Shaving Cream • Food Colouring • Ziploc bags • Cardstock or other heavy paper

make it! Step 1:

Mix equal amounts of shaving cream and glue into a Ziploc bag with a couple drops of food colouring

Step 2:

Let the kids knead the ingredients in the bag until thoroughly mixed

Step 3:

Cut a small corner of the Ziploc

Step 4:

Pipe your foam paint into any design you choose

Step 5:

Allow to dry/harden overnight

did you know? • The first form of shaving cream was created in the Middle East in 3000 BC. It was a mixture of wood alkali and animal fat. • The first evidence of glue is on cave paintings that are over 5,000 years old! • Artist PJ Linden creates fine art from puff paint that has been exhibited in high profile art galleries! 22

McCafé Rewards



Just peel the McCafé Rewards Card off your first cup. Then collect the stickers from your 7 hot beverages!

At participating McDonald’s® restaurants in Canada. See details in-restaurant and at ©2016 McDonald’s


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WestCoast Families Mar/Apr  

Sleep away camps, Spring Break Fun, and special insert, Travel and Adventure.

WestCoast Families Mar/Apr  

Sleep away camps, Spring Break Fun, and special insert, Travel and Adventure.