fun to do kids southern british columbia   Travel for Kids
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Southern British Columbia - Fraser Valley

kayaking harrison lake
The south central part of British Columbia (west of Vancouver to the Okanagan) is as diverse as you might expect from such a large area. It contains farm lands and mountains, lakes and streams, towns and villages. We've followed the route of towns between Vancouver and the Okanagan here.
  Abbotsford –
    Maan Berry Farms – June to Octber, "u-pick" strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and a corn maze, pumpkin path, farm animals and wagon rides.
    Birchwood Dairy – Kids will want to have an ice cream cone with ice cream made at right the dairy – there's lots of delicious flavors such as strawberry marble, candy cane, cookies and cream, raspberry ripple, plus other dairy products, cheese and yogurt.
      Bakerview Farm – At this demonstration dairy, kids can find out where milk comes from, meet the cows, check out the robotic milker.
      Petting zoo with sheep, calves, pigs and miniature ponies, goats on the roof. U-pick blackberries and blueberries in season.
      On-site market has a play area for kids and a deli with everything you need for a lunch (picnic tables are outside).
      Applebarn Pumpkin Farm – U-pick berries in summer, pick your own pumpkins and apples in fall, try fresh apple cider and pies, plus hayrides, pony rides, and petting barn with goats and bunnies.
chillwack sunflower festival
  Chilliwack The town of Chilliwack is about an hour east of Vancouver on Highway 1 and is the heart of farming country, with almost 1,000 farms. Plan on a stop to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, especially corn.
      River Rafting on the Chilliwack RiverFor more adventurous (and bigger kids). Check in town for guides and conditions, depending on the time of year, this may be more than small children can handle.
      The area around Chilliwack is home to the Sto:lo Nation and you can tour the Shxwt'a:selhawtxw House of Long Ago and Today Interpretive Centre. Sto:lo story tellers may tell you about the time long ago when animals and people spoke the same language, and be sure to check ahead for scheduled activities, when kids can learn Sto:lo crafts of weaving and carving.
      Check out the Farmers Market in downtown Chilliwack on Saturdays.

Cultus Lake Provincial Park is about 20 minutes from Chilliwack. The lake is clear and warm during the summer months. Go swimming, rent a boat or water skiis. There are also miles and miles of hiking trails all around the lake.

      Cultus Water Park is a big water slide park open during the warmer months – a great place to let the kids loose whether they're 5 or 15. There are "white water" rides and both big and small slides, etc. Directly across from the Water Park is a miniature golf and game center.
    Bridal Veil Falls
bridal veil falls
    Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park sits at the foot of Mount Cheam, just east of the Trans-Canada. The big nature draw here is Bridal Veil Falls, the 6th highest known waterfall in Canada.
      If you're ready for a real hike, follow the creek at the base of the Falls to the Cheam Lake Wetlands, a regional nature park, a big draw for birders.  
Harrison Hot SpringsJust what you'd expect from the name: a spa resort. This is a little off the beaten path heading west on the Trans Canada highway down the Number 9 highway.
      Harrison Lake
harrison lake
    On Harrison Lake you can swim, rent canoes and skim around the lake, fish for trout, have a picnic or pitch a tent in several campgrounds here. The park has both hiking trails and an interpretive trail that even little kids can manage. Picnic by the lake, walk along the promenade, get an ice cream cone.

Head for the Green Point picnic area on Harrison Lake and tell the kids to keep a sharp eye out for Sasquatch (Bigfoot). Truth is, you're more likely to see mountain goats.

      Tip: Harrison Lake is noted for First Nations Sasquatch storytelling and beliefs, and numerous sightings in the area. Sasquatch Days celebration has Sts’ailes song and dance, and canoe races.
    Sasquatch Provincial Park, about five minutes from town, has four beautiful lakes set in a forest circled by mountains. This is a great place to spend at least an afternoon, wandering through the forest.
Hell's Gate
hells gate airtram
    Hell's Gate Airtram – The big attraction here is to take the very dramatic ride in the gondola which goes soaring incredibly high above Fraser Canyon. Fisheries display includes several documentaries about the area fishing and gold mining history.
      If it's near meal time, have some fresh salmon at the restaurant or try different flavors at the Fudge Factory and then walk it off in the gardens.
manning provincial park
Manning Provincial ParkOver 66,000 hectares in the Cascade Mountains, beautiful rugged mountains covered in fir, cedar and pine, filled with alpine meadows, lakes and rivers. Manning Park is home to mule deer, coyote, squirrels, marmot, chipmunks and beavers
    If you really want a challenge, take a hike and follow the old settlers and gold miners footsteps on the  Dewdney, Whatcom and Hope Pass trails. You can also go camping or have a picnic at one of the four campgrounds in the park.
      In wintertime, try some Cascade Mountain cross-country skiing on the 50 miles of trails –or take on the downhill skiing slopes here. There's a local ski school that will set you up with equipment and a guide.  
      The Manning Park Resort itself is worth a stop any season of the year. Besides skiing and hiking, the resort hosts several summer events such as an annual bird count in June, a Canada Day (July 1) celebration, mid-July Parks Day festival with special guided hikes, and in early August there's a lights festival when you can learn to build your own floating lantern (then set it adrift with hundreds of others at sunset on Spruce Bay).
kids books british columbia
the search for sasquatch  

There are numerous Sasquatch (Bigfoot) sightings in the Harrison Lake area. Journalist Laura Krantz goes into the woods on the search for Bigfoot She interviews researchers and scientists, collects storytelling by Native Americans and eyewitness accounts (Sasquatch is stinky), bridging the gap between science and myth about this fascinating creature. Good for older kids. (Chapter book)

Tip: Go for a hike around Green Lake Point, or Sasquatch Provincial Park. In the woodland forest, even the trees look like mysterious creatures.


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