Vancouver with Kids: Biking in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC

Vancouver With Kids- Stanley Park Biking Helmet

Our visit to Vancouver with kids last summer was short and mixed in with business but it was one of the most memorable trip for the kids. Not only we took several mode of transportation ranging from boat, train, trolley and bus, we also got to bike around the popular Stanley Park in Vancouver.

Explore Stanley Park by Bicycle

 Vancouver With Kids- Stanley Park Biking View

Stanley park is a must visit for anyone who plan a trip to Vancouver. The park is well maintained with various activities for the whole family to enjoy and the view.. the view is breathtaking even with cloudy sky!

Great Bicycle Rental Shop with Ideal Location

Vancouver With Kids- Spokes Bicycle Rental

During this trip we had only a few hours to explore Stanley park, ideally I wish we could stay longer during our visit in Vancouver. So we decided to explore the park on a bike. We received complimentary passes from the conference I attended for Spokes Bicycle Rentals. Funny how thing worked out since that’s the company that I had been researching and planned to use them anyway.

Vancouver With Kids- Trail-A-Bike Stanley Park

Spokes store is located only a short walk from the entrance of Stanley park which makes it’s an ideal location. With kids, we didn’t want to have to walk with our bikes around the block. The shop has various types of bikes to fit various level of bikers. For our family, we opted for one child’s bike and one trail-a-bike. Mr. Z still hasn’t mastered his bike skill and we knew he would most likely give up on biking if he has to do it on his own.

Vancouver With Kids- Spokes Bike Rental Staff

The staff was very helpful in setting up our bike and made sure that it was the right size for each of us. The process didn’t take long and soon after we were ready to head out for a fun day except it was still raining. It was our last day in Vancouver and it was one of the activity that the kids had been looking forward to. We waited it out a bit and luckily the sky opened up and we were ready to roll.

Let’s GO!

Vancouver With Kids- Stanley Park Bike Trail

Biking in Stanley park is very popular and easy. With separate path just for bike and pedestrian, it was safe and easy to do with young kids. The path is clearly marked with the sign to show separate lane for bike versus pedestrians. We started off at the main entrance of Stanley Park and followed along the bike trail the curve around the shoreline providing us with amazing view as we look back to Vancouver skyline.

Kids Approved Points of Interest

Vancouver With Kids- Stanley Park Biking Totem Poles

There are several points of interest to stop along the way that will keep kids entertain for the whole bike trail. It would have taken us the whole day to stop at everything. But with limited time, we just had to skip some and save those for next visit. Not long after the entrance, we learned about First Nation History and the Totem Poles at Brockton Point Interpretive Centre.

Vancouver With Kids- Stanley Park Nine O'clock Gun

As we peddled leisurely along the Sea Wall bike route, we stopped to check out the Nine O’Clock Gun, the historical canon that still booms out message faithfully each night.

Vancouver With Kids- Stanley Park Bike Trail

The bike trail wraps around the shoreline that go around the whole park. It took us about an hour and a half to complete the whole loop. The path is clearly marked for bicycle, pedestrian and roller-blade traffic. Most of the path is easy even for kids. There are some sections that narrow but with caution there shouldn’t be any issues for any kids.

We also saw several playgrounds along the way. Even though we visited Vancouver in June, the day we went to Stanley Park was cool and cloudy so we didn’t try out the outdoor water fun at the Variety Kids Water Park.

In the end, we enjoyed our time in Stanley park and we would highly recommend exploring the park on a bike. It was fun and easy to do as a family.

Family Tips:

  • Dress properly with tennis shoes or non-slipper shoes.
  • Dress in layer as the weather in Vancouver can change frequently. An extra rain jacket came in handy for us.
  • Bring bottle of water. There are also a few concession stands and restroom along the way.
  • Remember to ask for the trail map from bicycle rental shops.
  • Enjoy!

A Look Back to Family Travel 2011

Although we are a few days into 2012, our recent family trip to Keystone resort is still fresh in our mind, the first ski experience on one of the best family ski resort in Colorado. So to keep up with our tradition, we have our review post looking back to our family travel last year. It was a fun year!

January: Snow in Atlanta

Atlanta Snow 2011 Snow Tubing

It’s not often or should I say NEVER that Atlanta metro area will get seven inches of snow in winter. So it was a real big treat for our kids to enjoy snow tubing (home-made style) at our own backyard. The snow storm in Atlanta shut down the whole city a whole week. For adults, the cabin fever started to set in but for kids it was like an unexpected winter break!

February: Indoor Water Park fun

Wilderness at the Smokies Tube Slides

We went up to Sevierville, Tennessee to help celebrate our friend’s birthday. An indoor water park at Wilderness in the Smokies is a great year round fun where kids (and adults) can enjoy swimming, sliding, surfing and more in the heated environment even in the middle of winter.

March: Mickey Memory with Disney Social Media Mom

Disney Grand Floridian Carriage

This month we drove down to our familiar vacation spot in Orlando to attend the Disney Social Media Mom 2011 where we learned, laughed and connected with bloggers. It was our first time staying at the Disney’s Grand Floridian Spa & Resort and it was an experience we won’t easily forget. Mr. Z also experienced a big kid ride and hooked on the roller coaster now!

April: Fun in Atlanta at Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium Atlanta

In Spring, we stayed close to home and enjoy local  attractions in Atlanta like the Grand opening of new Dolphin Tale show at the Georgia Aquarium, the beautiful day at Piedmont Park for the Dogwood Festival

May: Birthday Celebration at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney Animal Kingdom Expedition Everest With Kids

This year we took another trip down to Orlando to celebrate Mr. Rojo’s birthday at the Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. We hardly stayed at the Disney’s resorts previously because our family has a timeshare in Orlando but year 2011 we stayed in not just one but two property! And I have to say I understand why people keep going back year after year!

June: Summer fun in Seattle & Vancouver

Seattle With Kids - Waterfront

Our big summer trip this year was a two weeks trip to Seattle and Vancouver. It was a business/family trip combo. I attended TBEX 2011, the Travel bloggers conference, in Vancouver and we also enjoyed family vacation in Seattle.

July: Family Reunion in the Ozark & Side trip to St. Louis

St Louis with Kids Enjoy the Arch view

Our first family reunion was planned at the YMCA of the Ozark. It was wonderful for kids to meet and play with their cousins. We also took a little detour to visit St. Louis, MO. A fun day but not nearly enough to discover this gem in the Midwest.

August: Back to School

Summer time flew by when you had so much fun. Before we knew it, the kids were back in school. Yes, here in Atlanta we go back to school in August!

September: Myrtle Beach on Labor Day

Myrtle Beach with Kids: Kayaking with kids

Now, that kids are in school, we have to work around school holidays and take advantage of every holidays we can get. So we planned a short break during Labor Day weekend to visit Myrtle Beach. What a fun place for the whole family! We found that Myrtle Beach is not just a place for fun time at the beach or various family entertainments like MagiQuest but we could also enjoy nature like Kayak tour.

October: Fall Family Camping

In October, we had our first fall family camping trip with a group of our friends at Redtop Mountain Park. It was beautiful even though a bit too cold for this tropical girl. Kids, on the other hand, had no problem with the cold temperature at night when they had the whole park to explore. The water in the lake was too cold for anyone of us to dare going in. But we knew it will be a great place to camp again in the summer.

November: Legoland Florida

During the Thanksgiving break, we went to visit the recently opened Legoland Florida. Mr. Z was beyond happy to be able to ride in EVERY SINGLE ride at his height. Miss J loved being a big kid who could take her little brother on the ride without us. Ah!! A theme park where kids rule!

December: Ski & Snow at Keystone Ski Resort

Ski With Kid - Keystone Ski School near Denver

Our last but certainly not least family trip of the year was one of the memorable one for our whole family. It was their first time on ski and my first time learning to ski. One word, AMAZING trip! We certainly enjoyed our whole experience during our trip to Denver & Keystone. This will certainly be a place we would love to revisit again in the future.

Wow! I didn’t realize how much we have traveled this past year until I started this post. It certainly has been a blessing for us to be able to continue our love of travel and adventures. We are thankful for the opportunities we have been given and hope we will continue to be able to travel as a family in 2012. Here to more travel in 2012!

The VW Canuck in Vancouver

Vancouver with Kids - VW Canuck Kiss

Hello. Mr. Rojo here.  I don’t usually do the writing but I thought I would pick this one up because of the sports twist to it and that a new NHL Hockey season is upon us.  We were fortunate that we took a trip last year to Vancouver during the Stanley Cup finals and experienced the passion of the city first hand.  Yes.. I know that that image got tarnished after the completion of the Stanley Cup finals.  So I thought to help bring back a good memory of that period of time with some shots we took.

Vancouver with Kids - VW Canuck Picture

While walking the Vancouver city streets one day, we ran into this curious looking VW Beetle parked on one of the streets intersecting Robson St.  From far away it looked like a piece of junk with more junk glued to it.  After closer inspection, we found it was an interesting tribute to Canada with a Vancouver Canuck hockey team twist to it.

Vancouver with Kids - VW Canuck

Miss J and Mr Z were fascinated by all the little items glued to the vehicle.  All they wanted to do was to look at all the little toys and pluck a few off.  For the record, we made sure that they didn’t do any of the plucking.

Vancouver with Kids - VW Canuck Beattle

Here is a closeup of the right rear section of the car.  This is just a small sampling of all the items on the car.  I tried looking up the total of items on the car but couldn’t find the number.  I wasn’t going to count every piece on the car.  I am a bit OC but that bad.

Vancouver with Kids - VW Canuck Jersey

Here’s an item on the car that embodied the Stanly Cup Finals.  The good old Canadian Mountie wearing the Vancouver Canucks jersey.

Vancouver with Kids - VW Canuck License Plate

I guess this is what embodies the Canadian spirit but as hard as I tried to find, I only heard one person say the word “Eh” in a sentence.  I suppose it’s an urban legend of some sorts eh…

Jump Shots From Our Travel

During the trip to Seattle, Miss J had finally embraced the jump shot that is popular among Asian or even my travel blogger friend, Kristin at Camels & Chocolate. I have never been able to learn how to capture the jump perfectly. But after a few (ok.. several) trial and error, we finally got a few shots worth sharing.

Vancouver with Kids: Stanley Park - Jump Shot

During our visit to Vancouver, we took an evening leisure break at Stanley Park. We have a perfect backdrop for the jump shot!

Seattle With Kids - Jump Shot

A jump shot during our Seattle Photo Walking tour with Shutter Tours at the Post Alley.

Seattle With Kids: China Town - Jump Shot

A group jump shot in Seattle China Town on a beautiful day. I love that I was able to capture while all of them were in the air!

Seattle With Kids: Water front - Jump Shot

A shot at the Seattle Waterfront with Seattle Aquarium as a background. I love the look on Mr. Z’s face. I think he imagines he is one of the super hero or Kung Fu fighter.

Check out other travelers’ photo at Delicious Baby’s Photo Friday.

Vancouver With Kids: Flavor Overload @ La Casa Gelato

Vancouver with Kids - La Casa GelatoGelato, ice cream and frozen yogurt; these are our secret weapon to garner good behavior from our kids. During our Vancouver trip, I didn’t spend much time with Mr. Rojo and the kids because I was in Travel Blogger conference – TBEX. So we decided to give them a treat of the gigantic propotion after a long day with daddy that didn’t result in a bloodbath from either side.Vancouver with Kids - La Casa Gelato Shop

We headed to the ultimate gelato wonderland, La Casa Gelato, where they would be able to choose from varieties of gelato goodness. La Casa Gelato is a local favorite and tourist attractions within itself. Judging from the pictures lining the wall of several famous people like Martha Stewart. With over 218 flavors available daily and more than 508 flavors, picking one will be a huge challenge.

Vancouver with Kids - La Casa Gelato Inside

We got there pretty late but it seemed this is the place to be on the Saturday night. The place was packed and loud with techno music to get the fun atmosphere going. They just need a disco light and it would be a party. There is no seating inside the store but across the street there is a little garden with outdoor seating available.

Vancouver with Kids - La Casa Gelato Sign

It can be overwhelming walking in and trying to figure out what you will have. The gelato selections are made from ingredients around the world from Wasabi, Akbar Mashti to Hazelnut Chocolate. But don’t worry you don’t have to make a commitment as soon as you walk in. You can try out any flavor you like and once you decide you can go to the cashier to purchase a token to get your ice cream.

Vancouver with Kids - La Casa Gelato  Balsamic Vinegar

Our first taste was based solely from our curiosity. Balsamic Vinegar gelato!! Seriously? Who would buy them? But we had to try it.

Vancouver with Kids - La Casa Gelato Face

You can tell from Miss J’s face that it wasn’t something for our taste bud. However, surprisingly the employee told us that there are quite a few people who love them because otherwise they would never put it up.

Vancouver with Kids - La Casa Gelato Durian

We slowly made our way around the shop. (not that we tried every single flavor. That would be CRAZY!) I found the Asian section where Lychee, Durian and Mango were on display. I knew I had to try Durian to see how authentic the taste was. And I was pretty impressed with the taste because I felt like I was really eating a Durian fruit.

Vancouver with Kids - La Casa Gelato Ice cream

After a while, we each settled on our own favorite. A few notable options for me are Death by Mango, Durian, Papaya Rasberry Sorbeto, and Peanut Buttercup.

So if you are in Vancouver and look for a place to enjoy gelato experience, La Casa Gelato is definitely worth a visit.

Have you been to La Casa Gelato? What’s your favorite flavor?

Check out other travelers’ food posts from Wander Food Wednesday.

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