Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

City Dwellers At The Park

I had a sweet curious reader email me asking me this question, 'where does a child in the city go and play?'. This reader lives somewhere in the burbs and in her neighbourhood there are many possibilities for children to have play time out in the fresh air. So, she was curious if Ben had the same opportunities being the apartment baby that he is.

Well, we do have the same options right here in the heart of the city! Among the city streets and the cement buildings there are; elementary schools, high schools, community centers, corner stores (where the owner recognizes you and gives you a cheery wave) and lots and lots of parks and playgrounds. The difference that I can come up with is that in the city we walk everywhere and car hopping is not part of our daily life.

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Today Ben and his dad went out to our big backyard to play. You know, the big backyard that is actually the two playgrounds right behind our apartment. From our apartment window we can see a huge green space and a playground. So, the two of them got all bundled up for the cold clear sunny day and went out for a fun time of playing and swinging at the park. Even though we are city dwellers we have more than enough opportunities to have fun with outside playtime. Oodles of ideas and places to go that we venture to daily. This is one part of raising a family in the city that I really love.

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Husband in the City said...

There are no fewer than six children's parks and green spaces within a 15-minute walk!

December 4, 2009 at 7:44 PM  
Kelly Grindrod said...

We live in the West End and totally agree that there are tonnes of places to take little ones. I just had someone ask me the same question, commenting that it was so sad that we were raising kids in a small space in the city. However, I think you have to live here to really appreciate how much space there is. After all, you can't beat the seawall for all its parks and play areas.

December 5, 2009 at 7:40 PM  
Auntie Glyn said...

I was one of the skeptical when you guys were first talking about staying in the city when you started a family. But now, I can so totally appreciate the freedom you have when the coffee shops, parks, grocery stores and community centers are all within walking distance. And because you walk everywhere, I think you really feel more connected to your community.

December 5, 2009 at 9:12 PM  
Mama in the City said...

I agree! I have done all the non family friendly activities before I had Ben and now it is
fun finding out all the different things in the city that are family friendly.

December 5, 2009 at 9:20 PM  
Nat said...

Just a question: do you think you may ever miss being able to let Ben out into the backyard while you get some odd jobs done in the house? As a former city dweller I loved it when Nyla was younger but then at around 2-2 1/2 years old I started to feel like I really wanted "my own yard" for her to play in without having to go down an elevator to get to. I still have very fond memories of all the parks/waterparks and all the community centers Vancouver has to offer!

December 5, 2009 at 11:07 PM  
Mama in the City said...

Good question Nat! I guess since we have also had a dog the whole time we have lived in the city (even way before Ben) we sort of got used to that whole idea of no quick immediate access to a green space. You actually have to get dressed and go outside vs. just opening a back door. However, when Ben is about 3 I will let you know if it is driving me nuts!

December 6, 2009 at 8:28 AM  

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