Spring break is a fabulous time for family fun and new adventure. It is typically the time of year when we are able to shed the burden of heavier layers and gloomy wet weather. This year, the weather has been stubborn. Given the wet, cool, late start to Spring, not all adventures and activities come easy. As parents, we are being tested to determine our flexibility, endurance, and creativity. I now see why seemingly everyone goes away for at least one of these weeks!
Early in the break we checked out the Play Cafe in Panorama / Cloverdale. It was a fabulous spot for the kids that included a great indoor climbing structure, some bikes and Little Tikes Coupes, as well as an abundance of other toys to keep kids aged 1 to 6 occupied and happy while parents regained their stamina for another few days locked up inside this Spring Break.
Next up we hit Kidtropolis in Richmond, a whole city built in small scale for children to reenact their parents' daily lives and to imagine entirely new ones. The play adventure included shopping at a grocery store, going to the doctor, cooking / eating at a pizzeria, and taking the pets to the vet. The kids can become dentists, doctors, police officers, fire fighters, airline pilots, campers, or gardeners. In addition Kidtropolis had a soft play structure that seemed to be a real hit for kids right up to ages 10 to 12. My favourite part was the interactive video game that had the kids trying to squish paint tubes by jumping on them, catch balls that inevitably escaped their reach or popping balloons with a quick stomp to reveal happy faces. Check out @blissfulruckus on instagram to view a short video that demonstrates this or additional short clips from our trip ("Let us out!").
For St. Patricks Day we decorated some oversized four leaf clover cut outs at home and ate way too many chocolate coins and lucky charms. Jordan and I also enjoyed a few perfectly brewed Irish stouts with some well-paired Irish cheddar once the kids were all tucked in.
Beauty and the Beast was a fabulous bookend to our first week at home for Spring Break. Alexa's first trip to the movie theatre and a magical version of the story. I truly can't stop thinking about the beautiful costumes, the minor but clever variations of the tale, as well as the perfection in the personification of each character. I am very happy that this was Alexa's first movie and I hope that she will remember it always. Though I think for her, it wasn't only the movie that was thrilling, she also beamed in her Belle costume, loved the flashy lights at the theatre, had fun in the reclining chairs, and of course enjoyed munching on the popcorn.
As the minutes on Sunday evening passed and Monday approached I began feeling dread... What are we going to do for another full week?!
The sun. A wee bit of sun arrived on Monday and we quickly threw on our clothes and headed for the park. With an outdoor scavenger hunt print out I found via a simple google search, we took off for Redwood Park in Surrey. This park offers the perfect combination of open space, forested trails, and a playground for the kiddies. There is also a magical fairy village that the kids seem to enjoy (although I find it a bit creepy... am I the only one?). We first took on the scavenger hunt, easily finding grass, sticks, rocks, clouds, the sun (sort of), pine cones and a few others. More difficult to find was the kite, ladybug, butterfly and some other items more typical of the peak of Summer, but we came to terms with it as we approached the playground.
Today we spent the morning at the Extreme Air Park in Langley. This massive warehouse dedicated to all things bounce and trampoline related, could hardly contain the boundless energy felt there today, during Spring Break. My kids loved it. Even though there were so many more kids there today (mostly older than they; I would guess ages 10-15) than on previous visits, they still managed to squeak out their own little trampoline space and giggle the whole way through. It was nice to know that for many years, this place will be a hit with the kids because of the wide variety of activity including: wall jumping, glow jumping, dodge ball, zero gravity basketball, a half pipe with ride on foam boards, and a huge foam pit. It's no wonder there were so many gleeful parents dropping of their children for a full day's pass.
Now that my kids are very, very overstimulated given the vast amount of activities over the past couple of weeks (including our trip to Scottsdale), I think tomorrow we will simply focus on puzzles, building towers, and trains, then round out the week with crafts and baking. A quiet end to our first Spring Break experience.
Wishing you a wonderful Spring Break and lots of blissful ruckus.