West Side Family Place Shines in Spring

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Harriet loves playing in the Family Place garden.

Harriet loves playing in the Family Place garden.

West Side Family Place, located at  West 11th and Macdonald, is the perfect stomping ground for children any time of year. But, it’s at its best in spring, when everyone can enjoy the fabulous grounds in the sunshine and duck indoors if an April shower strikes.

The nurturing staff and carers who stay with their children make Family Place a retreat from busy lives where happy children and families are a priority.  The outdoor play area is fabulous, with swings, a covered sandbox, a climbing structure, and lots of ride-on toys.  The downstairs of the house has been converted into a play room with a sand table, arts and craft tables, a ton of toys and books. And upstairs you can borrow toys from the lending library, read a book on the comfy sofas and enjoy tea and coffee and baked goods generously donated by Starbucks.

Something strange comes over me as I enter Family Place. The nurturing ethos that envelops the house encourages me to be a more mindful parent. I always slow down and really enjoy my daughters’ company.  I honestly have quite a lot of fun sipping “tea” with a bunch of dolls in the play house. And, as I sit beside the girls playing play-dough or creating masterpieces at the craft table, I listen to their chatter and glimpse how grown-up they can be.

Family Place annual membership is very reasonable at $25 and each drop in costs $2. It’s open for drop-in play Monday to Friday mornings (except the last Friday of each month), 9:30 am – 12:00 pm, and Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, 1:00 – 4:30 pm.  It really is a wonderful place to while away a few hours so do drop by if you haven’t visited yet.  And, make sure you get there early, because it fills up quickly, especially on beautiful Spring days!

West Side Family Place,  2819 West 11th Avenue, 604 738 2818, Westsidefamilyplace.com

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Orla is mother to two girls, age 1 and 3. She takes full advantage of the great amenities for families in Kitsilano. Like most parents, she’s tired, but happy. Read more about her family’s adventures at Brilliantthankyou.wordpress.com, celebrating family and life in Vancouver.

Last modified: April 3, 2013

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