Parks + Treats on the North Shore

Some days we just want to head out with kids and not pack million snacks.  We’re always on the lookout for new places to get treats or kid friendly lunch (and coffee for grownups!) that are a stone’s throw from a neat playground or park.  Read on for our tried-and-true list of top combos on the North Shore!

Savary Island + John Lawson Park Playground

Savary Island has been a West Vancouver staple for over 30 years, offering delicious bread, pastries, pies and even ice cream.  I grew up in West Vancouver and sharing with my kid the treats I had as a kid, and splitting my favourite banana walnut muffin with him brings back great memories while building new ones. 

 

Located only 2 blocks away from John Lawson Park and playground, Savary Island is the perfect spot to grab something before hitting the park or making it the end treat to a fun day.  If you are looking for a playground that has it all, John Lawson is the perfect choice. It is right by the beach with a huge sand play area. A summer-time small spray park and fun wooden play structures including a tree house and a train makes it one of the best family playground options on the North Shore.

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Honey’s Doughnuts + Panorama Park

There’s hardly anyone left on the North Shore who has not heard about Honey’s doughnuts in Deep Cove. Whether it is their staple doughnut or any other specialty, Honey’s is paradise to any doughnut lover. 

 

Finding new flavours and treats is always one of our favourite activities. Sharing a maple bacon doughnut with my little one and seeing his puzzled look when trying it for the first time (maple plus bacon in a donut = mind blown!) was a lot of fun! 

 

An easy and quick stroll down to Panorama park, just a couple of minutes away, makes it a super fun and yummy adventure.  Panorama park is a great option when visiting Deep Cove. It has a small but fun playground with a super cool very tall slide. With the water just a few steps away, the kids can play and throw rocks while you enjoy the leftover doughnuts. If there are any left!

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Butter Lane Bake Shop + Waterfront Park

Nestled in a cosy corner of the Lonsdale Quay you will find Butter Lane  Bake Shop with their friendly staff and tasty treats.  We love the variety of macaroons and have enjoyed every flavour we have tried as well as cupcakes and freshly baked treats.  They also offer locally roasted coffee beans.

 

A five minute walk from Butter Lane Bake Shop will bring you to Waterfront Park: a waterfront view of downtown Vancouver and open fields to run around and play, complete with a playground.  To get to Waterfront Park, walk through the quay, passing Lonsdale Quay bus exchange and head towards the water.  The playground offers climbing structures, spinning poles and balancing beams. There is also an art piece of industrial design.

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Bad Dog Bread + Heywood Park

Bad Dog Bread in North Vancouver is a small bakery making delicious bread and of course pastries.  We love a stop here as we can both stock up on bread as well as get a snack for the park - cinnamon buns and croissants are our current favourites, but we also love trying their new seasonal creations.  The bakery uses organic BC grains and even mills most of it in-house: when you are inside, you can see bakers working their magic through the window into the back room. 

Just across Marine Drive is Heywood Park and its playground, which boasts a zip line, a large sandbox, clever small terrain bumps to practice walking up and down a steeper incline, and two climbing and sliding structures for different age groups.  Our favourite pastime here is the nearby MacKay creek with small mini beaches for watching the water flow by.  If you feel energized by your pastry snack, you can cross the small bridge over the creek for further adventures: there you’ll find a large grass field and trails leading up along the creek.

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Bjornbar Bakery + Dudley Place Park

Bjornbar Bakery is a gem of a place in Edgemont, and we love it as it accommodates tastes and needs from hearty lunch options like sandwiches and quesadillas to pastries to delectable dessert bars.  With a toddler in tow, we usually make this a proper lunch stop, although we’ve been known to secretly stash a jalousie or two into our bag…  

Either before or after your stop at Bjornbar (we usually end our Edgemont outing at Bjornbar), check out Dudley Place Park, especially if you have small kids.  Unlike a typical playground, this one has several small play houses from a cafe to a firetruck that are perfect size for toddlers to climb up and down on and pretend play. 

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End of the Line General Store + Lynn Headwaters Regional Park

End of the Line General Store is a Lynn Valley historic establishment, serving the area for over 100 years.  It’s positioned right at the entrance to Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, and a perfect spot to grab a snack from their cafe: from sandwiches to pastries to ice cream.  The store also has a good assortment of art and other artifacts by local artists.

 

From the cafe, follow the signed road towards Lynn Headwaters, and choose an adventure of whatever length your heart desires.  You can either head down to Varley Trail or take a right on Rice Lake Road and amble towards Pipe Bridge.  Once over the bridge, you can choose to walk towards 30 Foot Pool (especially nice in the summer!) or walk up towards Seymour Gazebo and several picnic tables to enjoy your food.  (If your kids won’t last that long without biting into the delicious snack you just got, head to Kilmer Park just down the street from the cafe).

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Flour Bakery + Horseshoe Bay Park & Playground

Lastly, we found this bakery while visiting the playground at Horseshoe Bay.  With parking right outside the bakery, we picked up a delicious pink heart cookie and walked 2 blocks over to  the waterfront.  Needless to say the cookie didn't make it to the park!  

If you haven't been to Horseshoe Bay lately, the playground is right by the water and it has an amazing pirate structure to play on plus a giant whale!  You can grab your coffee and relax on one of the lounge chairs overlooking the water while the kids search for lost treasures!  

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Are you ready to plan your delicious adventure along our beautiful North Shore?