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Top Playgrounds for Toddlers in the North Shore, including North and West Vancouver

Our top 5 playgrounds for tots
by Annie Novoa

Being a new parent comes with a whole new set of emotions: immense, boundless love; excitement; worry; extreme happiness; and - let’s be honest - panic. Pure horror and panic.

Nowhere is this more present than when your toddler starts to be an active participant at playgrounds. 

You want to make sure you allow your little one to play, learn, and be self-sufficient, but with this freedom comes a mild heart attack every time he comes too close to an edge or when he climbs something a little too tall for you to easily reach him in case he’s in trouble. 

Perhaps you, like me, have a toddler who thinks his mum is always right there and just jumps off the edge for me to catch him. Even after explaining to him that he needs to wait and ensure I’m there, he’s too happy and excited and just wants to jump off. 

Playgrounds can be a tough workout for parents, more so if you are flying solo. Your kid runs up one side of a climbing structure and easily makes his way to the other side, while you have to run through the obstacle course of playground equipment to arrive just in time to catch him - all while keeping an eye out for other kids and making sure yours is not in trouble throughout his journey. This is not an easy task!

Thankfully there are quite a few “toddler-friendly” playgrounds on the North Shore! Some, to be honest, are better than others. For maximum peace of mind, here are the features you should look for:

  • Rubber, sand, or wood chip surfacing (with the caveat that wood chips may stab and sand may scrape, but both are definitely better than concrete)

  • Railings on climbing structures with no gaps wide enough for a toddler to slip through or under

  • Shorter, wider, and fewer steps

  • Smaller, compact play structures, so you can go around them faster

  • Newer or well-kept structures (less chance of damaged corners or broken items)

Here's a list of our favourites:

Our Top 5 Favourite Tot Playgrounds on the North Shore
























Honourable mention: John Lawson Park Playground. The only reason why it did not make our list is that it tends to be a bit too crowded - but it is great for tots too! 


Regardless of the playgrounds you choose, please ensure you always closely supervise your kids; they can easily get into trouble or inadvertently push or poke another kid. But knowing that there are a few extra protective features in place at these five playgrounds will allow you to relax a bit more and enjoy this fantastic stage in your little ones’ lives.

Now go and get your play on!

Horseshoe Bay Park Playground: a beautiful setting, fun, easy pirate ship structure and ice cream just around the corner.
Number 5
Heywood Park Playground : a small play structure but a fantastic sand box and a safe area to splash in the river.
Number 4
Number 3
Mahon Park Playground and Spray Park: 2 baby swings and a choo-choo train! 
Number 2
St. Andrew's Playground: fully gated and lots of tot structures plus a sand box.
...and the Winner Is:
Dudley Park: a set of miniature houses perfectly designed for the little ones - need we say more?
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