Ambleside Park is an absolute must-visit destination for anyone in the Vancouver region with a toddler or preschooler. The park boasts a beautiful beach, toddler-friendly playground, stroller-friendly walk along the seawall, and the perfect pond for bird watching. With bathrooms and a beachside restaurant, it’s easy to take care of the needs of potty training toddlers and those ever hungry little tummies. During the summer months, you’ll also find a farmer’s market set up each Sunday, in which you can find fresh produce, delicious food trucks and live music.
The beach is absolutely the best part of Ambleside Park. It is a sandy beach, but also has lots of rocks for throwing and exploring when the tide is out. We’ve seen some amazing wildlife at Ambleside beach, including starfish, grey heron and seals!
Low tide is definitely the most fun time to visit with little ones as there is so much for them to explore & discover. Adelaide, who is 2.5 years old, absolutely loves collecting seashells at low tide and often fills up buckets of treasures. Lennon (4.5 years old) prefers to dig and stomp in the mucky wet sand. And Elliott (1 yo) charges full tilt into the water every chance he gets (I spend most of my time chasing him and plucking him out of the chilly water lol). This is also a great beach to watch the huge ships coming and going from the Burrard Inlet.
The playground is super fun for toddlers and preschoolers. There is a roller slide, wooden see-saw, toddler swings, and plenty of opportunities for digging and climbing. During the summer months, the most popular feature at this playground is the water pump and troughs. Children can pump water into a trough and control the flow of the water using a series of gates. The water flows out into a sandy area where children often work cooperatively to create an intricate river system. For parents, the absolute best part of this park is the stunning view of the water you can enjoy while the kids play!
For more fun playgrounds for toddlers and preschoolers on the North Shore, click here.
The Seawall Walk
The West Vancouver Seawall walk runs right through Ambleside Park. This is a paved pedestrian pathway that runs all the way from Dundarave to the Lions Gate Bridge. It is completely stroller-friendly and provides amazing views of Burrard Inlet, the Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park and, way off in the distance, Vancouver Island.
For more stroller-friendly walks on Vancouver’s North Shore, click here.
The pond is located at the east end of the parking lot along Argyle Ave. It is full of a huge variety of birds, including ducks, blue herons, and swans to name just a few. The best time of year to visit the pond is in the Spring when the babies are hatching. This year we’ve gone back weekly to visit a group of ducklings and another group of baby swans! The path alongside the pond is stroller-friendly and makes for a quick, easy nature walk for the littlest explorers.
Anyone with young kids knows the importance of access to bathrooms and food for a successful day out. Luckily, located right in the middle of Ambleside Park, you can find both. The Boat Shed Restaurant is located right next to the playground. They have a selection of delicious coffees, teas, and beachside meals like burgers and fish and chips. My kids’ favourite thing is to make a stop here for ice cream sandwiches or the handmade real fruit popsicles. They also have a beautiful patio looking out over the beach and Burrard Inlet. The bathrooms are right next door and are typically very clean. There are also stalls available for getting changed out of those wet beach clothes.
Worth the Trip!
Whether you are a resident of metro Vancouver or are passing through on vacation, if you have young kids, then Ambleside Park is absolutely worth a visit. Our family has spent countless hours here and brought many of our own family and friends to visit when they are in town.
For more information about the park, click here.