Whether you’re a tourist traveling through Vancouver for just a few days, or a resident of the lower mainland, chances are that you’ll find yourself visiting the North Shore at some point. After all, Vancouver’s North Shore is home to some of the area’s best attractions, including Grouse Mountain, Capilano Suspension Bridge & the Cleveland Dam. And while all of these attractions are absolutely amazing, my three kiddos are equally impressed by a really great playground. Which is why whenever we visit a new place, we make it a priority to seek out the area’s best playgrounds. Since all 3 of our kids are under the age of 5, we also love to specifically find the best playgrounds for toddlers.
After living in the area for just over a year now, we’ve visited A LOT of playgrounds. And I’d say we’ve pretty much become experts on the best playgrounds for toddlers on the North Shore. Below are our family’s absolute favourite parks. These are the parks that we personally visit the most often and the ones that we highly recommend to friends and family when they are in the neighbourhood. I hope that your toddlers will love them as much as mine do!!
John Lawson Park
John Lawson Park in West Vancouver is easily one of the most popular places to play with toddlers on the North Shore. And for good reason. The playground is located right on the waterfront and is made up of tons of engaging features for toddlers. Some of my kids’ favourite features are the 4 toddler swings; the toddler-sized train for climbing; the roller slide and the shipwreck-themed, wooden climbing structures right in the sand!
In the summer, we also love that this park has a splash pad and a water feature that includes a hand pump and river where kids can open and close gates to control the flow of the water. Right beside the park, you’ll find bathrooms, a grassy picnic area, and a super fun beach. We also love that John Lawson is located right on the West Vancouver Sea Wall, so we can combine our time at the playground with a lovely stroller-friendly walk along the water!
For more information about John Lawson Park, click here.
Our family has spent MANY hours at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver. This park is made mainly of natural materials and, like John Lawson Park, is situated right on the waterfront, along the West Vancouver Sea Wall.
A few of my kids’ favourite features at this park include the wooden teeter totter; the swings (toddler, accessible and ‘big kid’) that look out over the water; the roller slide; and the saucer swing.
BUT, by far, our favourite feature in this park is the water play area in the summer. The water feature includes a hand pump and two troughs in which the kids can control the flow of water with gates. The water pours out into a sandy area in which we’ve seen big groups of kids work cooperatively to construct intricate river systems. My kids can literally spend hours here playing in the sand and water.
After our time at the park, our routine is to stop at The Boat Shed restaurant right next door for lunch & popsicles before heading home. Combine all of these great features with easy access to bathrooms and the beach, and voila! – it’s easy to see why Ambleside is one of the best playgrounds for toddlers on the North Shore.
For more information about Ambleside Park, click here.
Moodyville Park is home to a brand new playground, built in 2019, and located in North Vancouver. It includes some super fun features for toddlers & preschoolers. At the top of my 4 year old’s list at this park is the zip line. The line is really long, but not super fast or high so it is not too scary for the younger ones. There are also a couple of unique features that we haven’t seen at any other parks, which keep us coming back to Moodyville again and again. My 2 year old’s top choice is the in-ground trampoline. And we all love the face-to-face parent and child swing!!
Beside the awesome, toddler-friendly playground, there is also a small pump track that is perfect for little riders. And, Moodyville is located along the Spirit Trail so it is easy to combine playtime at the park with a little walk. Some aspects of the park , like bathrooms and a picnic shelter, are still under construction, but are scheduled to be complete in Spring 2020!
For more information about Moodyville Park, click here.
Princess Park has an amazing playground for toddlers in North Vancouver. One of the key features that makes this playground so great for toddlers is that it is one of the very few playgrounds on the North Shore that is fully fenced! We also love the teeter-totter, swings, and toddler climber that has stairs and a toddler-sized slide!
With the picnic areas, creek and stunning stroller-friendly trails located within the park, this is a great place to spend the day with kids!
Lynnmour/Inter River Park (aka Digger Park)
Digger Park, located just south of Inter River Park, is a really great spot for toddlers to play. It can, however, be a bit tricky to find! We have found that the easiest/quickest way to access it is to park on Premier Street at the crosswalk (about halfway between Old Lillooet Rd and the gates to Inter River Park Rd) and then head west across the crosswalk and along the pathway beside the newer townhomes. It’s just a quick 2 minute walk and you will emerge into the playground area.
This playground has plenty of toddler friendly features. There are baby swings, a teeter totter and the digger toys for which the park got its name! There are also two separate play structures. One has easy-to-climb steps and little slides for the littlest tikes. The other structure has a mix of features to appeal to both toddlers/preschoolers and bigger kids. We also love that this park is surrounded by lots of wide open space that is safely distanced away from any roads so toddlers can run and play freely!
One drawback to digger park is that there are no bathrooms, which can make things tough if you are at the potty training stage. If that is not an issue for your family, then this toddler-friendly playground is definitely worth checking out!
Bridgman Park Playground in North Vancouver is a super simple, but fun playground for toddlers. The play structure includes two areas – one that is appropriate for young toddlers, with a small slide and easy-to-climb steps – and one that is more appropriate for older toddlers & preschoolers, with more challenging ladders & two taller slides. The two parts of the play structure are connected with a little bridge made of chains. There are also baby and big-kid swings.
There are bathrooms right beside the playground and a stroller-friendly trail that runs along the Lynn Creek, which makes Bridgman Park an easy spot to spend some time playing outside with your toddler!
What we love most about this park is how low-key and simple it is. BUT, it looks like Bridgman is about to get a whole lot fancier, as it is scheduled to be replaced with a new playground sometime in 2022!
Have you visited any of these playgrounds? Have another great toddler-friendly playground that you love to visit on the North Shore? We’d love to hear about it!