On their first official day of summer vacation, after a rather bizarre school year, Cheryl Zandbergen and her young daughters were casting about for some fun things to do with their time in the days and weeks to come.
The result, a summer bucket list of local places to explore – in search of fun, said Zandbergen.
It took no time at all for the West Maple Ridge mother and her five-year-old daughter Sienna and eight-year-old daughter Kayla to come up with the list, most of them free and most of them in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows.
“It took us less than one hour to come up with this list, which means I probably missed lots of possibilities, but is also a real testament to the amazing place that we call home,” said Zandbergen, who moved to Maple Ridge in 2011 and is still amazed at all the recreational and outdoor opportunities available in her backyard.
“We feel so fortunate to live in such an incredible place… There’s no where else I’d rather be during a pandemic,” she said.
She flip-flopped back and forth with the idea of organizing some events, explained Zandbergen, who until last year ran a free outdoor play group in town and is involved with a Moms Gone Wild Facebook page that since 2017 has been bringing local mothers and their kids together for different local events and activities.
“Given the current situation with the coronavirus, it didn’t feel right planning any events just yet,” Zandbergen told The News.
“But I didn’t want to leave people high and dry,” she said, explaining her decision to share the list through the Moms Gone Wild Facebook page, and with News readers.
“So, for the time being, to ensure that you and your family have an amazing, adventure-filled summer, I’ve compiled a list of 50 things to do right here in our local community,” she said.
“I wanted to offer everyone something that’s fun and that would keep everyone active and give people a sense of adventure.”
Now asked which of the 50 was the Zandbergens favourite, Mom said she was torn. She and the kids love to walk in the marsh, and they can frequently be found running, jumping, playing, and giggling at the Fairview Park (located next to Fairview Elementary).
“It’s hard to pick just one favourite. We love doing so many various things,” she said.
But ultimately, Zandbergen said, probably the most favourite outing – for a family who loves being in the outdoors and camps regularly – would be paddling up Widgeon Creek then hiking into the falls tops their summer bucket list.
Mesmerized by the serene and tranquil setting, she’s always amazed by the pristine natural habitat, she said “It feels like your so far away, but it is so close to home.”
Moms Gone Wild! Summer Bucket List:
• Jump off the dock at Whonnock Lake
• Admire the beauty of Cascade Falls
• Grab a cone at Sweet Tooth Creamery
• Test your skills at WildPlay
• Hike to Lower Falls
• Go birdwatching at Pitt-Addington Marsh
• Build a sandcastle at Hayward Lake
• Float down the Alouette or Coquitlam River
• Have a picnic at Allco Park
• Ride your bikes on the dikes/trails
• Take out a $10 burger from The Big Feast (Mondays) and picnic at Memorial Peace Park
• Cool off at one of our local spray parks (Albion, Harris, Maple Ridge Park – now re-opened)
• Head over the bridge for a bike ride on Tynehead Perimeter Trail in Surrey
• Look for beavers off the 216 Street dike
• Try the Albion Mountain Bike Skills Park
• Take a stroll to Cliff Falls. Roll down the grassy hills, and jump off the stumps
• Enjoy a scoop of gelato at Cremino
• Visit Queenston Park (aka “The Hill Park”) or Lions Park in PoCo.
• Skip stones at Allouette Lake
• Go geocaching – there are lots of options
• Ride scooters at The Greater Vancouver Zoo
• Dip your toes in one of our many local creeks
• Jump in muddy puddles after a rainstorm at Fairview Park
• Find a good climbing tree
• Enjoy a flick at Twilight Drive-in Theatre in Aldergrove
• Do something kind for a neighbour
• Watch for shooting stars down Rannie Road
• Camp at Golden Ears or Rolley Lake Provincial Parks
• Hike Red, Yellow, Blue or Green Trail at Malcolm Knapp UBC Research Forest
• Hit up the local driving range or golf course
• Watch the sunset from Port Haney Wharf
• Paddle up Widgeon Creek and hike to the falls
• Have a picnic along Gold Creek
• Fly a kite at a local field
• Walk from Shoreline Park to the Pitt Airport
• Build a fort along Tent Trail
• Go on a nature scavanger hunt at Spirea Trail
• Start a memory journal or jar
• Pitch a tent in your backyard and barbecue hotdogs
• Ride scooters or bikes on the mini track at Lions Park (Laity Street)
• Have a race on the MRSS track
• Forage for local salmonberries, thimbleberries, huckleberries, or blackberries (research proper identifications first)
• Try to find a great blue heron, a bald eagle, and an osprey at the Jerry Sulina dike trail
• Leave a special package on a friend’s doorstep
• Get a fishing licence and throw a line in one of our many local waterways. (Check regulations first)
• Pretend your in the circus at West Coast Flying Trapeze
• Send letters to our local assisted care or seniors centres
• Join the Summer Reading Club hosted by FVRL
• Take part in Maple Ridge’s virtual Canada Day celebrations
• Find a local drive-thru food truck festival
• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.