When it comes to Vancouver green spaces, Stanley Park tends to hog the limelight. Once in a while, Queen Elizabeth Park might get a mention in the guidebooks or maybe VanDusen Garden. But one park that’s perennially underappreciated – even by locals – is Vanier Park.
If you’re scratching your head and wondering where exactly Vanier Park is, then that probably proves my point. Kitsilano‘s largest park, Vanier stretches all the way from the Burrard Street Bridge to Kits Beach at the mouth of False Creek. It’s a seaside, rolling expanse of green hills, little forested knolls, ponds, seawall and beaches. It’s rarely crowded, even at the height of summer, and offers great views of downtown (Can you tell I’m a fan?).
But Vanier Park isn’t just nature. Tucked away in this idyllic setting are some of the city’s largest museums and cultural attractions. All in the space of a short walk, you can: learn about downtown’s neon era at the Museum of Vancouver; explore the first ship to circumnavigate North America at the Vancouver Maritime Museum; stare deep into the night sky at the planetarium inside the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre; and – if you time things right – see an outdoor performance of Shakespeare at the annual Bard on the Beach festival.
And this Saturday, Dec. 3, you can do pretty much all of that (except the Shakespeare), for a bargain basement price. As part of Vanier Park’s first Winter Wander event, the museums – which normally charge up to $15 each for admission – will be throwing open their doors for just a single $5 fee (free for kids under 17).
In addition, Vancouver’s new fleet of food trucks will be out to keep you well fed, and there will be performances by the Vancouver Academy of Music (also located, by the way, in Vanier Park). It’s a great way to experience all Vanier has to offer – for cheap – at a unique time of year (i.e. not summer).
Any other Vanier Park fans out there?