Eat, Play and Learn in Beautiful Richmond BC – Part Two
There’s a reason why I entitled this article Eat, Play, and Learn. Because when in Richmond, you just have to eat!
Farm fresh produce, amazing fresh seafood and fantastic, authentic Asian fare means you won’t leave town hungry. Particularly if you pay a visit to the Summer Night Market, a Hong Kong style street market that is one part swap meet, one part fair, and one part foodie mecca. Come early for the food and stay late for the shopping and the karaoke show.
Some of the delicacies we sampled at the night market included dim sum, kabobs, “stinky” tofu, hurricane fried spiral potatoes, bubble tea, dragon’s beard candy candy (like cotton candy wrapped around nuts), nutella filled waffles and mango and lychee ice cream. The crowds get thick around 8 pm so plan to eat first and shop later. There’s an amazing selection of cell phone cases, purses, socks, sweaters, clothing, colored contact lenses, jewelry and all sorts of fascinating finds at the market.
Eat too much? Don’t sweat it. You can always work off those Night Market calories the next day, with a trip to the Richmond Olympic Oval.
Once home to the Olympics, this gorgeously constructed sports complex is now a community hub for the locals and the perfect spot for families to play the day away. Purchase a day pass (between $5/kids – $13.50/adults) and the Oval is yours to explore for the day. Take a fitness class, play table tennis or badminton, run on the indoor track, play basketball, use the fitness center’s many machines, or skate on one of the four full size ice rinks. Locals take their hockey seriously, so be prepared if you want to drop in for a game. Child-minding services are available for a fee if you’d like to take a class without the kids.
The Oval is a true jewel – rivaling and exceeding the standards of even the most luxurious health clubs. Locals are proud, and lucky to have turned this Olympic venue into such a vital community resource. The Oval also plays host to events throughout the year. Check their calender for details.
We were fortunate to have excellent weather for our trip but even if it had rained on our parade, we would have been able to enjoy the water at an indoor water park.
Locals and visitors in search of some active fun can slide down a two story slide, sit in the sauna and steamroom, and practice their high dives at Watermania . This water play park is open year round and conveniently clustered with other family fun friendly businesses including movie theaters and a bowling alley. Clearly Richmond residents like their play time and they like to play with family.
Got tweens or teenagers? Then head to the Racetrack. The Richmond Go Kart Racetrack. It will bring out the teenagers in all of you.
Younger children can ride shotgun but my 11 year old was tall enough to take the wheel of our Go Kart and put the pedal to the medal on a curvy racecourse. It was all thrills and no spills. Donning helmets and racing was truly a highlight of our visit to Vancouver.
After all that eating, learning and playing, you might have thought we’d be too tired to do more, but there is one more thing that Richmond is famous for: Shopping!
Richmond plays host to several malls, all of which are influenced by the local Asian population. The Richmond Centre, which was just a short walk from our hotel, was full of many familiar and typical stores. But we also found a fantastic Asian bakery that prepared dozens of types of “buns” (from curry, to pork, to hot dog filled) and lovingly wrapped their creations like little presents, and an apothecary-like grocery store with dried and preserved sea delicacies.
Head over to the Aberdeen Centre with your kids and let them go nuts shopping at the Daiso store, aka the $2 store. This store is filled with Asian goodies and novelties. You will find everything from adorable erasers, to bento supplies, toys, houswares and cleaning supplies, jewelry and make-up, and pet items. Almost everything is $2, and super cute.
If you’ve still got some steam, head back to Steveston and browse the boutiques. You’ll want to buy a souvenir, because a vacation this good is something to remember!
- Lunch/Dinner Break:
After splashing at the water park, grab lunch or dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory. It’s a family friendly classic and perfect for everyone. They even have a pretty diverse gluten free menu for those who rarely get to dine out on pasta.
- Fancy Dinner Out:
No family trip is complete without the fancy dinner out. The trick is finding a place that is “dress up” worthy and still kid friendly. The Boathouse is that place. The chefs prefer local ingredients – truly gourmet prep of the freshest fish the ocean has to offer. Local meat and produce also grace your plate at this higher end establishment that is anything but stuffy. Leave room for dessert. The cakes, pie and meringues are all divine.
Be sure to read Part One of our review for even more tips & info on Richmond!
Many thanks to Tourism Richmond for a most memorable trip and warm hospitality while hosting us on this press trip. We enjoyed getting a peek at what life is like for the lucky residents of Richmond BC and visiting tourists. Travel, meals, activities and accommodations were provided by Tourism Richmond for the purpose of this article. Opinions, as always, are our own.