Get ready, Canada Day is almost upon us. Every year, I end up at Granville Island on Canada Day. In order to make the most of the festivities, I follow a few simple rules.
In the past, there have been a smattering of musicians, international food vendors, retailers and dancers setup around the Island. Maple leaf pins and paper flags are given away as are tattoos at the ever-popular maple leaf tattoo booth.
On the whole, I find the line-ups frustrating, the food so-so, and the parade (while cute), not worth the wait. The parade was about 4 minutes long and was predominantly made up of Granville Island retailers in costume.
If you have small children and it’s a hot day, the experience can get tedious pretty quickly. Here are some suggestions to help ensure a fun time:
- Wear red to get into the Canada Day spirit.
- Bring lots of sun screen.
- Get there early before the swarms of people arrive.
- Bring a cooler containing lunch and lots of drinks (picnic style). You could also send someone to buy meat and cheese at the market. If you aren’t there early be prepared to wait in lines.
- Bring a blanket and umbrella and claim your spot on the grassy meadow behind the playground and water-park (I like to call this “Home Base”).
- Be prepared for your kids to get wet (there’s a wicked water park a stone’s throw away).
- Bring some inflatable balls and other inexpensive toys for your kids (…with so many kids in one place you’ll find that everyone plays with everything… it’s good to share, that’s why I say inexpensive).
- Bring Grandma or Grandpa and tell them to “hold down the fort” while you go on small trips to the bathroom (inside the False Creek Community Centre), to view the parade or to grab another tattoo.
Keep these things in mind when you’re crafting your Canada Day experience at Granville Island and I’m sure you’ll have a great time. How you bribe your parents to come along for the day is up to you.