by Lara Gladych –
Seaside Magazine wants to live up to our slogan of being “the voice of the Saanich Peninsula,” so, in every issue, we’ll be asking people to answer a question. We’re looking for responses from all ages and across the diverse neighbourhoods that form our community.
February is a month my friends often feel arrives with the winter blahs. We’re typically steeped in cooler, rainier weather, and sandwiched between the come-down from Christmas hustle and the activity and vacationing that comes for younger families when Spring Break rolls around. I think it’s fair to say that by February most everyone is longing for more outdoor time and the longer days ahead in March and April.
Family Day is February 18, and to tie into the Health & Wellness focus, I thought it would be a good idea to ask people what they do in terms of family outings and outdoor activities here on the Peninsula. It’s always nice to hear fresh ideas on what to do and where to go right here in our own communities.
Heather, 43, said that to get their kids out of the house they tell them they’re going to Pickles Bluff in Dean Park. Her kids like saying “Pickles Bluff,” which makes us both giggle.
Tulista Park and walking in Sidney, combined with a visit to Sidney Bakery and a stop at Glass Beach, are favourite pastimes for Melissa’s family. She’s 40.
I approached Jane, who is 47. “It’s a little bit harder for us here because we’re from Australia. Everything is indoors here. My son likes going to the skate park. The skate park down in Sidney is his favourite, so that’s what we do.”
Nicole, 40, said: “The favourite family activity would be hiking around Pickles Bluff and John Dean Park. The kids love it and I do, too. Honestly, I also love spending time at The Roost, just hanging out. I can read a book and my kids go and check out the whole farm and the surroundings … I relax; they relax. We go into the Magic School Bus – that’s what we call it.”
“I love Tod Inlet. Walking Tod Inlet is one of our favourite things to do,” said Linda, 39. “It’s great for the kids, great for the dog.”
Kate is 37, and she said that they, too, frequent Tulista Park by the ocean.
I spoke with Jason, 43, and he told me that they have many favourite local activities. He said they enjoy a local Sidney playground, going to Star Cinema and riding their bikes. “Daddy likes to golf.” I asked if the whole family will eventually join him on the golf course and he indicated that he’s keeping that one for himself.
From a grandparents’ perspective, I heard from Ray, 77, and Pamela, 72. “We have taken our grandchildren to Panorama and they’ve really enjoyed it,” said Ray. “And the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea,” added Pamela.
I met three young men, all aged 13, who gave me some thoughtful answers about fun things to do close by. Denby likes bowling at Miracle Lanes, as does his friend, Callum. Denby adds that the skate park is one of his favourite places, and that their families like to watch them there. Callum plays baseball at Centennial Park, and suggested playing some catch, or even a game of pick-up at the park. Brody mentioned hikes in Dean Park, and that he joins the boys at the skate park on his scooter.
“Golf is my favourite outdoor activity,” said Brett, 46, who typically plays at Cordova Bay Golf Course.
I couldn’t agree more with Tina, 44, whose favourite thing to do outdoors is paddle boarding at Pacifica Paddle Sports, in Brentwood Bay. “If anyone is going to get families on the water it’s Pacifica. We also like that Lego exhibit [in Sidney]. We’ve been doing that every year since my son was a baby.”
Jason is 30, and, like Callum, his family loves to visit Centennial Park, going for walks and playtime at the playground.
Susan, 47, was the first to mention walks at low tide along Roberts Bay Beach, and hikes at Horth Hill, where they go as a whole family.
Island View Beach was mentioned by both Jeannie, 35, who walks there with her dog, and by Darren, 53, who said it’s their family’s favourite beach destination. Darren also mentioned floating about Tod Inlet in their boat.
Among other previously mentioned hikes, Chris, 34, added Mount Work to the list of their preferred trails.
The sweetest response, the one that capped off my interviews, came from Madison, who is six. “I like to take my toys with me and play with my family.” I like your style, little one.