Bloedel Conservatory

I didn't expect the weather to be so nice today and figured that all of the hot spots would be packed.  Finally when we left the house (we live in a basement suite) I saw how gorgeous the weather was and my initial thoughts were Waterpark! Splashdown! but then realized it was a holiday + hot weather would mean long line ups and since Mason didn't have a nap, it was too risky.

So I looked at his list of things left to do and decided today was a great day for a visit to the conservatory.   I knew roughly that it was between Main & Cambie (exit off 33rd) but when I did a GPS location search, my silly phone kept hearing 'blow dell' and wouldn't pick up the address.  Luckily there were signs and it was pretty easy to spot.  The hours are great for this tourist attraction (open late!) so we had lots of time.  Once we made it up the hill to the parking lot, I was disappointed (not surprised) to see parking pay stations.  So out came my Visa (Cash is the other option).  It's a fancy machine - you type in your License Plate # and then pay.  $3.00 for 1 hour, $6.00 for 2 etc.

There are two paths to the Conservatory, I took the left (the right one is a better choice but it goes through the treed 'forest'.  We got to the top and saw a lot of people milling about.  There is a open area with benches to take in the view of North Burnaby and take pictures of the grounds.  We saw the entrance to the Gift Shop and kept walking not realizing that IS the entrance to the Conservatory.  We walked past a huge water fountain and finally after around the entire building, we found the gift shop again and went inside.  

The shop is tiny and holds a lot of gimmicky tourist crap + drinks + ice cream treats.  I checked my Entertainment Coupon Book Mobile App to see if I could get a discount.  There is a buy 1 adult, get 1 free adult admission in the book only.  Since I didn't have another adult with me (or the book) I didn't use it.  The admission fees are reasonable.  

Adult (19-64 years) $5.60 
Senior (65+ years) $3.90 
Youth (13-18 years) $3.90 
Child (3-12 years) $2.80 

However the kid fee is waived if accompanied by an adult.  I can't really see a four year old coming in by themselves so I'm not sure why they list a price.  So I paid my $5.60 (Includes tax) and went 'inside'.  Mason took off like a rocket up the winding paths and I had to keep explaining to him that this 'was' the bird/plant area and to go slow and look around and see what he could see.  In hindsight, this isn't the best place for a busy 3.5 year old.  While he liked seeing the birds, nothing really held his attention and we wandered around in a circle a few times before exiting.  It's a huge tourist area (most of the people around me were not speaking English) and while there were kids, most people there were over 45+.    We took our pictures and headed back out into the gift shop.  I usually like to pick up some little car with the name of the place but they had random 'gifts' so we passed.

Now outside, I figured we'd head out back to check out the water fountain.  As we got near, I realized there were a TON of half naked little kids IN the fountain.  I looked around expecting a security guard to shoo them out and then thought that maybe it was okay they were in there.  So I looked at Mason and said "Go ahead" and he stripped to his tshirt and yellow Chuggington undies.  He had a blast in the fountain even though the water was a tad chilly.  He was in there for 2o mins before I realized that my parking ticket had expired!  So I got Masey dressed (This Mommy is always prepared with a spare set of clothes!) and that concluded another Mommy & Mason adventure!

IF you go:

  • Website -
  • Use your Entertainment coupon book and save $$$
  • Bring coins or a credit card to pay for parking (1 hr is not enough if in a bigger group or with kids)
  • Bring spare clothes for a dip in the fountain
  • Take the camera

Pack a picnic, the grounds are lovely and there is a lot of soft grass to sit and eat on

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