Metropolis at Metrotown - Burnaby
Activity:I know what you're thinking: kids, shopping, fun, NO. I'll be the first to admit, shopping with the kids is not on my top ten list of things to do. But here's the thing-- Metropolis at Metrotown (commonly referred to as Metrotown Centre) has everything--over 450 shops, the largest mall in Western Canada, second largest in Canada. I can't think of any other mall in Vancouver that offers the same selection of shops. The icing on the cake is that it has a number of activities kids love.
Number one, Metrotown Centre has a huge toy shop (Toys R Us) which children dream about at night. You can either use the toy store as a reward after you've gotten your shopping done, or do what I do, and get the toy store over with right off the bat. I find this settles kids down, and puts them in the right frame of mind to make your shopping as pleasurable as humanly possible. Sometimes the anticipation of a reward agitates kids and makes them anxious.
If your children like stuffed animals, take them to The Build-A-Bear Workshop. My daughter absolutely loved this store. She got a bear for her birthday one year, and that started a five-year love affair requiring the purchase of outfits, galoshes, tiaras, even something for Jazzy to wear on Halloween. Metrotown Centre also has the last remaining Disney store in Vancouver. You might not know this but the Disney store here is cheaper than the store in Disneyland. Disney movies are constantly coming and going which makes for ongoing sale merchandise.
If your kids get tired or need a change of pace you can hop on the choo choo train that transports weary family members from one end of the mall to the other. If the prospect of shopping with your children is too daunting you also have the option of dropping them off at Jellybean Park Daycare. I've never used this facility, but it's located outside of Sport Chek.
When your kids are a little older they may enjoy CHQ Entertainment, a place for them to spend money playing video and arcade games. My son loves doing this. The fact that he spends $5 and comes away with a 5 cent prize doesn't bother him. It's the fun of playing that draws him back. There's also a huge Cineplex movie theatre which is the perfect place to drop your kids off for two hours while you get your errands done feeling as free as a bird. I've done this a few times, and liken it to being on a two-hour holiday. Being able to try on clothes without my kids crying, or worse yet crawling under the change room door is a luxury worth going for.
Feeding time is no problem, because Metrotown Centre also has the largest Food Court in Western Canada. I have to admit it has its fair share of junk food, but mixed in between are several ethnic food purveyors which offer you an easy way of getting your kids to try something different without you going to the trouble of making it yourself.
What I personally like about Metrotown Centre are the bookstore, Chapters, and the card stores. Most of the card shops at the local malls have gone out of business. The sad truth is people don't buy cards anymore. However, events still exist that necessitate a card, Mothers' Day for instance. I also like the Asian supermarket T & T. If you're trying a new recipe and need unusual Asian spices or sauces, I suggest you go to T & T. It also carries Asian fruits and vegetables you won't find at your local grocery. My kids discovered these white rabbit milk candies that you literally can eat the white paper wrapper on the inside of.
If you're planning a trip, I would suggest going on a weekday. The mall typically opens at 10:00, which is the best time. You can get two hours of shopping in, and finish with lunch. Depending on how old your children are, they may even fall asleep on the way home, leaving you some free time to recover when you get home.