Spend a Day at Deer Lake Park
Are you looking to get away without going far? Then a day at Deer Lake Park is just what you need! This 304-hectare urban park, uniquely located in the heart of Burnaby, offers the chance to get reacquainted with nature, go back in time, and discover some of the best of Burnaby’s arts and culture scene. Here are some ideas for a day at Deer Lake:
In the Morning: Explore by Trail and Water
Start your day with some fresh air, water, and woods. The park has vast areas of green space to explore, with many clearly-marked trails and paths for walking. Circle the lake, hike up to the wildlife-viewing tower, or follow the trail alongside Beaver Creek at the northwest corner of the lake. Just don’t forget your binoculars – these routes are great for bird watching!
You can also experience the park from the water. Deer Lake Boat Rentals, located on the east side of the lake, offers kayak, pedal boat, rowboat, and canoe rentals from April through to October. No motorized crafts are allowed, so you can get out on the lake and enjoy some peace and quiet.
For Lunch: Pack a Picnic!
One of the loveliest ways to enjoy Deer Lake is by picnicking on its shores. Either spread out a blanket or setup at a picnic table, then enjoy your lunch with a view of the water. How often can you do that in the middle of a city?
In the Afternoon: Get Your Culture On
Did you know that in addition to its natural offerings, Deer Lake Park is a mecca for lovers of arts, culture, and history? It’s home to the Burnaby Village Museum, the Burnaby Art Gallery, and the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, all of which are exceptional ways to spend an afternoon.
For history lovers and those with kids, go back in time at the Burnaby Village Museum. Located on a 10-acre site, the museum is a replica of a typical 1920’s tram stop community along the BC Electric Railway. The village includes a blacksmith’s shop, a garden at the farmhouse, a General Store, and even an historic 1912 CW Parker Carousel with music from a 1925 Wurlitzer Band Organ. There are programs, tours, and workshops all summer long, including lessons on homemade ice cream! Speaking of which, you can get yourself a mid-afternoon scoop at the village’s old-fashioned ice cream parlour.
A chance to experience more historic architecture and art can be found at the Burnaby Art Gallery. It’s located in the historic Ceperley House, which remains one of the finest examples of Edwardian architecture in the Lower Mainland. This art museum, gallery, and community forum exhibits both contemporary and historic works, while also providing a huge variety of public and school programming.
If you’re interested in seeing more of the park’s historic homes, you can take a self-guided walking tour by printing off a map yourself, or grabbing one from the city’s facility in the park.
A third cultural institution at Deer Lake is the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts. This award-winning, multi-purpose community arts facility is named for Jack and Doris Shadbolt, two prolific members of the Canadian arts scene. Located within a building renowned for its creative design, the Shadbolt offers theatre programming throughout the year, as well as extensive visual and performing arts programs for kids and adults.
For Dinner: The Best of West Coast Cuisine
After a day of exploring, end your day with a west coast feast. Located just east of the lake, Hart House Restaurant is one of British Columbia’s premier culinary destinations. Their menu features exceptional ingredients from the Pacific Northwest – think wild mushrooms, sockeye salmon, and Dungeness crab! They’re also open for lunch during the week, and brunch on weekends.
In the Evening: Concerts, Concerts, Concerts
If you’re a music fan, a summer concert at Deer Lake’s world-class venue is an absolute must. Each year, thousands of people gather on the Festival Lawn to see artists perform, the likes of which include Jack Johnson, The Black Keys, The Lumineers, Sigur Ros, The Tragically Hip, Bon Iver, Michael Buble, and many more. In July, spread out a blanket for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s annual “Symphony in the Park” concert (it’s free!), or make a day of the Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival each August.
So there you have it! Deer Lake offers an incomparable refuge right in the centre of Burnaby.
Whether you’re looking to entertain the kids, eat well, get outside, or take in some art (or all of the above!), there are endless ways to enjoy this urban park. Click here to find more information about Deer Lake, and be sure to regularly check Ticketmaster for information about upcoming shows.