Best Burnaby Playgrounds & Water Parks

Best Burnaby Playgrounds & Water Parks

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Having moved to Burnaby with an energetic toddler, exploring the best Burnaby playgrounds was one of our most important missions in the first year. As hot summer days arrived, we added Burnaby spray parks and wading pools to the bucket list. While we often ventured to anywhere in Metro Vancouver for a fun morning or afternoon outdoors, I learned to appreciate the variety of Burnaby parks and playgrounds when we only had a short time for play. Then sometimes we ended up spending half a day there.

So after collecting all the best Vancouver playgrounds, North Vancouver playgrounds and kid-friendly parks, here’s a list of the very best playgrounds in Burnaby. As usual, they were all tried and tested by our family.

David Gray Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Summer features: spray parks and wading pools in Burnaby

First of all, a brief intro to summer-only playground features to newcomer moms like me. I’ve never heard of public spray parks or wading pools before moving to Metro Vancouver, and I eyed them suspiciously throughout the year. We arrived in September, and I couldn’t imagine these things would ever be usable. Who needs extra water in addition to all that cold rain, right? But I liked the idea nevertheless.

Then summer came, and we experienced that it can actually get hot here and water parks are so much fun! Indoor and outdoor pools were no news to me, but the free spray parks and wading pools are such great ways to let kids have fun in the water any time.

What are spray parks?

Spray parks include different sprinklers, splash pads, tipping buckets, water guns or maybe even a water slide (this last one is in Granville Island Water Park in Vancouver). They operate in the summer months only, roughly from mid-June to the end of August. Some of them can be used any day, some operate on certain days, usually from morning to evening. (All public parks close for the night in Metro Vancouver, anyway.) The water features can be activated by buttons, so they only work when kids are present. I’ve never seen any of them empty on hot summer days though. There’s no lifeguard in the spray parks, parents need to supervise the water play.

What are wading pools?

David Gray Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Wading pools on the other hand are shallow concrete tanks of water, and they are heated by the sun. Every wading pool has their own operating hours – when a playground leader is on site, supervises and maintains the pool. Some pools offer a bunch of water toys, as well. As the name suggests, wading pools are not suitable for swimming, because they’re too shallow, but that’s exactly their advantage: even toddlers can safely splash around and play in the water. Of course, parental supervision is required for the little ones.

What else to say? There were weeks when we spent half of the day in a spray park or wading pool each and every day. They were so much fun for my almost-3-year-old toddler! And I’ll admit, it felt nice to me, too, to cool down a bit as I supervise. 🙂

Check operating hours on the Burnaby website.

Don’t forget about sun protection

Rash guard: Loose-fitting clothing that covers as much skin as possible is actually the best way to protect the sensitive skin of babies and toddlers. An additional benefit is that you don’t need to use as much sunscreen. This long-sleeve rash guard offers 50+ UPF sun protection, great for the beach, wading pools or spray parks.

Sunscreen: Mineral sunscreen is the best both for humans and the environment. They don’t absorb into the skin, but lay on top of it, creating a barrier that reflects UV light. This Blue Lizard mineral sunscreen is a great choice both for kids and adults, it provides SPF 50+ sun protection, it’s paraben-free, fragrance-free, sweat and water resistant.

Sunglasses: Protect your toddler’s eyes with a pair of sunglasses that block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays, have a comfortable fit and are cute enough.

Sun hat: Choose a wide-brimmed hat that shades the face, neck and ears. This one is water repellent, has UPF 50+ protection with full neck coverage, and it comes in cute patterns and colors for both boys and girls. Thanks to the chin strap it’ll actually stay on even in windy weather.

Best Burnaby playgrounds and water parks

Confederation Park playground & spray park

Confederation Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

the smaller slide structure

Confederation Park is one of the largest parks in Burnaby and is enjoyable in any season. It has tennis courts, basketball court and a running track, and a huge playground with an even larger grassy area. This playground is our very favorite in Burnaby, because it offers so much to kids of any age!

It has a large slide structure for older kids and a small one for younger crowds, surrounded by music features, a multi-person seesaw and a tiny playhouse. This area is probably the best toddler playground in Burnaby. The two play areas are well separated from each other. You also find a spinning rope pyramid, spinner bowls and a climbing rock near the larger slide structure. Saucer swings and a set of baby and belt swings are distanced from both play areas. Certainly, there’s space on this playground, and the toys are separated enough that older kids won’t disturb the toddlers, and crowds can spread out.

Confederation Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

The playground is surrounded by a large spray park that also has separate areas for older and younger kids. A tiny fountain in a small circular splash pad is great for babies and toddlers to get their feet wet, and there’s a larger splash pad with different sprinklers and tipping buckets. I know (because I see) that many kids enjoy tipping buckets, however, mine is not one of them. He’s terrified of them, and also from the large sprinklers.

So I prefer the spray parks like this one in Confederation Park, where there’s a smaller splash pad that older kids won’t find that exciting, but my son dares to get close to the water. It’s one of the best spray parks for babies and toddlers in Metro Vancouver.

Confederation Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Confederation Park water park

Parents will like the shaded picnic areas right by the playground and throughout the park, and I’ve never found parking a challenge. Confederation Park has a large enough dirt parking lot, but even if it fills up (I’ve never seen it close to full), you can find free street parking nearby.

This is the best playground in Burnaby for kids of any age, offering lots of additional features throughout the year.

Know before you go:

Variety Park playground in Central Park

Variety playground in Central Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Variety Park water park, Central Park, Burnaby

Central Park is the green oasis in the heart of Metrotown, and if the Confederation Park playground has a real competitor, then it’s the Variety Park playground. It offers an incredible variety of play features for kids of all ages, and a tiny splash pad in the summer. This Central Park water park is not a highlight in itself, but a nice addition to the playground and the rest of the park.

The Variety playground is well spread out, with a large sandbox and a playhouse, a huge climbing structure with slides, a small hill with yet two more slides, spinners, a variety of swings (saucer swing, belt swings, baby swings), interactive stations and music features.

Central Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

But Central Park has more than its awesome playground. The Trail of Hope takes you around the park and its small ponds. It’s a 2.5 km long stroller-friendly trail (perfect for my toddler to practice with his small bike, too), and let me tell you, we’ve never seen so many squirrels in any of the parks in Metro Vancouver as in Central Park. Any time we go, I can be sure we’ll spot squirrels – and many! Many of them are too friendly though, which obviously means that people feed them. Don’t do that, it’s bad for you and bad for them.

You also find a pitch & putt golf course, tennis courts and an outdoor pool in Central Park.

Know before you go:

David Gray Park playground & wading pool

David Gray Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

sandbox with the David Gray park wading pool in the background

David Gray Park is a small one near Central Park, and honestly, I’ve never heard about it or planned to visit it for a while. Then summer came, and I figured it’s one of the closest playgrounds to us that offers a wading pool. So we went, and it was a pleasant surprise. It became one of our favorite Burnaby wading pools by the end of summer.

It does offer the wading pool with countless water toys, but right next to it there’s a decent playground, as well. It has a huge sandbox, a variety of swings (2 saucer swings, 2 belt swings, 2 baby swings) and two great climbing structures with many slides. Out of the four slides two are double, and each can be reached on different exciting climbing structures – a climbing net, monkey bars, climbers, climbing walls and stairs.

David Gray Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

As usual, one of the sets are for older kids, with more challenging options, and the other is for younger kids, and it also includes a tiny tunnel and a counter, table and chairs for imaginative play. There’s a spring rider and different spinners near the climbing structures. So this playground has something for everyone, and the swings, sandbox and the rest of the toys are separated very well.

David Gray Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

There are picnic tables in the shade of the large trees, and the playground is mostly shaded, too. There’s no dedicated parking lot, but it’s not a busy park, and street parking is free.

It’s a great park for babies and toddlers as the big sandbox and the wading pool keeps them endlessly entertained.

Know before you go:

Ron McLean Park playground & wading pool

Ron McLean Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

The real draw of Ron McLean Park for me was the wading pool and the small forest area with shaded trails behind the park. But it offers a playground, too, and a nice one. It has a variety of climbing and spinning toys (climbing walls, monkey bars, slider and hanging spinners), a smaller double slide and a larger one, a seesaw and a digger, and the ultimate hit for my son: a truck climbing structure.

Ron McLean Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Ron McLean Park wading pool

A bit further from the main play area there’s a set of swings (2 baby swings and 2 belt swings) and a few picnic tables. The playground is shaded only in the morning, but the wading pool is partially shaded by the surrounding large trees for most of the day.

It’s a large wading pool and one of the busiest ones in Burnaby. It has sprinklers and offers the usual common water toys. Parents of older kids can supervise from the shaded grassy area which is calling for picnic blankets.

Byrne Creek Ravine Trail, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Ron McLean Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Byrne Creek Ravine Trail is a roughly 3 km loop in a shady forest and along a lovely creek. It’s nice throughout the year, has lots of water in the more rainy months and offers pleasant shade in the summer. It’s a real hiking trail, with steeper sections, but being so short and offering water access, it’s perfectly suitable for families with kids.

Know before you go:

Suncrest Park playground & spray park

Suncrest Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

I’ve just shown you the best toddler wading pool, now here’s the best Burnaby splash park for toddlers: Suncrest Spray Park. It has two smaller splash pads with sprinklers that are gentle enough not to scare my toddler, but make him excited. Except the tipping buckets, which do scare him, even though they’re not giant. But the two splash pads are connected by a small river feature with two dams, and it’s a big hit for the little ones!

Suncrest Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Suncrest Park also has a well-equipped, mid-sized playground. It offers two different areas with climbing structures and slides – one for the smaller crowds, and the other for older kids. This latter has quite cool climbing and balancing structures and two double slides. The area for smaller kids has a single and a double slide, and two spring riders. The swings are located further from both play areas, and you find baby swings, belt swing and a tire swing.

Overall, it’s one of the best spray parks for toddlers in Burnaby in the summer, and it’s a lovely playground for the rest of the year.

+1: Deer Lake Park beachfront area with swings

Deer Lake Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Okay, I refuse to call a set of swings a playground, but Deer Lake Park is such a great place to hang out with kids! There’s a sandy beach at the eastern end of the lake, and that’s where you find the swings, too. There were periods of time when my son was addicted to swings, and then I often took him to this place, because I could enjoy the view of Deer Lake with the Burnaby skyline as a backdrop while pushing the swing. (I need my treats, too.)

Century Gardens, Deer Lake Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

You can rent boats right next to this beach area in the summer. But if you prefer walking, the 3.5 km lakeshore loop trail around Deer Lake is stroller-friendly and very scenic, with views of the Burnaby skyline and the North Shore mountains. In spring, take a detour from the lakeshore loop to include Century Gardens. It’s especially wonderful in May, with all the rhododendrons in bloom. In summer, walk to the Forest Glen Park wading pool, or simply put down a blanket on the aforementioned sandy beach, and give your little ones a large bag of sandbox toys.

Deer Lake Park is my favorite park in Burnaby. It’s much more scenic than Burnaby Lake (or even Burnaby Mountain!), and the loop trail is also much shorter, so it’s doable as a family walk, an afternoon run or whatever else you have time for. It’s certainly among the best Burnaby water parks (minus the geese droppings).

Deer Lake Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Are you looking for more playgrounds in Burnaby?

The number of green spaces in Metro Vancouver is incredible to me. No matter where you live, you have a good chance to find several lovely parks and playgrounds near you. I limited this list to the very best playgrounds in Burnaby, but there are many others that we liked. They might not be that special, but if you live close to them (or run errands in that area and want to treat your kid at the end), go and give them a try.

I listed a few more playgrounds and Burnaby spray parks and wading pools that we enjoyed below:

Taylor Park playground

Taylor Park playground, Burnaby, BC, Canada

The biggest advantage of Taylor Park is its size and opportunities – and this is also the biggest drawback for me. Taylor Park has a large playground, family area, youth area, dog off-leash area and sports courts, like basketball and ball hockey courts. And so there are usually lots of people in the park.

The playground consists of several areas, and one of them is a huge sandbox with water features and “artifacts” buried in the sand. This is the best play area for babies and toddlers, and it’s shaded, too.

Taylor Park playground, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Older kids like the huge climbing net, but little ones also find bright and colorful play structures and swings. There’s an exciting climbing structure with slides and a lonely spring rider.

Except for the big sandbox there’s zero shade on the playground though. There’s no wading pool or splash park either. This makes it not my favorite choice for summer days.

There’s a school right by the park, so the playground areas and the park are always very busy after school finishes. The picnic tables are the usual socializing area for teens and teenagers, which is fine, but makes it less appealing to visit the park with a toddler.

Bikers find lots of options. There’s a beginner’s bike course, which has dirt jumps, mounds and trails to encourage new riders.

Forest Glen Park playground & wading pool

Forest Glen Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

This is the best wading pool for your toddler in Burnaby, and I was a bit hesitant to share it, because it’s a gem. (But you can find it on the Burnaby recreation website, anyway.) So few people know about this pool, and Forest Glen Park is just one of the thousands in Metro Vancouver that not many people notice – which makes this wading pool almost a private pool and one of the best water parks in Burnaby in the summer. 

There’s only a few kids, and usually no older kids who play and splash so wildly that they scare the toddlers. It’s in the middle of a grassy area, and there’s absolutely no shade in the pool, so cover your kid (and yourself, too). But it’s such a quiet, nice wading pool, and only a few minutes drive from busy Deer Lake Park. Who would have thought?

Forest Glen Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

There’s a playground, as well. It’s not that unique and certainly not a destination playground, but if you live close or you visit because of the wading pool, you can take advantage of what it offers. It has two climbing structures with slides, one is larger and one is smaller, and a set of swings (both baby and belt swings). That’s about it. But actually, the two connected climbing structures can be exciting for kids of any age.

Broadview Park playground

Broadview Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

We live a few minutes walk from Broadview Park playground and visited it countless times in any kind of weather. It offers a large and a smaller slide structure, monkey bars, a climbing wall, a small playhouse and a huge sandbox with a digger. A set of swings is located a bit further from the main play area.

Broadview Park also has a short loop trail, but it has a creek and two bridges that cross it, which makes it exciting to my son. We even went sledding on the gentle slopes next to the tennis courts during that one week in winter when Burnaby got a proper snow cover.

Broadview Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada

Broadview Park covered in light snow

Broadview Park, Burnaby, BC, Canada