Posts Tagged ‘Grouse Mountain’

Event to look out for September/October

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

There are still many more events to look out for if you are visiting the hotel at the end of September and during October.

The following festivals should at least appeal to most of you and one even involves CHOCOLATES! How can you go wrong?

RUNAWAYGRAPE “A TASTE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA”
When: September 20th – Where? The FISH HOUSE Stanley Park

If you like Wine and some of the finer foods in life, want to be surrounded by nature while sipping your finest Vino and really like to have fun while you are at it…..come along to this!
Located in the beautiful setting of the famous ‘Fish House restaurant’ in Stanley Park, you will be treated to taste some fantastic samples of wines from the Okananagan region, you will learn how to taste and test the different varietals of the Best of the BC Wines, and at the same time you will be able to sample some incredible world class foods to accompany the wines.
All in all you will be expanding your knowledge of some yummy fine wines and food, so not only will your taste buds be delighted so will your brain!

For further information: http://www.hellobc.com/servicefelisting/food-or-wine/4579028/runawaygrape-a-taste-of-british-columbia-.aspx

VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
When? Thurs September 26, 2013 – Fri October 11, 2013 Where? Various Locations.

One of the most popular film festivals in North America and one of the largest cultural events in Vancouver. More than 150,000 people attend approximately 575 screenings of 350 films from 50+ countries. Check website for the 2012 Schedule of Films.

For further information:http://www.viff.org/

ARTISTS FOR CONSERVATION FESTIVAL
Where? GROUSE MOUNTAIN – When? Sat September 28, 2013 – Sun October 06, 2013

If you are interested in environment, you have a creative streak or simply just love Art and need some scenary, then this festival will be for you!
Taking place at the top of Grouse Mountain this signature cultural event will be one of the largest worldwide gatherings for conservation.
You will see incredible works of Art, meet some very inspirational people who will be involved with the project through exhibits, lectures, live demonstrations and more….

For further details: http://festival.artistsforconservation.org/

FESTIVAL OF CHOCOLATES
When? Tue October 15, 2013 – Sun November 10, 2013 Where? Various locations

The Fall Festival of Chocolate showcases everything one can learn about cocoa and chocolate. The magical mystery of these ingredients is explored through seminars and pairings held at local chocolate shops, wineries, breweries, restaurants, cafes, and bakeries across the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Don’t miss out on this delicious opportunity to celebrate all things chocolate. Check website for a Schedule of Events.

For further information: http://www.festivalofchocolate.ca

Enjoy the great outdoors & the spectacular scenery in and around Vancouver…

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

The Summer season is here so that means its time to get out there and explore the best scenery that the local surroundings have to offer…

THE NORTH SHORE and WALKING/HIKING TRAILS
The cities of North Vancouver, West Vancouver and Deep Cove are truly quite specalur areas to visit when you are coming to Vancouver. The North Shore is home to the the three Mountain peaks which are Cypress, Grouse and Seymour – and with the best weather soon to really dig in, we highly recommend that you visit these peaks for the incredible views alone.

The North Shore website: http://vancouversnorthshore.com/

It is also a great time of year to get the walking boots on and explore the multitude of trails and popular hiking paths.

We have some suggestions of a few trails that we feel are the most popular!

BADEN POWELL TRAIL
The Baden Powell trail connects Lynn Canyon to the gorgeous small town of Deep Cove…it is a relatively gentle trail that is 12km long and pet friendly. Along the way you will get to see the Lynn Canyon Suspension bridge (Which is smaller than the Capilano Suspension Bridge and FREE), also you will come across the Lynn Canyon and Indian Arm – the scenery is truly stunning.
Allow yourself around 5 hours or so to complete the trail.

http://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/baden-powell-deep-cove-to-lynn-canyon/

KAYAKING at DEEP COVE
We adore Deep Cove, it is a small town situated at the eastern side of the North Shore where the Burrard Inlet meets the Indian Arm Fjordway which separates Grouse Mountain and Seymour Mountain.
In the Summer this is a fantastic place to head out too (especially if you have a vehicle) It is also quite easy to get too via public transport (Ask the front desk for the details).

Deep Cove is also one of the best areas to go Kayaking, you can kayak your way around the natural cove itself and onto Indian Arm where you will be treated with some stunning Scenery.

http://www.deepcovekayak.com/

Deep Cove Website: http://www.deepcovebc.com/

THE GROUSE GRIND
Grouse Mountain is by far one of the most popular destinations to visit in Vancouver and it is just around the corner from the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Once all the snow has melted (usually all gone by mid July or so) then the Grouse Grind Hiking trail is open for business. many of us will have enjoyed this popular trail due to the challenge of tackling such a famous trail. It is one that you have to work at as it is a lot of steps to get to the top, but once there it will be well worth it. On average the regular person will complete that trail in 90 minutes to a couple of hours…the crazy fit professionals who run up the hill like there is no tomorrow can complete it in under an hour…sheesh!

http://www.grousemountain.com/grousegrind

CYCLING & BIKE RENTALS
Vancouver is fast becoming a cycling kind of city and over the last few years it is very noticeable the changes that have been occurring with regards to encouraging people to cycle more and more – the evidence is with all the new bike paths that are plentiful around the city.

We do encourage you to do this as its a fantastic way to see the sights of Stanley Park, False Creek or even Granville Island, you can even transport your bike with the public transit system on the front of each bus and the skytrain (although at peak hours you are not permitted to bring the bike on the skytrain).

We recommend English Bay Bike rentals: http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

City cycling information: http://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/cycling-routes-maps-and-trip-planner.aspx

Translink Cycle Maps: http://www.translink.ca/en/Getting-Around/Cycling/Cycling-Maps.aspx

A few ideas for Easter in Vancouver 2013

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Easter weekend is fast approaching. Check out the events that are happening in the area and if you wish to find a place for worship there will be a list of churches at the end of this blog.

STANLEY PARK MINIATURE RAILWAY – All, $8.75 per child and includes train ride and Easter egg hunt / $3.50 per adult to ride the train
Spring has sprung at the Stanley Park Miniature Train. Ride the train, hunt for Easter eggs, enjoy Easter themed crafts and visit with the Easter Bunny. Easter egg hunts take place throughout the day. Bring your own Easter basket.

March 25 2013, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

http://vancouver.ca/news-calendar/easter-at-the-stanley-park-miniature-train-march25.aspx

EASTER ON GROUSE MOUNTAIN – Easter Brunch, Easter Egg Hunts & the Easter Bunny
This year’s Easter festivities will feature delicious brunch classics for all ages and an exciting Easter Egg hunt led by the Easter Bunny himself.

Between 10am and 2pm, we will be offering a 3-course prix fixe and a children’s buffet menu. Call 604.998.5045 to reserve your table.

http://www.grousemountain.com/events/easter-brunch-2013

PLACES OF WORSHIP
Churches in the DOWNTOWN AREA- http://www.yelp.ca/search?cflt=religiousorgs&find_loc=Downtown%2C+Vancouver%2C+BC

Churches in the WEST ENDhttp://www.yelp.ca/search?cflt=religiousorgs&find_loc=West+End%2C+Vancouver%2C+BC

And so it begins – The snow is here, lets hit the slopes!!!

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

It seems like that Vancouver is in for a dollop or Snow over the next day or so and we all know what that means – Ski season is well and truly underway!

It tends not to snow too much in Vancouver, but when it does – it really is a stunning sight, especially if you manage to get a rare glimpse of the sun that catches the glistening snow sparkling off the mountains that tower over the city.

Vancouver is spoiled for choice when it comes to Winter sports, and the choices come from 3 stunning peaks to use as your outdoor adventure playground during the winter Season.

On any of the 3 mountain resorts in the area you will be able to enjoy Skiing, Snowboarding, Snow Shoeing, tubing and a whole lot more….
There has been plenty of precipitation falling over the last few weeks (which is normal for this time of year) So whats falls as the wet stuff down at Sea Level, is almost certainly falling as the white stuff at the top of the peaks. To date, roughly up to 300cm of snow has accumalated on the mountain tops, in the last 24 hours alone there has been up to 10cm, and that amount is set increase dramatically over the next few days.

GROUSE MOUNTAIN
Nestled in between Cypress and Seymour, Grouse mountain is by far one of the more popular destinations to visit when it comes to Winter Sports. It is in a great location as this is the mountain that sits directly over North Vancouver and dominates the city skyline to the North of Vancouver itself. Along the way, you can even stop off at the Capilano Suspension Bridge, where the whole area is currently illuminated for the Festive Season. Capilano Canyon Lights runs until January 5th and illuminate the bridges and park from 4pm till 9pm.
At Grouse there is a fantastic restaurant that overlooks the city, an open are Ice rink, and the slopes here are suitable for beginners and the more experienced.

Mountain HighlightsThe Theatre in the Sky, Snow Limo and Mountain Ziplines.

http://www.grousemountain.com/#tickets-passes

http://www.capbridge.com/explore/canyon-lights/

Mount Seymour
This is a great place for any beginner to come and learn to Ski as it offers shorter runs to practice and learn, it also has a great rugged feel to it, so if you are searching for the quintessential ‘outdoors’ adventure, Seymour is the place to be.

Mountain HighlightsSnowshoeing and 2 for 1 Discover lessons

http://www.mountseymour.com/home

Cypress Mountain
Cypress mountain was used during the 2010 Winter Olympics for the alpine events. Cypress Park has some more challenging slopes so if you want to test yourself this is the place to be.

Mountain HighlightsSnow Tubing and Snowshoeing.

And of course – WHISTLER
Th gem in the crown during the Winter season is Whistler Blackcomb and Whistler Village.
A beautiful Alpine Village that was home to the majority of events during the 2010 Winter Olympics, this really is the place to go if you are a Winter Sports junkie.
Located a couple of hours north of Vancouver, there are many ways to get here, and we feel that one of the better ways is to use Landsea Tours. Landsea tours will pick you up at the hotel and take you for a full day out to Whistler, where you can participate in sight seeing and some skiing too. It is designed for tourists so you don’t have to figure out where to go or what to do as they have your itinerary set. Speak to the front desk and we will book the tour. Payment occurs on the day on the bus, either by Cash, Debit or Credit.

Mountain Highlights- Peak to Peak Gondola and Whistler Village

http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/

http://www.vancouvertours.com/

So this is Christmas, what will you do?

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Well you could do anyone of these…..

The Peak of Christmas and some ski and Snowboard action at Grouse Mountain
Grouse Mountain is one of the most recognizable peaks that loom over the city and is by far one of the most popular destinations to visit in the Winter or Summer.

Until December 24th you can enjoy the Peak of Christmas festivities all day and every day and there is quite a lot to do, some of the highlights include:

Antler Making from 11am till 8pm, you can craft your own Antlers and and get a reindeer tattoo too, why not!

Meet Dancer and Vixen A couple of Santa’s Reindeers will be enjoying the views on the mountain before they set off on Christmas for work around the world…aren’t we lucky they decided to prepare here before their big job!

Mountaintop Sleigh Rides 9am till 9pm

And an Outdoor Ice skating rink too!

http://www.grousemountain.com/events/the-peak-of-christmas-2012

The Robson Square Ice Rink
Located near the Vancouver Art Gallery under Robson st (part of the Robson St UBC campus) if you have your own skates you can come on down and skate for FREE!

Otherwise Rentals are $4.

http://www.robsonsquare.com/

For further information of festive events around the city, please ask the front desk, and while you are at it, take a look at our festive decorations, and we even have a wish list for you to write to Santa.

Enjoy the festive season with us at the Sunset Inn and Suites xoxoxo

Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tours & Lonsdale Quay ‘Savour Saturdays’

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

The Vancouver Trolley Company will be running their annual ‘Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tours’.

The tours will run from October 19th through to October 31st where you will be involved in a haunted evening filled with murderous tales and infamous buildings of Vancouver.
Your host will tell gruesome tales of troubled ghosts, how they met their end, and where they now occupy their time. You will be visiting locations such as the Mountain View Cemetery and the autopsy room at the famous Vancouver Police Museum where over 15.000 autopsies have been performed.
The 2 1/2 hour Haunted trolley tours will depart every evening from Canada Place at 5.30, 6.30, 7.30 and 8.30pm, returning once again to Canada Place. The tour is suitable for adults (13+) at the rate of $40 (including tax) per person. If you wish to reserve, full credit card payment is required, you can do tihs by contacting 604 801 5515 ext 100.
Book in advance as this is likely to sell out!!!

Lonsdale Quay Market – ‘Savour Saturdays’.
Every Saturday throughout the month of October is ‘Savour Saturdays’ at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. The market here is the North Shores version of Granville Island market, and it is one to visit – especially if you are making an excursion to see the sights such as Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain.
It is going to be a great food festival, where you can taught some amazing recipes with the help of some amazing Chefs from the area – the festival will have something for everyone so it will be a fun filled family event.
The Market itself has plenty to see and do, with an amazing selection of local produce, fine meats, cheese, wine and artisan stores.
It is also very easy to reach this area from The Sunset Inn and Suites – Just catch the Number 6 Downtown Bus to the very last stop at Waterfront Station, transfer here to get the Seabus to Lonsdale Quay, where you are immediately at the Market!!!

Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tours & Lonsdale Quay ‘Savour Saturdays’

Friday, October 5th, 2012


The Vancouver Trolley Company will be running their annual ‘Haunted Vancouver Trolley Tours’.

The tours will run from October 19th through to October 31st where you will be involved in a haunted evening filled with murderous tales and infamous buildings of Vancouver.

Your host will tell gruesome tales of troubled ghosts, how they met their end, and where they now occupy their time. You will be visiting locations such as the Mountain View Cemetery and the autopsy room at the famous Vancouver Police Museum where over 15.000 autopsies have been performed.

The 2 1/2 hour Haunted trolley tours will depart every evening from Canada Place at 5.30, 6.30, 7.30 and 8.30pm, returning once again to Canada Place. The tour is suitable for adults (13+) at the rate of $40 (including tax) per person. If you wish to reserve, full credit card payment is required, you can do tihs by contacting 604 801 5515 ext 100.

Here is a video from their tour!

http://youtu.be/BP11CJLYSN4

Book in advance as this is likely to sell out!!!

http://www.vancouvertrolley.com/tours/seasonal/haunted-halloween

Lonsdale Quay Market – ‘Savour Saturdays’.

Every Saturday throughout the month of October is ‘Savour Saturdays’ at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. The market here is the North Shores version of Granville Island market, and it is one to visit – especially if you are making an excursion to see the sights such as Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain.

It is going to be a great food festival, where you can taught some amazing recipes with the help of some amazing Chefs from the area – the festival will have something for everyone so it will be a fun filled family event.

The Market itself has plenty to see and do, with an amazing selection of local produce, fine meats, cheese, wine and artisan stores.
It is also very easy to reach this area from The Sunset Inn and Suites – Just catch the Number 6 Downtown Bus on Davie Street (outside Dennys) to the very last stop at Waterfront Station, transfer here to get the Seabus to Lonsdale Quay, where you are immediately at the Market!!!

http://www.lonsdalequay.com/events.php

If you do plan to go here, please see the Translink.ca link below which give you bus options to the Quay…

http://tripplanning.translink.ca/hiwire

September is the best month for late season hiking!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012


Vancouver is enjoying a fantastic end to the Summer Season, its hard to believe that come the weekend the official start of Autumn begins.

Now, lets not get too carried away with this, it seems likely that weather will hold out for us for the rest of the month, and at The Sunset Inn we all pretty much agree that the month of September is pretty awesome in the city.

So as the Sun still packs in some welcome warmth and the air has a beautiful crisp feel to it, this will be a good time to check out some hiking trails before its too late. We will recommend some easy and not so easy trails for you too enjoy.

The Grouse Grind.
One of the most challenging and famous of trails for people who are into hiking but are not the full deal, its a good beginners guide to people who are wanting to become more serious about hiking.
Every Wednesday there is the Grouse Grind Social, but you must hurry, the trail will soon be closed for the season as it gets a little too icy at the top.

Baden Powell Trail (North Shore).
This is a great tail that connects Deep Cove out towards Lynn Canyon and then onto Grouse Mountain, a very popular trail that hits the 3 major attractions of the North Shore. Deep Cove is a very beautiful small village that is a natural cove situated at the mouth of Indian arm, a very popular destination for kayaking. Lynn Canyon has its very own Suspension bridge, this is the locals favorite as it is free and not as crowded as Capilano, check it out!

Stanley Park/False Creek.
The majority of visitors that come to Vancouver will have heard of Stanley park, it is a huge park (same size as downtown) with amazing views of the North Shore districts of North and West Vancouver (where the trails above are situated) The Burrard Inlet and English Bay.
There are plenty of easy trails that criss cross their way through the park. If you are feeling energetic, you can even walk round the park, head towards False Creek and walk all along that area. A good tip is to hire bikes at English Bay Bike Rentals on Davie Street, this will get you around the park and the creek in no time.

So please make the most of it, as we now know we are on borrowed time, and with Vancouver being Vancouver, come October, the march of the Seasonal storms will be migrating from Alaska and knocking on our door….but this means something else…Ski Season!!!

For further information, please see the links and video below

http://vancouver.about.com/od/sportsrecreation/tp/Great-Vancouver-Hikes.htm

http://www.vancouvertrails.com/regions/vancouver-city/

This video really shows off the beauty of the wilderness that is pretty close by

http://youtu.be/AtIGOeVL-aM

Folk Festival at Deep Cove

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Deep Cove is by far one of the best kept secrets of the Vancouver North shore area. The small village is literally built alongside a natural Cove nestled within the mouth of Indian Arm.

Indian Arm is gorgeous for sightseeing as it is nestled between Grouse mountain and Mount Seymour. Deep Cove is famous for being one of the homes of Dragon Boat racing, regular boating and yachting, its also an extremely popular destination for anyone who wants to go Kayaking. Wether you are experienced or not, this is the place to go on these long hot summer days that have finally arrived to greet us.

http://www.deepcovekayak.com/

Not only that, but Deep Cove will be holding its annual North Shore Folkfest. Now in its 38th year, that are plenty of musicians to be entertained by on the evenings of Saturday June 16th and Sunday June 17th.

http://www.deepcovebc.com

So here is a suggestion on how you can make a full fun packed day with your loved ones. Deep Cove and the North Shore are easily accessible from The Sunset Inn and Suites either by Public Transport or your own vehicle. And if you are unsure – do not hesitate to ask the staff at the front desk for information and directions, we will make sure you know how to get there.

On the way to the North Shore, take a quick detour around Stanley Park, whilst you are doing the loop, make sure you visit the Stanley Park Totem Poles, have time to spend a couple of hours at the Vancouver Aquarium, then onto Prospect Point for a breathtaking view of the city, English Bay, Bowen Island, Lionsgate Bridge and The North Shore Mountains. Once this has been achieved, you are now ready to move over the Lionsgate Bridge towards North Vancouver and onto Lynn Canyon then Deep Cove.

Lynn Canyon is located very close to Deep Cove and will be the next destination after Stanley Park. The Canyon boasts a smaller wooden Suspension Bridge in comparison to Capilano Suspension Bridge (Lynn Canyon is truly the spot the majority of locals will tend to go too), The Lynn Canyon Cafe which is home to an ecological centre that educates you on the local Flora, Fauna and ecology of the Canyon a few yards away. There are also some excellent hiking trails that follow the river from the Grouse Mountain, we highly recommend that you explore the trails.

From Lynn Canyon you can then make your way east towards Deep Cove, here there are more trails to explore, the cute village, and gorgeous beach that is part of this natural cove….here you will be able to sign up and go Kayaking for an hour or more. After you have enjoyed the dip…..evening time should soon be upon you, now you can sit back and enjoy the music from the FolkFest.

Ski Season comes early to Vancouver!!!!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

As soon as Daylight Savings time arrives to greet us, so do the very first falls of Snow begin to appear on the North Shore Mountains, and what a beautiful sight it is! It provides a stunning backdrop to the city skyline of Vancouver. As always, we really want our visitors to get the best of what the area has to offer and we sincerely hope that you come away with a little bit of knowledge about the surroundings, so we will explain in some detail about what you can expect to see when you visit these mountain areas.

The good news about the snow falling is that in the last few weeks the Ski Hills have been busy preparing for the new Ski Season of 2011/2012. It is with great pleasure that we can announce that Cypress Mountain has opened some of their runs as of TODAY! For further information on Cypress and the transportation options, please visit their website on www.cypressmountain.com. Cypress Mountain was a venue that took part in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, it hosted the Snowboarding and Freestyle events, however not with a glitch, as unbelievably so, the lack of snow on the Mountain during the Olympics led to Snow being transported by Truck and Helicopter so the games could still go ahead.

This is the earliest known date for Cypress to open for the upcoming Winter so we all feel confident that the Grouse and Seymour Ski hills will be opening very soon, for further information here you can visit their websites too, www.grousemountain.com and www.mountseymour.com. It has also been predicted that this Winter season could very well be one of the coldest in the past 20 years, so lets keep our fingers crossed as Skiing, Snowboarding or Snowshoeing on these hills is something you will never forget.

The North Shore Mountains are part of the Cascade Mountain Range that extend from Southern BC, over the US border travelling down through the States of Washington, Oregon and Northern California. When visiting the North Shore Ski resorts on a clear day you will be taken back by the breathtaking views of Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley and the stunning Mount Baker at the head of the Fraser Valley. Another very popular and definitive landmark of these Mountains are ‘The Lions’. These are a pair of Peaks that are instantly recognizable landmarks and can be seen from a large area of the lower mainland, these distinctive twin peaks (also known as ‘The Sisters’ according to the local indigenous Squamish tribes of the area), overlook the Capilano Lake and Cleveland Dam. The Lions are the reason for the name of the BC Lions Football team.

The Cascade themselves are a mountainous region that is part of the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, this is a very active area of Plate Tectonics that are home to Volcanoes and ongoing seismic activity that encircles the majority of the Pacific Ocean, The Cascades are also home to the famous Mount St Helens situated in Southern Washington State. Mount Baker is an active Strato-Volcano and also happens to be one of the most snowy areas on earth, its location primed for the regular Pacific Storms that dumps a huge amount of rain on us and Snow on the summit each year, thus creating this incredibly white and imposing figure as a stunning backdrop to the South East of Vancouver, is is indeed our very own Mount Fuji.

The Grouse Mountain Ski resort added a new tourist attraction in 2010 that is also helping the resort to become a more environmentally friendly use of energy. On top of the peak you will see a huge Wind Turbine that is known as the ‘The eye of the Wind’, since the Turbine has been in use, its aim is to generate around 25% of the resorts energy so that the resort is able to function with sustainability at the forefront of its activities. Grouse Mountain is also home to the world famous ‘Grouse Grind’, although closed during the Fall, Winter and early Spring, this is worth a try if you are feeling daring and want to burn off some calories….it is called the Grind for good reason, as it is a trail that is 2.9km, and with just under 3000 steps and an incline in some parts of more than 40 degrees, it has become one of the most popular challenges for locals and tourists to complete, even a few of us at the hotel have managed to complete the Grind, so if we can do it so can you!

These Mountains also play a very important role with the weather here in Vancouver, the city and the whole of the Lower Mainland region is situated in an area called the Fraser Valley, and as we all know, rain is a very common weather event in this area. Due to the shape of the valley, the influence of the mountains is that they are a barrier to the incoming moisture from the passing storms, this enables the systems to drop more moisture on the city due to air funneling down through the valley from an easterly direction where it piles up against the North Shore Mountains, this in turn drops plenty of rain and snow on higher elevations on us during the Fall, Winter and Spring Seasons, Summer is commonly very dry as is typical of any Rainforest region.

This moisture is also what has helped influence the greenery that is associated with the Pacific North West, this area of the world is found among a Temperate Rain Forest, and if you do decide to go for hikes along the North Shore, you will get to experience the amazing green growth of a northern temperate jungle that is teeming with a wide variety of Wildlife, Flora and Fauna .

Vancouver is known for Raincity for a reason, and we have to be thankful for all this rain as it really makes this area unique and a wonderful playground for all ages.