Squeeze in the Last of Summer in the Fraser Valley

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

With only a few short weeks of sunny weather left this season, many of us in the Fraser Valley are trying frantically to squeeze in as many summer activities as possible. With so many things to do in the Fraser Valley, how do you choose how to best enjoy what is left of our summer? Don’t fret – we’ve done the hard work for you!  We have put together a list of the 5 best ways to help you extend your summer for as long as possible.

1. Go Mini Golfing

If you have kiddos (or are just a kid at heart), outdoor mini golf is something to get excited about. The Fraser Valley has plenty of fun and family friendly mini golf courses that are sure to be a hit with everyone in your group. A few great outdoor courses worth visiting before the end of the summer: Tugboat Junction in Harrison Hot Springs, Giggle Ridge in Cultus Lake, Castle Fun Park in Abbotsford and  Bear Creek Park in Surrey.

For those wanting a more grown-up approach, be sure to visit Tap-Ins Putting Course in Cultus Lake before the end of the golfing season. A smaller version of a traditional golf game, this par-70, 18-hole putting course is a great way to spend a warm afternoon and practice your shot distance swing. Looking for a romantic couple’s night out destination? Bring your date (and a sweater!) after dusk for a round of night golfing under their well-lit course.

Castle fun park
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License by johnkoetsier

2. Go On a Circle Farm Tour

Grab a companion and head out to discover the path less travelled on one of the valley’s Circle Farm Tours. Fully customizable, these self-guided (and free!) tours are an excellent way to spend a sunny hour, afternoon, or whole day! Mix and match destinations to create your perfect tour, choosing from eco tourism locations, small specialty shops, artist studios, and heritage sites.

Circle Farm Tour guide brochures are available for Abbotsford, Agassiz & Harrison Mills, Mission, Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows, Chilliwack and Langley and can be found on the Circle Farm Tour website or at your local visitor’s center!

3. Go Fruit Picking

Keep a little bit of summer in your freezer this year, by stocking up on blueberries while they are still plentiful in the valley. We recommend grabbing your sun hat and a few friends, and heading out to the nearest you-pick blueberry farm for a berry filled afternoon adventure! Haven’t gone berry picking before? Don’t forget to bring a few containers with handles, a hat and sunblock (you will be in the sun) and some good summertime tunes. Blackberries are in abundance right now. Head to the Fort to Fort trail in Fort Langley and pick till your heart is content!

Driediger Farms (Langley) and Mann Farms(Abbotsford) are two great farms in the valley that are more than happy to guide first time pickers through the process. Many farms also sell pre-picked flats of blueberries by the pound, in case you’re running short on time (but be warned – you’ll miss out on all the fun!).

blackberry picking
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License by Amber Karnes

4. Go Explore Nature

Strap on your hiking shoes and head off to explore the acres of trails, wildlife sightings, and campsites within one of the Fraser Valley’s spectacular Provincial Parks. Golden Ears Provincial Park, one of the largest in the province, offers not only an extensive trail system,  and great camping, but is also horse and doggy friendly (in permitted areas).

Looking to spend some time by the water? Kilby Provincial Park offers great Harrison Lake access for relaxing on the beach, fishing and swimming (and is just a short distance away from the historic Kilby General Store!). Rolley Lake, situated on the tail end of Stave Lake, provides the perfect escape from everyday life. Motorized boats are not permitted at this lake, which adds to the serene atmosphere, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the sounds of nature. Campsites are located a short distance from the lake, and can be reserved in advance.  Visit the BC Parks websitefor directions, and a complete listing of all Provincial Parks within the Fraser Valley.

5. Go To An Event

The Fraser Valley Events page is constantly being updated with great events taking place in communities all over the Fraser Valley, most of which are still outdoor events! This Saturday, stop by and say hello at the Fraser Valley Pulse booth at the Summer Fort Festival in Fort Langley, or take a Sunday drive out to White Rock for the White Rock Farmers Market! Take a moment to browse the events happening in your area, or write a few events on slips of paper and draw one out of a hat. Either way, you’ll be sure to find an event that piques your interest, and gets you out to enjoy what is left of the beautiful sunny weather!

What sort of things do you always try to fit in during the last few weeks before school starts?  We’d love to hear how you are squeezing in the last of summer!

Contributor: Shannon Clattenburg

Shannon Clattenburg is a creative spirit first and a freelance writer second. She is a features writer for Fraser Valley Pulse and has a love for uncovering hidden gems throughout the Fraser Valley . She lives in Chilliwack with her boyfriend and her doggy Rolo. Twitter: @OrdinaryShan

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