Another Free “Beat the Heat Activity”

As the heat wave continues to sit over top of Metro Vancouver and much of southern British Columbia I am looking for more creative ways to entertain my children while avoiding the heat as best I can.

I previously took the kids to Burnaby Village Museum which they loved, but today I wanted to be inside and away from the direct rays of the sun. So we went to one of the largest and most challenging escape room experiences there is in our city.

Yes, we went to IKEA.

The number one benefit of going to IKEA is that basically nobody bothers you or tries to sell you anything.

Unless your kids are like mine and are easily embarrassed by their Dad’s ridiculous antics like trying to climb through the tunnel tube only to get his ass-end stuck. Then they will bother you.

There are endless places to sit and read as well as if you get really tired, you can easily have a nap. If anybody from the store asks all you have to do is say “I’m just trying to get a feel for this furniture.”

Another benefit is that there is a relatively inexpensive cafeteria where there are many kinds of food that kids can get food. Foods that it is almost guaranteed that kids will like. The fact that kids are almost guaranteed to like it makes me question the nutritional value of the food. But not for long. They’re eating. That means they won’t be hangry later!

One of the things that I always consider when going to a place such as Burnaby Village Museum or the Vancouver Aquarium is what does the gift shop look like. The gift shop at Burnaby Village Museum is tiny and out-of-the-way. That means that a parent can escape without too much damage to their wallet.

The Vancouver Aquarium on the other hand has a massive gift shop that you have to exit through in order to leave the place. It is like running a gauntlet. You know you have to do it and you know you’re going to get hurt. At least your wallet is going to get hurt.

A drawback to spending the day at IKEA is that the entire store is essentially a gift shop. It is such an amazing and well organized gift shop that there are items that will tempt every age and every desire. I have to admit that I even bought a couple solar powered lamps for myself!

All things considered, while Costco is my favourite “escape from the sun shopping heaven” (free snacks and hotdogs for $1.50 WITH a drink) the Escape Room experience of IKEA is a real winner and I can almost guarantee we’ll be back inside IKEA before the summer is over.

Any recommendations from you for (free) places to take the kids and beat the heat?

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