CHARLESON PARK PLAYGROUND
Charleson Park is one of two playgrounds in the City of Vancouver, that feature an eye-catching, wooden pirate ship! (The other “pirate park” is Jones Park) Complete with a steering wheel and telescope on deck, it also includes components like climbing nets, a rope and log bridge, a rubber hammock and table with seats below. From above, children can take in the views of False Creek and shout, “Ahoy ye maties!” to those walking the seawall.
A favourite playground for many, Charleson also features a big embankment slide that’s angled in a way that causes some people to mysteriously slide very slow and other times very fast. It’s a silly way to pass the time, watching people anticipate a scary slide down but be met with a slo-mo journey instead.
Rebuilt and reopened in late 2020, it’s also the second playground (after Douglas Park) to showcase not one but TWO trampolines. Elevated portions in the rubber surfacing invite creative jumping opportunities.
This large playground also has elements that were present before the rebuild, such as the play structure with slide and climbers, as well as the multi-user we-saw, springy platform, playhouse and digger in the sand area. Other aspects are new, like the rope pyramid, spring rider (I think?) and play kitchen.
This “pirate park” as some call it, also provides the most variety of swings, catering to a wide range of preferences from baby and standard swings, to universal, saucer, and also a unique tandem swing that we have yet to seen at other playgrounds.
Lastly, many locals were sad to see the large climbing tower be removed during the rebuild. It was a 30+ yr old, tall wooden structure that provided a large platform to view the river from above. Now the embankment provides a similar vantage point and the tree that was next to the tower now has a timber deck with a rope swing. It’s not as grand as the tower used to be, but it had to be retired due to it’s age and condition.
Charleson Park is one of our favourite places and not just because of the appealing new playground. A leisurely walk from the Laurel St land bridge reveals other gems like wooded pathways, a waterfall, little ravine, pond and other pockets of nature. We hope to write about what else makes Charleson Park a wonderful spot in a future blog post.
Please note that False Creek Elementary uses this playground during school hours.