Through sunshine and the rain, Stanley Park’s natural attractions, activities, and tree-lined trail offerings are abundant. The seawall attracts throngs of visitors, runners, walkers, and cyclists, while the Vancouver Aquarium, Prospect Point, Hollow Tree, the sports fields, and Second Beach Pool all provide unique opportunities for enjoying the park.
Picnics are another way to enjoy Vancouver’s crown jewel. Bring your baskets to one of these locations throughout the park to enjoy a meal outdoors with family and friends.
Blanket and Table Picnics
- Lumberman’s Arch: The lawn between the Vancouver Aquarium and the North side of the seawall is a great lookout spot. It’s close to the waterpark for the kids, the concession stand, and washrooms.
- Rose Garden: The rumble of traffic on the causeway will fade away as you lay out under a leafy canopy in the rose garden. Clusters of floral shrubbery and bushes provide separation from others out on their blankets.
- Hollow Tree: You’ll find picnic tables near the restored Hollow Tree along Stanley Park Drive.
- Prospect Point Ballpark: More picnic tables can be spotted near the athletic fields just South West of Prospect Point.
- Ceperley Meadow: Host of free outdoor movies nights, the lawn at Ceperley Meadow is a sunny sprawl near all of the Second Beach facilities.
- Brockton Oval: Site of the Vancouver 125 Summer Live concerts, there’s plenty of room to setup lunch on the grass and throw a Frisbee around.
- Brockton Point: Picnic tables are available near the Brockton lookout and lighthouse on the Western tip of the park. Walk in from around the Coal Harbour seawall or park nearby.
- Third Beach: Our favourite urban beach has a concession along with a picnic area up above the seawall with gorgeous views, tables and benches.
Reserved Picnic Areas for Groups
The following picnic locations in Stanley Park can be booked for large groups for lunch or dinner between 9:00am and 4:00pm, and 4:00pm and 9:30pm:
- Ceperley/Second Beach Shelter for up to 150 people (seats 110) features 3 cold water sinks, 4 electrical outlets and is close to the playground, pitch & putt, outdoor pool, washrooms, and parking. Fee $100.
- Miniature Railway #1 shelter for up to 150 people (seats 110) features a shared kitchen, 2 electrical outlets, cold water, a grassed area and is close to Lumbermen’s Arch, Miniature Train and Vancouver Aquarium. Fee $100.
- Miniature Railway #2 shelter for up to 150 people (seats 80) features a shared kitchen, 2 electrical outlets, cold water, a grassed area and is close to Lumbermen’s Arch, Miniature Train and Vancouver Aquarium. Fee $100.
- Prospect Point shelter for up to 150 people features a kitchen with sinks and 3 power outlets, ball diamond access, hot coal disposal pit, shuttle bus stop nearby, washrooms. Fee $159.82.
If you’re up for a bit of a hike, follow the Merilees Trail down from Prospect Point (accessible from the Stanley Park Drive sidewalk) and where it splits, vere right down the unmarked path that goes along the water. This is Siwash Rock Trail, which is marked from the other side.
There are a few rolling hills but once you get to the Westernmost point on the trail, Siwash Rock will come into view and you’ll spot a decent-sized clearing on the park side. You can tell the area was hit hard during the storm of 2006 as it’s unusually bare. Trees have fallen and made way for a tiered picnic area where a handful of few picnic benches have been installed.
Bring a picnic, enjoy the hike, savour the views — and the solitude. Be sure to cart out everything you bring into the park and use recycle bins where available.