Updated: Jul 22, 2020
Two years ago I watched a man scale the side of my apartment building as though gravity didn’t apply to him. I had never seen such stealth outside of a Cirque du Soleil show. He wore no ropes, and yet he catapulted over a fence and continued into the night never to be seen again. My building was a minor inconvenience to his journey.
He was a real life Ninja in the night.
When my son, Denzel, mentioned his interest in learning this Free Running skill (Parkour), I was genuinely thrilled at the thought of watching him develop this level of Ninja skills. He has always had amazing body movement skills.
Shortly after moving to British Columbia, I was surprised and delighted to discover Origins Parkour offered classes for children as young as 5! Denzel started his classes and couldn’t get enough of them.
This was a dream come true for him.
One day, while at home, he begged to go back to another class. I explained we couldn’t just show up whenever we wanted to and we had to go for the appointed class time. Denzel suggested we go to an outdoor parkour park. I huffed are him stating blankly “there was no such thing.” He retorted “just google it”. And since I enjoy opportunities to show that I am indeed always right, I hopped online and did a search.
As karma would have it, not only did I find the Penzer Action Park about 40 mins from our home in Langley. It also appeared to be the biggest outdoor parkour park in North America. Good one Vancouver! I wondered how many times I would be inserting my foot in my mouth as a parent.
We packed up and went for a drive instantly. The experience was unforgettable. The ground was soft and rubbery, with built in trampolines installed for children who were brave enough to vault themselves into the air, often times doing front and back flips before landing again.
There were wooden beams strategically placed for people to climb up, and poles to swing off of just like Tarzan!
I asked myself how this was legal?
Where were the waivers to sign before entering?
For the faint of heart, there is also a small climbing section for younger kids that allows them to crawl over and under logs and into caves. Practicing their balance before moving to the larger course.
Since then, we have returned numerous times with friends. My children alternate between the challenging parkour course and the other activities that are part of this playground.
There is a dirt bike course, that looks absolutely terrifying. With ramps I couldn't even walk up, it vaulted children onto these launch pads and then down onto loose earth. I was thrilled my son was now wearing his full face helmet on all our adventures.
The track looped back and forth on varying levels of difficulty allowing my 3&4 year old to also enjoy the course without jeopardizing the number of teeth in their mouths.