Things to do at Fort Langley this spring

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Over a century and a half ago, a fur trade organization called the Hudson’s Bay Company established a small post to trade with the First Nations of the West Coast. The enterprise grew, evolved, and influenced history, leading to the creation of the colony of British Columbia. The location of that original trading post is now known as the Fort Langley National Historic Site.

Taking advantage of history, Fort Langley NHS now boasts numerous family-friendly activities. Here’s a rundown of some of the activities offered at Fort Langley.

Musket-firing – Enjoy the bang and black smoke of muskets fired from the palisade walls. Usually reserved for weekends at the Fort, during spring break (March 14-29) the demo takes place every day (unless its raining).

Dressing up in period garb – Don an 18th century costume and take a selfie in the Big House where Sir James Douglas, governor of Vancouver Island and B.C., proclaimed the colony of British Columbia.

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Blacksmithing – Hear the clang of the anvil and watch the Fort Langley blacksmith bend steel.

Coopering – Watch a coopering demonstration and learn how barrels were made.

Panning for gold – Take a turn at the Fort Langley sluice and pan for gold. Learn how the discovery of gold in the Fraser River led to a stampeding rush in 1858 and the arrival of nearly 30,000 prospectors.

Camping out – Fort Langley features five oTENTiks, a cross between an A-frame cabin and a prospector tent mounted on a raised wooden floor. This water-resistant accommodation is built to withstand diverse weather conditions and no set-up is required by campers. Each of the five units represents the heritage of Fort Langley’s diverse workers. Reservations start on March 17.

Easter Scavenger Hunt – Complete the activities of the scavenger hunt and earn chocolate treats. The all-ages scavenger hunt takes place around the grounds within the fort walls April 5 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more info, visit parkscanada.gc.ca/fortlangley.

Plan ahead: Fort Langley Day Camps for children ages 6-12 are new this summer in July and August. Call 604-513-4779 for details.

You can also learn more at facebook.com/FortLangleyNHS and twitter.com/FortLangleyNHS

Spring kids for Tourism Vancouver

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