Over the past 100 years, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Cambodian, Filipino and Laotian immigrants settled in Washington, Oregon and BC. Often, families move back and forth over the U.S.-Canadian borders, so there’s a nice multi-generational, multi-cultural intermingling at this point. Cascadia kids grow up eating sushi, pad Thai and dim sum; they attend cultural festivals with roots in Japan, China or Vietnam.
This cultural coalescence is obvious in Richmond, BC, where 60% of the city’s population is of Asian descent. You’ll find the Chinese-influnced Aberdeen Centre, the Taiwanese-style President Plaza, the pan-Asian Yaohan Centre (featuring a large Japanese supermarket) and the Hong Kong-style Parker Place.
Aberdeen Centre offers many kid-friendly shops and activities, along with Chinese herbal apothecaries, restaurants offering Malaysian meals and a store selling “Lotus Seats” — an electronic, remote-controlled toilet seat.
The Musical Water Fountain Shows shoot off in synchronized combinations of color, light and music.
On the third floor, we shopped Gacha Gacha Hobbies & Toys, a twirl of a store filled with dozens of toy vending machines and bins of character toys (Pokemon and the like)
Then we checked out the gym-like climbing zone with monkey bars, coin-operated cars, a canyon room and bunch of slides at Fun 4 Kidz.
The Centre also features Science World’s Richmond Classroom (second floor), which has a drop-in preschool playtime on Saturdays.
Daiso, the double-decker Japanese-originated mega-store, offers inexpensive toys, household goods and Japanese candies. Most are under $1.
Of course, there are also stuffed animal shops, candy stores and children’s clothing boutiques.
And no mall would be a mall without a foodcourt. Aberdeen’s serves up Beard Papa cream puffs, Chinese specialties and the Japanese chain,
Strawberry Cones Pizza & Pasta.CLOSED.
Noted as a “kids favorite” on the menu is the Hokkaido Potato Tuna. Unfortunately, not a favorite for my kids. But I love Strawberry’s creative mix of Western and Eastern cultures — in the form of Japanese-style pizza.
And the whole adventure is just a short drive from my home.
This post is part of DeliciousBaby’s Photo Friday.