Mainland Whisky owner Steve Watts pours a drink at the South Surrey establishment. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

Mainland Whisky owner Steve Watts pours a drink at the South Surrey establishment. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

10 THINGS TO DO IN SURREY: Sound a siren, sip some whisky, eat at ‘Spy House’

A weekly list of stuff to explore in the city

Every Friday this summer, we’ll publish a list of 10 Things to Do in Surrey, a chance to explore new places and events in the area. Email us your favourite things to do in Surrey, edit@surreynowleader.com.

1. VISIT EXOTIC ANIMALS

South Surrey’s Urban Safari Rescue Society is home to a range of exotic animals surrendered to the caretakers, and the number of critters is always growing. Frogs, snakes, spiders, birds, lizards, fish – you name it, it’s there, for tours, camps, courses and more. Some of the animals have been seen in feature films and TV shows, too. Check it out at 1395 176th St., or visit urbansafari.ca.

2. SIP SOME WHISKY

Located in the business park at Campbell Heights, Mainland Whiskey boasts a cocktail lounge, a shop and, on select days, an outdoor dining area/lounge with live music. Influenced by American “moonshine” recipes, their small-batch corn whisky and whisky liqueurs are made with organic ingredients. The colourful names include Time Machine, “aged in an electric box, wired with time-altering devices.” Visit mainlandwhisky.com for more.

3. SOUND A SIREN

One Newton-area firehall is home to “Call of the Siren,” an “interactive tribute to firefighters” where people can turn the crank on the outside of an arch to create a soft and subtle siren sound. Artist Luke Blackstone created the attraction at Firehall No. 10 (7278 132nd St.) back in 2007. “While the audio and visual siren references remind the community that firefighters are always on duty in the event of an emergency, the shape of the arch also suggests protection — again, a tribute to the public-safety role that firefighters play,” says a post on the city’s website (surrey.ca).

4. ENJOY A SUNSET

Crescent Beach is a go-to spot for sunset watchers, along with nearby Blackie Spit. Grab an ice cream cone from a place on Beecher Street (Martino’s or the Red Baron), stroll to one of the beached logs, gaze west and enjoy the evening show. The history of Crescent Beach dates back to 1909 when development of the Great Northern Railway first made the beach easily accessible to the public. By 1913, permanent dikes were built, and now form a pathway that traverses the waterfront.

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5. CLIMB WALLS

Surrey boasts several indoor climbing centres, including Coastal Climbing in Newton, Project in Cloverdale and The Hive in Bridgeview.

6. BUZZ WITH BEES

Cloverdale’s Honeybee Centre buzzes as a commercial honey farm, country store, honey packing facility and visitor attraction, at 7480 176th St. Private hive tours ($175) involve suiting up in protective gear, lighting a bee smoker and getting up close with more than 40,000 bees. For details, fly over to honeybeecentre.com.

7. PLAY AT ‘JUMPSTART’

Newton’s Unwin Park (13313 68th Ave.) is home to Jumpstart, an award-winning inclusive playground for kids of all abilities. Opened in 2019, the 12,000-square-foot playground sits atop a giant Canadian Tire logo and features double-wide ramps, sensory play centre, a “We-Go-Round,” slides with transfer benches, an OmniSpin spinner and more.

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8. PLAZA PEOPLE-WATCH

Connecting Surrey City Hall, City Centre Library, SFU, KPU and the 3 Civic Tower, Surrey Civic Plaza is a great place for community events and also people-watching. Take a seat on the concrete stairs, painted with a forest-path scene, next to Take Five Café. In recent years the plaza has become a magnet for movie and TV shoots, including Elseworlds, CW’s Supergirl and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in Skyscraper.

• RELATED STORY: Surrey’s Civic Plaza featured in new Disney+ trailer for ‘Turner & Hooch’

9. GET ROLLING

Billed as Metro Vancouver’s largest indoor amusement park, the year-old Central City Fun Park features a roller rink with stringed lights overhead. Admission for skating is $10 for adults and $8 for kids, with free skate/helmet rentals, at 11125 124th St. More details are posted on centralcityfunpark.com.

10. EAT AT ‘SPY HOUSE’

Surrey’s old “spy house,” a home once owned by a German national suspected of being a spy, is now a family-owned pub in the Port Kells area. The house history is told in newspaper clippings and photos that hang on the wall of Baron’s Manor Pub, which has operated there for more than a decade, 9568 192nd St.

• READ MORE: ‘Spy house’ now a pub, a dream project of man who didn’t live to see it open.

More things to do in Surrey: CLICK HERE to read the entire “101 Things to Do in Surrey” feature from our June 24 print edition.

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