40 Things to do in Vancouver with Kids
Vancouver and the surrounding Metro Vancouver area has hundreds of things to do for families. Situated in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada, Vancouver is world-renowned for its livability and constantly ranks in the Top 10 best cities to live in. Whether you call Vancouver home, or are just visiting for a few days, there are countless activites to do with your family in Vancouver! Known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, its many beaches and mountains keep the outdoor lovers happy, while its cosmopolitan amenities from fine dining to shopping have something for the urban explorer!
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Here are 40 Fun Things to do in Vancouver with Kids:
1. Spend the morning at the Vancouver Aquarium. We love that this can be done in half a day, just in time to have lunch and give the little ones a nap! It can get busy so going early is your best bet to experience this popular Vancouver attraction without the crowds!
2. Wander Granville Island and check out the local shops (the kids market is a favourite), fresh food and even the water park for the kids! This is one of the popular tourist spots in Vancouver and is also flooded with locals looking to browse the Granville Island Public Market.
3. Capilano Suspension Bridge is another one of the popular Vancouver sights. Completed in 1889, the bridge has seen millions of visitors over the years. The Capitano Suspension Bridge Park now boasts a variety of activities including a cliff walk, treetop platforms and also has self-guided programs for kids!
4. If relaxing, or people watching is your thing, grab your beach essentials and head over to Kits Beach for the afternoon!
5. When visiting Vancouver with kids, walk Stanley Park’s SeaWall or enjoy everything the park has to offer. With beautiful beaches and views of Deep Cove it is a stop you do not want to miss!
6. Grouse Mountain is an amazing summer or winter activity in Vancouver! With the hill covered in snow in the winter and amazing hiking and entertainment in the summer, it is well worth a visit! Did you know they have daily shows, a grizzly bear habitat and wolves! Grouse Mountain (and the other local mountains) also offer night skiing, making it one of the popular things to do in Vancouver at night with the locals!
7. Explore Lynn Canyon Park and Suspension Bridge and experience North Vancouver’s amazing parks.
9. Hike the Stawamus Chief (or take the new Sea to Sky Gondola!) to experience stunning views of Howe Sound and Garibaldi Provincial Park. This hike is a few hours long, with a large elevation gain and would not be suitable for young children. There are a few small ladders and chains to help navigate the steep sections, but this is a hike that can be done in good running shoes. If hiking is not your thing, you can still access the top of the chief with the Sea to Sky Gondola.
10. Spend the day exploring Science World and make sure to catch a movie on the giant IMAX screen! Kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens can explore the interactive exhibits at the Telus World of Science.
11. HR MacMillan Space Centre is a great way to spend the day for the little astronomy lover in your life!
12. Biking the Seawall on a Sunny Day is one of the top things to do in Vancouver for visitors and locals! Don’t have a bike? No Problem. There are plenty of rental shops and the city now runs a bike share program!
13. Get the kids out on the water and ride the Aquabus around False Creek. These little ferries travel around False Creek as a bus system for residents and visitors. Go from one stop to the other, or take a round trip around Vancouver’s waterfront.
14. Blodel Conservatory offers beautiful flowers and exotic birds inside a giant dome in Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park. Escape Vancouver’s often inclement weather for a taste of the tropics and view over 500 species of flowers and over 200 species of birds.
15. White Rock and Crescent Beach in Surrey are great ideas if you are looking for a new beach to check out! They do require you to have a car though!
16. Take in a Vancouver Whitecaps Game at BC Place Stadium. We love the camaraderie of sports and like to get our children involved! When we travel, we always try and take in a local sports event! You can read more about our love of sports here.
17. Hockey Fan? Watch the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena while you are in Vancouver.
18. Go Shopping on Robson Street. Mom and Dad need some “fun” time too!
19. If you have children over 40″ tall, take a ride on Fly over Canada, a thrilling view of my beautiful country awaits you. From the maker’s of Fly over California, soar over Canada from Coast to Coast
20. Hop on Hop of Sightseeing Tours offer a convenient way to get aquatinted with Vancouver’s downtown. It is one of our favourite things to do when we visit a new city, gives us an idea of where we want o spend more of our time and the easiest ways to get from our hotel to the local attractions!
21. River Raft on the Chilliwack River. Fancy a thrill? Take a zodiac down the Chilliwack river! Guaranteed fun will be had by all!
22. Want to know how the food gets to the table for Vanocuverites? Go Berry Picking at Krause Berry Farms in Langley in the spring and summer months! They also have a yummy waffle breakfast!
23. Take a day trip (or overnighter) to Whistler. The Host Mountain for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Whister is a great spot to visit, summer or winter. In the summer, hike or mountain bike in the alpine trails, or relax at the spa, golf or spend the afternoon shopping. There are beautiful alpine lakes to explore and there is something for kids of every age! In the Winter, hit the slopes for world class skiing and boarding, then heat up with an afternoon hot tub! There are lots of winter activities in Whister from dog sledding, to snow mobile tours to cross country skiing for those of you who do not want to hit the slopes!
24. Kayak in Deep Cove. What better way to spend a few hours when you visit Vancouver is to get out on the water! There are so many things to do in Vancouver, but some of the beautiful skylines can only be witnessed from the water. There are several rental companies in Deep Cove where you can rent kayaks.
25. Watch the Canadians at Nat Bailey Stadium. A Vancouver Pastime is to take in a nooner at the Nat! Enjoy some popcorn as this is one of the top things to do in Vancouver with the locals.
26. Maplewood Farm is great for little ones. If you have a car, head out and enjoy the plethora of activities that Maplewood farm has to offer. Located about 20 minutes from Vancouver, kids can interact with the farm animals, go for a ride, and learn about farming in Vancouver.
27. One of the popular things to do in Vancouver for sports enthusiasts is the BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Learn about British Columbia’s best athletes at this interactive museum.
28. Whale Watching tours depart from Vancouver seasonally. Want to see whales and other wildlife? This is a fun activity for kids, the boats are large, there are tables for colouring for the little ones and hot chocolate and snacks on certain operators. If you really want a thrill, take a zodiac!
29. Ride the SkyTrain from the Valley into Vancouver’s downtown. The kids love sitting up front as the driverless train races high above the round!
30. Wine Tour the Fraser Valley. Who says you can’t bring the kids on a wine tour? Many of the Fraser Valley Wineries offer amazing cheese plates and snacks that he kids can enjoy while you sample some of BC’s local wineries.
31. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a must for the garden enthusiast. Take your camera and enjoy!
32. Snowshoe at one of the local mountains. Visiting in the winter? Head up to one of the local mountains, Mount Seymour, Grouse Mountain or Cypress Bowl and strap on a pair of snowshoes!
33. Explore Vancouver’s Chinatown and learn about the Chinese Community’s history in Vancouver.
34. Hike the Grouse Grind. Vancouver’s natural stair master, a 2.9km trail up Grouse Mountain with 2800 feet of elevation gain. This is not for your little ones. It is a WORK OUT! Bring water and your camera. Don’t bother packing too much more because you are going to be climbing, and climbing and climbing. There are some great summertime actives at Grouse including the Lumberjack show. The Grind is one way only and you have to pay to take gondola down. It costs $10 per person.
35. Stave Falls Powerhouse is great for the outdoor enthusiast. Various hiking trails and gorgeous views can be found at this Vancouver attraction.
37. The Britannia Mine Museum, one of Canada’s National Historic Sites, is located on the way to Whistler. It is worth a visit if you have a vehicle. Featuring authentic underground mining tunnels, kids of all ages will get a thrill as they ride underground at the museum.
38. If you are visiting with older kids, golf one of the many golf courses around the Lower Mainland. From Par 3 courses to world class championship courses, there is something for every skill level and ability.
39. Visiting Vancouver in the Winter? Skiing and Snowboarding are among the popular winter activities in Vancouver. Visit Grouse Mountain, Mount Seymour, Cypress Mountain or Hemlock Resort for a day on the slopes! If you have more time, spend some time in Whistler!
40. Hit one of the many lakes for a beach day in Vancouver with toddlers or teens! There are many beautiful lakes within about an hour’s drive. They do get popular with the locals if you are visiting in the summer, so try and get there early! Beaches like Buntzen Lake and White Pine Beach often close the parking lot by early afternoon because they are full!
WHAT TO DO IN THE RAIN IN VANCOUVER
Do not let the Rain get your down, Vancouver is as beautiful as it is, partly due to its climate! Here are some ideas for What to Do with Kids in Vancouver in the Rain!
Where to Stay in Vancouver?
If you are looking for Vancouver hotel while sightseeing in British Columbia, here are a few of our picks for family-friendly hotels in downtown Vancouver.
Click on the Hotel name below and enter your travel dates for current rates.
If your stay is short or you have an early morning flight out of the City, consider this option which is attached to the airport! You can even send one parent down to check the luggage in before you have to wake the kids for the security line up! Click on the Hotel below, enter your travel dates and voila!
If you have more time and are looking for some weekend getaways from Vancouver, check out our post on Weekend Getaways from Vancouver!
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Photo Credit: Vancouver Skyline – Tourism Vancouver Clayton Pelly, JellyFish – Vancouver Aquarium – HR Macmillan Space Centre by HR Macmillan Space Centre,