The suburbs of Vancouver have been my home my entire life; I’m pretty adept at dealing with the 9 months of rainy weather we receive. Although i had planned to post this on a rainy weekend in October, a rainy day in August seemed just as fitting. With kids out of school, families on holidays and plenty of visitors in the city a guide on what to do when the weather doesn’t quite cooperate with your plans seemed fitting. When we want to get out as a family and the weather is not great here are a few of our favourite places to go. If you want some more ideas of Canadian Winter activities, click here.
What to do in Vancouver in the Rain with Kids
1. The Vancouver Aquarium
Visit the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park. You can browse the countless tanks with an array of fish and other sea creatures. The underwater viewing tanks of the resident belugas allow you to see them up-close as they gracefully move about their habitat. There are also penguins, otters, a tropical zone and many other exhibits to see. There is still quite a bit to see outdoors (such as the penguins and sea otters) so bring an umbrella or rain jacket!
TIP FOR VISITING: In the summer months, get there early as it gets pretty busy. If you have young kids, bring a sippy cup because their cafeteria does not provide lids or straws for their drinks in order to prevent them accidentally ending up in the outdoor tanks.
2. Granville Island Public Market / Kids Market / Aquabus
Take the covered Aquabus around false creek, stop at Granville Island and explore the Public Market where you will find all kinds of foods, local artisans and unique shops. Then make your way over to the Kids Market. The Kids Market at Granville Island has over 25 shops and services, all with kids in mind. There is a multi-level jungle gym located inside called the Adventure Zone, which also includes arcade games.
3. Science World
From Granville island you can also take the aquabus to Science World (or visa-versa), where you will discover various interactive activities and they always have special exhibits going on. Kids will love getting to touch and play and you can catch a film at the OMNIMAX theatre which boasts a 5 story high screen!
4. Blodel Conservancy
The Blodel Conservancy is an indoor domed structure located at Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. It is open every-day and is home to over 200 exotic birds and over 500 plants and flowers. If its grey and drizzley outside, step into the steamy jungle-like atmosphere and watch the birds flying around the dome and snap some photos of the beautiful flowers.
5. Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
Visit the Lynn Canyon suspension bridge and experience what it is really like to live in the rainforest. Yes you will get wet, bring an umbrella and boots. It is a beautiful place and you will likely avoid any crowds if it’s rainy!
Did you know? That Vancouver gets an average of 168 days of rain per year?
Go shopping at one of the indoor malls in the area. Pacific Center Mall is in the heart of Vancouver or take the skytrain to Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby. Who doesn’t love some retail therapy? Ok maybe toddlers wont appreciate it, but there is a cute train at Metrotown to ride around the mall (and it only costs $1)
7. HR Macmillan Space Center
HR Macmillan Space Center is the home of Vancouver’s planetarium and is located in Vanier Park. It contains displays and interactive exhibits that the kids will love.
8. Fly over Canada
Fly over Canada is a flight simulation attraction and one of Vancouver’s newer attractions. It features a 30 minute experience including a theatrical ride while your feet are hanging above the ground in front of a 20 meter screen. You will see some of Canada’s amazing sights, and diverse landscapes as you travel coast to coast in this thrilling ride. It also contains other special effects such as mist and scents to enhance the experience. TIP FOR VISITING: you will save a bit of money by booking online on their website. Children must be 40” – the height of an average 4 year old, to enter)
Have you been to any of these attractions to avoid the rain? What is your favourite rainy-day activity in Vancouver? Let us know in the comments
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What to do in Vancouver in the Rain with kids?
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Photo Credits: Featured Image by Roland Tanglao, Clown Fish by Vancouver Aquarium, Jelly Fish by Nicholas, Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge by GoToVan, HR Macmillan Space Centre by: HR Macmillan Space Centre, Umbrella with Boots Eric Skiff.