Vancouver, known for its stunning natural beauty, vibrant culture, and friendly atmosphere, is a perfect destination for a family getaway. This coastal city in British Columbia, Canada, offers a plethora of top-rated activities that cater specifically to children. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, educational experiences, or interactive entertainment, Vancouver has it all. Exploring this lively city with your kids will create lasting memories and provide opportunities for fun and learning.
In this article, we have compiled a list of the 10 top-rated things to do in Vancouver with kids. Whether you’re a local looking for new adventures or a visitor planning a family vacation, this guide will help you discover the best activities that Vancouver has to offer. Get ready to embark on a journey filled with excitement, laughter, and exploration as we delve into the vibrant world of family-friendly entertainment in Vancouver.
Top rated things for Kids in Vancouver
Table of contents
- Top rated things for Kids in Vancouver
1. Stanley Park
A popular vacation spot for families is Stanley Park, which is situated on the outskirts of downtown Vancouver. This large urban park is the perfect place for a day of family amusement because it provides a variety of activities that appeal to both children and adults.
The Vancouver Aquarium is one of Stanley Park’s features. Children can discover fascinating displays that include penguins, jellyfish, sea turtles, and more. Children of all ages can benefit from the aquarium’s interactive exhibits and educational presentations, which offer a distinctive learning opportunity.
Stanley Park is also renowned for its picturesque seawall, a paved path that stretches along the waterfront. Families can rent bicycles or rollerblades and embark on a thrilling adventure. As you cycle or skate, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the city skyline, mountains, and ocean.
For a more hands-on and interactive experience, make sure to visit the Stanley Park Children’s Farmyard. Located near the entrance of Stanley Park, the farmyard is a delightful place for kids to interact with farm animals. They can feed and pet goats, rabbits, ducks, and other friendly creatures.
Stanley Park provides a perfect balance of nature, wildlife, and educational experiences, making it an ideal destination for families with kids. Whether it’s exploring the wonders of the Vancouver Aquarium, enjoying outdoor activities along the seawall, or getting up close and personal with animals at the Children’s Farmyard, Stanley Park offers endless possibilities for family-friendly adventures.
2. Science World at TELUS World of Science
Science World at TELUS World of Science is an iconic attraction in Vancouver that combines education and entertainment for children of all ages. This interactive science center offers a variety of exhibits and programs designed to spark curiosity and ignite a passion for learning.
At Science World, children can immerse themselves in a world of discovery through interactive exhibits and hands-on activities. The center features a wide range of exhibits that cover various scientific disciplines, allowing kids to explore the human body, understand the principles of physics, delve into the wonders of chemistry, and much more. These exhibits are designed to engage children in a fun and educational manner, encouraging them to ask questions, experiment, and learn through hands-on experiences.
Additionally, Science World provides unique presentations and programmes designed especially for children. These engaging interactive presentations are made to engage young minds and cover a variety of scientific topics. Children can participate in thrilling physics experiments, observe chemistry demonstrations, and get up close and personal with live animals.
One of the highlights of Science World is its IMAX theater, where families can enjoy larger-than-life educational films. The IMAX experience provides a truly immersive and awe-inspiring adventure. Through stunning visuals and powerful storytelling, kids can embark on virtual journeys to the depths of the ocean, the vastness of outer space, or the wonders of the natural world.
3. Granville Island
Granville Island, located in the heart of Vancouver, is a vibrant hub of art, culture, and family-friendly activities. This unique destination offers a variety of attractions that cater to children, making it a perfect spot for a day of exploration and entertainment.
The Kids Market is a must-see destination for families travelling to Granville Island with children. With its variety of distinctive toy stores, apparel boutiques, booksellers and interactive play spaces, this multi-level building is a child’s dream. A wide variety of toys, games, and crafts can keep kids entertained for hours while also igniting their imaginations and stimulating their senses.
Families can visit the Granville Island Water Park for an exciting water adventure. Kids love this colourful water park’s assortment of splash pads, water sprays, and fountains. Children can escape the summertime heat by running through the water features and taking pleasure in the cool splashes and chuckles.
Granville Island is also known for its lively atmosphere and vibrant street performances. As families explore the island, they may encounter talented musicians, magicians, and other performers showcasing their skills. Kids can be captivated by the magic tricks, mesmerized by live music, and entertained by engaging street shows.
4. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a thrilling and scenic attraction that offers a unique outdoor experience for families visiting Vancouver. Nestled in the lush rainforest, this park is known for its iconic suspension bridge and a range of activities that will captivate children and adults alike.
Of course, the stunning suspension bridge itself is the focus of Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Walking across the swaying bridge, which spans 137 metres (450 feet) across the scenic Capilano River and is framed by tall trees and rushing water, is an amazing experience. Children can experience a sense of adventure as they make their way across this famous monument while admiring the breathtaking views of the forest below.
Beyond the suspension bridge, the park provides the spectacular Treetops Adventure, a network of suspended walkways and platforms that let guests get up close and personal with the forest canopy. Kids may explore the rich plant and animal life that inhabits this rainforest while walking amid the treetops, taking in the lush foliage from above.
Another thrilling attraction at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is the Cliffwalk. This suspended walkway extends along the granite cliffs of the Capilano Canyon, offering panoramic views of the surrounding scenery. Children can feel a sense of excitement as they navigate the narrow walkway and glass-bottomed sections, providing a thrilling adventure and an appreciation for the rugged beauty of the area.
In addition to the main attractions, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park offers nature trails, interactive exhibits, and informative displays that provide educational opportunities for children. Kids can learn about the local flora and fauna, the history of the area, and the importance of preserving the environment. It’s an opportunity for families to engage in environmental education and deepen their connection to the natural world.
5. Vancouver Aquarium
The Vancouver Aquarium is a world-class marine facility that offers an immersive and educational experience for families with kids. Located in Stanley Park, this renowned attraction is home to a wide variety of aquatic life, providing an opportunity for children to learn about marine ecosystems and conservation.
Upon entering the Vancouver Aquarium, families are greeted with captivating exhibits featuring a diverse range of marine species. Kids can marvel at the colorful fish, graceful sea turtles, playful sea otters, and majestic beluga whales. The aquarium offers interactive displays and informative presentations, allowing children to gain a deeper understanding of the underwater world.
The Vancouver Aquarium’s opportunity for kids to engage in practical activities is one of its highlights. At the well-known touch pools, kids may touch and feel aquatic creatures like starfish and sea cucumbers. They can participate in interactive activities like feeding sessions or behind-the-scenes excursions to learn more about the aquarium’s inhabitants’ care and conservation efforts.
The Vancouver Aquarium serves as a centre for study and conservation in addition to being a site to view marine life. Families may discover more about the current initiatives to safeguard and restore threatened habitats and animals. Children learn about the issues affecting our seas and the value of protecting these delicate settings for future generations by going to the aquarium.
6. Grouse Mountain
Grouse Mountain is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and families seeking adventure and breathtaking views. Located just outside of Vancouver, this mountain offers a range of activities that are sure to captivate kids and create lasting memories.
The Skyride, a picturesque gondola that takes passengers to the mountaintop, is where the journey to Grouse Mountain starts. As they make their way to the summit, they will delight in the expansive vistas of the surrounding landscapes. The Skyride is a thrilling experience in and of itself, giving visitors a chance to take in the beauty of their surroundings and receive a bird’s eye view of Vancouver.
At the top of Grouse Mountain, families can visit the Wildlife Refuge, which serves as a sanctuary for a variety of animals. Here, kids can observe grizzly bears, gray wolves, and birds of prey up close. It’s a chance for children to learn about these majestic creatures, their habitats, and the importance of wildlife conservation.
The Peak of Vancouver is the mountain’s summit, offering breathtaking views of the city, the ocean, and the surrounding mountains. Families can enjoy the panoramic vistas from the observation deck and capture memorable photos together. The Peak of Vancouver is also home to restaurants, cafes, and a mountaintop theater, allowing families to relax and enjoy a meal while taking in the stunning scenery.
Grouse Mountain provides an exciting and enriching experience for families. From the thrilling Skyride to the wildlife encounters at the Wildlife Refuge and the array of outdoor adventures available, kids will have an unforgettable time exploring this mountain paradise.
7. Vancouver Maritime Museum
The Vancouver Maritime Museum offers a fascinating exploration of the maritime history and heritage of Vancouver and British Columbia. Located in Kitsilano, this museum is a treasure trove of maritime artifacts, interactive exhibits, and engaging displays that provide insight into the region’s rich maritime heritage.
Upon entering the Vancouver Maritime Museum, families are greeted with a diverse collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the maritime history of Vancouver. Kids can explore various galleries that highlight different aspects of maritime life, including the challenges of navigation, the importance of trade and transportation, and the stories of local seafaring communities.
One of the highlights of the Vancouver Maritime Museum is the St. Roch, a historic ship displayed within the museum. The St. Roch was the first vessel to sail through the Northwest Passage from west to east, and it played a significant role in Canadian maritime history. Kids can step aboard this iconic ship and learn about the daring expeditions and challenges faced by early explorers.
The museum also offers interactive exhibits and activities designed specifically for children. Kids can participate in hands-on learning experiences, such as tying knots, operating maritime equipment, and navigating simulated ship bridges. These interactive elements provide a fun and engaging way for children to learn about the maritime world and its various aspects.
The Vancouver Maritime Museum provides an enriching experience for families interested in maritime history and exploration. From exploring the historic vessel St. Roch to interactive exhibits and educational programs, children can immerse themselves in the fascinating world of seafaring adventures.
8. Vancouver Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery is a renowned cultural institution located in the heart of downtown Vancouver. With its vast collection of contemporary and historical artworks, the gallery offers a rich and diverse artistic experience for families visiting the city.
The Vancouver Art Gallery is home to a sizable collection of works in a range of mediums, styles, and historical eras. Families can visit galleries that are stocked with works of art created by regional, national, and worldwide artists. The artworks on show will awe children with their vivid colours, deft detailing, and thought-provoking topics.
Rotating exhibitions featuring certain artists, movements, or themes are also presented at the gallery. With each visit, these exceptional exhibitions offer a new and exciting experience as well as a closer look into particular facets of the art world. Families can look at recent creations, historical reflections, or thematic exhibits that examine social challenges or cultural viewpoints.
The gallery’s location in downtown Vancouver provides an added benefit for families. After exploring the artworks, families can enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the surrounding area. There are numerous restaurants, cafes, and shops nearby, allowing families to extend their cultural outing and make it a full-day experience.
The Vancouver Art Gallery offers a captivating and educational experience for families interested in the world of art. From the diverse collection of artworks to the engaging exhibitions and interactive programs, children can immerse themselves in the world of creativity and artistic expression.
9. VanDusen Botanical Garden
VanDusen Botanical Garden is a picturesque oasis nestled in the heart of Vancouver. This 55-acre garden offers a serene and enchanting experience for families, with its diverse collection of plants, stunning landscapes, and engaging activities.
Upon entering VanDusen Botanical Garden, families are greeted with a kaleidoscope of colors and fragrances. The garden showcases a vast array of plant species from around the world, including vibrant flowers, towering trees, and unique foliage. Kids can explore themed gardens, such as the Asian Garden, the Sino-Himalayan Garden, and the Fragrance Garden, each offering a different ambiance and plant selection.
The Elizabethan Maze is one of the centrepieces of VanDusen Botanical Garden. The dense hedges present a challenge to children’s problem-solving abilities and sense of direction. Children can have a pleasant and engaging time in the maze that encourages discovery and a sense of adventure.
Children can learn about the natural world and environmental preservation at the VanDusen Botanical Garden. For kids of all ages, the garden offers guided tours, seminars, and nature-themed programmes. Kids can participate in practical activities like seed planting, bird watching, and nature scavenger hunts that foster a stronger connection with nature and an understanding of sustainable practises.
The garden’s tranquil setting also provides a space for families to relax and unwind. There are picnic areas where families can enjoy a leisurely meal amidst the beauty of nature. The garden’s visitor center houses a café where families can grab a snack or refreshments while taking in the serene surroundings.
10. Lynn Canyon Park
Lynn Canyon Park is a natural oasis located in North Vancouver, offering a peaceful and scenic retreat for families. With its lush forests, breathtaking waterfalls, and suspension bridge, it provides a perfect opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy outdoor activities.
The suspension bridge that across the canyon is one of Lynn Canyon Park’s key draws. As they cross the swinging bridge, suspended above the raging waters below, children will be enthralled. The bridge gives breathtaking views of the forest surroundings and thrills the whole family with its sense of adventure.
A network of hiking routes winds across the lovely coastal rainforest in Lynn Canyon Park. Families can go on easy walks or strenuous treks while experiencing the tranquilly of nature. Children can explore the area’s tall trees, observe birds and squirrels, and enjoy the calming sounds of the creek running by.
The Twin Falls are a beautiful waterfall in Lynn Canyon Park that drop into a tranquil pool below. It is one of the park’s attractions. Families can take the walk to the falls and take in the captivating sight and cool mist in the air. Everyone may have a fun and unique time thanks to the children’s ability to play by the water’s edge or dip their toes in the cold pool.
For families looking for a rural getaway from the city, Lynn Canyon Park is a hidden treasure. It provides the ideal balance of adventure, relaxation, and exploration for guests of all ages with its suspension bridge, picturesque pathways, lovely waterfalls, and educational facilities.
Vancouver offers a wide range of top-rated activities for families with kids. From exploring the lush greenery of Stanley Park and immersing in the fascinating world of science at Science World to experiencing the thrill of walking across the Capilano Suspension Bridge and discovering the wonders of marine life at the Vancouver Aquarium, there is no shortage of engaging and memorable experiences to be had.
By engaging in these top-rated activities, families can create lasting memories, foster a love for nature, inspire curiosity in science and history, and enjoy quality time together. Vancouver truly is a city that caters to the interests and imaginations of children, making it an ideal destination for family vacations.
So, whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to the city, be sure to explore these top-rated things to do in Vancouver with kids.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Are these activities suitable for kids of all ages?
A: Yes, the activities mentioned in the article are designed to cater to kids of various ages. Families can find options that are suitable for young children as well as activities that will engage teenagers.
Q: Are these activities expensive?
A: The cost of these activities can vary. Some attractions may have admission fees, while others may be free or offer discounted rates for children. It is advisable to check the websites or contact the specific attractions for up-to-date pricing information.
Q: Can we bring our own food to these attractions?
A: The policies regarding outside food may vary depending on the attraction. While some places may have designated picnic areas where you can bring your own food, others may have on-site cafes or restaurants where you can purchase meals and snacks. It is best to check the rules and regulations of each attraction beforehand.
Q: Are these attractions easily accessible by public transportation?
A: Many of these attractions are conveniently located and accessible by public transportation in Vancouver. Stanley Park, Granville Island, and Science World, for example, can be easily reached by public buses or SkyTrain. However, it is advisable to check the specific transportation options and routes for each attraction to plan your visit accordingly.
Q: Are these attractions open year-round?
A: Most of the attractions mentioned in the article are open year-round, but it is important to note that operating hours may vary, especially during holidays and special events. It is recommended to check the websites or contact the attractions directly to confirm their operating hours and any potential closures.