The Getaway
15 Things to Do in Vancouver with Kids

Traveling with kids can be an adventure, but it can also be a challenge to find activities that everyone will enjoy. Luckily, if you're planning a trip to Vancouver, you'll find no shortage of fun and engaging things to do with your little ones. This vibrant city is a paradise for families, offering a perfect mix of natural wonders, cultural attractions, and kid-friendly experiences.

From exploring the lush forests and sandy beaches of Stanley Park to discovering the wonders of science at Science World, Vancouver has something to offer for every age and interest. In this article, we've rounded up 15 of the top activities and attractions that are sure to delight and entertain your kids while also providing plenty of opportunities for learning and growth.

So whether you're a local looking for new ideas or a visitor planning the ultimate family vacation, read on to discover the best things to do in Vancouver with kids. Get ready to make some unforgettable memories together in this beautiful, family-friendly city!

Advertisement

01 Visit Stanley Park

bike riding on the sea wall of downtown Vancouver Stanley Park Sterling Lorence Photo / Getty Images

Stanley Park is a must-visit destination for families in Vancouver. This 1,000-acre urban oasis offers a wealth of activities and attractions that will keep kids entertained for hours. Walk or bike along the park's beautiful trails that meander through dense forests and by the impressive seawall. Take a break at one of the many playgrounds or beaches where kids can run, climb, and splash to their hearts' content. Don't miss the Stanley Park Train, which offers a fun and educational ride through the park's beautiful landscapes. And be sure to check out the Vancouver Aquarium, located right inside the park, for an up-close look at marine life from around the world. With so much to see and do, Stanley Park is the perfect place to spend a day (or more!) with your family.

Advertisement

02 Explore Science World

Vancouver, Canada - January 10 2016: Evening view of Science World at Telus World of Science, a popular attractions for tourists and families in Vancouver, B.C. Canada Stephen Bridger / Shutterstock.com

Science World is an essential destination for inquisitive children and their families. This interactive science museum offers hands-on exhibits and displays that make learning about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) enjoyable and captivating. Kids can explore a wide range of topics, from the human body to the wonders of the universe, through interactive exhibits that encourage them to touch, play, and experiment.

One of the highlights of Science World is the IMAX theatre, which shows educational films on a giant screen, immersing viewers in stunning visuals and fascinating scientific concepts. Outside the main building, kids can enjoy outdoor exhibits, including a water play area and a giant chess set.

Science World is conveniently located at the end of False Creek, making it easy to access by public transportation or car. Be sure to check the schedule for live science demonstrations and shows, which offer even more opportunities for learning and engagement. And when it's time for a break, the on-site Triple O's restaurant offers kid-friendly meal options to keep everyone fueled up for more science fun.

Advertisement

03 Visit the Vancouver Aquarium

VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA APRIL 28, 2017. The entrance to Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley park. The aquarium is a popular attraction with tourists. Shutterstock

The Vancouver Aquarium is a world-class facility that offers a fascinating glimpse into the underwater world. With over 50,000 animals from around the globe, including beluga whales, sea otters, and penguins, there's no shortage of marine life to discover. Kids will love the interactive touch pools, where they can get up close and personal with sea stars, anemones, and other gentle creatures.

Throughout the aquarium, educational exhibits showcase the incredible diversity of marine life and the importance of conservation efforts. Be sure to check the daily schedule for animal feedings and talks, which offer a chance to learn even more about your favorite sea creatures.

For an extra dose of excitement, don't miss the 4D theatre, which combines stunning visuals with sensory effects like wind and mist for a truly immersive underwater experience. With so much to see and do, the Vancouver Aquarium is a must-visit destination for families exploring Stanley Park.

Advertisement

04 Spend a day at Granville Island

Granville Island Public Market on May 17, 2007 in Vancouver, Canada. It's home to over 100 vendors offering fresh seafood, meats, sweets and European specialty foods. DeymosHR / Shutterstock.com

Spend a day exploring the vibrant Granville Island, a hub of activity and entertainment for families. Start by visiting the Kids Market, filled with unique toy stores and kid-friendly shops that will delight children of all ages. The market also features an indoor play area and a small water park, perfect for burning off some energy.

Next, head to the famous Granville Island Public Market, where you can enjoy live entertainment and a variety of delicious food options, including kid favorites like pizza and ice cream. The market is a great place to grab lunch or snacks while soaking up the lively atmosphere.

In the afternoon, take a leisurely ferry ride around False Creek, enjoying stunning views of the city skyline and nearby islands. If you're visiting during the summer months, be sure to check out the Granville Island Water Park, a favorite spot for kids to cool off and splash around.

With its unique blend of shopping, dining, and entertainment options, Granville Island is a must-visit destination for families looking to experience the best of Vancouver.

Advertisement

05 Visit the Museum of Vancouver

Vancouver, Canada - February 29,2020: The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre planetarium and Museum of Vancouver in Vanier Park Margarita Young/Shutterstock

The Museum of Vancouver is a fascinating destination for families looking to learn about the rich history and culture of the city and the Pacific Northwest region. The museum features a variety of interactive exhibits that engage kids in learning through hands-on activities and multimedia displays.

From the early indigenous peoples to the modern metropolis, the Museum of Vancouver tells the story of the city's development through a diverse collection of artifacts, photographs, and personal stories. Kids will love exploring the life-sized replica of a 1920s Vancouver street, complete with a vintage streetcar and storefronts.

The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that showcase a wide range of topics and artifacts from around the world. Be sure to check the museum's website for information on current exhibitions and special events that may be of interest to families.

Conveniently located in Vanier Park, the Museum of Vancouver is easy to access by public transportation or car. Families can make a day of it by combining their visit with a trip to the adjacent H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, which offers its own array of interactive exhibits and shows about space and astronomy.

Advertisement

06 Explore the Vancouver Maritime Museum

Photo of Vancouver Maritime Museum in Vancouver, BC, Canada lucasinacio.com/Shutterstock

The Vancouver Maritime Museum is a fascinating destination for families who want to dive into the rich maritime history of Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest. Kids will love exploring the museum's collection of historic vessels, including the St. Roch, a National Historic Site that was the first ship to sail through the Northwest Passage from west to east.

Inside the museum, engaging exhibits and interactive displays bring maritime history to life. Hands-on activities allow kids to experience what life was like for sailors and explorers throughout history. The museum includes a Children's Maritime Discovery Centre, where kids can find out about the ocean and its creatures by playing.

Besides its ongoing exhibits, the Vancouver Maritime Museum organizes various exhibitions and events all year round. Be sure to check the museum's website for current offerings, which may include educational programs and summer camps designed specifically for kids.

Conveniently located in Vanier Park, the Vancouver Maritime Museum is easy to access by public transportation or car. Families can make a day of it by combining their visit with a trip to nearby Kitsilano Beach or the Museum of Vancouver, also located in the park.

Advertisement

07 Visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver Alexandre Deslongchamps / Getty Images

For a thrilling and educational outdoor adventure, head to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in North Vancouver. The park's main attraction is the stunning suspension bridge, which stretches 450 feet across and 230 feet above the Capilano River. As you walk across the bridge, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of the river canyon and lush coastal rainforest.

But there's much more to explore beyond the bridge. The park features a network of treetop walkways and canopy bridges that allow you to experience the forest from a unique perspective. You'll learn about the diverse ecosystem of the West Coast rainforest and the cultural heritage of the First Nations people who have called this land home for centuries.

For an extra dose of excitement, don't miss the Cliffwalk, a heart-pounding journey along the granite cliffs above the Capilano River. The park also offers guided tours and educational programs that provide deeper insights into the natural and cultural wonders of this special place.

Getting to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is easy, with regular shuttle service from downtown Vancouver and plenty of parking on site. Plan to spend at least a couple of hours exploring all that the park has to offer, and be sure to bring your camera to capture the unforgettable views and memories.

Advertisement

08 Spend a day at the beach

Vancouver is blessed with several stunning beaches that offer the perfect setting for a fun-filled family day out. Kitsilano Beach and Jericho Beach are two of the most popular spots, with wide stretches of sand, gentle waves, and plenty of amenities nearby.

Pack a picnic, beach toys, and sunscreen, and spend the day swimming, building sandcastles, and playing beach games like frisbee or volleyball. Many of Vancouver's beaches have playgrounds and concession stands nearby, so you can easily keep the kids entertained and fed throughout the day.

For a unique swimming experience, head to Kitsilano Beach, which features a heated saltwater pool right on the edge of the ocean. Or, if you have a furry family member in tow, check out Spanish Banks Beach, which has a large off-leash dog area where your pup can run and play.

If you're looking to combine your beach day with some other fun activities, consider visiting Second Beach in Stanley Park, which has a great playground and an outdoor pool in addition to the sandy beach. With so many options to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect spot for a memorable family beach day in Vancouver.

Advertisement

09 Visit the Vancouver Lookout

downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada JamesChen/Shutterstock

For a bird's eye view of Vancouver, head to the Vancouver Lookout at the top of the Harbour Centre. This observation deck offers stunning 360-degree views of the city, from the busy downtown core to the majestic North Shore Mountains.

As you take in the panoramic vistas, you can learn about the history and landmarks of Vancouver through informative displays and exhibits. The Lookout also offers a free guided tour, included with admission, which provides even more insights into the city's fascinating past and present.

If you're feeling hungry, grab a meal or snack at the revolving restaurant, which offers a unique dining experience as you slowly rotate above the city. For the most spectacular views, plan your visit during sunset, when the city is bathed in a golden glow, and the mountains cast long shadows across the landscape.

Getting to the Vancouver Lookout is easy, with its central location in the heart of downtown. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a long-time local, this iconic attraction is a must-see for anyone who wants to appreciate the beauty and diversity of Vancouver from a whole new perspective.

Advertisement

10 Explore the Vancouver Seawall

People at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, Canada on July 30, 2015. Park visitors walk, bike, roll, and fish on the 22 kilometers seawall route. Asif Islam / Shutterstock.com

The Vancouver Seawall is a must-do activity for families visiting the city. This 28-km paved path stretches along the city's stunning waterfront, offering breathtaking views of the ocean, mountains, and skyline. Whether you choose to walk, bike, or rollerblade, the seawall provides a safe and scenic way to explore Vancouver's natural beauty.

Along the way, you'll pass by several popular attractions, including Stanley Park and Granville Island. Take a break at one of the many parks and beaches dotting the route, where kids can play, and everyone can soak up the spectacular scenery. You can rent bikes at various points along the way, which helps you travel further and fully enjoy the beauty of the seawall.

The Vancouver Seawall, known as the longest continuous waterfront path in the world, shows Vancouver's dedication to outdoor activities and caring for the environment. It's a cherished part of the city, attracting both locals and tourists to enjoy its impressive views and clean ocean air. Don't miss the chance to experience this iconic attraction and create unforgettable memories with your family.

Advertisement

11 Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery

VANCOUVER - NOV. 15, 2014: Vancouver Art Gallery at 750 Hornby Street in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia BC, Canada. Wangkun Jia/Shutterstock

The Vancouver Art Gallery is a must-visit destination for families who appreciate art and culture. With a diverse collection spanning historical and contemporary works, the gallery offers something for everyone. Kids will love exploring the interactive exhibits and participating in hands-on art activities designed just for them.

The gallery hosts a variety of engaging workshops and events throughout the year, providing opportunities for families to learn about art together. From family-friendly tours to art-making sessions, there's always something new and exciting happening at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

When it's time for a break, head to the gallery's cafe for a delicious meal or snack. The menu features kid-friendly options and plenty of healthy choices to fuel your family's creativity.

Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, the gallery is easily accessible by public transit or car. And with free admission for children under 12, it's an affordable and enriching outing for the whole family. Don't forget to pick up an activity guide at the front desk to enhance your experience and keep the kids engaged as you explore the galleries together.

Advertisement

12 Spend a day at Grouse Mountain

Gondola Ride to Grouse Mountain Top, North Vancouver Canada

Take a scenic gondola ride to the top of Grouse Mountain, located in North Vancouver, for a day filled with outdoor adventures and stunning views. The gondola ride itself is a treat, offering panoramic vistas of the city, ocean, and surrounding mountains.

Once at the top, enjoy a variety of activities suitable for all ages. Start a hike through the mountain forests, or for an exciting adventure, glide over the forest canopy on a zipline. Visit the wildlife refuge to see grizzly bears and wolves in their natural habitat and learn about conservation efforts.

In the winter months, Grouse Mountain transforms into a snowy wonderland, offering ski and snowboard lessons for all skill levels. The Grouse Grind hiking trail, known as "Mother Nature's Stairmaster," is a popular challenge for older kids and adults, with its 2,830 steps climbing to an elevation of 1,127 meters (3,700 feet).

Plan to spend a full day exploring the mountain's many attractions, with options to suit every interest and fitness level. Don't miss the chance to take in the breathtaking views from the summit and create unforgettable family memories in this stunning alpine setting. 

Advertisement

13 Visit the Richmond Night Market

Richmond, BC, Canada-01/09/2019: Richmond Night market scene sen yang/Shutterstock

For a unique and exciting evening out with the family, head to the Richmond Night Market, a vibrant outdoor market that celebrates Asian culture and cuisine. Open on weekends from May to October, this bustling market features over 200 food and merchandise vendors, offering a wide array of delicious street foods and unique goods.

As you stroll through the market, you'll be immersed in a lively atmosphere filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of Asian night markets. Sample an array of mouthwatering dishes, from sizzling skewers and savory dumplings to sweet bubble waffles and refreshing bubble tea. Kids will love the carnival games and live entertainment, including music and dance performances.

Admission to the Richmond Night Market is free for children under 10, making it an affordable outing for families. Be sure to bring cash for food and game purchases, as many vendors may not accept credit cards. With its festive ambiance and endless culinary delights, the Richmond Night Market is a must-visit destination for a memorable family night out in Vancouver.

Advertisement

14 Explore the VanDusen Botanical Garden

Vancouver, BC / Canada - May 2018: The VanDusen Botanical Gardens main visitor center was completed by architects Perkins+Will in 2011. Stephanie Braconnier/Shutterstock

Wander through 55 acres of beautiful gardens and landscapes at the VanDusen Botanical Garden. With over 7,500 plant species from around the world, this green oasis offers endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. Navigate the twists and turns of the Elizabethan hedge maze, or let your little ones run free in the whimsical children's garden.

The garden also offers a variety of educational programs and workshops, allowing families to learn about the natural world together. Guided tours are available daily, providing insights into the garden's diverse plant collections and unique features. For a fun and engaging activity, pick up a scavenger hunt map at the Visitor Centre and embark on a self-guided adventure through the grounds.

When it's time for a break, enjoy a delicious meal at the on-site Shaughnessy Restaurant, which offers a family-friendly menu featuring locally sourced ingredients. Or, pick up a snack at the Truffles Cafe and find a scenic spot for a picnic among the lush surroundings.

Conveniently located in the heart of Vancouver, the VanDusen Botanical Garden is easily accessible by public transit or car. With its stunning beauty and endless opportunities for learning and play, this urban oasis is a must-visit destination for families.

Advertisement

15 Visit the Bloedel Conservatory

Vancouver, BC / Canada - October 2017: The Bloedel Conservatory and Gardens are a beautiful public amenity atop a hill in Queen Elizabeth Park with views over the city and North Shore Mountains. Stephanie Braconnier/Shutterstock

Step into a lush, tropical paradise at the Bloedel Conservatory, located at the top of Queen Elizabeth Park. This unique attraction houses over 100 free-flying exotic birds and 500 plant species from around the world, all thriving within a stunning glass dome. As you wander through the conservatory, you'll encounter vibrant macaws, parrots, and cockatoos, as well as rare and beautiful plants, including orchids, bromeliads, and palms.

The Bloedel Conservatory offers a tranquil escape from the city, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in a warm, humid environment reminiscent of the tropics. Educational displays throughout the conservatory highlight the importance of biodiversity and conservation, making it a wonderful learning opportunity for children and adults alike.

After exploring the conservatory, take advantage of the surrounding Queen Elizabeth Park, a 130-acre oasis featuring manicured gardens, walking trails, and scenic viewpoints. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy on the park's expansive lawns, or visit the park's restaurant for a delicious meal with a view. With its stunning beauty and educational value, the Bloedel Conservatory is a must-see attraction for families visiting Vancouver.

Share

Scroll Down

for the Next Article

The Getaway Badge
Sign up to receive insider info and deals that will help you travel smarter.
Advertisement
Advertisement