Vancouver for families

10 family-friendly places to visit in Vancouver

Vancouver is one of those cities that is large enough to offer an endless list of activities for families, but is also laidback enough that your little ones won’t get rushed off their feet. Whether it’s a theme park or just a nice stretch of green to have a relaxing picnic on, you’ll find you and your family’s favourite holiday activities within this western Canadian city. Here are just ten landmarks and activities to get you started.

Granville Island

Granville Island is abuzz with activity for all the family. Only about 10 minutes from most Downtown hotels, there is free live entertainment, freshly made doughnuts in the Public Market, and houseboats.

Telus World of Science

There are very few places in Canada better suited to helping children explore the wonder that is science. Here you’ll find interactive displays, inspirational feature exhibitions, jaw-dropping live science demonstrations and larger-than-life films in the OMNIMAX® Theatre.

Kitsilano Beach

Only 10 minutes from the heart of Downtown Vancouver, Kitsilano is a multi-purpose beach with loads of activities. Choose between a playground, 10 sports courts or simply choose to relax on the sand!

Stanley Park

Stanley Park is sometimes referred to as Vancouver’s Green Heart. Within it, families will find the Vancouver Aquarium, an outdoor swimming pool, three dining options and the Vancouver Seawall.

Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park

If you’ve got children with a sense of adventure, we recommend taking them here. Suspended 70 metres in the air, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is equal parts scary as it is fun. In the wider park you will find an unspoiled rainforest, totem poles, and the thrilling Cliffwalk, jutting out from a granite cliff face high above the canyon below.

H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

Here, space-obsessed children will be able to see J-2 rocket engine up close, watch astronomy shows under the domed Planetarium Star Theatre, and take advantage of the half-metre Cassegrain telescope on its observatory. The steel crab structure at its entrance is also one of the city’s most photographed landmarks.

Richmond Nature Park

Get back to nature along the well-pathed trails in the Richmond Nature Park. Look out for animals, birds and butterflies among the trees and turtles and ducks by the pond. The Nature House is also home to live frogs and snakes, as well as displays and games.

Fort Langley National Historic Site

Take a time machine back to the 1800s and explore Fort Langley, the place where British Columbia was born. Here families can get their hands dirty and test their skills in blacksmithing, barrel-making and gold panning, or they can listen to engaging stories from costumed storytellers.

Playland

Playland National Exhibition runs from May 7th to September 18th and features over 30 rides and attractions including the historic Wooden Roller Coaster, the thrilling swing ride Atmosfear, and Canada’s most extreme pendulum ride, The Beast! It sets up shop every year beside the historic PNE fairgrounds and will also feature live entertainment and drool-worthy dining options.

Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing

The smallest members of the family will love these old-fashioned trolleys that run through Vancouver. They provide a great overview of the city and passengers are treated to a fully narrated journey along the way!

Morag Lee

Morag is the resident blog writer at Barrhead Travel. Can usually be found exploring a cruise ship or on a city break.