Best Vancouver Things to Do with Kids: 12 Vancouver Kids’ Attractions

by Jen
Best Vancouver Things to Do with Kids
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Are you searching for the best things to do in Vancouver with kids? Here are twelve of Vancouver’s coolest family-friendly sights and activities. These places to go in Vancouver will leave you with lifelong memories!

Vancouver, BC, is arguably one of the best destinations for families seeking a memorable getaway. With its unique blend of urban sophistication and incredible natural landscapes, this city offers a plethora of fun things to do in Vancouver with kids. Imagine cycling through expansive parks, exploring interactive museums, or embarking on outdoor adventures that captivate both young and old.

As one of the most dynamic cities on the west coast of North America, Vancouver boasts a vast array of cultures, cuisines, and experiences. Every corner of this city reveals a new adventure, From the bustling streets of its downtown core to the serene shores of its beaches, families are spoilt for choice when it comes to activities and attractions.

If you’re compiling a list of where to go in Vancouver with kids, this guide offers insights and recommendations to ensure a trip filled with joy and discovery. Whether it’s the thrill of spotting whales in their natural habitat or indulging in culinary delights at Granville Island, Vancouver promises an enriching experience for all.

Add to that the city’s commitment to sustainability, its vibrant arts scene, and its welcoming locals, and you have the perfect recipe for a family vacation. Dive in and let Vancouver’s magic unfold! Here’s everything you need to know about the best Vancouver things to do with kids.

The top Vancouver things to do with kids right now
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Best Vancouver Things to Do with Kids: 12 Exciting Family-Friendly Attractions in Vancouver

Are you ready to discover all the best activities in Vancouver for families? As mentioned earlier, there’s a large selection of exciting things to do in Vancouver with kids. And beyond the city itself, fly just a short distance from Vancouver and you’ll find some of the nicest nature anywhere in the world. Keep reading to find out where to go in Vancouver for a day of family fun!

Are you looking for an adrenaline-packed adventure? Or would you rather immerse in a cultural experience? Whatever you’re planning, there are fun places to visit in Vancouver with kids that can accommodate your needs. Here are all the best things to do with kids in Vancouver that you should know about.

1. Stanley Park

When searching for the best things to do in Vancouver with kids, Stanley Park consistently emerges as a top recommendation. Situated a stone’s throw from downtown, this vast urban park seamlessly combines nature’s splendor with recreational activities, which makes it a favorite for families.

At the heart of the park, the acclaimed Vancouver Aquarium offers a deep dive into marine life. It’s an engaging space where both kids and adults can marvel at everything from playful otters to colorful fish. Beyond entertainment, the aquarium serves as an educational hub, fostering a love for marine conservation.

For those eager to embrace the outdoors, the Seawall is a highlight. This picturesque pathway encircles the park, presenting unmatched views of Vancouver’s skyline against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. As families explore, they’ll discover inviting beaches and playgrounds, perfect for a leisurely break or some active fun.

Finding your way around Stanley Park is a breeze, thanks to its well-marked trails and user-friendly maps. In a city bursting with attractions, Stanley Park stands out as a top family-friendly attraction in Vancouver, BC, where urban amenities meet natural beauty, ensuring a memorable experience for all.

Visit Stanley Park, a top choice for family activities, seamlessly blending nature's beauty with recreation near downtown.
Visit Stanley Park, a top choice for family activities, seamlessly blending nature’s beauty with recreation near downtown.

2. Granville Island

If you’re on the hunt for a spot that encapsulates the cultural heartbeat of Vancouver while being incredibly family-friendly, look no further than Granville Island. Located just under the Granville Bridge, this vibrant area is a delightful mix of artisan shops, bustling markets, and lively entertainment venues.

One of the standout features for families is the Granville Island Kids Market. Tailored specifically for the younger crowd, this market boasts over 25 unique stores offering toys, crafts, and even whimsical clothing. Adjacent to the market is an indoor adventure zone, ensuring kids have a space to play and explore, regardless of the weather.

Moreover, the island is dotted with performers showcasing their talents, from musicians to magicians, adding a layer of spontaneous entertainment to your visit. And when hunger strikes? The Public Market offers a myriad of culinary delights, ensuring even the pickiest of eaters find something to relish.

Accessibility is a breeze with the Aqua Bus ferry service. This makes it easy for families to hop over to the island. As such, Granville Island stands as one of the top activities in Vancouver for kids, blending culture, fun, and gastronomy in one vibrant package.

Discover family-friendly cultural vibes at Granville Island, a lively mix of shops, markets, and entertainment beneath the Granville Bridge.
Discover family-friendly cultural vibes at Granville Island, a lively mix of shops, markets, and entertainment beneath the Granville Bridge.

3. Vancouver Maritime Museum

For families with a penchant for history and a love for the sea, the Vancouver Maritime Museum is one of the coolest places to go in Vancouver on a rainy day. Situated in the picturesque neighborhood of Kitsilano, this museum offers a deep dive into the maritime heritage of the Pacific Coast and the Arctic.

Upon entering, families are greeted by St. Roch, an iconic Royal Canadian Mounted Police schooner that once navigated the treacherous Northwest Passage. Kids can clamber aboard, getting a firsthand feel of life on the seas and imagining the adventures of yesteryears. Interactive exhibits throughout the museum ensure that young minds remain engaged, learning about everything from pirates to the First Nations’ relationship with the ocean.

The museum also boasts a dedicated Children’s Maritime Discovery Centre, a space curated specifically for kids. Here, they can engage in hands-on activities, from knot-tying workshops to crafting their own boats. It’s a space where learning meets play, ensuring kids absorb knowledge while having a blast.

Offering a blend of history, interactive exhibits, and child-centric activities, the Vancouver Maritime Museum stands out as one of the most fun places in Vancouver to visit with children.

Explore maritime history at Vancouver Maritime Museum, delving into the seafaring legacy of the Pacific Coast and Arctic.
Explore maritime history at Vancouver Maritime Museum, delving into the seafaring legacy of the Pacific Coast and Arctic.

4. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

One of Vancouver’s most iconic attractions, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park promises an exhilarating experience for families. Located a short drive from downtown, this park offers a unique blend of nature’s beauty and man-made marvels.

The star of the show is, of course, the Capilano Suspension Bridge itself. Stretching 137 meters across and suspended 70 meters above the Capilano River, crossing the bridge is both a thrill and a visual treat. As families walk across, they’re treated to panoramic views of the lush rainforest, rugged cliffs, and the glistening river below.

The park also features the Treetops Adventure, a series of seven suspension bridges connected by towering Douglas firs. It’s an opportunity for kids and adults to experience the rainforest from a bird’s-eye view. For the more daring, the Cliffwalk offers a narrow walkway jutting out from the granite cliff face. This provides a unique perspective of the canyon.

Safety is paramount, with sturdy railings and well-maintained pathways ensuring even the youngest visitors can explore with confidence. The park also offers guided tours, where families can learn about the area’s ecology and history. As such, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a family-friendly attraction in Vancouver, BC that combines nature, adventure, and education in a breathtaking setting. Is this one of the top things to do with kids in Vancouver? You bet!

Experience the thrill at the iconic Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, showcasing a visually stunning walk with panoramic rainforest views.
Experience the thrill at the iconic Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, showcasing a visually stunning walk with panoramic rainforest views.

5. Grouse Mountain

Looking to elevate your Vancouver experience, literally and figuratively? Grouse Mountain is the place to be. Just a 20-minute drive from downtown, this mountain offers a natural escape with activities that cater to all ages. This makes it a top fun place in Vancouver to visit with children.

During the winter months, Grouse Mountain transforms into a snowy wonderland. Families can indulge in skiing, snowboarding, or even snowshoeing. For those new to winter sports, the mountain offers lessons tailored for kids, ensuring they learn while staying safe.

Come summer, the mountain’s green trails beckon hikers of all levels. The Plateau Trail, for instance, is perfect for families, offering a gentle walk with interpretive signs detailing the local flora and fauna. And for a truly unforgettable experience, the Skyride aerial tramway provides panoramic views of the city, the Pacific Ocean, and even distant mountains.

In addition, Grouse Mountain is home to a wildlife refuge. Here, families can meet Grinder and Coola, two resident grizzly bears, and learn about conservation efforts in the region. It’s unquestionably one of the most unique Vancouver things to do with kids!

With its diverse range of activities and its proximity to the city, Grouse Mountain showcases Vancouver’s unique blend of urban conveniences and natural wonders. It’s a destination brimming with adventures, ensuring every family visit is filled with moments to remember.

Explore Grouse Mountain, providing a natural escape with diverse activities for all ages and a prime spot for family fun.
Explore Grouse Mountain, providing a natural escape with diverse activities for all ages and a prime spot for family fun.

6. Queen Elizabeth Park

Situated atop Little Mountain, Queen Elizabeth Park is a verdant oasis that offers families a serene escape without leaving the city. Covering 130 acres, it’s one of Vancouver’s most beautifully landscaped parks and a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

The park’s Quarry Garden is a sight to behold. Once an industrial site, it has been transformed into a sunken garden where families can meander through pathways surrounded by exotic plants, tranquil water features, and vibrant blooms. It’s a perfect spot for a stroll or even a family picnic.

Seeking a panoramic view of the city? The Bloedel Conservatory at the park’s highest point is the place to be. Here, families can marvel at the stunning vistas of the city, the mountains, and the ocean. Inside the conservatory, a tropical paradise awaits with over 200 free-flying birds and a rich collection of plants from rainforests around the world.

Kids will especially enjoy the park’s mini-golf course and the Dancing Waters fountain show, which comes alive in the warmer months. Boasting diverse attractions and a commitment to showcasing nature’s beauty, Queen Elizabeth Park is a top Vancouver activity for kids and adults alike, offering a refreshing blend of relaxation and recreation.

Discover Queen Elizabeth Park, a lush urban oasis providing families with a tranquil city escape.
Discover Queen Elizabeth Park, a lush urban oasis providing families with a tranquil city escape.

7. Science World

Located at the end of False Creek, the iconic geodesic dome of Science World is a beacon of learning and fun. This interactive science museum captivates young minds, making it a standout family-friendly attraction in Vancouver, BC.

Inside, a world of wonder awaits. The Eureka! Gallery, with its hands-on exhibits, lets kids discover the principles of physics through play. They can send balls flying, create music with water, or even produce a tornado! Meanwhile, the BodyWorks gallery delves into human biology, offering insights into how our bodies move, grow, and heal.

The OMNIMAX Theatre is another highlight. With its massive dome screen, families can embark on cinematic journeys, from exploring the depths of the ocean to soaring through space.

Throughout the year, Science World hosts special events and workshops tailored for children. Whether it’s a live science demonstration or a coding workshop, there’s always something new to learn and explore.

Promising a unique combination of education and entertainment, Science World provides families with a day of endless discovery. It’s a venue where curiosity flourishes, and the passion for science is kindled. Hands down, it’s a top choice for fun things to do in Vancouver with kids.

Science World's iconic geodesic dome captivates young minds with interactive science exhibits, a family-friendly attraction.
Science World’s iconic geodesic dome captivates young minds with interactive science exhibits, a family-friendly attraction.

8. VanDusen Botanical Garden

Set in the heart of Vancouver, VanDusen Botanical Garden is a sprawling sanctuary that showcases the beauty and diversity of the plant kingdom. It’s an ideal spot for families looking for a peaceful retreat and a dose of nature education, and one of the best places to go in Vancouver for families.

The garden is designed as a maze of themed areas, each representing a different region of the world. From the serene Japanese Garden to the vibrant Rhododendron Walk, families can embark on a global plant journey without leaving the city. Each pathway reveals unique plants, stunning flower displays, and even the occasional wildlife sighting.

Children will be particularly enchanted by the hedge maze, where they can navigate twists and turns to find the stone tower at its center. The garden also offers seasonal workshops and programs tailored for young nature enthusiasts, ensuring they leave with new knowledge and a deeper appreciation for the environment.

Dotted with tranquil ponds, sculptures, and themed gardens, VanDusen Botanical Garden is more than a visual treat. It’s an immersive experience that combines leisure, learning, and the beauty of nature, solidifying its reputation as a top family-friendly activity in Vancouver, BC.

VanDusen Botanical Garden is one of the best Vancouver things to do with kids.
VanDusen Botanical Garden is a serene sanctuary spotlighting plant beauty and diversity, making it an ideal family retreat.

9. Kitsilano Beach

Kitsilano Beach, often referred to as “Kits Beach,” holds a special place in the hearts of both locals and tourists. Its golden sands, clear waters, and unmatched views of the city skyline and mountains make it a sought-after place for families to go in Vancouver.

As well as ample opportunity for sunbathing, Kits Beach offers a plethora of activities tailored for families. A vibrant playground keeps the little ones entertained, while the adjacent Kitsilano Pool, a heated saltwater haven, invites swimmers to enjoy its expansive views.

Active families can engage in beach volleyball, or perhaps rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the serene waters of English Bay. The nearby pathways also beckon for bike rides or relaxed strolls, offering glimpses of the area’s natural beauty.

Kitsilano Beach perfectly encapsulates Vancouver’s coastal charm, providing a harmonious blend of relaxation and recreation. It’s a destination that promises a memorable beach experience for families, making it a top choice for Vancouver things to do with kids.

Kitsilano Beach captivates with golden sands, clear waters, and stunning cityscape views.
Kitsilano Beach captivates with golden sands, clear waters, and stunning cityscape views.

10. Adventure Zone

Every child dreams of a place where they can let their imagination soar. Adventure Zone is precisely that spot in Vancouver. Located in the bustling Granville Island area, this indoor play space is a dream come true for kids. It’s a highlight when considering what to do in Vancouver with kids, especially on a rainy day.

Inside, a multi-level play structure awaits, complete with slides, tunnels, and climbing areas. Whether they’re pretending to be pirates on a ship or explorers in a jungle, the possibilities for imaginative play are endless. For the younger ones, a dedicated toddler area ensures safe play, away from the hustle and bustle of older kids.

Additionally, Adventure Zone also offers a variety of arcade games, where kids can test their skills and win prizes. And for parents? There’s a comfortable seating area where they can relax, enjoy a coffee, and keep an eye on their little adventurers.

With its focus on safe, imaginative, and active play, Adventure Zone stands out as a top place to go with kids in Vancouver, BC. It’s a space where kids can be kids, and parents can relish in their joy and laughter. What more do you need from one of the best things to do with kids in Vancouver?

Adventure Zone is an indoor play haven and a rainy day highlight for families seeking imaginative escapades. | Source: https://theadventurezone.ca/
Adventure Zone is an indoor play haven and a rainy day highlight for families seeking imaginative escapades. | Source: https://theadventurezone.ca/

11. The Vancouver Trolley Company

All aboard for a unique city adventure! The Vancouver Trolley Company offers families a delightful way to explore the city’s landmarks, and it’s especially a hit among the younger crowd. If you’re looking for unique things to do in Vancouver with kids, these classic trolleys are a fantastic choice.

Designed to resemble the early 1900s streetcars, the trolleys add a touch of nostalgia to the journey. As they move through the city, knowledgeable guides share captivating stories about Vancouver’s history, culture, and attractions, turning the city tour into an educational experience for kids.

The hop-on, hop-off feature provides flexibility, allowing families to explore sites that catch their interest. Stop at Stanley Park for some outdoor fun or disembark at Granville Island for a bite to eat; the trolley offers convenience at every turn.

The Vancouver Trolley Company is a truly immersive city experience. Blending history, sightseeing, and fun, it stands out as a top Vancouver activity for kids and their families.

Embark on a unique city adventure with the Vancouver Trolley Company, a hit among the younger crowd.
Embark on a unique city adventure with the Vancouver Trolley Company, a hit among the younger crowd.

12. Sunset Beach Park

When families are on the lookout for a serene spot to unwind without the price tag, Sunset Beach Park emerges as a top choice. Located near the West End of Vancouver, this tranquil beach offers a respite from the city’s hustle and bustle. It’s a favorite place for families to go in Vancouver without reaching into their pockets.

The beach, as its name suggests, is renowned for its incredible sunsets. As the sun dips below the horizon, the sky paints a canvas of oranges, pinks, and purples, offering a mesmerizing display that captivates both kids and adults. It’s a moment of nature’s magic, best enjoyed with loved ones.

The park also boasts expansive green spaces perfect for picnics, kite flying, or simply lounging around. The gentle waves of English Bay provide a soothing backdrop, and the adjacent seawall is ideal for strolls or bike rides.

In a city filled with attractions, Sunset Beach Park reminds families of the simple joys of nature. It’s a space where memories are made, laughter is shared, and the beauty of Vancouver’s coastline is celebrated. It’s no surprise that many locals note how it’s among the top family-friendly activities in Vancouver, BC.

Sunset Beach Park is one of the best Vancouver things to do with kids.
Sunset Beach Park, near Vancouver’s West End, offers families a serene and cost-free escape from the city’s bustle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Best Vancouver Things to Do with Kids:

Are you looking to learn more about what to do in Vancouver with kids? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about the best Vancouver places to visi as a family.  

Is Vancouver worth visiting with kids?

Definitely! Vancouver is a city that caters to visitors of all ages. With its diverse range of attractions, from natural parks to interactive museums, there’s something for every child to enjoy. The city’s family-friendly vibe ensures that both kids and adults have a memorable experience.

Where can I take my kids today in Vancouver?

If you’re in Vancouver and looking for a place to take your kids today, here are some top recommendations:

  1. Stanley Park: Beyond just walking or biking the Seawall, the park has the Vancouver Aquarium, horse-drawn carriage tours, a mini train, and several playgrounds.
  2. Science World: A geodesic dome full of interactive exhibits, an OMNIMAX theatre, and hands-on activities that will keep children entertained for hours.
  3. Granville Island: Here, the Kids Market boasts a variety of shops specifically for children, including a toy store, a magic shop, and an indoor adventure play area. There’s also a water park and paddle boats.
  4. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park: While it may be more suited for older kids, it’s a thrilling experience to walk across the suspension bridge. There’s also a treetop adventure and a cliff walk.
  5. Grouse Mountain: Depending on the season, you can enjoy the Skyride aerial tramway, see a lumberjack show, visit the wildlife refuge with bears, or participate in winter sports.

What are the top Vancouver activities for kids?

Vancouver boasts a plethora of activities tailored for kids. From exploring the wonders of Stanley Park to engaging in interactive play at Adventure Zone, the city offers a mix of educational and recreational experiences. Don’t miss out on the Vancouver Trolley Company tour or a day at Kitsilano Beach for added fun!

Scenic view of the Stanley Park Seawall winding along the waterfront.
Scenic view of the Stanley Park Seawall winding along the waterfront.

What is a fact about Vancouver for kids?

Here’s a fun fact for kids about Vancouver: Did you know that Vancouver has the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path? It’s called the Seawall, and it stretches for 28 kilometers (over 17 miles) around the city. Kids and families can walk, bike, or rollerblade along it while enjoying beautiful views of the ocean, mountains, and skyline. Along the way, they might also spot some cool animals like seals, otters, and various birds!

Are there budget-friendly or free family-friendly activities in Vancouver, BC?

Yes, Vancouver offers a range of attractions that are easy on the wallet or completely free. Places like Sunset Beach Park provide a serene setting for families to relax without any cost. Additionally, many of the city’s parks and beaches are open to the public for free, ensuring families can enjoy without breaking the bank.

Where can I find fun things in Vancouver to go with kids on rainy days?

While Vancouver is known for its occasional rain, it doesn’t dampen the fun. Indoor attractions like Science World or the Adventure Zone on Granville Island are perfect for those drizzly days. Many museums and galleries also offer interactive exhibits, ensuring kids remain entertained and dry!

How accessible is public transportation for families looking for Vancouver things to do for families?

Vancouver’s public transportation system is highly efficient and family-friendly. Buses, SkyTrains, and ferries are equipped to accommodate strollers and have designated spaces for families. The city’s layout and transportation network make it easy for families to navigate and explore various attractions.

Concluding the Ultimate Guide to the Best Vancouver Things to Do with Kids

Vancouver, with its wonderful natural landscapes and dynamic urban areas, emerges as a top destination for family vacations. If you’re in search of outdoor excitement, cultural immersion, or a relaxing day by the shoreline, this city delivers. It’s a destination where kids can explore, learn, and play, from the heights of Grouse Mountain to the interactive wonders of Science World.

One of Vancouver’s standout features is its accessibility. The city’s well-organized public transportation system ensures families can move seamlessly from one attraction to the next, optimizing their visit. And with attractions that fit a spectrum of budgets, from cost-free parks to premium experiences, there’s a diverse array of options for every family. Vancouver presents a perfect balance of activities designed for both kids and adults. It’s a city that cherishes family moments, ensuring each day is filled with exploration, joy, and lasting memories. For those deciding what to do in Vancouver with kids, this city offers a rich tapestry of experiences that cater to diverse interests and desires.

The top Vancouver things to do with kids for all types of travelers
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