Are you going to vancouver with kids this summer?! I have the perfect tips and suggestions for you having lived there for a year with my daughter! Keep on reading and let me know if you end up going to these spots 🙂
This is an absolute must see in Vancouver with children of all ages and is one of the best interactive science centres we have been to. We loved it so much that we got a season pass while living in Vancouver. They offer free entry for kids under 3 years old. The Wonder Gallery is a baby and toddler friendly zone equipped with everything from STEAM focused water play to a life size kaleidoscope room to play in. In addition to this, they have multiple exhibits, an IMAX theatre, and weekly events that you can check out as well. They are fully accessible, close to transit (both Sky train and aqua bus) with ample stroller parking inside. On site, they have a Triple O’s (which is a burger/milkshake chain with decent food), but it fills up quite fast starting at 11 am. There is also a lunch room if you pack your own lunch. Pro tip: pack a lunch and snacks for your toddler, and head to Triple O’s at 11 am for their delicious milkshakes and fries.
This is obviously weather dependent, and activities will vary based on season. If visiting in the winter, there are the typical winter things to do like skiing, snow-boarding etc. We visited Grouse Mountain in the summer, and I do not recommend hiking up the mountain unless you have hiked before with your kids and have the equipment (carriers, hiking boots, etc). It is called “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster” for a reason, and for that reason we took the gondola up the mountain. Once you are at the top, there are ample activities to fill up 2-3 hours of your time ranging from a lumberjack show, bird shows, viewing the rescued bears, having ice cream etc. Pro tip: pack a light lunch to take with you as the food options are limited and fill up fast.
This park is every child’s playground dream come true! There is a HUGE tree house type obstacle course (with supervision), swings, an in-ground trampoline, a zipline, swings, a music wall, and a wading pool (with a life guard operating in the summer)!
This is perfect if you are visiting in the summer. Spanish Banks Beach offers the best views of the North Shore mountains, as well as beautiful views of the city. This makes it a treat for both adults and children equally! It is also not as busy as the more popular Kitsilano Beach during the summer, if you are visiting at toddler friendly times (before lunch, or after naps). It’s a little bit of a trek to get to, so I would recommend going in a car for this one. Paid parking is available.
Smack in the heart of downtown Vancouver, this was a family favourite of ours to head to on the weekend. It is a square, closed off to traffic, with ample bird-chasing opportunities for your toddler and food truck options for delicious (and healthy!) lunch ideas. In the summertime, there is almost always a musician or street performer entertaining the public and in the winter time there is a public skating rink that is suitable for toddlers too (with rentals available).
When in Vancouver, take in as much natural beauty as possible! There is no better place to get that than at Queen Elizabeth Park, which boasts some of the BEST views of the city and the mountains on a clear day. The gardens themselves are beautiful to stroll through, and have different festivals based on the time of the year (cherry blossom festival to name one). Within the park, the Bioedel Conservatory is a great place to escape the rain and enjoy some tropical fauna with and birds flying around. Pro tip: pack your lunch and enjoy it outside Bloedel Conservatory while taking in breathtaking views of the city. Or make a reservation at the Seasons in the Park restaurant for a more elaborate affair.
When you are in Vancouver, one of my favourite things to enjoy is the beautiful greenery right alongside the coastal mountains and the pacific ocean. Filled with beautiful rose gardens, historical monuments and so much more Stanley Park is a favourite weekend spot! I would recommend again packing a lunch to take with you and wearing comfortable shoes because there is walking involved.
If you go to Vancouver and have to choose from this whole list of what to do, Granville Island would be right up there. It has everything: from amazing food at the Public Market (that even the pickiest toddler will enjoy) to a full building of toddler friendly activities. The Kids Market is perfect for rainy days and has several basic options for food as well. It does get quite packed on weekends and holidays, so I would recommend going early. The public market (with food/produce) is closed on Mondays during certain times of the year – so make sure you check the schedule ahead of time. In the summer time, there is a very impressive splash pad on Granville Island that you can enjoy! Another awesome to do is to take the ferry back to downtown from right by the Public Market to make it an exciting adventure for the kiddos.
No matter how you get there, you absolutely need to have a honey donut at Lee’s donuts along with a masala chai latte at the Granville Island Market!
This was a weekend favourite for my daughter and I, in all weather. Main Street between roughly 33rd street and Broadway is amazing neighbourhood filled with local eateries, coffee shops (including the famous 49th Parallel + Lucky’s donuts), boutiques, consignment stores, and so much more. It is very walkable, and your toddler will enjoy the sights and sounds of Vancouver, with ample options to stop at any time to grab an ice cream/snack/food. I highly recommend stopping at the 49th Parallel café and sharing a donut (or two!) while strolling through Main Street.
I hope you enjoy some of my favourite spots to visit in Vancouver when you are travelling with kids. If you have any favourite spots to visit in Vancouver I’d love to hear about them @mintcandydesigns. Happy exploring!