Vancouver

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Things to Do in Vancouver for Kids

 

 

Granville Island is one of the best places in Vancouver to visit with your kids! Check out our top twelve activity suggestions before you go!

 

Visit the Granville Island Water Park

Managed by the False Creek Community Centre, this is the largest free attraction in North America! With fire hydrants, water pipes, sprays, slides and a special toddlers' area, how could you possibly go wrong spending a hot day here?  

 

Catch a Free Play

Every summer, Carousel Theatre hosts free outdoor performances of Shakespeare. I've heard parents say that watching theatre under the stars made for some of their families' favourite memories. Bring blankets and snacks! Macbeth is the play featured in summer 2010.  It will be held at Performance Works' outdoor stage.

 

Look for Sea Stars

Even adult visitors are impressed by purple sea stars clinging to a dock. Look for sea stars at low tide near the Aquabus docks.

 

Watch the Ball Machine

Okay, this may not sound like a destination or an activity, but I am always surprised by how delighted children are by a ball machine. There are two. One is in front of the OCEAN Cement Factory and the other is in the window of the artists' studio, i.e. Creative. Mike and Cheryl of i.e. Creative are great with kids and are very patient with your four-year-old's questions.

 

Watch the Cement Trucks

OCEAN Cement's colourfully painted cement trucks seem to entertain children as much as the ball machines. The company paints their trucks to look like strawberries, suns, moons, etc. Every year, they hold an open house where kids can honk truck horns, win prizes and play in a gigantic sand box.

 

Take a Ride on the Aquabus

A ride on the friendly Aquabus is cheaper than a cruise, but just as fun for kids! (Truthfully, it works well for adult visitors too and is a relaxing way to show off the city.) Sometimes you can spot seals. You could combine this with a stop at Science World, the Aquatic Centre or another attraction. Fares range from $3 - $6. Remember to look for sea stars while waiting for the bus.

 

Feed the Ducks

Behind the Kid's Market there is a beautiful park with a pond. If you bring some kernels of corn or bread down to the dock, you'll soon be absolutely surrounded by hungry ducks and geese. Often, I hear squeals and laughter as I pass this pond.

 

See How Things Are Made

Granville Island is better than science class. The studios have lots of windows and open spaces so families can watch as artisans make fudge, bake donuts, weld metal, weave silk, etc. (Note: The Silk Weaving Studio has a silk worm demonstration aquarium!) Wandering the island is a fun way to teach your children about how things are made.  

 

Visit the Rock Cave

The Crystal Ark behind the Kid's Market is swarmed with children who want to visit their rock cave. Kids can dig for their own rocks, but be careful about how long you spend here or you'll be paying for pounds of stones!

 

Visit Sea Village

Even the name sounds cool, doesn't it? Sea Village is a community of house boats. You can watch them floating in the sea just behind Emily Carr University. The boats rise and fall with the tides. In the summer, Sea Village children open windows and jump overboard for a swim!

 

Have a Picnic While Listening to Music

From magicians to musicians, the courtyard of the Public Market is always bustling with activity. With such good food available (even gelato in summertime) and an ocean view, where else would you want to eat on a nice day?

 

Visit the Totem Poles

Is your child amazed by our west coast totem poles? We're very lucky to have Haida carver Clarence Mills and his apprentices carving totems in the Longhouse next to The Public Market. Visitors are welcome, and encouraged, to watch the carving process!

 

What is it like to live in a houseboat? How do you become a great Haida carver? The Granville Island Book is full of inspirational short stories that you can share with the whole family!