Kid-friendly Vancouver museums for the whole family

Looking for something fun to do with the family in Vancouver? It's not always easy to pick the right activity that appeals to all ages, but the museums on this list are great for everyone. They involve hands-on learning that will thrill parents and children alike. Check out the options, and breathe a sigh of relief. Problem solved!

Science World British Columbia

1455 Quebec St, Vancouver, BC V6A 3Z7

From the giant ball-rolling contraption in front of the museum to the many activities inside the spacious building, everything here is designed to be touched and enjoyed. Kids can test their eyesight, step inside a giant bubble, or play with sound and light for a completely interactive experience. There's an IMAX theatre on site as well, but the two-level museum is enough to keep you busy for an afternoon or longer. The museum staff are incredibly friendly and helpful, and there are fun science shows throughout the day.

Britannia Mine Museum

150 Copper Dr, Britannia Beach, BC V0N 1J0

Head inside this museum to take an underground tour on a real mine cart, complete with tool demonstrations along the way. After the tour, you can pan for gold for as long as you want, and you’ll get to keep any treasures you find. While you're not going to get rich, you'll find it quite exciting to discover a shiny flake in the bottom of your pan. This is a very rustic, original mining museum; so don't expect comfort, just lots of reality.

Vancouver Museum Society

1100 Chestnut St, Vancouver, BC V6J 3J9

Much of Vancouver's neon signs have been banned over the years, but you'll find them here, lit up in all their glory. Dedicated to all things Vancouver, this local museum has a permanent collection with plenty of bizarre odds and ends to discover, including historic clothing, trinkets and even food menus from decades past. It's easy to get lost in this dimly lit, labyrinthine space, but the museum staff can help you get back on track. Be sure to check for visiting exhibitions to see what’s on.

Beaty Biodiversity Museum

2212 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

You'll find the Beaty Biodiversity Museum nestled in the middle of the UBC campus. It's a relatively dark space, but the various galleries are well designed for displays. There are literally hundreds of specimens here, from animals and birds to reptiles and insects. In the lab, visitors can check out specimens for themselves in the microscopes, while the lobby is home to the impressive a vast skeleton of a blue whale. Kids will enjoy the chance to get up close and personal with the animalistic exhibits, and there is a free tour available if you want more in-depth information.

Vancouver Maritime Museum

1905 Ogden Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 1A3

Located in Vanier Park, this maritime museum is a great way to spend a couple of hours. Try on an old-fashioned diving headpiece, explore the St. Roch (the first ship to completely circumnavigate North America), and watch videos on Vancouver's maritime history. Little ones will have a blast building underwater robots and dressing up like a pirate in the kids' area, but everyone is sure to have a great time at this nautical themed spot. It's a little old-fashioned but well worth a visit and quite affordable.

BC Sports Hall of Fame


Any sports fans in your group will find Vancouver’s local Sports Hall of Fame very exciting. Check out the trading cards exhibit with historical cards and the Terry Fox gallery. There's a full area for kids where they can test their abilities at curling, air hockey and bobsledding, or they can time themselves on a track and scoot up a climbing wall. In short, this active outing is likely to be a hit with just about everyone in your family.

H R MacMillan Space Centre

1100 Chestnut St, Vancouver, BC V6J 3J9

The planetarium is the main attraction at this particular museum, located just next door to Museum of Vancouver. Although small and dark, the planetarium theatre shows are impressive and exciting for children of all ages. There are rarely many people here, so it's a good place to escape the tourists that fill Vancouver during summer. The space exhibits on the main floor are almost all interactive, and the fact you don't have to beat out other people to get a turn means you can spend more time having fun. Make sure you touch the moon rock while you're here.

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