Must-see attractions for Vancouver kids

Vancouver has such an incredible variety of kid-friendly attractions; it’s hard to know where to start. Parenting blogger and founder Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit shares her thoughts on the city’s top outdoor activities and must-see museums that’ll entertain both young and old. Check out her picks below and start planning your next family outing!

Science World British Columbia

1455 Quebec St, Vancouver, BC V6A 3Z7

Whether you’re looking for educational programming or simply a fun day out, the Science World dome is a great place to explore with kids. The interactive learning centre is home to five different galleries and hundreds of interesting exhibits. They recently did some renovations and opened up a fantastic outdoor learning garden with an open-air stage and a chicken coop. They also offer seasonal camps and birthday parties for groups.

Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre

845 Avison Way, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2

Another classic spot to take kids throughout the year, the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park has unique aquatic-focused exhibits and underwater creatures on display. Anyone who loves animals and nature will have a blast checking out all the sea life and watching the whale and dolphin shows. From an educational perspective, kids will learn about the local environment as well as international environments. Interactive exhibits are designed to make children aware of their impact on nature so they can help preserve it. At Christmas time, “Scuba Claus” dives into the tanks for a special holiday-themed show.

Vancouver Art Gallery

750 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2H7

The Vancouver Art Gallery has visiting exhibits from around the world as well as an impressive permanent collection, which features works from Emily Carr, Group of Seven artists and other masterpieces by famed Canadian painters and artists. The location at the old law courts is very beautiful and they have a great on-site cafeteria and food trucks parked outside for when you get hungry. The best time to visit is during Family Fuse weekends when there’s lots of engaging art-making activities and educational programming going on for kids (12 and under) and their families.

Kids Market

1496 Cartwright St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3Y5

Taking the ferryboat from downtown over to Granville Island is just as much fun for locals as it is for tourists, and the longstanding Granville Island Kids Market has a wide variety of things to see and do. Inside the market there’s a fantastic play area, a climbing structure and an arcade. You’ll also find tons of fun toy stores with everything from board games to puppets to Lego building blocks; don’t miss the Granville Island Toy Company – it’s an institution! Outside the market there’s a duck pond, another playground and a lovely ice cream shop.

H R MacMillan Space Centre

1100 Chestnut St, Vancouver, BC V6J 3J9

The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and Planetarium in Vanier Park is an out-of-this-world experience for kids who are into science and space on any level. The popular attraction has an iconic spaceship-like façade and offers school programs, birthday parties and public programs for families throughout the year. Try to visit during Saturn Five Saturdays (on the third Saturday of every month) when kids can participate in cool space-themed educational activities. They might get a chance to make solar system dioramas or build working bottle rockets.

Maplewood Farm

405 Seymour River Pl, North Vancouver, BC V7H 1S6

Located in North Van, Maplewood Farms is a great place to visit, especially with little kids. They have a variety of cute farm animals – lambs, ponies, goats, pigs, donkeys, bunnies – and do birthday parties and special events throughout the year. Kids can meet the farmhands, feed the animals and even watch sheep shearing in the spring. Parents who don’t mind spending a little extra cash can splurge on a pony ride. Be sure to pack a lunch to enjoy in the covered picnic area.

Burnaby Village Museum

6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby, BC V5G 3T6

Kids can go back in time at this historic outdoor/indoor museum in Burnaby. The village is modelled on a 1920s town and features numerous educational exhibits with historical interpreters dressed in period costume. There’s a blacksmith, an old fashioned schoolhouse and activities throughout the week like tin-smithing and Model-T car rides. Don’t leave without letting your little ones take a spin on the old-fashioned carousel – the beautiful fairground ride is more than 100 years old and has been fully restored.

UBC Botanical Garden

6804 Marine Dr SW, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4

The Greenheart Canopy Walkway at the UBC botanical garden is an incredible experience for adventure seekers of all ages. Built 20-metres above the forest floor, the 310-metre long treetop canopy walkway has multiple viewing platforms and overlooks majestic Douglas Firs and Red Cedar trees, some of which are more than 100 years old. You can go on your own or opt to have a guided tour. And because the area is a car-free zone, kids can run around safely without parents worrying.

Don’t let a little wet weather dampen your family fun. Vancouver offers plenty of engaging and educational indoor activities for kids to enjoy when it's pouring rain outside. Parenting blogger and founder Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit shares some of her favourite rainy day activities for kids in Vancouver.
Looking to enroll your little ones in a seasonal camp to keep them occupied this summer? From biking to ballet to bouldering, parenting blogger and founder Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit shares her top picks for fun kids programming and day camps in Vancouver.
Parenting blogger and founder Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit is an expert when it comes to family-friendly places to eat in Vancouver. If you’re looking for a new spot to take your little ones for a bite, check out her suggestions for the city’s best kid-approved restaurants and cafes. [Photo © Yellow Pages / Pages Jaunes]
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