Rainy day blues: Free indoor activities around Vancouver

The Vancouver area is famous for its outdoor activities, whether it's biking the seawall, climbing the Grouse Grind or playing beach volleyball. However, Vancouver is also known for its rain, which means spending lots of time indoors. Luckily, there are many free or “by donation” activities available to beat the rainy day blues and limit the damage to your wallet. [Photo courtesy of Yellow Pages]

Vancouver Art Gallery

750 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2H7

On Tuesday evenings, admission to the Art Gallery, including the special exhibitions, is by donation. Occasionally, there are artist talks and curator tours, too. Lines can get long, so it's best to come as close to 5 pm as possible. And with the money you save, you can splurge on dinner at the Gallery Café.

Vancouver Maritime Museum

1905 Ogden Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 1A3

A couple days later, on Thursday evenings, admission to the Vancouver Maritime Museum is by donation. What better place than Vanier Park – with its glorious views of the harbour – to learn about maritime history and culture? The museum has fascinating exhibits, such as the St. Roch, the first ship to cross the Northwest Passage, and many examples of model ships and maritime art.

Britannia Heritage Shipyard

5180 Westwater Dr, Richmond, BC V7E 6P3

The Britannia Shipyard buildings along the Steveston Harbour have been restored by city staff and volunteers and are now part of a National Historic Site. The buildings house interactive exhibits, including boat building, a Japanese-Canadian family home and workers' bunkhouses. You can take a self-guided tour for free by downloading the City of Richmond app.

Burnaby Village Museum

6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby, BC V5G 3T6

The Burnaby Village Museum is free, but if you want to ride the carousel, there's a small charge. The museum is a series of buildings replicating a 1920s small town and includes a general store, print shop, blacksmith, movie theatre and school. There is even a restored tram. Interpreters greet you in period costume and answer any questions you have. Visiting at Christmas is a family tradition for many local residents.

Delta Museum & Archives

4858 Delta St, Delta, BC V4K 2T8

Learn about the history of Delta and surrounding communities at the Delta Museum. It has displays on First Nations history, pioneering farmers and settlers and the natural history of the area. This small museum gives locals and visitors alike an insight into the past and is a great way to introduce city kids to their agricultural heritage. Admission is by donation.

Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre

3663 Park Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7J 3G3

Lynn Canyon is known for its suspension bridge and forested trails, but you can still have fun on a rainy day by visiting the Ecology Centre. Built in the shape of British Columbia's provincial flower, the dogwood, the Centre contains exhibits about the plants, people and animals that make up the unique rainforest outside the Centre's walls. Admission is by donation.

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