Fun family activities you can do indoors and outside around Vancouver all year round!
Greater Vancouver has something for kids of all ages! There are fun, free and nearly-free activities indoors and outdoors through out the Lower Mainland. Vancouver is a big playground! There are attractions, parks, programs and festivals that kids of all ages would love. Below are some suggested activities in and around Vancouver that families would like to explore:
1. Take your kids to the Library
Wondering what to do with your kids in the Winter in Vancouver? The library is my family's first choice! Head to the Vancouver Public Library for story time or play time with your kids. Story time often includes puppets, sounds (like a bell or a tambourine) and are a sure way to get your infant engaged in ways you didn’t expect. Many of the libraries have a children's area where they can play and learn with STEAM toys! You can even borrow some to take with you. Bonus!
2. Enjoy Meadows Family Farm
Go to Meadows Family Farm with your kids to enjoy special seasonal activities they host and to see their petting zoo. You can interact with bunnies, alpacas, donkeys, mini horses, sheep, cows and goats.
They also have a mud kitchen and a sand pit with a big slide for the kids who love sensory play.
3. Explore a local trail
There are so many nature parks, forests and trails to explore with your children in the Lower Mainland. You can check out Stanley Park, Grouse Mountain (if your kids are a bit older and like a more difficult hike) , Cleveland Dam, Golden Ears Park, Buntzen Lake to name just a few!
Don't want to do a big hike with young kids? Buntzen Lake has a great beach just a quick walk from the parking lot. There's a dog park and dog-free area, too.
4. Discover sea creatures at the Vancouver Aquarium
Wondering what to do with your kids indoors? The Vancouver Aquarium has over 50,000 aquatic creatures. If you're going with young kids, plan to stay for the whole day because otherwise you won't be able to see it all - although, if you don't it's a good reason to return.
They have sea otters, a shark, sea turtle, caiman crocodiles and even an anaconda in the Amazon gallery. Be sure to check out the Amazon gallery for the free roaming animals. Can you spot the sloth? Hint: look up high!
The Treasures of the BC Coast gallery allows you to discover unique animals that live in BC's local waters. You and the kids can even visit a touch lab on the weekends where you can touch and feel the anemones, star fish and sea cucumbers.
5. Go for a walk at Stanley Park
Visit Stanley Park with your family. It's a large urban park with forests, gardens, and beaches. Ideally situated on a peninsula at the northwestern edge of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park is one of the city's main tourist destinations.
This scenic park is also an amazing spot to get family photos done!
6. Explore Granville Island
Explore Granville Island, a vibrant area with a public market, art studios, and various shops and restaurants. Kids can enjoy the playground, watch street performers, or eat from the market. It's a "magical escape within the city" as they say!
7. Go to Triple Tree Nursery to feed the koi fish
A fun (and low cost) activity to do with your kids on a rainy day in the Lower Mainland is to go to a local nursery to feed the koi fish. My kids love going to Triple Tree Nursery in Maple Ridge and feeding the koi fish. Every time we go, there are people there who say they've been going there to feed the fish since they were kids.
They have a beautiful array of tropical plants that are also a lot of fun to walk through. My kids love pretending they're in a jungle!
8. Visit a Strong Start Program in your city
Planning something to do during the week on a rainy day with your kids? StrongStart is a free program for parents with children aged infant to five years old. Awesome, right?! It’s offered through the different school districts in the Lower Mainland and each program has its own hours and locations. Strong Start often starts around 9am and runs until 11am.
9. Go to an open gym at a recreation centre
Check out a recreation centre in your city for when they have a parent and tot open gym. We love going to the open gym at Pitt Meadows Rec Centre because of the giant space they give the kids to have un-facilitated play. My daughter brings her roller skates to learn on a nice and smooth surface!
10. Visit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Garden
Visit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, a traditional Chinese garden in the heart of Chinatown. The garden is free for kids under the age of 5.
Want more fun activity ideas in the Lower Mainland?
Want more fun activities and a weekly round up of the best ideas? Check out this Facebook page run by a local mama: Activities4Kids Facebook Page