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Family fun in Vancouver

Activities for families abound in Vancouver!

Consistently ranked as one of the world’s most liveable cities, cosmopolitan Vancouver is home to a diverse population of over 2.3 million residents. A coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Vancouver has one of the most temperate climates in all of Canada, making it an ideal spot for outdoor family fun. As host to the 2010 Winter Olympics, the world got a close look at this beautiful city and nearby Whistler — a resort community just 78 miles north.

Stanley Park Seawall in VancouverOutdoor recreation

With a mild climate and close proximity to the ocean, mountains, rivers and lakes, Vancouver offers a variety of family recreation in the great outdoors. The city boasts more than 3,200 acres of parks, with the largest being 1,000-acre Stanley Park, including a beach at its shoreline. Many beach activities are available year-round, with boating being among the most popular. At Stanley Park, children are thrilled to be offered such diverse activities as Kiddie Driving Lessons and the Children’s Farmyard. Just 30 minutes from downtown, the North Shore Mountains have three ski areas for families to enjoy in the cold months, and hiking and mountain bike trails when the snow melts.

Take the Aquabus to Granville Island for a fun time at the Children’s Market or a lesson at one of the kid-friendly art schools. Skyride at Grouse Mountain for a thrill that is accompanied by a spectacular view of Vancouver and the Pacific Ocean. Only 20 minutes from Vancouver, there’s history and culture to explore at the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Stretching 450 feet across the Capilano River, the park there offers guided nature tours, the Kid’s Rainforest Explorer Program and a living forest exhibit.

Vancouver is surrounded by water. There are numerous beaches and giant outdoor pools. Try the heated ocean-fed pool at Stanley Park for the fun of swimming in a safe environment for adults and kids. If your children are into challenging water sports, Vancouver has venues for kayaking, windsurfing and rafting.

Beluga whaleInside fun

More water fun for kids is on display at the Vancouver Aquarium, where they can see the sea otters feed or beluga whale shows, and listen in to one of the educational talks that takes place daily.

Incredible exhibits and interactive science demonstrations are elements that make Science World at Telus World of Science such a cool destination. Kids can explore the giant Lego castle, see life-like exhibits like Extreme Dinosaurs (actual size and just scary enough) or take part in games and science experiments. For the youngest explorers, aged two to six, Kidspace at Science World offers ways to engage a toddler or young child in four themes: water, light, colour and movement. Preschoolers can join the Discovery Lab for age-appropriate science projects or be part of the Preschool Curiosity Club during hour-long classes that make science fun.

Vancouver is rich with libraries and museums, many offering a regular schedule of family and youth programs.

In good weather, there’s no better way to explore Vancouver with kids then on the Big Bus, an open-air vintage double-decker that cruises the city’s top attractions. Get on board and discover the variety of family-friendly options for fun in beautiful Vancouver!

More tips for family fun

Heading to the beach: top Canadian beaches
Canadian summer festivals: West coast

8 Canadian hiking areas that rock

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