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Family Vacations to Canada

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Family Vacations in Canada

A family vacation in Canada gives you everything from the world’s leading ski resorts and hundreds of vast lakes to First Nations’ culture and some of the most thrilling cities on earth.


Why Go

  • Year-Round Vacations

    Summer beaches, fall road trips, skiing in winter, spring hikes, and cities any time you feel like an urban adventure, Canada couldn’t be more of a year-round destination for family vacations with kids, of any age.


  • National Parks

    Out of Canada’s 47 National Parks, six have World Heritage status, including Canadian Rocky Mountains Parks: really a collective of seven national parks, one of which is Banff  where you’ll find remarkable Lake Louise.



  • Rich Culture

    From its 22 UNESCO World Heritage sites to its living First Nations’ culture, world-class museums and galleries, internationally renowned writers and artists, and legendary film festivals, Canada does culture on a grand scale.

  • Ski Resorts

    Canada has some of the world’s top ski resorts and some of the most accessible. Whistler is under two hours drive north of downtown Vancouver, and you can be skiing Mont Tremblant within a couple of hours of leaving Montréal.


  • Wildlife

    Between bears of all types – including the mysterious Kermode ‘Spirit’ Bear – killer whales and humpback whales, not to mention the cute Beluga, wildlife is wilder and more astonishing in Canada than it is almost anywhere else on earth.



  • Family Festivals

    Just about anything can be a cause for celebration in Canada from movies to maple syrup, which is probably why some of the world’s best family festivals are right here, including Montréal’s Winterlude and the annual Calgary Stampede.

Where to Go


Canada’s biggest city is a true icon from its CN Tower dominated skyline to the make-or-break Toronto Film Festival. New and shiny at first glance, Toronto has an old heart and, as haunted tours of the historic districts prove, more than a few tales to tell. It’s a lively city for kids with an endless parade of activities indoors and out, amazing zoos, enormous parks and the powerful attraction of Canada’s Wonderland – the country’s biggest and most thrilling theme park.

  • The city skyline’s defined by the CN Tower, it’s not the world’s tallest anymore but it’s still a spectacular 457m high and the views from the top are breathtaking.
  • Toronto is just 90 minutes drive from Niagara Falls.
  • The 90m high Scarborough Bluffs run for 15km along the coast just 40 minutes from Toronto.
  • Summer temperatures of 20 – 25˚C in July and August drop to -5˚C from December to February.
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Big city excitement, mountain adventure, seaside fun and just about everything else from theme parks to world class museums, outstanding skiing and fascinating history, Vancouver is a great all-round family vacation. Tsawwassen ferry terminal is under 50 minutes by road from the city, so you can easily include phenomenal Vancouver Island in your vacation plans. And although Vancouver’s weather doesn’t go to the extremes of northern Canada, even in winter,  in summer, it’s sunny, warm, big on beaches and a great place to do some day-to-day island hopping.

  • Gateway for Whistler, the Canadian Rockies, Victoria and Vancouver Island.
  • Home port for Alaskan cruises during summer.
  • Mild weather year-round but excellent snow for winter sports at very accessible mountain ski resorts.
  • Vancouver city has 21 very different neighbourhoods including Chinatown, beachy Kitsilano and historic Gastown.
  • Don’t miss: Vancouver Aquarium, Granville Island Waterpark, Grouse Mountain Cable Car and Capilano Suspension Bridge.
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Québec City is charming, historic and cultured. Its authentically ‘French’ Old City looks almost exactly like 18th century Brittany and is, of course, a well cared for UNESCO World Heritage site. This is also a city that likes to celebrate so you’ll find festivals here all year round, even in the coldest months of the year. Think about making a date with the Québec Winter Carnaval in late January each year, to see the city transformed into a snow-fest and witness first hand how much the Québecois love a good party. Then get outdoors in warmer weather too and go adventuring beyond the city to the likes of Montmorency Falls: the suspension bridge here will astound kids.

  • Head to enormous Plains of Abraham park for everything from cycling in summer to winter sledding.
  • Don’t miss the Citadelle de Québec to see the Changing of the Guard ceremony and gaze on amazing views of the city and St. Lawrence River.
  • The Montmorency Falls, just outside Québec city, are higher than Niagara, and usually a lot less busy. Hop on the cable car to cross them, or walk over the incredible suspension bridge.
  • Spend time with the street artists and performers on Terrasse Dufferin. Another spot for great views of the St. Lawrence River and a fun, family vibe.
  • Ride the funicular from upper to lower Québec, it’s one of the best ways to see the city and always feels like an adventure.
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Founded almost 400 years ago, Montréal is Quebec Province’s oldest city and the second largest French speaking city in the world. It’s also young, fresh, energetic and great for kids – it even has its own International Children’s Film Festival. It’s home territory for Cirque de Soleil as well, along with Montréal Complètement Cirque. And in addition to being famous for year-round ice skating, you’ll find most of Québec’s 70 plus ski resorts within easy reach of the city, including legendary Mont Tremblant.

  • Visit Vieux Montréal with kids for the Old Port Skating Rink, extreme sailing on Lachine Rapids, Montreal Science Centre and heritage fun at Château Ramezay.
  • Head to Hochelaga-Maisonneuve (HoMA) for outdoor freedom at Olympiad, huge Parc Maisonneuve and the Olympic Park Esplanade.
  • Montréal lies less than 35 minutes’ drive from Mount Saint-Saveur for city-based family ski holidays.
  • Summer temperatures of 27 – 30˚C in July and August. December to March lows can be as low as -12˚C, so pack warm for winter.
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Ottawa’s mix of museums – seven of Canada’s national museums are here – historic sites, and outdoor activities make it a good choice for a family vacation. It’s another city with a Changing of the Guard ceremony and you can’t miss dramatic Parliament Hill, it’s visible almost everywhere you go. Put the Canadian Museum of History and the National Gallery of Canada, on your to-do list, both are exceptionally child-friendly for younger kids and will fascinate teenagers. The Rideau Canal is great for cycling along in summer and world famous for winter skating, fuelled by equally famous Beaver Tails pastries. And Gatineau Park, is a summer icon for everything from mountain coasters and ziplines to hiking trails.

  • Visit the Canadian Museum of Nature for its dinosaur exhibits and an insight into the country’s wildlife and diverse eco-systems.
  • The Canadian Museum of Science and Technology is where innovation comes to life for kids with hands-on experiments and regular workshops.
  • Don’t miss the Changing of the Guard ceremony in summer, plus the views from Parliament Hill are amazing.
  • The Rideau Canal is officially the world’s largest outdoor skating rink in winter.
  • Try whitewater rafting on the Ottawa River with incredible views of the city.
  • Haunted Ottawa walks are perfect for older kids and teens and offer a totally different perspective on the city.
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What to Do

  • Montréal Space for Life

    A biodome, insectarium, planetarium and botanical garden all in one brilliantly exciting and pretty big space.

  • Canada’s Wonderland, Toronto

    One of the country’s biggest and wildest theme parks with a well justified reputation for the ridiculous size of its rollercoasters.

  • Vancouver Trolley Tours

    Almost everyone agrees Vancouver is one of Canada’s prettiest city, make up your own mind the old fashioned way on charming trolley tour.

  • Granville Island Waterpark, Vancouver

    Hop aboard the cute little False Creek ferry and spend the day in one of the country’s great waterparks – there are plenty of other island activities too.

  • Toronto Zoo

    Canada’s largest zoo is almost all outdoors and has giant pandas among its thousands of wild residents.

  • Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver

    In a city full of icons, this 230-foot-high footbridge over the Capilano River is always the one by which others are measured.

  • Vancouver Aquarium

    Home to over 70,000 sea creatures, porpoises, whales and penguins, this is Canada’s largest aquarium.

  • Old Port Skating Rink, Montréal

    Montréal is a wonderful city to visit with kids and this enormous outdoor rink is a must-do.

  • Banff National Park, Alberta

    Canada’s first national park and third oldest in the world is a vacation in itself.

  • Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

    For over 6,000 years the Plain’s People drove vast herds of buffalo over these cliffs to their death.

Educational Value for Kids

  • Canada’s one of the world’s leading winter sport destinations and award-winning ski schools at Whistler Blackcomb and Mont Tremblant are the best of the best.
  • From ancient indigenous culture of to the French legacy in Montréal and Québec, Canada is awash with fascinating heritage experiences to get kids excited.
  • Pick up kid’s explorer packs when you’re in Banff and actively engage them with everything from wildlife spotting to conservation.
  • Canada’s cities are stuffed with arts and entertainment festivals year-round, many just for children.
  • Look out for special events and weekend activities for young visitors at city museums and galleries.
  • Street theatre during the summer in most cities is a fantastic spectacle for kids.
  • This is the country to learn new outdoor skills from canoeing to climbing, all under the guidance of local experts.

Getting Around with Kids in Canada

Canada is famous for its road trips, so driving is the number one choice for family vacations. That said, inter-province domestic flights are an affordable alternative. Taking the train can be just a convenience or a vacation in itself – this is the land of the Rocky Mountaineer, after all. And it goes without saying that the cities are very well networked with everything from cute heritage trolley cars to the sleek Toronto Subway.

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