Family Vacations to Canada - Family Traveller (USA)

Canada – Family Vacation Guide

It’s the country with several of the world’s leading ski resorts, the impressive Canadian Rockies, hundreds of vast lakes, thousands of islands and an indigenous cultural heritage that dates back 10s of 1000s of years.

Immense forests and endless wilderness spaces are the definition of the great outdoors and fantastic modern cities with lovely historic quarters are never far away from the coast or countryside.

Visit with kids and they’ll probably never want to go anywhere else except Canada, ever again.

Explore Canada


Why Go

  • Direct Flights

    Direct flights all year round from to Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Calgary from most large U.S. hubs.

  • National Parks

    Canada has 47 National Parks, six of which have World Heritage designation. Families love to do a road trip through Canada to the provinces and territories to discover the changing landscapes throughout these parks!

  • Rich Heritage

    Sixteen UNESCO World Heritage cultural sites include Quebec’s enchanting historic quarter and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump just over an hour’s drive south of Calgary.

  • Fantastic Skiing

    Whistler Mountain, home to North America’s No. 1 ski resort Whistler Blackcomb, is under 2-hours drive north of Vancouver. Mont Tremblant, Eastern North America’s No. 1 Overall Best Ski Resort, is less than 2-hours drive from Montreal.

  • Vancouver

    Beautiful Vancouver Island, home to the Pacific Rim National Park, is one of Canada’s top whale-spotting areas.

  • Holiday Festivals

    Quebec City Winter Carnival, Toronto Cavalcade of Lights and Vancouver Festival of Lights are annual winter events usually enhanced by plenty of snow.



Where to Go

Alberta

You may not be that familiar with Alberta, but if you love nature, we’re sure you’ve heard of Banff National Park. Canada’s first national park sits right in the heart of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains but just over an hour’s drive from Calgary. The type of natural splendor that could only be Canadian, this is the ultimate outdoor adventure holiday for kids. Visit in winter to ski the Big-3 (Lake Louise, Banff and Sunshine). Spring and summer are the seasons for hiking, climbing, walking and exploring. Banff is one of the loveliest places to go camping but there’s no shortage of fantastic hotels tucked into the wild and unbelievable grandeur of this magnificent national park.

Take Me to Alberta

British Columbia

Big city excitement, mountain adventure, seaside fun and just about everything else from theme parks to world class museums, outstanding skiing and fascinating history, British Columbia is a great all-round family holiday. Start with Vancouver. Almost just a hop across the border from Seattle, Vancouver’s weather doesn’t go to the extremes of northern Canada, even in winter. And in summer, it’s sunny, warm, big on beaches and a great place to do some day-to-day island hopping. Other must visits in British Columbia include Whistler for unparalleled skiing and Victoria to explore the province’s capital.

Take Me to British Columbia

Ontario

Find yourself in Ontario, and you’ll most likely head straight to Toronto. 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.

Don’t forget, Niagara Falls shares a border with the U.S. and some of the best parts of the Falls are located right in Ontario! Make a day trip to to Niagara from Toronto, only a two-hour drive.

Take Me to Ontario

Quebec

In Canada’s northeast awaits its province of Quebec, an easy drive for visitors from the American northeast. French is the predominant language, and with its historic cities and natural surroundings, families can experience a new culture. Founded almost 400 years ago, Montreal is Quebec’s oldest city and the second largest French speaking city in the world. Quebec City, the province’s beautiful historic capital, offers a European vibe in North America, as well as nearby skiing on the picturesque slopes at Mont Tremblant.

Take Me to Quebec


What to Do

  • Montreal 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 a sedate city 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.

  • Vancouber Aquarium

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

  • Old Port Skating Rink, Montreal

    Old Montreal is a wonderful district 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. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site.



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 the Montreal and Quebec, Canada’s awash with fascinating history and 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

It’s a big country and everyone drives, so renting a car for your vacation is an essential. Park and ride is big in cities and public transport is varied and very high standard. Inter-province domestic flights are the best option for longer journeys.