Vancouverites will say there’s no better city in the summer. At the edge of the Pacific and surrounded by mountains, the southwest corner of Canada enjoys over 16 hours of daylight at the peak of the warm season. Winters can be dark and wet, but a handful of ski resorts and easy access to the great outdoors keep Vancouver families active year-round. Here are the best family-friendly activities in Vancouver to keep you busy on your next visit.
1/8 Hike or tram up Grouse Mountain
Visit the North Shore and make your way to the top of Grouse for spectacular city views. Depending on your level of ambition, you can hike the famed Grouse Grind trail to the top, or opt for the user-friendly alternative of riding the Skyride tram.
2/8 Walk the gardens to the ball park at Queen Elizabeth Park
Courtesy of Eric Greene
Start at the top of the park to see the Bloedel Conservatory before walking through the botanic gardens to the lower edge of Queen E, where you can catch a game featuring the local Class A baseball team—the Canadians—at iconic Nat Bailey Stadium.
3/8 Cycle the Seawall around Stanley Park
Rent bikes for the whole family in the West End and ride the 22 kms of bike path around Stanley Park. Arguably the most scenic (and free) tour in Vancouver, the Seawall follows the shoreline passed the white sand beaches of English Bay and under the Lions Gate Bridge.
4/8 Treat the family to sushi
There’s a beyond delicious sushi restaurant in every Vancouver neighborhood, so pick a convenient location for a family feast of West Coast rolls. Some favorites include Toshi, Tomokazu and Ebisu.
5/8 See both varieties of football
BC Place stadium in Yaletown is home to the BC Lions football team and the Vancouver Whitecaps soccer club. Depending on the season, attending a game is a fun (and affordable!) family outing.
6/8 Ski, snowshoe, or hike at Mount Seymour
If you want to get the kids outside and enjoy the natural beauty surrounding the city, Mount Seymour is the perfect mountain day trip. Just half an hour from Vancouver, the family-friendly ski resort offers year-round activity for those of all ages.
7/8 Expand your minds at Science World
The interactive experiences at Science World will keep your kids busy for an entire day, but there’s plenty for parents, as well. Check the website in advance to see if there’s a group activity you can all do together.
8/8 End the day with gourmet ice-cream
Courtesy of Earnest Ice Cream
Artisan ice cream shops are emerging all over Vancouver, so it’s an easy decision to end a busy day of activity with a sweet reward the whole family can enjoy. Our top pick? Earnest Ice Cream.
By Eric Greene