Usually winter in Vancouver is mild; it doesn't often get too cold to enjoy the city's bountiful outdoor activities. But on rare occasions (hello, winter 2013!) the temperature can dip below freezing or it will snow in the city. When that happens, taking the kids to the park or getting enough exercise can be difficult.
When it's too cold or snowy outside to keep to your normal routine, use this Guide to Indoor Winter Activities in Vancouver to find exciting indoor spaces for kids, unusual indoor activities for all ages, and the best places in Vancouver to warm up.
Of course, you can also take advantage of a cold spell in Vancouver to hit the slopes: Vancouver's Best Skiing, Snowboarding & Snow Sports.
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Unusual Indoor Activities: Beach Volleyball, Trampolines, Climbing & More
Indoor winter activities in Vancouver can be loads of fun and great exercise, as well as a way to try something new or unusual that you've never done before. Here are unusual options for indoor fun for all ages:
- Play indoor beach volleyball (on sand) at 6 Pack Indoor Beach in Richmond.
- Jump and play at the largest trampoline park in Canada at the Extreme Air Park in Richmond.
- Climb high at Vancouver's indoor climbing centres: Cliffhanger Climbing Vancouver & The Edge Climbing Centre in North Vancouver.
- Skateboard indoors at The Dry Spot.
- Head to the Blodel Conservatory, where inside temperatures mimic the tropics year-round.
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Submerge Yourself in Hot Pool
One of the best indoor witner activities in Vancouver is swimming; not only can you get exercise actually swimming, Vancouver's indoor pools have a variety of hot-water / sauna options for really thawing out and warming up. My favourite is the hot pool at the Hillcrest Aquatic Centre, but there are saunas at most of the nine Vancouver Indoor Swimming Pools.
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Indoor Activities for Kids: Science World & Vancouver Aquarium
Some of the best indoor winter activities in Vancouver for kids are at Vancouver's top attractions, especially Science World. Science World has two areas dedicated to kid activities: Eureka! (with lots of interactive physics games that involve movement, dance, and launching balls) and the toddler-oriented Kidzone, where even young babies can play. Prepare for crowds on particularly bad-weather weekends. And get the annual membership! It's too expensive to pay as you go.
For kids of all ages, there's also the (mostly) indoor Vancouver Aquarium, but the Aquarium is considerably less interactive than Science World (though it does have a small play area downstairs for younger kids).
For more info on museums in Vancouver, see also: Reviews of Vancouver Attractions for Kids
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Indoor Activities for Kids: Indoor Playgrounds, Community Centres & More
There aren't a lot of indoor playgrounds in Vancouver. There is the indoor Adventure Zone at the Kids Market at Granville Island (which can be combined with shopping at or browsing inside the market). Your best bet for daily indoor activities is your local community centre; most community centres have a low-cost Parent & Tot Gym "class" where kids under 10 can run, ride trikes, bounce balls, etc. Other activities at your community centre include indoor classes for kids and adults, exercise classes for all ages, and public, indoor ice skating rinks.
For more ideas, see also: Guide to Rainy Day Activities in Vancouver for Kids