10 Things to Do on Family Day in Vancouver, Canada

Top Family Activities and Special Events

The Canadian holiday of Family Day is observed every year on the second Monday of February in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was created as a day for the family to spend time together. There are a number of events held every year in Vancouver for the family to enjoy.

British Columbia is the only province that celebrates the holiday on the second Monday. The other Canadian provinces and territories that celebrate the holiday (not all do) celebrate the holiday on the third Monday of the month. 

Check out some of the things that top the list for you and your family to enjoy in Vancouver for the day. 

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    ••• Robson Square Ice Rink at night. Image Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver

    If you are looking to enjoy the day on a budget, then consider going ice skating for free at the Robson Square Ice Rink, downtown Vancouver's only outdoor ice skating venue. ​Skating is free for all ages for those who bring their own skates while those without skates can rent a pair on-site. A concession stand serves warm drinks and snacks.

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    BC Family Day at Grouse Mountain
    ••• BC Family Day at Grouse Mountain. Image Courtesy of Grouse Mountain

    Grouse Mountain ski resort, also called the Peak of Vancouver, celebrates Family Day with half-priced lift tickets and general admission tickets for all British Columbia residents, plus family-friendly games, kids' activities, and kid-friendly terrain parks. Grouse Mountain is 15 minutes north of downtown Vancouver.

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    Sea to Sky Gondola
    ••• Sea to Sky Gondola. Photo by Paul Bride

    The Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish (about an hour north of downtown Vancouver) usually offers half-price tickets off the regular price of individual tickets for the weekend. Families can take a ride a half mile above the Howe Sound to a winter playground, where you can enjoy snowshoeing or tubing, and top off the day with a special treat at The Summit Lodge restaurant.

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    Family sleepovers at the Vancouver Aquarium
    ••• Family sleepovers at the Vancouver Aquarium. Image Courtesy of the Vancouver Aquarium

    A visit to the Vancouver Aquarium can be one of the best things to do on Family Day in Vancouver, but it can also be a special event the night before. Plan a sleepover with your family in the aquarium. The family-themed "night at the museum" experience includes interactive play, "ocean themed experiments," and a chance to spend the night with the belugas. 

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    ••• Vancouver Art Gallery, during 2009's Cultural Olympiad. Image Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver/Coast Mountain Photography

    Each year, the Vancouver Art Gallery celebrates Family Day with special events and activities. Usually, the museum makes admission free for children 12 and under and includes live music, tours, and hands-on art-making activities. 

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    Take a trip to the Museum of Vancouver, which showcases the history of the city. Anyone age 18 or younger can visit for free. The Museum of Vancouver is a family-friendly, educational place with stories from the past and artifacts of interest.

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    Check out the University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology with special cultural performances on Family Day.


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    ••• Science World's Eureka Gallery. Image Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver/ Science World British Columbia

    Many of the Vancouver attractions that are geared toward kids, including Science World, Burnaby Village Museum, and North Vancouver's Lonsdale Quay Market, have special activities and events planned for Family Day. 

    For ideas on what to do on a rainy day, some of the best indoor activities include indoor rock climbing, visiting a trampoline park, or going for a swim in an indoor pool.


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  • 09 of 10

    Day Trip or Weekend Getaway

    An elephant at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA
    ••• Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA. Image Courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo

    Vancouver is perfectly situated for a wide range of weekend getaways and day trips. If you are looking for a family-friendly day trip from Vancouver, one idea is a 2.5-hour drive across the border to Seattle, Washington. 

    Some of the best Vancouver day trips take you to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Pacific Northwest. From North America's top ski and snowboard resorts and picturesque villages to historic cities for shopping and strolling and the best spots for outdoor recreation.

    And, if you plan on leaving the kids with the grandparents for some quality family time, consider a romantic getaway from Vancouver.

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    Vancouver Outdoor Activities

    skiing whistler blackcomb alpine
    ••• skiing whistler blackcomb alpine. Photo © Whistler Blackcomb / Paul Morrison

    If enjoying the outdoors is what makes your family smile, then Family Day—or for that matter, the whole long weekend—should be focused on the mountains and parks around Vancouver for ​skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing.