Top 10 Things to Do in Vancouver with Kids

Best Family & Kid Activities in Vancouver, BC

It's easy to find things to do in Vancouver with kids. There are loads of free activities, parks and beaches to visit, places to bike and hike, fun and educational things to do on a rainy day, family-friendly museums and Vancouver attractions, and much, much more!

Use this list to find unique, cheap, different and fun things to do in Vancouver with kids.

See also: Activities for Toddlers & Babies

01 of 11

Top 10 Free Things to Do in Vancouver

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
Image Courtesy of Lynn Canyon Park

On a budget? Don't worry! All of the Top 10 Free Things to Do in Vancouver are also perfect things to do in Vancouver with kids!

One example: Why spend big money visiting the Capilano Suspension Bridge when you can cross the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge (pictured) for free?

Top 10 Free Things to Do in Vancouver, BC

02 of 11

Top 10 Things to Do at Stanley Park

Biking the Stanley Park Seawall
Image Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver

Stanley Park is Vancouver's biggest park and most famous landmark, and it is packed with things to do in Vancouver with kids! Stanley Park's best kids' and family activities include biking the Seawall, riding the Stanley Park Miniature Train (open for holidays), and exploring the park's Totem Poles, walking trails, beaches and more.

Top 10 Things to Do at Stanley Park

03 of 11

Indoor Spaces: Top 10 Things to Do on a Rainy Day

Girl watches Beluga whale at the Vancouver Aquarium
Grant Faint/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Given how notorious Vancouver weather is--we do get a lot of rain!--it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of indoor things to do in Vancouver with kids, from a trip to the Vancouver Aquarium to free storytime events at your local library.

  • Top 10 Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Vancouver
  • Vancouver Indoor Winter Activities
04 of 11

Granville Island

Granville Island Vancouver
Photo by Dana Lynch

Granville Island is both one of Vancouver's most famous landmarks and one of the best, cheap things to do in Vancouver with kids. Kids can explore the amazing Kids Market (which includes an indoor playland) and the legendary Granville Island Public Market, see whole lobsters and crabs at the Lobster Man, and--from mid-May through Labour Day--get wet at the free water park. For a cheap, on-the-water adventure, the whole family can ride the Aquabus around False Creek.

Top 10 Things to Do at Granville Island

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05 of 11

Vancouver Outdoor Adventures

Grouse Mountain zipline
Image Courtesy of Grouse Mountain

Vancouver outdoor adventures offer kids a chance to exercise, enjoy the outdoors, have a lot of fun, and spend quality family time all at the same time. There's biking, hiking, and kayaking in the spring, summer and fall, and skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating in the winter. There are also high-flying adventures older kids will love, like mountain ziplining on Grouse Mountain.

Giant List of Vancouver Outdoor Adventures & Activities

06 of 11

Burnaby Central Railway - Miniature Trains

Image Courtesy of Burnaby Central Railway

Nestled in north Burnaby's Confederation Park, about ten minutes east of the PNE, is the Burnaby Central Railway, one a hidden gem so hidden many life-long Vancouverites don't know about it! Created and run by the non-profit British Columbia Society of Model Engineers (BCSME), the Burnaby Central Railway is a six-acre miniature railway park where people of all ages can ride miniature trains pulled by 1/8th-scale models of real train engines. There are even steam engines that actually work!

Open weekends only, Good Friday - Canadian Thanksgiving.

Guide to the Miniature Burnaby Central Railway

07 of 11

Trout Lake & John Hendry Park

Trout Lake in Vancouver, BC
Image Courtesy of Alan Bruce / Flickr Creative Commons

When it comes to things to do in East Vancouver with kids, a trip to Trout Lake and John Hendry Park will top the list. Known to locals as, simply, Trout Lake, this park has a playground, sandy beach, baby swings, and packed-dirt-paths that circle the park, perfect for pushing strollers. You can even bring your dog on the family outing: Trout Lake has one of the busiest dog parks in Vancouver! (But don't worry: the off-leash portion of the park is on the opposite side of the lake from the kids' areas.)

08 of 11

Vancouver Beaches & Swimming

Sunbathers on Kitsilano Beach, Vancouver, BC

Chris Cheadle / Getty Images

One of my favourite things do in Vancouver with kids is head to the beach, no matter the weather. Blessed with some of the most gorgeous coastline in the world, Vancouver's beaches range from sandy sun-bathing havens to rugged shores typical of the Pacific Northwest. Kids will love running into the ulra-low tides on Spanish Banks, biking Jericho Beach Park, making sandcastles at Kits Beach, or indulging in a family picnic on the sand.

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09 of 11

Vancouver Museums & Galleries

St. Roch at the Vancouver Maritime Museum
Image Courtesy of the Vancouver Maritime Museum

Several Vancouver museums and galleries make for great things to do in Vancouver with kids. The best museum for kids is Science World (get a membership to keep costs down). Older kids will enjoy the incredible UBC Museum of Anthropology (MOA), with its enormous First Nations sculptures and totems. The Maritime Museum sounds like a snooze, but it's actually got several interactive sea-faring displays kids will love, the biggest--and best--being the real-life Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Schooner St. Roch, which visitors can explore inside and out.

10 of 11

Top 10 Things to Do in Summer

Celebration of Light Fireworks, Vancouver
Image Courtesy of Tourism Vancouver/ Clayton Perry

Vancouver's unique summer events are tailor-made for making perfect childhood memories. Fun for the whole family, the best things to do in Vancouver during the summer--from Victoria Day in May to Labour Day in September--include Canada Day, the annual Celebration of Light International Fireworks Competition, the summer-long Richmond Night Market, and the opening of Vancouver's outdoor public pools.

Summer in Vancouver Top 10

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BONUS: Holidays in Vancouver - Things to Do with Kids at Every Holiday

Vancouver Chinese New Year Parade 2013
Image Courtesy of Chinese Benevolent Association of Vancouver

There are special things to do in Vancouver with kids on every holiday, from Chinese New Year to Halloween to Christmas. Use these guides to find fun ways for the whole family to celebrate!