Spring has officially sprung here in Vancouver, which hopefully means that we are in for a sunny and warm next few months! With flowers blossoming as early as mid February, it feels like it has already been spring for ages. If you're looking for ideas to do with the little ones, here's some tried-and-tested activities that will be a hit with kids of all ages. Get out and about and enjoy all spring has to offer!
1. A sightseeing tour could add some locations to your 'go-to' list. The Vancouver Trolley Company, in partnership with Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing, offers 'Hop-On, Hop-Off' Sightseeing Tours aboard a replica San Francisco trolley in the downtown core of Vancouver. Tours take about two hours unless you hop off to tour at your own pace. Just be sure to look for the 'Trolley' sign at most bus stops to hop back on.
2. Learn to ride a horse together at Southlands Heritage Farm. Visit the working farm any day between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 6767 Balaclava Street, at West 51st Ave. Check their website beforehand for any special events throughout the season!
3. Play in the largest indoor sandbox in the city at Little Diggers in 6Pack Indoor Beach. Maybe it's not QUITE beach weather in Vancouver (although I'm sure there's some families who would disagree) but either way, this place brings the beach to you all year round! Open seven days a week and located at #115-13180 Mitchell Rd. Richmond.
4. Take a stroll along the beautiful Greenheart Canopy Walkway. Located in the heart of the UBC Botanical Garden, reaching a height of nearly 20 metres above the forest floor, you can traverse from platform to platform at your own pace or with a guide. Contact the gatehouse at 604-822-4208 for more information. (No open toed shoes allowed. Small children must be able to walk on their own or be carried in an approved backpack or carrier. No strollers, walkers, or wheelchairs allowed on the walkway.)
5. Drive out to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Though it's one of the most popular attractions in Vancouver, spending a morning or afternoon at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park never gets old. It's a great place for the whole family to explore, and kids can't get enough of the Treetops Adventure and the Cliffwalk. Plus, this is an excellent place to snap some family photos.
6. Pet some furry friends at Maplewood Farm. On five acres in North Vancouver, Maplewood Farm has over 200 domestic and friendly farm animals and birds. This is definitely a family favourite, and spring is the perfect time to visit as there are lots of cute baby animals. Closed on Mondays (except during Spring Break). Situated near Mount Seymour at 405 Seymour River.
7. Snuggle up with the kids and watch a great movie in the comfort of your own car. The Twilight Drive-In in Langley is Metro Vancouver's only drive-movie theatre. Two movies are played each night. The first one begins at dusk, which is no earlier than 7:30 p.m. Twilight Drive-In is open every night between February and mid-November.
8. Stop by East Vancouver¹s famous La Casa Gelato. This place has over two hundred different flavours, including curry, corn, dandelion, wasabi, and blue cheese. What?! Don't worry. They have lots of kiddie flavours too. Open seven days a week, located at 1033 Venables St.
9. Go on a nature hike and try your hand at geocaching. We are surrounded by beautiful trails and mountains that are waiting to be explored. They can range in difficulty, so finding one suitable for your kids will be important. To add even more excitement to your nature hike, check out geocaching.com, or download the app, and your hike can turn into a search for a hidden treasure! Have your kids make a prize that you can leave behind for someone else to find.
Here are some good kid-friendly hikes to consider:
Lighthouse Park - stunning views, wildlife, old trees, and easy trails! A perfect concoction for hiking with the kids. You can also catch an amazing sunset from here.
Pacific Spirit Regional Park - with many different hiking trails to choose from, they range from easy to difficult, so you can tailor your hike accordingly. A great option for beginners is the Huckleberry Trail.
Deep Cove Lookout - slightly more challenging than the others, however still a relatively easy hike. About 4 km roundtrip, so make sure this is something your kids would be comfortable with! Crossing the creek bridges is fun for the kids, and the lookout is definitely impressive.
10. On a rainy day, visit Canada's largest indoor trampoline parks. Extreme Air Park, with locations in Richmond, Langley, and New West, has 42,000 square feet of interconnected trampolines and The Foam Zone, an eight-lane foam dive pit. Make reservations or drop in. Guaranteed to be a hoppin' good time!
11. Gear up your bikes and cycle around Stanley Park. Stanley park is a great spot to experience nature without having to leave the city. There are many trails that go through the park, but the seawall that goes around the park is a great option for cyclists. Don't forget to wear your helmet!
12. Participate in a family program at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The Vancouver Art Gallery has weekly family programs, and every Sunday, the Gallery offers unique activities geared towards children 12 and under and their families. Bring a camera to capture your child¹s projects. I'm sure they will create some masterpieces.
13. Chase the wild bunnies at Jericho Beach. They live in the bushes near the walkway, sleep amongst the sailboats at the sailboat club, and eat carrots from your hand if you are patient enough. Pack a picnic for a beach day and bring some extra greens to share!
14. Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company has locations in Kitsilano and Main Street. A special kids menu offers popular cheese pizzas and homemade chicken noodle soup, using mostly locally sourced and organic ingredients. On Sunday Family Nights, kids 12 and under can make their own pizzas!
15. Cheer on the Whitecaps at BC place. Check out the Whitecaps FC website to learn about home games. Watching a soccer match is great way to spend a spring evening, and it might even inspire you to grab a soccer ball and kick around with the kids.
Comment below with any other awesome ideas you have! We'd love to hear from you.
Plus, for a list of all kid-friendly events happening around the Vancouver and Lower Mainland area, keep an eye on our popular events page—new events are always added.
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Thanks for some great ideas. I'm new to Vancouver, so some of these ideas might see too obvious to mention, but I thought I'd share them, just in case; Capilano Suspension Bridge park, it very family friendly with new trails and park tours, also cycling around Stanley Park and visiting the kid's market at Granville Island, I also think the aquarium and zoo are always good options for a family day out.