For families seeking fun indoors and outdoors, Vancouver, Victoria, and Whistler make ideal year-round destinations in British Columbia. From amazing animals and thrilling rides to quirky attractions and delicious food, these popular Canadian towns all have something for children and adults alike. Let’s explore the best family-friendly finds in Vancouver, Victoria, and Whistler.
Fun for the Whole Family in Vancouver
The Burnaby Village Museum is a true hidden gem. Near the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown, this open-air museum features beautifully restored buildings with guides in 1920s-style attire. Kids love riding the vintage carousel and checking out the century-old tram.
Head downtown to Stanley Park and enjoy horse-drawn carriage tours, swimming at the Second Beach pool, and dolphins and penguins at the Vancouver Aquarium. In False Creek, Science World attracts budding Einsteins with hands-on exhibitions and nature movies on a giant dome screen.
Bustling Granville Island is a family mecca, where you’ll find books, toys, and clothes at Kids Market. Attend a play at the Carousel Theatre for Young People or romp at the Granville Island Water Park.
Grab classic burgers with Triple “O” sauce at one of Vancouver’s family-friendly White Spot restaurants. Yaletown Brewing Company, Vancouver’s first brewpub, offers a kids’ menu as well as craft beer and tasty pizzas. Or scream for ice-cream at La Casa Gelato, serving nearly 240 flavors.
Craving Asian delicacies from dim sum to bubble tea? Feast at vibrant restaurants in Richmond’s Golden Village.
Good Times for Everyone in Victoria
The Butchart Gardens, Victoria’s signature attraction, captivates families with its magical, rose-laden Sunken Garden and bronze boar statue. But the provincial capital offers much more.
Miniature World delights with intricate displays depicting the cross-Canada railway and an old-school circus. Meet goats and peacocks at the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm. Or hit the Pacific Ocean on a guided Prince of Whales boat tour to view orcas and sea lions.
Hearty breakfasts at The Blue Fox Cafe or The Ruby satisfy everyone’s appetite. Ditto for gourmet burgers at Big Wheel Burger in the Cook Street Village or fish and chips at Barb’s at Fisherman’s Wharf.
At the end of the day, rest your weary head at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Victoria.
Adventures for Kids and Adults in Whistler
Whistler is more than a legendary ski resort north of Vancouver. In the winter, daring kids can take luge lessons at the Whistler Sliding Centre, or enjoy hot chocolate and outdoor skating at Whistler Olympic Plaza, built for the 2010 Olympics.
In the summer, mini-golf and climbing walls entertain youngsters in the Family Adventure Zone. Bear-watching, ziplining, and hiking are other exciting alternatives. Year-round, the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola offers an epic 1.88-mile cable car ride between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.
The little ones can also learn about native traditions at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre with a longhouse and weaving and carving demonstrations. And you’ll find kid-friendly food at The Old Spaghetti Factory and Peaked Pies, both steps from the Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa.