Vancouver with Kids – 5 things you must do with kids when you visit Vancouver Canada
This summer we went to Seattle and Vancouver for our family vacation. I was in the Pacific Northwest when I was a kid, but have never been to Seattle or Vancouver, so I was excited. We had our family of 3, and then we were traveling with another couple. So we had 4 adults to entertain as well as an 11 year old boy. I have to say I think we succeeded, everyone had a great trip! My son still talks about how great Vancouver was, and how much fun he had. I have to say, I think it was the highlight of our trip as well. If you are headed to Vancouver, or thinking about where to go read on and see what you need to do in Vancouver with kids!
Stanley Park – Everything you read says to visit Stanley Park, and there is a reason why. It is a huge green space in the middle of the city. There is a path that goes all the way around the park, which you can walk or bike. We rented bikes and were able to ride the whole thing, as well as around plenty of downtown Vancouver. There are a few bike rental options available, and they include bike locks with your rental. So you can hop on and off, and know your bike will be safe. The path around Stanley Park is right on the waters edge, so you can see boats, views of the city, and lots of great scenery. We did the bike ride on a Saturday, and it was busy in the afternoon, so if you want to avoid the crowds start early, or try it on a weekday.
Granville Island – A small island that is filled with tons of restaurants and shops. There is a large marketplace on Granville Island that has lots of food stands. You can get everything from fresh fruit and pasta, to over the top desserts and fresh breads. There is a food court area that you can stop at for lunch as well. There is lots of outdoor seating available, but be warned of all the seagulls and birds. We stayed inside because we wanted to eat in peace and not have birds pestering us for food the entire time. We rented a house in Vancouver, so we took full advantage and bought some of the amazing fresh pasta and bread to make dinner that night. If you have that option, take it! The pasta was incredible! We bought and herb gnocchi and crab & lobster ravioli. You can buy an ice pack from the seafood stand, so you don’t have to rush home right away.
Sea to Sky Gondola – About an hour north of Vancouver in a town called Squamish is a gondola ride that takes you to some of the most amazing views. The drive to Sqaumish travels on part of the Sea-to-Sky Highway, which is one of the most famous scenic drives. It is a windy road, that hugs the coast. You have steep cliffs that come straight out of the water. Stunning views and worth the drive alone. The Sea to Sky Gondola is a great activity for people of all ages. You can take the easy gondola ride to the top. Over the top views of snow capped mountains, the water below, and huge peaks all around. You can hike for miles and miles if you want once you get to the top. There are a ton of different trails you can take, or you can enjoy lunch and a drink at the top. They even have live music, yoga, and other events at the top.
Via Ferreta – While visiting the Sea to Sky Gondola we did the new Via Ferrata tour. Via Ferrata mean Iron Way in Italian.It is basically metal rungs and cables that are installed into the side of the mountain. You then climb the side of the cliff using the cable system. My 11 year old is a very cautious kid, and he was really nervous to start. But as soon as we got started, his fears were gone and he was loving it. I am not a rock climber, so this is as close as I will ever come, but I can definitely see the draw of those who do it. The views are amazing. We hike a lot in Colorado, but this was a completely different experience, that is hard to replicate any other way. My son is now asking if we can make a trip to Italy and try Via Ferrata in the Alps there….that might have to wait until he takes his own vacation as an adult.
Capilano Suspension Bridge – Just outside of Vancouver is this very popular attraction. We had read ahead of time how busy this area can get, so we got there first thing in the morning. We also did the suspension bridge first, so we could enjoy it without so many people. The tree top adventure gets you up in the middle of these huge Evergreen trees. You feel like you are in the middle of no where in a forest, but you are just a couple miles from the middle of Vancouver. The cliff walk gives great views of the granite cliffs and the river below. Very unique experience and gorgeous area.
Vancouver is a gorgeous city. It was definitely the highlight of our trip. If you are thinking of taking a vacation to Canada, I highly recommend visiting Vancouver, and taking your kids with you. We ate some amazing Japanese food, did an Escape Room (they have 5 or 6 to choose from), walked along the beach, and enjoyed the downtown while we were there as well. So lots to keep you busy for a few days!
**I worked with Capliano Suspension Bridge, Sea to Sky Gondola and Via Ferreta for free or reduced rate tickets. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.