We live in Ottawa but I grew up in Vancouver BC, we just returned from a great vacation out there and thought I share some of our favorite activities.
My kids are 8 and 10. We did three things in Vancouver area they loved.
1) Science World, many cities have science "museums" but Vancouvers is one of the best. Every exhibit is hands on, something to build, feel, take apart. A spot to play in water with your hands, (indoors no bathing suits required), table top puzzles, optical illusions. I think every kids we saw there from ages 3 - 15 was having a good time. Even my parents in their 60's enjoyed it.
2) The skytrain - Like an above ground subway. Worth the couple of dollars to ride, you can take it to Metropolis (big mall) or just ride from one end to the other, it is automated so there's no driver, if you get in the first car often the kids can sit looking out the front window and pretend they are driving it. Stations are very safe.
3) Queens Park, New Westminster...this is a hidden gem in the lower mainland...Beautiful park with Splash park, park attendants leading activities during the summer, petting farm, concession, big playground, lots of shade a great way to spend a whole day with little or no cost (if you bring your lunch) even the petting farm is by donation.
Feel freel to jump in with your questions or favorites!
Love the aquarium in Stanley Park, that's a winner too with kids.
I actually just went to Queens Park a few weeks ago! We were there for a day on a cruise and have friends who live in New Westminster, so they picked us up at the pier and took us to the park for a picnic lunch. Our son (who is 2) loved the play area and the (free) petting farm. Definitely a hidden gem!
Everyone seems to be confirming all that I have heard about Vancouver, which has been nothing but POSITIVE, even for living there, not just vacationing. It all sounds so wonderful, based on what has been posted thus far, it sounds very tempting.
I'm wondering, how was the weather, depending upon what time of year you traveled? It sounds like it wasn't much of a factor but I thought I'd ask anyway, since Pacific Northwest, you never know and I'm in the opposite, in the Northeast of the USA where absolutely NOTHING makes sense anymore. We used to have 4 seasons, now, after the last few years, it's seeming more and more like we only have two; it's kinda summer, and it's kinda winter. In between, in just rains. So just curious about the weather.
It doesn't necessarily stop me from going ANYWHERE because I like to travel off season and so usually end up dealing with weather. There are benefits to be had if one deals with a few trade offs.
But all of Canada is sounding lovely and I can't wait to hear about more!
Let's see what can I say about Vancouver weather...it's much like Seattle. I call it "perpetual fall". Rarely really hot, rarely cold. However like everwhere it seems to be changing, they had some cold days last winter say about 28 degrees. Still a fair amount of cloudy days all year around. Hot day would be about 90 degrees. What you would notice is that there is no humidity. When you go in the shade it feels cool.
As long as you don't mind rainy days, anytime of the year is great to go!
(But I'm not sure I'd move back, too expensive to live.)
Colleen, we just got back from our Alaska adventure and our cruisetour ended in Vancouver. We had heard so much about this city we wanted to spend a couple of days there. We had spectacular weather the whole time in Alaska and gorgeous skies and temperatures the day we disembarked the ship. The weather started cooling off and got gloomy the next two days but didn't affect our time there. We wished we had rented a car and driven out to Whistler to see the Olympics stuff. We were kind of scenery'd (I know, no word!) out and tired of spending money so didn't do Capilano or Grouse Mountain and Whistler would have been nice.
Thanks for the "weather reports"! I actually don't mind, whether or not I'm on holiday or at home. You should SEE Paris in the rain.......it's almost prettier.
Just as long as I don't really have to drive in it, I don't care. It's just water and I'm more interested in what I'm seeing than in the rain. Actually, being very prone to getting serious sunburns, it's almost a plus for me as on some trips, I look like the odd ball facing away from the sun with a towel covering my legs and a big floppy hat finding any kind of shade that I can. Sunny places are OK so long as I can swim in the water, beyond that, I don't care.
It sounds like there are moderate temps in Vancouver and some rain; NBD. On the South Island of NZ, West Coast, it rains 20 FEET every year and that's a lot of rain. I thought for sure it would rain on the day I was there to climb Fox Glacier but surprise! There was sun. And it was a good thing because by the time I was standing on top of that glacier, after a long, arduous climb, IT WAS REALLY COLD!!! So I'd have hated to have been wet & freezing on that particular day!! Any other day - never mind. Makes for more dramatic photos too, especially in B&W!!!
Thanks to you both for the climate info, from way over here in the northeast USA!
Ok. 13 of us will be visiting in 3 weeks. We arrive from Boston on a Wednesday afternoon and board our Cruise ship after lunch on Friday for Alaska. We will have 5 boys (4, 6, 10, 14, 17) with us. We will be staying at the Westin Bayshore and would rather not have to rent a car. I am very intrigued by the Capilano Bridge and Stanley Park, but if you were me and knew the city as you do, how would you spend the short time we have exploring the city. THANKS! - Dani.
This is a link for walking directions from the hotel, a little long of a walk, but you can always jump on the Skytrain (above ground subway) if you get tired.
Stanley Park, hmmmm...it's pretty, has the ocean, a little petting farm and playground...mostly a giant greenspace of large trees. You could play a round of golf on the little pitch and put course (not minuture golf, but still very small and fine for a 5 year old.) If it's really hot there is a spray park and beach. I guess my hesitation with recommending it is that it is very sprawling, almost too far to walk around from Aquarium (expensive and small, probably pass if your family has been to others, this will not compare) to Beach, Park, etc.
Capilano Bridge is pretty. You may be able to arrange a bus tour from your hotel, but it may be cheaper to rent a car. Google did give me a bus route that takes on 40 minutes, but a couple of bus changes involved.