Take a Ride
Sail across the harbour, or soar above the city. Even getting around Vancouver on public transit offers the fun of a fairground ride, all for the price of a bus ticket.
Seagulls dip and glide at eye level. Floatplanes take off and land right in front of your nose. Departing every 15 to 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver, this commuter “cruise” via catamaran across Burrard Inlet provides a fabulous view of the harbour, Stanley Park
and the Lions Gate Bridge. Mountains on the skyline make it a marvellous photo opportunity.
Swooping past the glittering golf ball of Science World
at TELUS World of Science, past backyards and gardens, the Expo and Millennium lines whisk travellers east from downtown and out to Vancouver’s suburbs. Visitors usually stop at Westminster Quay, a 28- minute ride from the city centre, but the SkyTrain makes a spectacular crossing of the Fraser River on its way to Surrey. SkyTrain’s Canada Line heads south into Richmond
as well out to Vancouver International Airport
for a day of plane-spotting. Trains depart every 2 to 5 minutes. And hey kids, you know what’s special about these trains? There’s no driver. It’s all done by computer (just like a horizontal elevator).
Hop-on, Hop-off Sightseeing
Wee ones are thrilled to see Vancouver from an old-fashioned trolley or an open-air bus. With fully narrated tours, Vancouver’s hop-on, hop-off
sightseeing tours give a great overview of the city, along with giving families the flexibility to make stops whenever suits them. Hop off to explore all the downtown attractions, then hop back on again to continue to the next exciting destination.
In 1979, Granville Island was redeveloped from what used to be an industrial wasteland under the Granville Bridge, into an island of treasures that is a must on any family’s list. A 10-minute drive from most downtown hotels, and an easy journey by bus, bike or boat from any part of the city, Granville Island is a-buzz with activity. Take in free live entertainment in the waterfront courtyard. Sample freshly made fudge or warm doughnuts in the Public Market. Wander along beside the houseboats, or chat with authentic fisherfolk.
Not your usual plastic, mass-produced stuff by a long shot. Instead, this colourful building is home to a bustling play area and shops selling all kinds of off-beat, handcrafted, and educational toys, many of them locally made. Nifty junior-sized fashions too.
The largest free water park in North America is on Granville Island. Open all summer, this water wonderland is a great place to linger with a picnic lunch, fresh from the public market. Ferry: To reach the Island, you can drive, walk, cycle or try the most-fun alternative, mini ferry
. Every two or three minutes, cute little ferries
buzz back and forth between Granville Island and various mini-docks around False Creek.
Kids take off on a voyage of discovery, igniting their imagination atTelus World of Science
! Explore the latest feature exhibits, hands-on interactive displays and take part in special events. Check out spectacular OMNIMAX films on one of the world’s largest dome screens. There’s also an on-site Triple O’s restaurant and unique gift shop.
A beach full of soft, gold sand is better than a toy chest. And then there’s beachcombing for shells or funny-looking pebbles, writing your name in wet sand with a stick. Would you believe it’s all only 10 minutes from the heart of downtown Vancouver? Kits
Beach is one of Vancouver’s favourite places to hang out. Little ones can check out the playground, while logs on the beach, or park benches provide a spot for Mom and Dad to relax. Teens can join a basketball game, play tennis on one of 10 courts, or strut their stuff with their peers. P.S. Kits Beach is right next to Vanier Park
. Take in the attractions, then chill out for a while.
This terrific heated salt-water pool with its wrap-around view of the city and mountains sits on the ocean’s edge and is open through the summer. Tots can frolic in the gentle shallows. Swimmers can rub shoulders with the city’s triathletes in training. Read more about our beaches
Vancouver’s green heart is a magnificent 400 hectares (1,000 acres), with much of it dense West Coast forest. Marked trails let families roam through the “jungle” of giant trees. Beaches offer a close up look at all kinds of boats. A playground with a vintage fire engine, a pool and water slides make this one of the city’s great escapes.
Step aboard an old-fashioned horse-drawn vehicle and meander in comfort through the natural beauty of Stanley Park
. A professional guide fully narrates the tour, which highlights Deadman’s Island, Vancouver’s harbour, Lions Gate Bridge, and a coastal red cedar forest, and includes stops at the totem poles, the “Girl in a Wetsuit” statue, the S.S. Empress of Japan figurehead and the rose gardens. Departs from the Coal Harbour
parking lot beside the information booth on Park Drive, east of the Vancouver Rowing Club; no reservations are required.
With over 50,000 amazing aquatic creatures at the Vancouver Aquarium, what will you see today? Stop by and say hi to the adorable sea otters, or come see the mesmerizing jellyfish. Enjoy daily dolphin, shark and sea otter shows, as well as the free-roaming animals found in the popular Amazon gallery. And make sure to visit the Treasures of the BC Coast gallery to discover the unique and breath-taking animals that live in BC’s local waters, including the Pacific Octopus.