Top 20 Places to Take Kids in and around Vancouver
Best Places for Kids in the Vancouver area: 2021's Survey Results!
Below are the Top 20 places to take kids in and around Vancouver, based on KidsOutAndAbout's annual reader survey for 2021. There is lots more to do in the Vancouver area for kids, teens, and families beyond the Top 20! Browse through our site, check out our packed daily calendar, sign up for our fabulous free weekly e-newsletter so you hear about everything in advance, and be sure to visit our Everything That's Free page!
1. Greater Vancouver Zoo
Dedicated to education and conservation, the Greater Vancouver Zoo is home to many rescued, donated and orphaned animals. The mission of the Greater Vancouver Zoo is to inspire appreciation of our ecosystems and support conservation efforts by engaging the community.
Discover the sights and sounds of 140 species on 120 acres in the heart of the Fraser Valley.
2. Granville Island
Since 1979, Granville Island has been representing arts and culture in Vancouver to locals and tourists alike. With a world-famous Public Market that houses over 50 vendors whose wares vary from local produce to international delicacies, and the artwork of hundreds of Canadian artisans on display in studios around the Island, Granville Island is a delight and a feast for all the senses. It is a magnet for children of all ages, and it’s no wonder, considering there is a market devoted entirely to kids! Home to the Vancouver International Children’s Festival, as well as North America’s largest outdoor free waterpark, open annually from May until September, no matter your age, there is something here that will make you fall in love!
3. Play Abby Activity Centre
Play Abby is committed to providing an active play and party environment for you and your family.
Play Abby is your local and premiere indoor playground and activity centre. Bring a picnic and stay all-day because your admission lasts the entire day!
There's Lazer Tag in Abbotsford, Bubble Ball Soccer in Surrey and weekly Storytime events as well. Play Abby can host your next party too in one of our wonderfully themed party areas.
Welcome to Play Abby, the place for playtime!
4. Vancouver Aquarium
The Vancouver Aquarium is a self-supporting, non-profit society dedicated to effecting the conservation of aquatic life through display, communication, public programming and education, research and direct action. We are an Ocean Wise® initiative and home to thousands of incredible ocean species and amazing aquatic life. It’s also Ocean Wise headquarters, where our scientists, educators and conservation experts do their work, not only to protect our oceans but to inspire others to join us in our mission. Since opening in 1956, the Vancouver Aquarium has connected more than 40 million people from around the world to our oceans and all the wonders within them.
5. Pacific National Exhibition: Fair & Playground
Playland, Vancouver’s iconic amusement park, reopened its gates in June, welcoming guest back for safe, clean fun. Admission includes unlimited rides and unlimited good times! You don't want to leave the park without trying the new iced mini donuts. The PNE Fair resumes August 21-September 6, capping off summer with all the essentials: SuperDogs, BCAA ToonCity, live music, lumberjack show, farm animals, exhibits, and all the good mood food you can eat!
6. Science World
Science World is a charitable organization that engages British Columbians in science and inspires future science and technology leadership throughout our province. Check out our offerings for courses and camps that allow you to delve deeper into science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
7. Cultus Lake Water Park
BC's Biggest Waterpark! We are a family-oriented park and provide our guests with MANY slides for all ages, as well as 3 kiddie areas, 5 Hot Tubs and an Adventure River. For thrill seekers, we also have some of the most extreme waterslides.
8. My Local Library
Of course, the libraries in the Vancouver area are not really ONE place, but MANY places... but it's important to emphasize how valuable libraries are for family learning and fun. The libraries in our area are wonderful about posting their events to the KidsOutAndAbout calendar so you always can get ideas for free things to do with your kids that celebrate education and imagination. KidsOutAndAbout.com takes this opportunity to salute the wonderful children's librarians who serve our community with such dedication. They're proud that locals voted them #3 in best places to take kids this year!
9. Honeybee Centre
Honeybee Centre is a commercial honey farm, country store, CFIA registered honey packing facility, and visitor attraction, located in the agricultural centre of Surrey, British Columbia. We offer a range of fun, hands-on educational programs for all ages, where you can see live bee hives up close, experience what it's like to be a beekeeper, all while learning about the importance of bees and other local pollinators.
10. Maan Farms
From one small berry stand, Maan Farms has grown into a place with something for everyone, whether you want to sample the fresh berries, fruits and vegetables, enjoy the delicious ice cream and jam, make some new friends in the critter corral, get lost in the fall corn maze, enjoy a free wine tasting, whiz by on the zipline or simply stop by for a visit in the family picnic area. But some things have not changed. Maan Farms still grows the juiciest red strawberries in the Fraser Valley, and we are always happy to greet everyone who stops by, whether they are a familiar face or a first time visitor.
11. Britannia Mine Museum
Rumble aboard The Underground train as it rolls through an historic mining tunnel. Push up your sleeves at our Gold Panning Pavilion and keep what you find! Immerse yourself in the live-action, multi-sensory experience of BOOM!, as you learn about copper extraction, mill history and what life was like back in the day. Britannia Mine Museum offers a little seen world that fascinates all ages. Located on the scenic Sea to Sky Highway/Hwy 99 between Vancouver and Squamish.
12. Maplewood Farm
Maplewood is a municipal park/farm operated by the Parks Department of the District of North Vancouver; located on 2.5 beautiful pastoral hectares, minutes from Mount Seymour & downtown Vancouver. Specializing in the display and care of domestic farm animals & birds, the Farm offers three areas where guests can interact with the animals: Rabbitat where the bunnies reside; Goathill where the goat kids & their moms play; & the Duck Yard where the ducks & geese hang out. Pony rides are available seasonally.
Please check out our website to learn more about how Maplewood Farm is ensuring safe visits during COVID-19.
13. Chilliwack Corn Maze & Pumpkin Farm
The Chilliwack Corn Maze has been operating since 1999. Each year, new attractions and improvements are added along with a new maze design! Visitors come back fall after fall to see our new additions. Our farm is a place for families and friends to have fun learning and playing together in the country!
14. Theatre Under the Stars
Theatre Under the Stars Vancouver is a not for profit society that has entertained through outdoor musical theatre shows since 1940. So much more than just a night at the theatre, TUTS interweaves a kaleidoscope of elements - setting, scenery, concessions, and quality art - into a fun, encompassing experience that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Nestled among awe-inspiring Douglas Firs, the company is uniquely suited to Vancouver and reflects some of the city’s most collectively embraced values: exuberance, expression, nature, and youth.
15. The Butchart Gardens
The Butchart Gardens is a 22 ha (55 acres) show garden located in Greater Victoria on Vancouver Island. Open year round, with something in every season. Each year, over a million bedding plants in some 900 varieties provide uninterrupted bloom from March through October. Visitors are wowed by spring’s display of flowering bulbs; summer’s riot of colour, and the Rose Garden’s 260 plus varieties; fall’s russets and golds; the Magic of Christmas’ lights and decorations; and winter’s peacefulness.
16. FlyOver Canada
FlyOver Canada utilizes state-of-the-art technology to give you the feeling of flight. You will hang suspended, feet dangling, before a 20-metre spherical screen while our film whisks you away on an exhilarating 8-minute journey across Canada, from east to west. Special effects, including wind, mist and scents, combine with the ride’s motion to create an unforgettable experience. While FlyOver Canada is intended for all ages, all passengers boarding FlyOver Canada must be over 102cm/40″ tall.
17. The World of Kidtropolis
The World of Kidtropolis provides children, families and caregivers a safe, unique and very realistic educational environment to play and learn in. Use your imagination and be whoever your spark takes you! Kidtropolis is an interactive city model designed to provide a safe, unique and realistic educational environment that lets kids to do what they do best: pretend play! Our goal is to provide purposeful play and hands-on learning experiences in a family-focused environment
18. The George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary
The George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary is less than one hour's drive from the City of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It is one of 92 federal Migratory Bird Sanctuaries in Canada. Public use is managed by the British Columbia Waterfowl Society under a long-term agreement with Environment Canada. The Sanctuary consists of a mix of 300 hectares of ponds, treed pathways, intertidal marshes and channels. It is located west of the community of Ladner.
19. Canadian Museum of Flight
The Canadian Museum of Flight is located at Langley Regional Airport, Langley, BC, on Canada’s Pacific coast. The Museum’s mission is Bringing British Columbia’s Aviation Past into the Future and includes a comprehensive collection of aircraft and artifacts illustrating this region’s long involvement with aviation. These range from replicas of WW1 aircraft, to a Waco biplane from 1930, a Douglas DC-3 transport from 1940 and a 1942 Hampden bomber.
20. Massey Theatre
Massey Theatre opened in 1949 as British Columbia's largest theatre. Today, Massey Theatre proudly hosts professional orchestras like the Vancouver Symphony, stars like singing sensation Jewel, and stunning productions like Hello Dolly! by the Renowned Royal City Musical Theatre. The Massey Theatre boasts production workshops, a full-size stage, an audience chamber of 1260 seats and a visual arts gallery. Massey Theatre is a free-standing organization that works to support the performing arts throughout the Metro Vancouver Region.
Winners in Special CategoriesIn the second part of our survey, we asked readers to select their favorites in six categories. Here were their choices.
Top Arts EducatorVancouver Art Gallery
The Vancouver Art Gallery School Programs provide exhibition tours and workshops designed for elementary and secondary school groups. These programs introduce tools to foster visual literacy in students and to promote critical thinking about the world around us.
The Gallery also offers a Teen Art Group (TAG), an exciting art program for teens who are interested in art and design and who want to explore and expand their creative practice while attending high school. The program takes place two afternoons each month during the school year, from October to May, and alternates between Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Students are introduced to art-making practices in the studio and visual culture in the Gallery and work with a variety of artists and innovators.
Top Sports EducatorMy Gym Children's Fitness Center
My Gym has developed an extraordinary program and facility devised to help children 6 weeks thru 10 years of age develop physically, cognitively and emotionally. We are offering structured, age-appropriate, weekly classes and seasonal camps that incorporate music, dance, relays, games, special rides, gymnastics, Ninja Training, sports and more. Children have loads of fun as they gain strength, balance, coordination, agility and flexibility while developing social skills, confidence and self-esteem. Our state-of-the-art facility, extensively trained staff, award-winning class programs, and excellent student/teacher ratio have earned My Gym the reputation as the best early learning program of its kind.
Top STEM EducatorGreater Vancouver Zoo
Outreach, field trips, and teacher resources: Discover the wonderful world of animals! Join us every Spring and all Summer long for our Jr. Zoologist Camps! Kids aged 7-12 can come explore the wonderful world of animals through a variety of activities here at the GVZoo.