Vancouver's mild temperature makes doing things outside a possibility twelve months of the year. From delightful floral gardens to soft sandy beaches, wet water parks and snow covered mountains, your family trip to Vancouver will be action-packed, yet light on your wallet.
If the sun is shining, a day at English Bay Beach is relaxing for adults and fun for kids. With a lifeguard on duty (during summer months), you can rest assured that your kids are safe to play in the ocean. When it comes time to lunch, there is plenty of green space that lines the beach that's perfect for a picnic and you will avoid getting sand in your sandwich.
Another great place to spend a morning or afternoon is Minter Gardens and Van Dusen Gardens. The beautiful flowers will make for the perfect photo opportunity for parents, while the vast space allowing for lots of running around and playing is great for kids. Throw down a picnic blanket and you're set!
Luberman's Arch in Stanley Park — Photo courtesy of Tourism Vancouver
On super hot days, Stanley Park has a kids water zone at Luberman's Arch that will keep them cool and doesn't cost a cent. If you have a bike to use, you can get there via the Seawall. If not, parking isn't far away, or you can take public transportation. If you have some funds to splurge on, a game of pitch and putt in Stanley Park or Queen Elizabeth Park should be on your agenda. You can rent the equipment you need from the park and an entire afternoon will fly by before you know it.
Sometimes it's nice to escape the sun and a hike through British Columbia's rainforest is an enjoyable retreat from the hot sun. If you don't want to leave downtown, Stanley Park has a few trails that you can explore. However, the real trails are over on the North Shore.
Wild Elements Park has a course for everyone — Photo courtesy of Wild Elements Park (Facebook)
For families that like to camp, Golden Ears Provincial Park is inexpensive and is well-maintained with running water and bathroom facilities. The children may love not having to shower for a couple of days, but adults may breathe a heavy sigh of relief to know they have the option to shower if they want. As you make your way into the provincial park, you'll see WildPlay Elements Park and your kids are going to love this! They have ziplines, ropes to swing on, walls to traverse and courses for various levels. They have one that's good for adults and older children, so you and your kids can do this together.
After a day outside in the fresh Vancouver air, you and your kids will be ready to hit the sack. The great thing about this city is that there's plenty to do on a nice day that costs little to no money and will stay well within your budget.