You and your kids are running out of ideas for inside, virtual or backyard activities, and if you hear “I’m bored, Mom!” one more time, you just might scream. So, what’s a frazzled parent to do? We’ve got you covered with a selection of fun, safe and educational weekend activities that will captivate your kiddos (and you!) for hours.
Set sail at the Vancouver Maritime Museum
Situated in scenic Vanier Park, the Vancouver Maritime Museum is packed to the gills with over 15,000 marine-inspired artefacts. The collection pays homage to the maritime history and heritage of Vancouver, the Pacific Northwest and the Arctic, with objects related to maritime technologies, marine art, coastal trade, Arctic art and culture and the Royal Canadian Navy, among others. Start with Underwater World, an exhibit designed with kids in mind, complete with pirate ship, colouring and reading nook, knot-tying, and maritime activity kits (rest assured, the kits are sanitized prior to handover). Nearby, Silent Witness, a display of striking photography showcasing the wood and iron skeletons of abandoned ships around the world, is sure to mesmerize your little pirates. Kids can also tour the St. Roch, the first vessel to traverse the Northwest Passage and circumnavigate North America, and now a permanent addition to the museum.
Get to Know Vancouver at the Museum of Vancouver
Right beside the Maritime Museum is the Museum of Vancouver, whose exhibits are centred on the city’s history, culture and people. One of the newest collections is A Seat at the Table, which explores the stories of Chinese Canadians in BC through the lens of food and restaurant culture – a great way to teach your kids about immigration and multiculturalism. Young ones will adore the neon lights and zippy colours of Neon Vancouver I Ugly Vancouver, which spotlights the city’s lights from the 1950s to the 1970s – some lit for the first time since they were rescued from the junkyard. On June 3, the attraction will introduce That Which Sustains Us, a long-term exhibition examining people’s relationship with forests and the natural environment, a perfect opportunity to broach a discussion with your kiddos about sustainability and our intimate connection to nature.
Dig deep at the Britannia Mine Museum
Mining has shaped human history, but how do we balance the need for resources with the need to protect our planet? The Britannia Mine Museum – already an Aladdin’s cave of kid-friendly education and attractions – recently introduced the TerraLab, an exhibit that journeys through the story of human mineral exploration, from our earliest ancestors to the latest research in low-impact resource extraction. Here, the whole family can learn about the surprising ways mining and environmental stewardship can go hand-in-hand. Your kids won’t want to miss BOOM!, an immersive live action experience that tells the story of Mill No. 3. through multiple screens, over 30 speakers and Disney-like special effects. There are also underground train tours, the gold panning pavilion, a prime photo opp in front of an 800,000-pound truck and much more.
Reach for the stars at the BC Sports Hall of Fame
Have a budding athlete in your clan? Head straight to the BC Sports Hall of Fame, which celebrates extraordinary achievement in sports while inspiring future generations to achieve their dreams. Here, more than 27,000 artefacts representing 150 years of sporting accomplishments await, including the Indigenous Sport Gallery, where visitors can learn about Indigenous achievements in various sports, as well as traditional Indigenous games and the work of the Four Host Nations during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics; Paddles Up!, an exhibit dedicated to the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival, which is anchored by two full-sized dragon boats and features engaging displays about the festival’s history and participating athletes; and the Rick Hansen Gallery, which tells the inspiring story of the “Man in Motion”, who toured the world in his wheelchair over two years to raise awareness for people with disabilities and money for spinal cord research.
Stroll into the past at the Burnaby Village Museum
Situated on 10 acres of pleasant greenery near Burnaby Lake, the Burnaby Village Museum whisks guests into the 1920s, complete with attendants in period costume, old-fashioned storefront and a restored vintage carousel (best of all, the attraction is free!). After wandering the blacksmith shop, theatre and war memorial fountain, stop for a cold treat at the Ice Cream Parlour. Afterward, head to the nearby beach, where you can rent boats and paddle the tranquil waters, or simply stroll the walking trails.
Have another idea to keep kids entertained? Share the kid-friendly ways you #LoveVancouver in the comments below, then visit www.tourismvancouver.com/love.