When travelling to one of the world’s best mountain hiking destinations with little kids one wonders what else is there to do other than hiking. Climbing a strenuous mountain trail with four year old twins does not appeal to us and does not sound a lot like a family fun activity in western Canada.
Although we love hiking with the twins it all needs to be within their limits to ensure the whole family has fun.
I have reached out to some family travel bloggers to find out more about things to do with kids in Western Canada so we can plan our epic road trip in advance.
I intend to update this list with more family fun activities after we have visited later this year and maybe even add some extras on the already featured things to do with kids in Western Canada. Enjoy our list of…
Family Fun Activities in Western Canada
1 ❈ Parksville, Vancouver, BC
Accommodation :: The Beach Club Resort
Parksville, BC, is a gem on the north side of Vancouver Island and offers many family fun activities in Western Canada. It faces the Strait of Georgia, which is the body of water between the island and mainland Canada. Our family was on a 3,000+ mile road trip, so we got on and off the island via car ferries. The Black Ball Ferry Line took us from Port Angeles, WA, to Victoria, BC. From there, drive time is less than two hours to Parksville. Of course, we had to stop at Tim Hortons on the way for snacks! After checking in at The Beach Club Resort (which, by the way, has an indoor pool), we were in awe at the view from our room. The hotel is right across the boardwalk from Parksville Beach. This beach is unique, because at low tide, the beach stretches out for an entire kilometer. Tidepools, flat sandy beach, and warm water temperatures (up to 20°C) make it the perfect natural playground for families. When we weren’t exploring the beach, we visited several provincial parks (Englishman River Falls, MacMillan, Little Qualicum Falls), which are beautiful forest areas with easy hikes and some playgrounds. In addition, Goats on the Roof Old Country Market, Little Qualicum Cheeseworks, and Milner Gardens (where we had afternoon tea) were also on our itinerary. Our 3-night trip wasn’t long enough for how much we enjoyed Parksville and many more family fun activities could have been explored.
This was suggestion by Nic from Nic & Cam
2 ❈ Grouse Mountain, Vancouver, BC
Accommodation :: Hampton Inn & Suites
Open 365 days a year, your family will flip for Grouse Mountain any season. During the summer, and even late spring and fall, your gang can experience an authentic Lumberjack shows, take a hike on the famed Grouse Grind, play mountain disc golf, watch the captivating Birds in Motion demonstrations, and even go to the grizzly bear and wolf viewing. Check out the unique Eye of the Wind turbine viewpoint. For those brave of heart and into thrills try zip-lining or tandem paragliding.
But Grousse Mountain offers also family fun activities during the winter months.
With skiing, snowboarding, sledding, skating, hiking and more, there is something for everyone, whilst enjoying the spectacular views of Vancouver’s skyline and Stanley Park.
This was suggested by Lisa from Mom Voyage
3 ❈ Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC
Accommodation :: St. Regis Hotel
No visit to Vancouver is complete without a visit to world-famous Stanley Park, a 1,000-acre wilderness oasis, amazingly located just blocks from the middle of the city! Easy to reach from anywhere in town! This park guarantees family fun activities in Western Canada for the whole tribe. You can walk, bike, take public transit, or drive — this park is located by Vancouver’s West End.
Family-friendly indoor and outdoor activities throughout including hiking, biking, dining and even golf! A highlight for our family was the colorful First Nations Totem Poles at Brockton Point. Be sure to stroll along the picturesque Seawall. A treat for younger children is to take a 15-minute ride through the trees aboard the Miniature Train. You can even take a horse drawn carriage ride!
For those who have young children or who love sea life, visit the popular Vancouver Aquarium, home to Canada’s largest aquarium with more than 70,000 animals.
This was suggested by Lisa from Mom Voyage
4 ❈ Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, BC
Accommodation :: Holiday Inn
Capilano Suspension Bridge holds a place in my heart as it is a childhood memory of a great trip to British Columbia with my family when I was a child. So this year when I returned to the Vancouver area with my husband and 4 month old daughter I naturally made sure it was part of our Family fun activities in Western Canada itinerary. Way up high above the towering evergreens you find yourself breathing in cedar scented West Coast rain forest air and enjoying a treetop adventure. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park offers three main attractions to entertain kids of all ages. You can cross the Suspension Bridge, enjoy the Cliff Walk over the Capilano River along the cliff side or you can explore the Treetop Adventure while crossing 7 suspended bridges high above the forest floor giving you an amazing view. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park even offers a Kids Rainforest Explorer Program that allows kids to research data while learning about the West Coast Rainforest and earn their own Explorer’s Badge. This park is great for families with kids of all ages as even with a 4 month old we had a great time and she enjoyed the ride snugly in her baby carrier.
This was suggested by Erin from Little Miss Kate
5 ❈ West Coast Railway Heritage Park, Squamish, BC
Accommodation :: Mountain Retreat Hotel & Suite
If your family likes trains, you won’t want to miss the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish, British Columbia.
Squamish is located about 1 hour North of Vancouver, BC on the gorgeous Sea to Sky Highway.
This non-profit is almost entirely run by volunteers who are passionate about sharing Canada’s locomotive history with guests from around the world. There are lots of restored trains that families can climb inside to tour.
Kids will love playing at their outdoor train tables and riding on a mini-locomotive around the park as well as exploring their Roundhouse.
The West Coast Railway Heritage Park is also known for their incredible Polar Express and Day Out With Thomas special events, that draw families from all over the Pacific Northwest.
For a kid-friendly place to stay in Squamish, try the Mountain Retreat Hotel. It has an indoor pool with a twisty slide!
This was suggested by Marcie from Marcies in Mommy Land
6 ❈ Sea To Sky Gondola, Squamish, BC
Accommodation :: Sunwolf Riverside Cabines
The Sea To Sky Gondola is located in Squamish, part way between Vancouver and Whistler. The drive in itself is beautiful, but the views from the top of the 10-min gondola ride are breathtaking!
There are 2 family-friendly walking loops at the top, both of which are stroller friendly. The shortest, the Spirit Trail, is a more 400m and walkable by almost any kid! The longer, the Panorama Trail, is 1.6km and has signs throughout pointing out the various flowers and animals that can be found along the trail. The best part? Once you’re back at the bottom the fun doesn’t stop! There’s a great playground located right near the gondola base! And with this you have multiple family fun activities in Western Canada all in one place.
The easiest way to get here is to drive yourself. It’s possible to visit on a day-trip from Vancouver or Whistler, but I’d suggest spending the night in Squamish if you have the time. It’s a cute little town with some great restaurants and a lovely small-town vibe.
This was suggested by Kyla from Where is the World
7 ❈ Banff Gondola, Banff, AB
Accommodation :: Banff Boutique Inn
When traveling with kids to Banff, Alberta, it is a great idea to check out the Banff Gondola. This gondola is a an 8-minute ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain where some family fun activities in Western Canada awaits. Your family will have the opportunity to explore the Banff Interpretive Centre, complete with a Junior Explorer Program with self-guided activities for children. You also have access to the Above Banff Theatre, which shows spectacular nature videos. There is a cafe to grab a bite to eat before you take your family out onto the Rooftop Observation Deck, where you will see phenomenal views of the surrounding mountains. The short Boardwalk hike will take you to Sanson’s Peak for even more elevated views.
This is suggested by Michelle Maraj from Travel After Five
8 ❈ Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, AB
Accommodation :: Canalta Jurassic
For dinosaur lovers, both big and small, the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta is a perfect destination for an insight into prehistoric life. Located near the town of Drumheller in the Canadian Badlands, this fascinating museum sits right where many of Canada’s most important dinosaur fossils have been found, including those of the ferocious Albertosaurus.
Royal Tyrrell Museum boasts one of the largest collections of dinosaur skeletons in the world featuring Stegosaurus, Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex. Find out how you measure up against a Camarasaurus leg bone, measure your foot against a giant dinosaur toe bone, walk the length of the world’s largest marine reptile, and watch museum technicians at work preparing fossils for research in the Preparation Lab. Visitors will also find themselves walking through a lifelike replica of the underwater reef that covered this area some 375 million years ago, as well as exploring ice age animals.
Family fun activities such as hands on experiences are available with activities such as fossil casting, indoor and outdoor dig experiences, story time for the littlest visitors, and guided hikes through the badlands to explore fossil sites. A self guided 1.4km long loop known as the Badlands Trail is perfect for families and is located right outside of the museum building.
Royall Tyrrell Museum is approximately a 1 hour 30 minute drive east of Calgary making it an easy day trip from the city. For those wishing to explore the area further Drumheller makes a perfect base for staying overnight.
This is suggested by Lisa from Little Hiccups
9 ❈Drumheller Dinosaur Statues, Drumheller, AB
Accommodation :: Badlands Getaway
After learning about the dinosaurs that once walked this land, head to the small town of Drumheller for some whimsical dino fun. Throughout the town visitors can find fun dinosaur sculptures, each painted in a unique way. While none of the dinosaurs are scientifically accurate, they sure are fun to find. Make it a treasure hunt and see just how many you can find. There are approximately thirty of these cartoonish dinosaurs to be found throughout Drumheller. A map is available
While in Drumheller don’t miss out on visiting the World’s Largest Dinosaur. This 86 foot tall Tyrannosaurus Rex structure is four and a half times bigger than a real life T-Rex would have been. While this giant dinosaur is a novelty to look at, the real surprise can be found inside where 106 steps take visitors to a viewing platform located inside the T-Rex’s giant mouth! The mouth can accommodate up to twelve people at a time and boasts views over Drumheller.
The World’s Largest Dinosaur can be found at 60 First Avenue West, Drumheller. It is located outside of the Drumheller Visitor Information Center and is open Thursday – Monday from 10am – 5:30pm. Entry is $4 per person (children 5 and under are admitted free of charge).
This is suggested by Lisa from Little Hiccups
Well this is not a bad list of great family fun activities in Western Canada. My family and I will be much visiting some of these family activities very soon.
Other great family fun activities in Western Canada would be hiking. Here are some great Family Friendly Hikes in the Canadian Rockies with Kids.
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