Ahhh, Vancouver in the summer. It’s green, there’s sunshine, and the weather is perfect. Vancouver is an amazing city and a great option to take your family in the summer months. We’ve gathered a list of summer activities in Vancouver that are sure to be fun for you and your family.
Relax (or not!) at one of Vancouver’s Beaches
Whether you consider yourself a beach person or not, I’m sure you’ll have fun at one of Vancouver’s beaches. There are so many activities at the beaches to enjoy, whether it’s a simple picnic, relaxing on the sand, or joining one of the many pickup sporting games that you’re sure to find. Kit’s Beach and Sunset Beach even have public pools that you can enjoy if you aren’t a fan of the ocean water! (But make sure to check ahead to see if they are open – there was a storm earlier this year that caused extensive damage). Check out our previous blog post on Vancouver beaches to get a feel for which one (or two!) that would work for your family.
Pro tip: Know that Wreck Beach is a naturalist beach (nude beach) when you are planning your visit with young children!
If your family is active, Vancouver is the place to be – whether it’s renting bikes to explore the city or walking/hiking through one of Vancouver’s beautiful city parks!
Explore Stanley Park
Stanley Park is centrally located in Vancouver and offers plenty of sights and stops to explore. There are various trails you can follow with hikes for various levels and along the way you’ll be sure to see historical landmarks, artifacts, and monuments! It’s a great educational opportunity for the family, plus it’s absolutely beautiful in the summer! From Stanley Park you can see both the forest and the ocean. Note that there are dining options in Stanley Park if one of your little ones needs to stop for a meal or a snack!
Bike around the Seawall
Vancouver is a great city to rent bikes to easily navigate and see the city. One of the best options for bike riding is to ride along the seawall, which is 22 km (13.5 miles) long, but offers plenty to stop and see along the way.
Check out Queen Elizabeth Park
This city park is the highest point in Vancouver, and offers amazing views of both the city and mountains. There’s plenty to explore here, including the Bloedel Conservatory and Quarry Gardens. Your kids will sure to love see all of the exotic birds in the conservatory! If you’re family is into sports, enjoy the pitch and putt golf course in the park that offers an 18 hole course. Don’t worry though – it’s great for beginners. And lastly, the dancing waters in Queen Elizabeth Park have 70 jets! It’s a great place to stop and rest or take some great family pictures.
Visit Vancouver Aquarium
The Vancouver Aquarium is Canada’s largest aquarium and is sure to be a hit with the kids. It’s located centrally in downtown Vancouver in Stanley Park, so getting here is a breeze. You’ll be sure to enjoy the tons of exhibits, and make sure to check out some of the experiences offered, including Wildlife Rescue, the 4D Theatre Experience, Clownfish Cove, and Touch Pools. General admission is $42 for ages 13-64, but discounts are available for younger children, seniors, and students. It’s open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Check out Capilano River Regional Park
Capilano River Regional Park is a park with a 2.6 km (1.6 mile) loop that winds through Capilano Canyon. It offers stunning views of the mountains, the Capilano River, along with Douglas fir and Western red cedar trees. This trail passes through the Capilano Salmon Hatchery, a free attraction that allows you to watch migrating salmon in the Capilano river.
And if you are looking for thrills, check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park located in the park! Note: tickets to the Suspension Bridge are required and include an entry fee.
Go Whale Watching
Tourists from all over the world flock to Vancouver to witness its whales, especially its celebrated pods of orcas. And the best time to watch the whales is in the summer months! There are many charter companies that offer whale watching tours in the Strait of Georgia and the Gulf Islands, where the whales can typically be encountered.
If you’re visiting Vancouver during the late months of summer, you book a charter experience and head to Johnstone Strait, a popular haunt of resident Vancouver orcas. Don’t forget to bring along a pair of binoculars. You’re likely to witness a wide array of wildlife when you’re out on the water, including dolphins, otters, sea lions, brown pelicans, Pacific loons, bald eagles, and puffins.
Take the Skyride on Grouse Mountain
Taking the Skyride on Grouse Mountain is an amazing way to see Vancouver from above. If your kids are adventurous, they may want to check out the “Surf Adventure” ride, where you can ride on top of the Skyride on a special viewing platform. The surf adventure is only offered in the summer, so try it while you can! Once you are on the top of the mountain, there are areas where you can walk around and explore. Pro tip: the Skyride offers discounted tickets for families!
Whatever you and your family decide to do on your vacation this summer, we hope you enjoy your time in Vancouver! And check out Sunset Inn if you are looking for a great, centrally-located place to stay with your family, as each suite comes with a full kitchen, dining area, and balcony!