As we continue embracing our move to the Pacific Northwest, I’ve had my sights set on Vancouver, BC. I’ve been once before, but mainly did nature activities, and did not get to explore the city. With kids in tow, we decided to map out kid friendly things to do this time around. Although, we did take them to some restaurants that may not consider themselves ‘kid friendly’, we did survive with the help of entertainment.
We lucked out and came on a nice sunny weekend. We took full advantage of the parks and did the majority of activities outdoors. Read on for ideas on your next trip.
How we got there:
We drove from Seattle which took us about 3.5 hours (143 miles). Make sure to account for border customs which can take anywhere from five minutes up to two hours. I recommend downloading the app ‘WSDOT’ if you plan on driving.
**Note- if you have global entry, you can return back to the US using the NEXUS line, but you MUST have your physical card. There is no finger print machine like at the airport.
If you fly, the airport code is YVR.
You can easily get around by walking or taking a cab. There is currently no ride sharing apps. There is also a ferry that can take you across the island.
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver located in the heart of downtown. The location was perfect because it was in between the waterfront seawall and the shopping area and museums. Our room was clean and modern and had great views of the city and mountains. The twins loved looking out the window.
Since we drove in from Seattle, it made logistical sense for us to first stop by Granville Island. It was across the bridge from downtown, so we decided to visit for lunch. It has a large Public Market (which I love) with so many vendors selling fruits, veggies, desserts, food, etc. I could spend hours here. We decided on treating the twins with desserts for being so good on the car ride. We also picked up meats and cheese at a local vendor to take with us on a picnic. For lunch, we ate pot pies while enjoying the view.
The number one attraction in Vancouver is Stanley Park. You can spend all day here which we pretty much did. We started our morning with brunch at the Teahouse, and made our way back around the park. I really wanted to surprise Grayson with a train ride, but they don’t open until May.
Brunch at the Teahouse
Walk along the waterfront
Instead of driving to the Aquarium, we decided to do a one mile walk along the waterfront. The weather was perfect, and there was plenty to see along the way.
We love going to aquariums everywhere we travel to. The twins had a great time here. There was so much to see and do for kids and adults. They even went to their first 4D experience shark show. Penny jumped out her seat at the last scene. We pulled out our snacks at the sea lion talk which was the perfect spot for a break.
Shopping in downtown
After spending almost the entire day at Stanley Park, we headed back to our hotel for a break. We rested for a couple of hours, and headed back out to shop and eat dinner. My hubby and the twins love ramen, so we found a place a few blocks away.
We walked a few blocks to the Seawall and spent awhile watching the seaplanes. Grayson loves planes and trains at this age.
Another thing Nick and I enjoy is visiting breweries. We like trying local beers whenever we go. Our hotel concierge recommended we try Steamboat Brewery, so when we saw it on our way to Gastown, we stopped in. The place is huge. We asked to be seated by the window, and much to our surprise, we had a view of a train. The twins spent the entire time watching the train go back and forth. This was also their first time trying poutine- a Canadian favorite.
After our beer and snack, we continued our walk a couple of blocks to Gastown to see the steam clock. This is a really cool area with lots of local shops and nice architecture.
Things that we didn’t get to do:
Prospect Point in Stanley Park
Train in Stanley Park (closed for the season)
Dim sum in Richmond
Night Market in Richmond (open May-October)
We loved our weekend in Vancouver. The people are so nice, there’s an endless amount of things to do, and the conversion rate makes shopping a plus. This guide was just for the city. I would need to do another guide for the nature part of Vancouver on a later date because there’s just so much to do. We definitely plan on coming back in the summer to check off what we missed on this last trip.