Fun & Free Things to do in Vancouver BC
#4 in Best Places to Visit in Canada - Vancouver is the only major city in Canada that does not experience harsh winters and for that reason there are many fun things to do in Vancouver. Situated in BC (British Columbia), Vancouver is close to China, Hong Kong and Hollywood which gives the city a vibrant cultural mix. Here are our top 10 things to do in Vancouver.
Fun Things to do in Vancouver with Kids
* Playland: This is Canada’s oldest amusement park. In addition to regular rides and thrills, they have talent shows and animal races. One of the best times to visit is from mid October to Halloween when the park hosts their annual event, with special events and promotions. Price for adults is $85 and for guests under 48” in height its $50.
1. Vancouver Aquarium: Located in Stanley Park, the aquarium is open throughout the year. On exhibit are 50,000 different animals from around the world. Kids can watch shows on wild life conservation while adults can learn about research works the organization has carried out over the years.
2. VanDusen Botanical Garden: Best time to visit the garden is in autumn when fall colors are in full bloom. The in-house library features a gift/garden shop, a book and seed library, a restaurant and a coffee shop. However, there is an admission fee to the garden.
3. Canadian Rockies: The Rockies is filled with scenic spots, wildlife and fun activities that cater to all age groups. The numerous high peaks and ranges are skiing hot spots for those who miss the snow in Vancouver. In summer adventure sports and outdoor activities are galore in the towns of Banff, Jasper, Canmore and Waterton.
4. Wreck Beach (Not recommended for children): While most people will not include Wreck Beach among top things to do in Vancouver, we believe it merits a place for its notoriety. Vancouver’s very own nude beach is 7.8km long. A recent Huffington Post article placed Wreck Beach 2nd best nude beach in North America after San Gregorio in California which took the No.1 spot.
5. The Chinese Night Market at Richmond is a great night hangout. After many outdoor activities there is no better way to end the night than in communal Chinese style. Dig into some sea food or savour on a chicken feet; you will find a wide assortment of options to your liking.
In addition to the main attractions, we found the need to add two more categories; one for our budget traveller, and another for family travelers.
5 Free Things to do in Vancouver
- Lynn Canyon is famous for its suspension bridge. Vancouver’s scenic beauty comes to life here. There are picnic spots, hiking trails and many more fun things to do at Lynn Canyon. It’s a spot not to be missed.
- Outdoors at Stanley Park: 400 hectares of Greenland near downtown, Stanley Park is a Canadian National Historic Site. Take the miniature train for a tour or bike around natural trails while discovering nature.
- Vancouver’s Art Gallery & Museums: Find the latest art from around the world. There are regular exhibitions, events and programs that are offered free of cost. For the artistic but budget conscious, this is one of the best free thing to do in Vancouver. BC Golf Museum and learning Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre also offer free entry.
- Grouse Grind hike is a long walk up the hill, but the spectacular view from the top makes up for it. If your legs are weak from the long walk take the gondola ride down for a just $10. It is located 15-minutes from downtown Vancouver. Over 1 million people visit every year.
- MacMillan Observatory: Fun and educational at the same time, you will discover more about the universe and its secrets. It’s a great place to get kids inspired in science.
Things to do in Vancouver Downtown
- Shopping hot spots: Robson Street, Yaletown, Commercial Drive.
- Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park: Experience traditional Chinese garden at $10 per person.
- Visit the Winter Olympic venues.
- Christ Church Cathedral: One of the earliest buildings in Vancouver, we were intrigued by its history.
- Fairmont Hotel Vancouver for its unique history and architecture.