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First time in Vancouver - three nights w/ a 2 year old

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
53 posts
6 reviews
15 helpful votes
First time in Vancouver - three nights w/ a 2 year old

My husband, almost 2 year old son and I will be spending three weeknights (M-T-W) in Vancouver in mid-June. We will be arriving via Amtrak after visiting friends who live north of Seattle.

This will be our first visit to Vancouver (and my son's and my first trip to Canada!) and I'm very excited as I love the Pacific Northwest. I'm a bit overwhelmed with all there is to do and see in the area and would appreciate some suggestions taking into consideration that we'll have a stroller-bound toddler with us, that it's our first trip to Vancouver and that we only truly have 2.5 days in the city.

What are suggestions for getting the most out of our experience in such a short time? We are from Chicago so we've been to plenty of museums and wouldn't be interested in them unless they're considered can't miss. I often like to do a city tour if I'm in a new place for a short time so I can see more than I could on my own. Would you recommend this in Vancouver?

We plan to stay in a hotel but haven't yet booked one. I assume we'll be in the general downtown area.

Any and all suggestions are welcome! Also if there are other threads you recommend I read please pass them along.

Thanks in advance!

England, United...
Level Contributor
54,737 posts
56 reviews
100 helpful votes
1. Re: First time in Vancouver - three nights w/ a 2 year old

The walk along the seawall to Stanley Park is very pleasant and can be taken at your leisure with a stroller. The grey heron come in to feed by the bridge as you cross into Stanley Park . The park itself is very interesting - totem poles, playing fields, aquarium. If the weather is nice, you could also visit one of the beaches adjacent to the city.

Vancouver is a wonderful city - enjoy!

Destination Expert
for British Columbia
Level Contributor
11,312 posts
2 reviews
2 helpful votes
2. Re: First time in Vancouver - three nights w/ a 2 year old

Granville Island-the market for you/the sake brewery for your husband and Kid's World for the kid-there's also a playground out back listen for the screams of joy.




Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
78,278 posts
58 reviews
99 helpful votes
3. Re: First time in Vancouver - three nights w/ a 2 year old

Hi CAE ~

You will do very well with a hotel in the downtown area. You might look at the Blue Horizon, Times Square Suites, Sunset Inn and Suites.

We have several HOHO bus options here. Have a look at Vancouver Trolley. Personally, I think their itinerary spends too much time at hotel front doors. But Vancouver Trolley has a designated HOHO of just Stanley Park.

There is also a great website for family activities: www.findfamilyfun.com

I'm not sure when Klahowya opens in Stanley Park, but that is a First Nations experience with a miniature train ride. You know your child best, but the Aquarium critters can capture the attention of even the youngest child. I'll mention Science World under the same KYC caveat. It's visitor base is children, not adults.

Playing in the sand at any of our beaches, trying to chase squirrels in Stanley Park, taking a ride on the Granville Island Ferries.

In mid-June, you will also need a rain plan as backup.

Level Contributor
60 posts
38 reviews
32 helpful votes
4. Re: First time in Vancouver - three nights w/ a 2 year old

I'd second Granville Island. There's ducks to feed, a water park to play in, "Kids Market" full of toy stores. Head over to Lee's for really good doughnuts, and take a 'water taxi" over to the other side of false creek. The public market is a bit too crazy busy for little kids, and a stroller is a nightmare; but one of you can sit at the park while the other runs in to look around.

The water taxi companies (False Creek Ferries or Aquabus also do short "city" tours of False Creek that your little one might like. He'll see lots of starfish and maybe even a seal!

My little one was always thrilled to spend an afternoon down at Spanish Banks when the tide was out, he could run and splash in the mud for huge distances...chasing seagulls and investigating dead crab parts, digging "pits" and getting his boots stuck time and time again, all with the beautiful mountains to gaze up at.

We're also Chicago based....and remembering how flat it is, I'd suggest a day trip up to Grouse Mountain. The cable car is fun, and at the top you can see bears, do some light walking and watch the "lumberjack show" still hasn't lost its appeal for my son. He's seen it every year since he was 3, and he still laughs. Its a bit pricey, but still fun. Dress warm...it's cold up there!

Skip the museums, enjoy the outside. :)

Edited: 9 years ago
5. Re: First time in Vancouver - three nights w/ a 2 year old

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