7 Awesome Places in Vancouver to Take Kids Who Love Animals

Anita Wong October 3, 2019
Bloedel Conservatory

Children are often fascinated by animals, from slithering snakes and hopping bunnies to turtles hiding in their shells. There’s something fascinating about the way different creatures look, sound and behave.

Engage your children’s curiosity by introducing them to critters big and small. Here’s a round-up of cool places in Vancouver where you can meet—and occasionally feed or touch—a variety of animals.

Where to Spend Time with Farm Animals

 

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Maplewood Farm in North Vancouver is home to all kinds of barnyard friends, such as horses, goats, sheep, hens, cows, pigs and donkeys. Bring some veggies or leafy greens as a treat for the rabbits, or purchase birdseed onsite to feed the ducks and chickens. There’s a milking demonstration once a day, and at the end of the afternoon, you can see how farmers round up animals to return to the barn for the night.  maplewoodfarm.bc.ca

Queen’s Park in New Westminster is home to a small children’s farm. Visit the pigs, and pet the goats and cow. If you’re lucky, you might see the peacock spread its gorgeous feathers. The farm is open May to September, and admission is by donation. Make the most of your visit to Queen’s Park by visiting the playground, spray park and walking trails too. newwestcity.ca

Where to Learn About Birds of Prey

 

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The OWL (Orphaned Wildlife) Rehabilitation Society in Delta cares for injured and orphaned owls, hawks, falcons and eagles. The birds that can’t be returned to the wild stay on permanently and help raise orphaned babies or keep newly arrived and injured birds company. The public is welcome to meet the permanent bird residents on guided tours. Tours are by donation and take place outdoors, so come dressed for the weather. owlrehab.org

Where to Discover Exotic Animals

Animals whose natural habitat is in another part of the world can’t be released into the wild here. Urban Safari Rescue Society cares for more than 360 rescued and surrendered animals including iguanas, geckos, salamanders, chinchillas, snakes, tarantulas, scorpions, chameleons, turtles and ferrets.

The society is located in Surrey and is open five days a week. Drop by Thursday through Monday between 11 am and 4 pm to see the animals and learn some fun facts. urbansafari.ca

Where to Visit Feathered Friends

Bloedel Conservatoryphoto: vandusengarden.org

Enjoy the sights and sounds of colourful birds such as canaries, parrots, macaws, pheasants, cockatoos and finches at Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver. These lovely birds flutter amongst gorgeous flowers and plants in this tropical environment. Listen closely, and you might hear some of the chattier birds say a few words. vandusengarden.org

To enjoy birds in a natural setting, head to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary near Ladner. Explore the trails and try to spot owls, wrens, hummingbirds, geese, swallows, herons and sandhill cranes. Chickadees and red-winged blackbirds will eat seed from your hand, while ducks happily waddle beside you waiting to be fed. Bring your own birdseed or purchase a bag when you arrive. reifelbirdsanctuary.com

And Where to See a Bit of Everything…

 

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The Greater Vancouver Zoo is a great destination for seeing diverse animals in one spot. Hippos, lions, kangaroos, red pandas, Siberian tigers, lemurs, camels, zebras, giraffes and cheetahs all call this 120-acre zoo home. You’ll cover a lot of ground on foot, so bring plenty of water, good walking shoes, and a stroller for when the little ones get tired.

For an extra special experience, have a sleepover in the wild. On selected Saturday nights in the summer, families can set up a tent on the zoo grounds, go for a walking safari, and listen to stories around a campfire. gvzoo.com

 

 

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