The Best Places in Vancouver You’ve Never Been


We are parents of habit. We tend to visit the same parks, same restaurants, and the same attractions—at the same time and often with the same people. So shake it up and become a tourist in your own city this summer. It’s the season for fun, so widen your boundaries with these new spots and get ready for some good, quality family time.

Off to the Races

Pile the kids into the minivan and head to Hastings Racecourse for an afternoon of thoroughbred horse racing. You don’t have to gamble to get a thrill out of the jockeys and horses flying around the bend of the venerable racetrack. The track is open now and you can’t beat the entry price: free.

Getting Lost Along the Way

Take a self-guided tour and get lost in Chinatown. Tell your kids to cover their eyes and make your way to the entrance of Chinatown marked by Millennium Gate on West Pender Street. It will seem as though they’ve stepped into the heart of Beijing when they open their eyes and find themselves surrounded by Chinese signage and sidewalks lined with Chinese grocers. Finish the tour with lunch of dim sum at Kam Wai Dim Sum for a cheap and cheerful dining experience.

Tear Up the Track

Head to North Shore BMX in North Vancouver and watch sanctioned BMX racers tear up the track. Your little riders can race too once registered—there’s a Half Track section with smaller hills dedicated to the five and under set. To figure out what’s needed and how it works visit the track during a weekly practice time and a volunteer will walk you through the steps, from the equipment needed to how to register.

Be a Tourist for a Day

You’ve been to Stanley Park before, but learn the stories behind it and see it in a new light. Besides, why should the tourists have all the fun? Act like one for the day and grab a horse-drawn tour of Stanley Park so that you can discover the stories behind The Girl in a Wetsuit, the Totem Poles and the Rose Garden. Now running regularly, the tours last an hour—just enough time for your toddler to want to move on to the mini-train or the Vancouver Aquarium.

Up up and away

Future aviators will be in flight heaven at YVR Flight Path Park. Up to 250 planes take off and land from Vancouver’s south terminal and you will have the best seat in the house at the corner of Russ Baker Way and Airport Road. Raised beams, picnic tables, walking paths and a central half-globe all cry ‘picnic here’. Good to know: bring earplugs—and don’t worry, it just seems like the planes are going to land on you, they actually won’t.

So mix it up and enjoy some new life experiences – right in your own city.

Looking for more fun stuff to do? We recommend heading out on a great date nightgoing for a hike, and checking out some pools.


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