I won’t lie – screens have saved the sanity in my house many times. A much-needed shower, an uninterrupted phone call, or even just a few minutes of downtime. Television, computers, phones, and tablets – they all come in handy once in a while.
Whatever your kids’ favourite form of screen, and whatever it is they’re into watching, getting them to put it down can be difficult – until now. Check out these 15 creative ways to enjoy some family time and convince your kids to forget their screens. At least for a few hours.
- Capilano Suspension Bridge: Traverse the suspension bridge that’s been thrilling visitors since 1889. While there, experience a scenic treetop adventure, a daring cliff walk, a history filled story centre and a First Nations showcase that will delight and inform your entire family. Visit capbridge.com for more info.
- Grouse Mountain Skyride: Ride the scenic SkyRide to the top of Grouse Mountain and spend the day with your family surrounded by magnificent views of the city, ocean, and mountains. If you’re feeling daring, try the Surf Adventure, where you’ll cruise 1610m up the mountain on the roof of the Skyride! Once there, enjoy shows, a wildlife refuge, great dining and more. For details visit grousemountain.com/activities-guide.
- FlyOver Canada at Canada Place: This experience involves a screen – but it happens to be 20-metres high and comes complete with smells, wind, mist, and motion. Fly across Canada as you hang suspended for the ultimate thrill ride. Located at Vancouver’s Canada Place, this exhilarating experience will be a hit with your kids. Visit flyovercanada.com for more info and to get discounted tickets online.
- Science World at Telus World of Science: Enjoy an unforgettable family experience as you take in the many informative, interactive displays and presentations centered around the fascinating world of science and nature. Ever-changing exhibits will keep kids of all ages busy for hours. For details visit scienceworld.ca.
- R. Macmillan Space Centre at Vanier Park: The H.R. Macmillan Space Centre, is an astronomy museum packed with informative entertainment. With something for everyone, the centre includes an observatory, a theatre, a courtyard gallery and more. Afterward, take a break in exquisite Vanier park while you enjoy the great harbor views. Visit spacecentre.ca for details.
- Vancouver Aquarium – Located in the heart of Stanley Park the Vancouver Aquarium is a fantastic way to spend the day with your family. As you take in the many exhibits, shows, and attractions, you will learn about thousands of different ocean species and remarkable marine life. Visit vanaqua.org for more information about this exciting aquatic adventure.
- Deep Cove: Deep Cove offers a wide variety of activities for your entire family. The short hike up to Quarry Rock is great for beginners, relatively easy and offers amazing views of Indian Arm. If your kids are younger, stick to the beach and enjoy the small waterfront community which offers activities for all ages and dining that appeals to everyone.
- Whale Watching: Departing from downtown, Steveston or Granville Island, Vancouver offers magnificent whale watching from April to October. Enjoy an exhilarating boat ride with your family as you view pods of resident orcas, humpbacks, dolphins and sea lions. Enjoy gorgeous views of English Bay, Georgia Strait and the Gulf Islands and your family day will end a success!
- Vancouver Canadians Game & Fireworks: Vancouver’s historic Nat Bailey Stadium, affectionately called, “The Nat”, has been hosting baseball for 67 years and doesn’t disappoint. Catch some Canadians baseball with your family, and on select Saturdays throughout the summer, enjoy a dazzling firework display after the game, right from your seat. Visit milb.com/vancouver for ticket information.
- Berry Picking: Let your kids run free while you enjoy an inexpensive and peaceful afternoon berry picking at one of the many berry farms located around the Vancouver area. You’ll enjoy some quality time together outdoors while picking enough berries to last you through the winter.
- Granville Island: A culinary feast for the senses, Granville Island has it all. Head to the Granville Island Market, and satisfy any craving at one of the dozens of fresh food stands, then grab a table outside for a delicious family meal together. Or, visit one of the many restaurants featuring cuisine from all over the world and enjoy the island vibe.
- Vancouver Food Walking Tour: A little food, a little exercise and a whole lot of fun. Enjoy one of the many food tours offered throughout Vancouver, including a gourmet pizza and ice cream extravaganza your whole family will love. Now that’s something to sink your teeth into. Visit offtheeatentracktours.ca for details.
- Second Beach: Visit Vancouver’s Second Beach for some sun, sand, a park and a pool. Go for a swim, stop at the playground with your little ones and then lounge down at the beach while your kids play in the sand. Push bedtime back a bit and enjoy a gorgeous Vancouver sunset.
- Waterslides, Water Parks and Wading Pools: Kids love a good waterpark. Choose from waterslides in Tsawwassen, Aldergrove, Cultus Lake or Granville Island, or visit one of the many free spray parks and wading pools located throughout the city for a day of water-filled fun. For a list of parks and pools visit: vancouver.ca.
- Kits Pool: Kits pool is Vancouver’s only saltwater swimming pool and is an impressive 137 meters long. With stunning views of Kitsilano beach and the Pacific Ocean, this pool will provide the ultimate family experience. Located in the heart of Kits, you can go for lunch, grab an ice cream or relax on the beach after swim time. Find out more at vancouver.ca.
Family time together provides an opportunity for communication, for connection and ultimately, for fun. So, get out there and make some memories!