5 Educational Activities for Families in Vancouver

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Beaty Biodiversity MuseumThe Beaty Biodiversity Museum. Photo credit: Lisa Voormeij

Once the roads are less slushy, go explore, just beyond our neighbourhood, and visit one of these five attractions for some family-friendly, educational fun.

5 Educational Activities for Families in Vancouver


1. Tales of Whales and More

Head over to the Beaty Biodiversity Museum on the UBC campus on a rainy (or snowy) day for story time, museum tours, puppet shows, the Way Cool Biodiversity Series family-friendly lectures, and more, all included in the low admission price. This rather quiet museum also has various species on display including Canada’s largest blue whale skeleton. There’s a family area for the little ones with books, toys, and craft activities, and a small gift shop and cafe upstairs. Check their website for driving and parking directions as the UBC campus can be a bit tricky to navigate. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for youth (13-17), $8 for kids (5-12), and those 4 and under are free.

2. City Park Adventures
The Stanley Park Ecology Society offers Discovery Walks (all ages) and Stanley Park Young Naturalist programs (for ages 5-14) to promote the understanding and conservation of our local environment. Explore Stanley Park with expert naturalists as they explain interesting facts about the ecology of the plants and animals that live in the park. Discover how the forest changes throughout the seasons or how the cycles of nature continue to affect our everyday lives. Admission prices and dates vary so check their website for details.

4. Building Birding Skills
The George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary is a 740 acre protected area in Delta and includes managed wetlands, marshes, and dikes with walking trails, bird blinds, lookouts, and a gift shop. Take a stroll through this sanctuary anytime of year and you’ll surely spot some of the 250+ species of birds seen here. Some of the resident birds include owls, cranes, eagles, ducks, chickadees, and many more, while migrants include thousands of snow geese and sandpipers. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for kids (2-14), and those 2 and under are free.

3. Ecology Education
Have fun learning about British Columbia’s natural history and local and global environmental issues through the interactive exhibits at the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre. The centre features four galleries full of displays about the connections between plants, animals, and people. Stories, puppet shows, and hands-on activities are regularly scheduled, and starting in March and April, the centre will offer Real Ecology classes for 6-12 year olds where they will learn about the language and habits of local birds plus urban farming. Admission is by donation (classes require registration and are $80-$90 for 4 classes). Check their website for dates and times.

5. Fish Fun
Check out the Capilano Salmon Hatchery in North Vancouver and take a self-guided tour to discover how fish develop from eggs to spawning adults. Currently you can view the eggs, juveniles, and adult steelhead, coho, and chinook salmon in the holding ponds while some are migrating and coming up the man-made fish ladder. The interpretive displays will provide you with information on the hatchery, species of salmon, watershed locations, fish transplants, fish culture, other enhancement techniques, traditional fishing methods, and information on current recreational fishing regulations. Admission is free for all!

Last modified: February 25, 2014

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