Things to Do with Your Kids in Vancouver’s Famous Stanley Park

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Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tour

This old-fashioned, horse-drawn vehicle operates daily from March 1st through December 22nd and doesn’t require a reservation. The hour-long ride can accommodate up to 26 passengers per vehicle, leaving plenty of room for your entire family to experience Stanley Park at its finest. “Meander in comfort through the natural beauty,” as a professional guide narrates throughout your adventures around the seawall, past the Lions Gate Bridge and through a Coastal Red Cedar forest, among many other highlights. The tours depart every 20-30 minutes during peak season, and every 30-45 minutes during off-peak season. See schedules and rates here. As you will spend time outdoors, CityKiddos recommends dressing to stay warm. Check out our ”4 tips to stay warm outside with your kids.” (LINK)

Prices:

Adults: $50.00 (Tax included)

Seniors (Over 65 with ID): $46.00 (Tax included)

Students (with ID): $46.00 (Tax included)

Children (3-12 years): $22.00 (Tax included)

Tots: (Under 2 years): Free when not occupying a seat if otherwise needed

Stanley Park Train

The train in Stanley Park welcomes over 200,000 visitors every year. Covering two kilometres over the course of its 15-minute journey, the train runs in the spring and summer months, weather-depending. Don’t forget to check out their holiday versions, as the train also opens up for family-friendly adventures through the Halloween, Christmas and Easter seasons. Buy tickets in advance online, or at the gate upon arrival.

Vancouver Aquarium

The Vancouver Aquarium is located within Stanley Park. Open daily from 10am-5pm, it is home to more than 30 exhibits and 50,000 animals from around the world. The Vancouver Aquarium rescues animals from the world’s oceans and provides them with the care and attention they need. In addition, they have a children’s play area, a 4D movie experience and ever-changing, daily shows featuring information about their animals, all included in the admission price.

Prices:

Adult: $38 + GST

Senior (65+): $30 + GST

Youth (13-18) or Student: $30 + GST

Child (4-12): $21 +GST

Child (3 and under): FREE

Biking in Stanley Park

The Vancouver Seawall loop is 10km (roughly 6 miles) long, and has an 8.8km, one-way bike path for cyclists. This flat and paved path will take between 60-90 minutes to complete, allowing you to enjoy views of the Lions Gate Bridge and the North Shore mountains. A number of great spots to stop for a meal or snack means the scenery is always the highlight of this route. The Mobi Bicycle program allows visitors to rent a bike to get around Stanley Park. Note: helmets are mandatory.

Visit the Beaches in Stanley Park

Second Beach

This small but popular beach area is located at the junction of Stanley Park Drive and North Lagoon Drive. It has a heated outdoor pool and adjacent washroom and changing facilities. Children under 8 years old must be accompanied by an adult. There is an area to play volleyball, and you can reserve a picnic shelter if you book early enough. Standalone barbeques are allowed at the nearby Ceperley Meadow. Don’t forget to pay for parking!

Third Beach

Located on the west side of Stanley Park, this large and scenic beach provides a great place to watch the sun set in the evening. Barbeques are allowed, and nearby washrooms make this a great place for a family gathering on a warm summer evening. As is common throughout Stanley Park, don’t forget to pay for parking.

CityKiddos tip: Check out the beach water quality reports before heading to any of Vancouver’s beaches!

Ceperley Park in Stanley Park

Named after Grace Ceperly who donated funds for the creation of this space, this area has two playgrounds and a duck pond and an antique fire engine. Located next to Second Beach, one playground has slides, a climbing area and swings, making it great for younger children. The second playground is home to the antique fire engine and other modern art installations. Don’t forget to take a stroll over the wooden bridge above the duck pond!

Lumberman’s Arch

Let your children play at the Variety Kids Water Park and the adjacent Lumbermen’s Arch playground. With a cafe nearby, the non-reservable picnic table area is a popular spot during the summer months. Note: the water park is open mid-June through the beginning of September each year from 10am-6pm daily.

Stanley Park Nature House on Lost Lagoon

Visit the Ecology Centre and learn weird and wonderful facts about the plants and animals that call Stanley Park home! There is educational material for kids to learn from and interact with, as well as displays throughout. Fear not, they have programs to keep adults entertained too. Workshops are held here that allow adults to create their own cocktail bitters using ingredients that come from plants native to Stanley Park. Admission is free for this hidden gem, open year-round on weekends as well as Tuesday through Sunday in July and August.

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