Vancouver is a vibrant city full of fun things to do every season of the year, and summer is no exception.

From adventures in the open water to seeing Vancouver in the sky, here are some family-friendly activities to do this summer.

1. Capilano Suspension Bridge

At 137 metres long and 70 metres high, the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vancouver. The park is an exciting adventure featuring the world-famous suspension bridge, narrow cantilevered bridges and stairs and platforms through rainforest vegetation. Treetops Adventure at the park also takes guests to new heights with seven 110 feet high suspension bridges attached to old-growth trees.

The park is open the whole summer until September 5, every day from 9 am to 7 pm. Purchasing tickets online in advance is recommended.

2. Stanley Park

Vancouver’s Stanley Park is the perfect stop for a summer stroll or bike ride featuring beautiful beaches, local wildlife and natural historical landmarks. At 405 hectares, Stanley Park is one of the largest urban parks in North America – and is even larger than New York City’s Central Park!

With so many fun activities to do at Stanley Park, a whole day can easily be spent there. Some fun activities to do in the summer include swimming in the outdoor pool, golfing, cycling, playing tennis, having a picnic, riding the Stanley Park Train or visiting the Vancouver Aquarium.

3. Vancouver Aquarium

Speaking of the aquarium, the Vancouver Aquarium is Canada’s largest aquarium and is located in Stanley Park. The aquarium currently features a number of exhibits and interactive experiences on BC’s wild coast, Canada’s arctic, jellyfish, sea lions, frogs, arctic penguins and much more. At the aquarium, guests can see and meet incredible animals and marine life up close and personal.

Capacity is limited so purchasing tickets in advance is strongly recommended.

4. Gastown

Vancouver’s historic Gastown is the city’s oldest neighbourhood and home to the iconic Gastown Steam Clock. Gastown’s cobblestone-lined streets feature a variety of traditional souvenir stores, décor boutiques, independent fashion boutiques, one-of-a-kind galleries and some of the best eats in Vancouver.

5. Granville Island

Located across False Creek from downtown Vancouver is Granville Island, Vancouver’s premier artistic and cultural hub with rich industrial and maritime heritage. With millions of visitors each year from Vancouver and around the world, Granville Island is an experience filled with great food, local vendors and independent shops.

The famous Granville Island Public Market is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm and features more than 50 boutiques, culinary destinations, breweries, produce markets, bakeries and more.

6. VanDusen Botanical Garden

The VanDusen Botanical Garden is a stunning garden with beautiful displays of exotic plants, flowers, birds and even a maze for guests to wander through. Taking a self-guided tour through the garden is the perfect way to get some outdoor exercise and fresh air.

This summer, the garden is also hosting food truck vendors with delicious eats and treats so guests can enjoy a picnic while taking in the beauty of the garden.

7. Vancouver Art Gallery

At 15,300 square metres, the Vancouver Art Gallery in downtown Vancouver is the largest art museum in Western Canada by building size and features several rotating exhibitions.

This summer, the art gallery is hosting several unique exhibitions, including Uninvited: Canadian Women Artists in the Modern MomentKids Take OverRestless: Recent Acquisitions and the Imitation Game: Visual Culture in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.

8. Science World

For kids, and kids at heart, Science World is a place to learn, play and have fun. The iconic geodesic dome building features interactive and hands-on exhibitions, galleries and displays for all to experience the magic of science.

The unique T.Rex: The Ultimate Predator exhibition is on this summer until early next year, and has guests experiencing what the world was like millions of years ago when the Tyrannosaurus Rex roamed the earth.

9.  Vancouver Lookout

For unparalleled sky-high views of Vancouver, the Vancouver Lookout is the place to be. From the lookout’s observation deck 553 feet above ground, guests can see views of downtown Vancouver from a new angle. The lookout takes guests up a glass elevator to enjoy a 360-degree view of Vancouver that includes Stanley Park, Gastown, the Northshore mountains and the downtown core.

10. Whale Watch

A fun adventure for tourists and locals alike is whale watching, including orcas and humpback whales, in Vancouver’s open waters. See real life whales and other local sea life, including porpoises, sea lions, seals and bald eagles in their natural habitats.

Exhilarating open-air whale-watching rides are also an option for those feeling more adventurous.

Published on July 22, 2022.