Pewter-coloured skies followed by pitter-patter drops of incessant rain characterize much of Vancouver’s weather year-round. And when the rain sets in, it dampers plans to be outdoors with the kiddos. But don’t let the notorious rain ruin your well-intended plans of keeping your children active and stimulated. Given the constant downpour, it’s no surprise that Vancouver has a plethora of fun indoor activities for the family to indulge in. We have compiled a list of the top ten family-friendly indoor activities that will keep the whole family moving and learning – making for a superb rain-day!
Image courtesy of the Vancouver Aquarium
1. The Vancouver Aquarium – Immerse yourself in the Vancouver Aquarium, Canada’s largest marine museum offering over 70,000 animals to gaze at. You can easily spend the day exploring exhibits such as the Clownfish Cove and Penguin Point to doing arts and crafts in the Family Program. In addition to daily story time and a Sea Monsters 4D show, your children can learn how animals are trained and cared for. While at the Aquarium, don’t forget to watch one of the many water shows, including the Beluga show, Shark show and the Dolphin show. The Vancouver Aquarium promises to offer an unforgettable and educational experience for the entire family. While most of the fishy-fun takes place indoors, there are a handful of exhibits and shows that are outside so make sure to have the rain jackets handy.
Image courtesy of Telus World of Science
2. Telus World of Science – Consider spending the day at Science World, where the kiddos will be fascinated about science and technology through the electrifying and interactive displays. Science World provides a chance to see science in the making, from watching liquid nitrogen change the appearance of banana peels to making square bubbles. Let your little scientists run wild over at Kidspace, where babies and toddlers have their own area to explore and fiddle with large blocks, feed balls through mazes and loop-de-loops, and climb over and into play gyms. Older children will want to get their hands busy over at Eureka, where kids can launch balls and parachutes, walk on a piano and play with water, light, sound, air and motion. With daily shows at the Omnimax and Science Theatre, Science World will invigorate and excite, leaving you wanting to come back again real soon!
Image courtesy of Kids Market
3. Kids Market at Granville Island – Want to go somewhere that allows you to shop and lets your kids play in an uber exciting place? If so, check out the Kids Market at Granville Island. Known as Granville Island’s hidden gem, this place has over 25 indoor shops and activities – perfect for any rainy day. Get the kids exercising in the jungle gym known as the Adventure Zone or moving their bodies on iFloor – an electronic interactive playspace. After the kiddos are all done playing, visit one of the many well-known shops such as the Granville Island Toy Company, Just Imagine Fun Clothing, and Kites and Puppets.
Image courtesy of the City of Vancouver
4. Bloedel Floral Conservatory – Located atop of the iconic dome at the Queen Elizabeth Park, the Bloedel Floral Conservatory provides a temporary escape from the cool rain to a warm tropical paradise. The Conservatory offers knowledge about ecology and its exotic plants and flowers from around the world. For the bird lovers in the family, there are over 100 birds in this triodetic dome. Although you won’t need more than an hour here, this family activity is sure to offer the kiddos a chance to fuel their minds with something out of the ordinary.
Image courtesy of Translink
5. Riding the Skytrain & Seabus – Kids are utterly fascinated by the big train in the sky. So spend the day cruising through the city while watching your kids get excited about being up high and peering outside the windows. Hop on and off the many stations and let the kiddos choose where and when to get off. If time is on your side, consider getting off at Waterfront Station and taking the seabus over to the North Shore. Have some lunch over at Lonsdale Quay before making your way back. You’ll be amazed by how much fun everyone has just riding on transit!
Image courtesy of the Space Centre
6. H.R. MacMillan Space Centre – Do your kids gaze at the sky at night and wonder about the stars and planets? If so, bring them over to the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, where they can use telescopes to get close to the solar system, build cosmic rovers, or design a lander to get into, and back from, space. While there, watch one of the many daily shows in the Star Theatre. The theatre mimics the solar system complete with giant stars, planets, and spaceships. The Space Centre will truly inspire and stimulate the brains of your little astronauts so spend some time in the universe!
Image courtesy of Cliffhanger
7. Cliffhanger Vancouver – When it’s pouring outside, the kiddos are often climbing walls inside, metaphorically speaking. Well, at Cliffhanger Vancouver they can literally climb and trek up 40-foot walls. This activity will get the kiddos out the door and inside a haven of ropes and rocks where they’ll be moving, stretching and gripping – making it a really cool and adventurous rainy day activity. Beginners are welcome!
Image courtesy of 4 Cats Arts Studio
8. 4Cats Arts Studio – Ignite your child’s passion for Art by taking them to 4Cats Arts Studio, a professional and Montessori-inspired art space that will get your kiddos involved in various hands-on activities. Absolutely perfect for a rainy day, this art studio offers both scheduled and drop-in programs where children have the chance to use polymer clay, paper-mache and professional paints to design their very own artistic piece. Your little ones will love getting their hands into clay where they can shape, mold, knead, cut, sculpt and glaze their masterpieces. With over 100 paint colours to choose from, 4Cats propels your child’s imagination and creativity to the next level.
Image courtesy of Vancouver Maritime Museum
9. Vancouver Maritime Museum – with a focus on exploration and learning, the Vancouver Maritime Museum has something for everyone – especially those with a passion for boats and other marine vessels. One of the main attractions is the RCMP Schooner, St. Roch, a large vessel built in 1928 which was used as a supply ship for the Arctic RCMP detachments and was the first ship in history to travel from the Northwest Passage from West to East. The St. Roch is now restored and brings to life a piece of history for all to learn. Kids have the chance to climb into the ship, explore the various on-board amenities and crawl through the ship’s little passages. Kids can boat-hop and explore the other various ships such as war ships, trading vessels, pirate ships and tug boats. The Vancouver Maritime Museum will be your family’s new favourite rainy day hangout.
Image courtesy of the City of Vancouver
10. Community Recreation Time – Lastly, when the cold drops of rain keep you near home base, flock on over to your local community centre where the kids can in indulge in endless fun from jungle gym to arts and crafts to story and circle time. If this doesn’t fancy your child, head on over to one of the many indoor pools Vancouver has to offer. You can all soak in the warm waters while gliding down slides and jumping off diving boards. Either option will keep entire family busy and moving!
With all these options, you’ll be sure to find something that fits your family. So pick a spot, explore, and experience all you can while staying dry and having fun.
Yo, mama! Looking for more fun things to do on a rainy day? Then you might like the following:
- A Pinterest board full of rainy day fun
- Fall crafts for kids
- Warm up with a bowl of homemade pumpkin soup
By: Yasmin Remtulla