The start of school has us thinking about educational opportunities outside of the classroom, because why should the learning stop on the weekends? Everyone knows there are amazing things you can learn at Science World and spectacular sea creatures to visit at the Aquarium, but where else can you take your kids for a day full of fun and learning? There are some great lesser-known venues around Metro Vancouver that are educational, fun, and captivating for kids and parents too. We are big advocates of getting out of the house to have fun, so if you want to find out about farming, plants, animals or even outer space, here are five of our favourite places to go learn something new.

educational venue eco dairy farm

EcoDairy Farm
Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm, Sundays 11 am – 4 pm (closed Mondays), 1356 Sumas Way, Abbotsford, Cost: Adults – $9, Children (3 – 12) – $5, Children (0 – 2) – Free
This one of a kind demonstration farm is where you and your kids can learn everything you ever wanted to know about dairy farming. There is a state-of-the-art Discovery Centre, home to Vicki the cow, where your kids can try their hand at milking. In the Dairy Barn ,you’ll meet over 50 milking cows and learn how they are cared for. Don’t miss the Moozanine where kids can unwind by colouring, reading, or drawing on the chalkboard activity table. EcoDairy Farm is a stellar educational venue that will spark a new respect for milk, cows and dairy farmers too.

educational venues surrey museum

Kids Gallery at Surrey Museum {Editor’s Note: The Kids Gallery is closed as of July 30th, 2017 for renovations. It will reopen in late 2018.}
Open Tuesday – Friday, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, Saturdays, 10 am – 5 pm, Sundays, 12 pm – 5 pm (closed Mondays and stat holidays), 17710-56A Avenue, Surrey, Cost: Free!

The Surrey Museum is a fantastic venue to visit to learn something new. The sustainably focused Kids Gallery is all about having fun while teaching kids about different sustainability subjects. The themes change every few months, so you can learn about energy, water, or food and farming in an ever-changing fun and interactive environment.

educational venue vancouver space centre
by Torben Hansen / CC BY

H.R. MacMillan Space Centre
Open weekdays, 10 am – 3 pm, Saturdays, 10 am – 5 pm, Sundays, 12 pm – 5 pm, 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver, Cost: Varies
The best place to take a budding astronomer or space obsessed kiddo is the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vanier Park. Their goal is to educate, inspire, and evoke a sense of wonder about the Universe, our planet and space exploration. With their engaging displays and immersive programming, your little space explorer will have a blast. Beyond the fabulous exhibits and shows, the Space Centre also has great Family Programs happening throughout the year. Make sure you check out the schedule before you visit!

botanical garden treewalk vancouver educational venue
Photo by UBC Botanical Garden

UBC Botanical Garden
Open daily, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, 6804 Marine Drive SW, Vancouver, Cost: Varies
The UBC Botanical Garden is a place where students and learners of all ages can explore the wonders of plants and biodiversity. Navigate suspended walkways and tree platforms for a birds-eye view of Vancouver’s coastal temperate rainforest on the Greenheart TreeWalk. You can go at your own pace or with a guide for even more an even more in-depth educational experience. A note for stroller-wielding parents – you can’t take them on the TreeWalk, so bring along your baby carrier if your little one can’t walk on their own.

vancouver educational venues beaty biodiversity museum
by Alan Sandercock / CC BY

Beaty Biodiversity Museum
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm (closed Mondays and holidays), 2212 Main Mall, Vancouver, Cost: Adult – $14, Youth (13 – 17) – $12, Child (5 – 12) – $10, Child (0 – 4) – free
Beaty Biodiversity Museum is Vancouver’s natural history museum showcasing UBC’s biological collections and research. There are over 500 exhibits to see, including a 26-metre long blue whale skeleton! In addition to the exhibits, there are of hands-on opportunities at the discovery lab your bourgeoning scientist will enjoy. Check out their online calendar to find more information on special exhibits, tours, and shows. We particularly love their “Way Cool” series, where they take one species of animal or plant and highlight all the reasons why they are important to our life on planet earth.

We hope this list of great educational venues to visit in Metro Vancouver inspires you to get out and learn something new with your kids!

Yo, mama! Looking for some more cool stuff to do with your kids? We’ve got you covered:

By:  Michelle Hughes

Featured Image photo by US Embassy Canada / CC BY

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