Keeping the kids happy is paramount while on vacation. Here's our best family friendly things to do in Victoria BC:
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You don’t get voted one of the most unique playgrounds in the world if you’re just ho-hum. Cadboro-Gyro Park, located on the eastern side of the island at Cadboro Bay received that distinction by Fodors Travel Guide in 2018. And for good reason. The park boasts accessible play structures, a zipline, a giant octopus that welcomes children to slide down its tentacles and much more all situated on a sandy, log strewn beach overlooking picturesque mountains. It is simply breath-taking. There are so many fun things for kids to discover, you’ll have a hard time getting them to leave!
Address: Sinclair Road, Saanich
Located on the waterfront in the beautiful Town of Sidney on the Saanich Peninsula, the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea is an aquarium and learning centre that focuses on the ecosystem of the Salish Sea. The Salish Sea encompasses the Puget Sound, the Juan de Fuca Strait and the Strait of Georgia which are the coastal waters off the south coast of British Columbia. The Centre’s aquariums are home to over 3,500 animals from over 150 species from the Salish Sea.
You’ll also get to see a marine mammal exhibit that includes the skeleton of an orca! Not just for the kids, the aquarium is a place for the whole family to experience the wonders of the sea. We love this book - Explore the Salish Sea - enabling kids to continue to learn more about this unique marine ecosystem at home.
Address: 9811 Seaport Place, Sidney
Possibly the smallest zoo you’ll ever go to but it also is home to the smallest creatures – bugs! The zoo houses Canada’s largest ant colony as well as praying mantis, tarantulas, glow-in-the-dark scorpions and approximately 50 other fascinating species from around the world. The Bug Zoo. located in downtown Victoria is interactive and the adventurous bug lovers are welcome to handle the animals. Let's face it, when it comes to fun things for kids to do, handling exotic bugs is like a bucket-list item! Teenagers may not find it quite as awe-inspiring as younger kids but we've got lots of ideas just for them.
Address: 631 Courtney Street, Victoria
Winner of 2020 Travelers' Choice Award from Tripadvisor
It’s not just thousands of tropical butterflies flying freely throughout the facility that await you. The tropical jungle at the Victoria Butterfly Gardens is also home to flamingos, tortoises, poison dart frogs, iguanas, parrots and so much more. And if that wasn’t enough, in 2017 the new Insectarium exhibit opened with an array of insects and invertebrates to delight you. Soak in the atmosphere as you stroll through the lush gardens and if you’re lucky, experience an exotic butterfly landing on you! Sorry, they’re not allowed to hitch a ride home with you! Get tickets to Butterfly Gardens here.
Address: 1461 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay
Sunday mornings at 10:45 am from April through October (some Saturdays too), the Inner Harbour is the place to be! The entire family will enjoy the beautifully choreographed synchronized performance of the harbour ferries (the little boats that scoot around the Inner Harbour and Gorge Waterway). This is an absolutely delightful routine that will bring a giant smile to your face – which is the perfect way to start a Sunday in Victoria!
Watch the famous ballet now:
Address: Inner Harbour, Victoria
If you’ve got active kids who would enjoy climbing, jumping and ziplining through nature, then a visit to Wildplay must be on your list of fun things for kids to do in Greater Victoria. Wildplay Elements Park located at the Westshore Parks and Recreation complex is an obstacle course built into the trees with rope swings, wobbly bridges, cargo nets, ziplines and more. There are two courses, one just a few feet off the ground suitable for kids and one much higher up for older kids and adults.
Address: 1767 Island Hwy #15 at the Westshore Parks & Recreation Complex
Beacon Hill Park is an awesome park located just steps from downtown. With splash pads, ponds and 2 recently renovated children’s playgrounds, the fun things for kids to do seemingly never ends! It’s a kid’s paradise and there’s more! There are free-roaming peacocks, eagles and herons in the trees and the beloved petting zoo at Beacon Hill Children’s Farm. Get there when they open and be treated to the daily “goat run” when the goats are let out of their overnight pens and run down the path towards the goat enclosure. Once safely inside, people of all ages are welcomed inside also where they can pet, cuddle and be licked by adorable goats.
Address: 100 Cook Street, Victoria
Winner of 2021 Travelers' Choice Award from Tripadvisor
Miniature World is just what you expect from the name - little, tiny things like the world's smallest operational sawmill! Located inside the Empress Hotel, you'll discover over 85 miniature displays representing both history and fantasy worlds. Kids and adults alike will enjoy exploring the various dioramas and displays. Expect to spend about 1-2 hours.
Address: 649 Humboldt Street, Victoria
The whole family can explore downtown Victoria on a memorable horse-drawn carriage ride. These tours book up quickly, especially in summer and when cruise ships are in dock. Book early to not be disappointed.
Address: Menzies Street beside the Parliament Buildings
The Dino Lab is one of the most unique and family friendly things to do in Victoria with a hands-on dinosaur experience. Enjoy a guided tour of the fossil gallery to see prehistoric history, learn about and touch actual dinosaur bones and finish your experience by doing some hands on fossil restoration. Read more about Dino Lab here.
Address: 491 Dupplin Rd #2, Victoria
One of the most wholesome and fun family friendly things to do is visiting our local parks to search for painted rocks. Follow the Sooke to Sidney Rock Hunt group on Facebook to see where rocks are being hidden or just get out to explore and see what you find.
If you've got teens to entertain and still want family friendly things to do, this list of will give you some ideas. Read more.
Do you want more ideas just for kids? Here are 14 of the best kid friendly things to do in Victoria BC.
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