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Best Family Day Trips from Vancouver

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Best Family Day Trips from Vancouver

Trips are great learning opportunities – they can give families something of interest to talk about when they return. No matter where you live in Vancouver, there’s sure to be an ideal family-friendly getaway within a reasonable drive. 

Read on as we list down some of the best family day trip locations from Vancouver!

Day Trip Spots for Families from Vancouver

There are numerous day trip spots near Vancouver where the entire family can spend a day together.  These attractions include the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Grouse Mountain, and Bowen Island.

These locations are perfect for a quick getaway to enjoy the beautiful landscapes that Vancouver has to offer! So, if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle,  let’s take a closer look at the day trips you can take with your family.

1. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Image by iStock via

ADDRESS3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4J1, Canada
CONTACT DETAILSPhone: 604-985-7474

Email: [email protected]

OPERATING HOURSMonday - Sunday: 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM
RATESCAD 19 - 55

The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is one of Vancouver’s top tourist attractions. George Grant Mackay built the bridge in 1889, originally made of hemp ropes with a deck of cedar planks.

The park features the world-famous Capilano Suspension Bridge, which spans 140 meters long and 70 meters above the Capilano River.

This 1.1-mile loop trail takes about 36 to 40 minutes to complete, making it a famous site for walking. Walking the wooden bridges allows visitors to enjoy nature from a different perspective.

What to Do at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

1. Treetops Adventure

Treetops Adventure

Image by Capilano Suspension Bridge Park via

The Treetops Adventure offers visitors a spectacular rainforest view over 33 meters above the ground. The viewing platforms are attached to the trees using an adjustable tree collar system that does not impede their growth. 

There are also educational components throughout the treetops, animal skull displays, and other historical items. It’s a nice change from the platform walks around the park, and it’s a great place for kids to run around and have fun.

2. Cliffwalk


Image by Capilano Suspension Bridge Park via

The Cliffwalk at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a series of narrow bridges, stairs, and platforms that follow the surrounding cliff face. It can safely support the weight of 35 adult orca whales and spans over 213 meters long in the Capilano Canyon.

This elevated bridge is thrilling, with plenty of staircases, viewpoints, and lookouts, so take plenty of photos. There are also plenty of gift shops, dining options, and ice cream parlors.

3. Beaver Balls

Beaver Balls

Image by Capilano Suspension Bridge Park via

We highly recommend stopping by Beaver Balls after a long day of exploring the park because it’s the only place where you can try this sweet Canadian treat.

Beaver Balls are small crepe-like pastries that cost CAD 7.50 for ten balls. We recommend pairing this with a hot cup of joe from Dr. Woods Cabin, a coffee shop next door.

How to Get to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

By Car

From Downtown Vancouver, visitors can drive to the Stanley Park causeway and over the Lions Gate Bridge. Next, you take the North Vancouver exit to Marine Drive. Then you go left up Capilano Road, which leads you to the park.

By Shuttle

The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park offers guests complimentary shuttle service from Downtown Vancouver. Do note that you should have your tickets ready as proof of admission is required.

Check out the shuttle schedule here.

By Public Transportation

Ride the Seabus to Lonsdale Quay if you’re coming from Downtown Vancouver. Board the #236 bus, which takes you directly to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.

2. Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain

Image by Grouse Mountain via

ADDRESSNorth Vancouver, BC V7K 1X8, Canada
CONTACT DETAILSPhone: 604-980-9311

Email: [email protected]

OPERATING HOURSMonday - Sunday: 09:00 AM - 09:00 PM
RATESCAD 36 - 179

Grouse Mountain is a great place to visit in Vancouver. It has many different trails you can hike, and the views from the top are amazing. 

The mountain is also home to many wildlife, including bears, so it’s a great place to see some of Canada’s native animals.

Aside from that, it also has numerous kids’ activities, making it an ideal ski resort for families. The mountain is full of things to see and do, and there are plenty of slopes for both beginners and advanced skiers.

Grouse Mountain currently has over 15 activities and attractions for both children and adults. They also offer numerous dining options and cafes.

Simply put, if you’re looking for a great experience with plenty of variety during your visit here, Grouse Mountain is a must-see. The overall scenery is excellent, and there’s also a ropeway that provides an unobstructed view of Vancouver.

What to Do at Grouse Mountain

1. Skyride Surf Adventure

Skyride Surf Adventure

Image by Grouse Mountain via

A trip to Grouse Mountain wouldn’t be complete without riding the Skyride Surf Adventure. This attraction provides visitors with stunning views of Vancouver, the ocean, and snow-capped peaks. 

It soars at an altitude of 4,100 feet above sea level, and it takes about 10 minutes to get to the top of the mountain. We recommend adding this to your itinerary because the view from the top in the morning is spectacular.

Once you reach the top, there are wooden trails where you can walk and spot plenty of coffee shops, restaurants, and a viewing platform where you can take photos or admire the view.

2. Wildlife Refuge

Wildlife Refuge

Image by Grouse Mountain via

A unique part of Vancouver’s history is the Wildlife Refuge in Grouse Mountain. This attraction is a wilderness sanctuary where endangered animals are safe to play and relax in their natural habitat. 

A conservation center will also teach you and your family everything you need to know about these animals. The Refuge also provides cutting-edge observational programs that make learning about nature fun.

Some of the animals you can spot here are Grizzly bears, owls, and hummingbirds. They also hold ranger talks where you get the chance to talk to wildlife experts.

How to Get to Grouse Mountain

By Car

If you’re driving, taking Georgia Street through Stanley Park is best. Then you cross the Lion’s Gate Bridge and take the North Vancouver exit to Marine Drive. Finally, turn left up to Capilano Road.

By Shuttle

From 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Grouse Mountain offers a complimentary shuttle ride from the Vancouver Cruise Terminal to Grouse Mountain every 30 minutes. 

The daily shuttle schedules can be found on their website. You get round-trip transportation when you buy a mountain admission ticket.

By Public Transportation

Take the Seabus from Waterfront Station to Lonsdale Quay. From there, take the #236 bus directly to Grouse Mountain.

3. Bowen Island

Bowen Island

Image by Tourism Bowen Island via

ADDRESSBowen Island, British Columbia
CONTACT DETAILSPhone: 604-947-2245
RATESCAD 7.75 - 9.75

Bowen Island is an island in Metro Vancouver covered in forests, beaches, and coves that are ideal for explorers. The island is in the middle of Howe Sound, only a 20-minute ferry ride from West Vancouver. 

The island is known as a sanctuary for recreation and nature. It offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as biking and kayaking, as well as a vibrant art scene.

You can also go whale watching here – you’ll spot some off the shore in the island’s southwest corner! We recommend heading out of the Cape Roger Curtis area to see whales and a beautiful view of Vancouver Island.

What to Do at Bowen Island

1. Bike around the Island

Bike around the Island

Image by iStock via

Biking is the best and easiest way to explore Bowen Island, and it’s good that Bowen Island rents a wide variety of electric bikes near the ferry. 

Bowen eBikes is an e-bike rental company in Bowen Island, and we recommend you book ahead so you can plan your adventure before your arrival. 

Bowen Island Ebikes

Image by Bowen Island via

Bowen Island has a lot of hills to climb, so renting an e-bike to get around is a good idea. Their e-bikes have a pedal-assisted electric motor, so you won’t have to struggle up steep hills.

They also deliver and pick up e-bikes directly at your accommodation. It costs around CAD 48 – 90 to rent an e-bike from Bowen eBikes.

2. Visit the Arts Pacific Gallery

Visit the Arts Pacific Gallery

Image by Visit Bowen Island via

The Arts Pacific Gallery has been on Bowen Island for over 20 years, and it’s the perfect place for you and your family to learn and experience different types of art.

The art gallery showcases various artwork, from paintings to sculptures. Visitors can purchase artwork from the gallery or simply enjoy viewing the collection.

The Arts Pacific Gallery features art from a variety of local artists, all with their own unique styles. Whether you’re looking for a painting, sculpture, or some other type of art, you’re sure to find something you love at the Arts Pacific Gallery.

3. Go Kayaking

Go Kayaking

Image by Bowen Island via

Bowen Island is an excellent place for kayaking. They have a fleet of well-maintained boats that can accommodate groups of friends and families. 

Once you’re here, informative tour guides will provide helpful tips on where you can spot wildlife and great spots you can explore on the nearby coastline.

Visitors will also get the opportunity to see plenty of wildlife while kayaking. This includes birds, harbor seals, sea lions, and many more. 

Overall, kayaking on Bowen Island offers gorgeous sceneries and rocky coastlines, and it’s a great day trip to spend with your family.

How to Get to Bowen Island

By Ferry

The most direct route to Bowen Island is to take BC Ferries from Horseshoe Bay to Snug Cove, where the Bowen Island ferry terminal is located. Bowen Island is about a 20-minute ferry ride away.

By Public Transportation

Visitors can take the West Vancouver Blue Bus, #250 and #257 Horseshoe Bay Express, which runs between Downtown Vancouver and Horseshoe Bay daily.

These destinations are a good option for a day trip from Vancouver. It will be up to you to decide which one best fits your family’s interests.

Be sure to plan for an extra layer of clothing, an umbrella, and plenty of water so that everyone stays comfortable. Whatever you choose, we hope you enjoy a great day (or two) away from home!

If you want more activities to do with your family, check out our article about the fun things to do in Vancouver.

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