Museum hopping is a favourite Vancouver past time during the rainy winter months … but it isn’t necessarily cheap. Full-price admission to the city’s top museums and galleries can run from $15 to $25 and up.
Except, that is, for one magical day of the year when you can visit five of the city’s cultural attractions for $5. Winter Wander returns this Jan. 23, transforming waterfront Vanier Park, home to a bumper crop of museums, into a moving cultural feast.
Located in Kitsilano, at the edge of English Bay, Vanier Park is a favourite with sun worshippers, dog walkers and kite flyers in the summer months. But tucked away in this idyllic setting are some of the city’s largest museums and cultural attractions.
In the space of a short walk, you can: learn about downtown’s neon era at the Museum of Vancouver; explore the first ship to circumnavigate North America at the Vancouver Maritime Museum; stare deep into the night sky at the planetarium inside the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre; and browse through endless stockpiles of old photos at the City of Vancouver Archives.
This year’s Winter Wander takes place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23. Apart from the bargain museum access, there will be live entertainment, plus plenty of street eat options from the city’s top local food trucks. The $5 admission price gets you access to all five cultural attractions, and kids 5 and under are free. Tickets are available at any of the participating venues.
Here are some more detail on each of the five offerings:
- Museum of Vancouver: Vancouver-focused exhibits show what the city was, is, and can be. Permanent exhibitions tell the city’s stories from the early 1900s to the late 1970s and are complemented by contemporary, groundbreaking feature exhibits.
- H.R. MacMillan Space Centre: This non-profit community resource brings the wonders of space to Earth. See real rocket engines and space suits or sit back and zip off to outer space inside the Planetarium Star Theatre.
- Vancouver Maritime Museum: Explore exhibits on pirates, shipwrecks, lighthouses and more in this seafaring museum. The highlight is the restored RCMP Arctic schooner St. Roch, which in 1944 made a voyage through the treacherous Northwest Passage.
- City of Vancouver Archives: Step into the city’s official archives, where records documenting the Vancouver’s public and private history are preserved. Browse through more than 1 million old photographs or pore over maps, architectural plans, news clippings and heritage artwork.
- Vancouver Academy of Music: Vancouver’s next virtuosos practice and perform in this modern facility, which has a recital hall, teaching studios and rehearsal rooms. In past years, students have performed live during Winter Wander.