Maplewood Farm – A Farm “Petting Zoo” for Kids

Girl and goat meet at Maplewood Farm. Photo: Maplewood Farm

Kids love animals, but there aren’t a lot of options in Vancouver for getting your kids up-close-and-personal with animals that aren’t someone’s pet (the skunks trolling your neighbourhood after dark don’t count). There’s the amazing Vancouver Aquarium, of course, and the Greater Vancouver Zoo (in Aldergrove), but neither let the kids touch the animals. For that, you have to go to Maplewood Farm in North Vancouver.

The only remaining farm on the North Shore, Maplewood Farm may be best described as a “petting zoo” for farm animals; it’s a popular Vancouver kids’ attraction aimed at children under 10. Home to over 200 animals and birds, Maplewood Farm lets kids pet the goats, feed the rabbits and ducks, and visit cows, sheep, horses, pigs, chickens, and birds. It’s likely to be the closest your urban kid gets to an actual farm experience, and it’s just 20 minutes away from downtown Vancouver.

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Maplewood Farm – A Farm “Petting Zoo” for Kids

Top 5 “Hands-On” Vancouver Museums for Kids

Vancouver has a wealth of museums and galleries, but while any and all can appeal to a range of adults and older children—from art lovers to history buffs to true-crime fans—not all Vancouver museums are fun for younger kids, especially kids who aren’t old enough to “look but don’t touch.” For kids ten and under, being able to interact with the exhibits, to explore with their hands, to run around, is quintessential to their enjoyment of any given space. Luckily, Vancouver has several museums that offer exactly the kind of imaginative play that appeals to the youngest visitors.

Top 5 “Hands-On” Vancouver Museums for Kids

1. Science World British Columbia
One of the best indoor attractions in Vancouver for younger kids, Science World is chock full of interactive exhibits that help kids learn and explore the world of science; it’s also the only Vancouver museum with a designated play area for kids 1 – 3 years old (Kidspace). The featured exhibits—like this month’s Medieval Mayhem—always offer some type of interaction and the permanent Eureka! physics gallery is a veritable playground for all ages, where even the youngest tots can dance on keyboards, launch balls into the air, spin on turn tables, and play “invisible” harp strings.

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Top 5 “Hands-On” Vancouver Museums for Kids

Pit Stop: Park Royal Shopping Centre

Urban Tea Merchant at Park Royal Shopping Centre is our best treat

Many of us Vancouverites have since grown up and moved into neighbouring communities and regions, and we’re frequently on the move in and out of Vancouver proper.

If you’re like me and have ferry trips and set times to depart from any of the Lower Mainland BC Ferry Terminals AND young kids or teenagers, sometimes a little bit of strategic planning can mean a much smoother drive for the parental unit and a lot less stress waiting for the boat.

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Pit Stop: Park Royal Shopping Centre

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