12 Family-Friendly Adventures Around Vancouver This Winter

A family at the gondola platform at Whislter Mountain near Vancouve

Photo: Destination BC/Rick Collins

Keep the whole family entertained this winter with fun activities like sledding, skating, hiking, museums, rock climbing, and lots more.


Visit the Sea to Sky Gondola

Let the Sea to Sky Gondola whisk you up into the snowy mountains. From their summit lodge, you can venture across the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge or walk the snowy Panorama Trail to a beautiful viewpoint. Or rent snowshoes and explore the trails. There is also a fun tube park.

Snowshoers at the Sea to Sky Gondola

Photo: Sea to Sky Gondola


Go Sledding or Snow-Tubing

While it rarely snows in the city, Vancouver’s mountains are a great place to go sledding. There are seven sled and tube parks near the city where you can go sledding or snow-tubing.

Snow tubing at the Bubly Tube Park in Whistler

Snow tubing at the Bubly Tube Park Destination BC/Rick Collins


Holiday Splash at the Vancouver Aquarium

The whole family with enjoy Holiday Splash at the Vancouver Aquarium, which runs until January 7. It includes seasonal decor, treats, and The Polar Express 4D Experience. You won’t want to miss Diving Scuba Claus (until December 24, of course!)

Scuba Santa at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Scuba Santa. Photo: Vancouver Aquarium


Go Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is one of the easiest winter sports, so it’s perfect for families. Vancouver’s North Shore mountains have lots of great snowshoe trails and you can rent snowshoes on-site. Our guide to beginner-friendly snowshoe trails has all the details.

Two people snowshoeing at Grouse Mountain in Vancouver

Snowshoeing at Grouse Mountain. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Kindred & Scout


Try Indoor Rock Climbing

Indoor rock climbing is great for the whole family – you can get fit while you have fun. Vancouver is home to lots of beginner-friendly indoor rock climbing gyms.

Climbers at the Richmond Olympic Oval near Vancouver

Photo via Richmond Olympic Oval


Go Hiking

It might be snowy in the mountains, but the forest is still green closer to sea level. In Vancouver, you can hike all year. Use our list of snow-free Vancouver hikes to pick a trail. Most of our options are great for families.

The bridge over Nelson Creek on the way to Whyte Lake in West Vancouver

Hiking to Whyte Lake in West Vancouver. Photo: Taryn Eyton/HappiestOutdoors.ca


Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum

Burnaby Village Museum is decked out for the holidays with lots of twinkling lights and decorations. The 10-acre museum includes a collection of historical buildings, many of which have on-site interpreters. Admission to the museum is free, but there is a small charge for rides on the beautifully restored antique carousel. Heritage Christmas runs until January 5.

Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum

Photo: City of Burnaby


Go Skiing or Snowboarding

With six ski resorts near Vancouver, there’s a great ski hill for your family’s skill level. Kids enjoy discounted lift tickets and rentals. Lessons are a great way to help kids gain confidence on the hill. Enroll them in a morning lesson, then ski together as a family in the afternoon.

Kids take a ski lesson at Mount Seymour in Vancouver

Kids ski lessons at Mount Seymour. Photo: Mount Seymour


Get Tropical at the Bloedel Conservatory

Head to the Bloedel Conservatory on a cold or wet day to warm up. The huge domed building is kept at tropical temperatures to suit the 500+ species of exotic plants that live inside. Kids will delight in watching over 100 free-flying Macaws, African parrots, and Chinese pheasants flitting from branch to branch.

A tropical bird at the Bloedel Conservatory in Vancouver

A tropical bird at the Bloedel Conservatory. Photo: Andrew Darlington/Unsplash


Go Ice Skating

You can skate in the crisp winter air at four outdoor rinks around Vancouver. They each have skate rentals on-site. Our guide to outdoor skating in Vancouver has more info. You can also check out community ice rinks in Vancouver, Burnaby, and the surrounding municipalities for indoor skating. Most have family-friendly drop-in skating sessions.

A family skates at Whistler Olympic Plaza

Skating at Whistler Olympic Plaza. Photo: Tourism Whistler/Justa Jeskova

Visit Canyon Lights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge

Walk across the swaying Capilano Suspension Bridge and enter a forest filled festooned with lights. The Canyon Lights event lasts until January 21 and includes multi-coloured light displays on the bridge, through the forests of the Treetop Adventure, and on the Cliffwalk pathway.

Cliffwalk at Canyon Lights, Photo: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park


Visit Grouse Mountain

Take the Skyride up to the top of Grouse Mountain. The Peak of Christmas event runs until December 25th and includes live reindeer, Santa, and lots of festive decor. But there are great family-friendly activities on all winter including outdoor ice skating, a sledding hill, and the beautiful Light Walk.

Light Walk at Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain Light Walk. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Kindred & Scout


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