Traveling to the Olympics with kids? Have fun!
Shana from Wee Travel tells us the best way to spend a week in Vancouver with little ones. Wee Travel (started by two moms who are sisters living on opposite sides of the country) rents baby gear and toys delivered to your door. All equipment is like-new and safety checked and sanitized prior to every rental. They also service Victoria, BC and Toronto.
Vancouver is a gorgeous city summer and winter (even when it rains!).
MONDAY — Le Petit Spa
Start the day off right with Mondays for Mums at Le Petit Spa. You’re always running for everyone so fight the exhaustion. Try out Le Petit Spa’s amazing Mummy and Me Spa Package. They offer a Reflexology Treatment for Mum – 30 minutes, an express pedicure – 30 minutes and reflexology for baby – 10 minutes. All for $80.
TUESDAY — Granville Island
First tourist stop is definitely Granville Island. Babies will enjoy the busy sounds and sights of the market and older kids won’t want to leave the Kids Only Market. (You do this first as it’s probably a place the kids will want to go back to so you can use it as a bribe if necessary!)
There are many things to do in the market: The Adventure Zone is a great climbing activity and Camelot Kids is a wonderful toy store. They are very selective with their picks so you can select from top-notch toys.
After an exhilarating couple of hours playing, walk over to the Granville Island Market for some great eats. Lots of different foods to choose from for everyone in your family. Lee’s Donuts is a great treat, as is Terra Breads. Fresh fish, meat and poultry are in abundant supply and always fresh. There are too many great spots to name them all here. Admission is free.
WEDNESDAY — Stanley Park and Vancouver Aquarium
Stanley Park has great walks for strollers and toddlers alike. Be sure to check out the garden paths and the lovely views.
If you have time and money, the Vancouver Aquarium is a “must see”. You can watch the beluga and dolphin shows and my son’s favorite is Tag the sea lion. He is humongous and fun to watch, especially at feeding time when he is on “best” behaviour. If you stand right up next to the glass you’re sure to get wet!
There are hands-on activities downstairs and an array of beautiful fish. Another favorite area is the tropical garden where the birds fly around freely. At certain times of the year the butterflies have hatched and there are hundreds and hundreds flying about. Sometimes they will land on your arm! Children under 3 get in free.
THURSDAY — Science World [bummer: closed ’til March 8 2010]
Science World is unbelievable for every age — babies in a front-carrier will get an eyeful (not recommended for strollers) and toddlers will be in awe. Most of it is “hands-on”. We can easily spend a whole day in there. Depending on age, you can also go to the CN Imax (top floor) and check out the movie. It’s on a gigantic screen and you almost feel like you’re right in the movie. For a lunch break the White Spot, right in Science World, is a nice treat. The Triple-O burger is legendary! Their gift shop has some pretty unique items as well. Children under 4 are free.
FRIDAY — Aldergrove Zoo
Ready for more animals? The Aldergrove Zoo makes you feel like you are in another country! Lions, tigers, giraffes, and almost every animal you can think of. They have these great bike/carriages that you can rent for a family of four. The zoo is spread out over a very large area and there is a little train you can take around. Be prepared to do lots of walking- it’s worth it. The zoo is about an hour outside of Vancouver.
SATURDAY — Shopping
Perfect day for shopping! Be sure to check out Robson street, 4th ave, Commercial Drive and most certainly Main street (between 17th and 25th avenues). There are lots of unique, funky little stores for everyone to enjoy. South Granville also has a nice selection of stores and the Chapters on the corner of Broadway and Granville is a great place to unwind. You can browse through books while sipping your coffee (Starbucks is inside if you are so inclined) while your little one plays at the train table upstairs. It’s especially nice on a rainy Saturday and they often have story time in the kids’ section as well. Call ahead to confirm times.
SUNDAY — Kits Beach
You have to hit at least one beach during the week. Kits Beach is the perfect one for a number of reasons: great playground, wonderful people watching, gorgeous views, tasty food, and a really nice walk that can go on forever if you choose. The Watermark Café is there and if you want something less “restauranty”, there’s take-out at the side of the restaurant.
Shana suggests another great resource for the family-friendly happenings in Vancouver is FindFamilyFun.com.