vancouver victoria with little ones

Aug 17th, 2009, 01:35 PM
  #1  
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vancouver victoria with little ones

Hi,

My husband and I are going to visit Vancouver and Victoria for a week in mid September. We're going with our two little ones -- my daughter is almost 4, and my son is one and a half. We're arriving early night on the 15th, and we plan to go to Victoria the next day, stay over one night, and spend the rest of the time in Vancouver. I need some advice:

1. We plan to stay in downtown Vancouver, will we need a car?
2. Is one night in Victoria enough? We probably won't be able to visit museums or enjoy the famous afternoon tea because of the kids.
3. Is there any children's museum kind of kid-friendly places?

Thanks so much in advance!!!
wind is offline  
Aug 17th, 2009, 05:24 PM
  #2  
 
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As for Child friendly places in Victoria... There is a Children's petting zoo in Beacon Hill Park www.beaconhillpark.ca/childrenspark. Another suggestion is Big Bus Sightseeing which is a hop on hop off bus that makes it's way through both Victoria and Vancouver and might be an easy way for you to see the sights www.bigbusvictoria.ca. My last suggestion which may or may not interest you is the Victoria Harbour Ferry www.harbourferry.com.
amygirl is offline  
Aug 17th, 2009, 08:07 PM
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Visit Fisherman's Wharf where you can buy some food and let your kids feed the harbour seals.
Cruiseryyc is offline  
Aug 18th, 2009, 07:21 AM
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Wind, we are headed that direction in Oct. with our toddler. I'm anxious to see the responses to your question. (Although we are doing the opposite, and spending most of our time in Victoria with one or two nights in Vancouver for a total of 5 or 6 nights.)

Have you considered going out to the National Park west of Victoria? That's something else we've thought about, but aren't sure if that's child-friendly.
siena1 is offline  
Aug 18th, 2009, 07:30 AM
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You don't need a car for downtown Vancouver unless you don't mind paying for parking in the hotel lot for the duration of your trip. Mind you, with young children it may be a handy investment, but not necessary.

There are endless possibilities for child-friendly activities in Vancouver. There's actually a great website in exitence which features all of the activities: www.findfamilyfun.com

You could keep an entire day occupied in Stanley Park, for example, with its numerous playgrounds, beaches, waterparks, and forested trails. There's also (or at least used to be) a petting zoo and a train ride.

The Vancouver Aquarium is worth 2-3 hours.

Granville Island has Kids Market, but playgrounds, waterparks, and just whimsical attractions and street performers/entertainers.

Science World for an indoor hands on activity.

The Vancouver Maritime Museum and the MacMillan Space Center for more indoor hands-on activities.

This is just a start!
Carmanah is offline  
Aug 19th, 2009, 11:32 AM
  #6  
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Sienal,

Can you tell me what's there to do in Victoria for 5,6 nights? Maybe I should spend more time in Victoria.
wind is offline  
Aug 19th, 2009, 12:43 PM
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Wind,
The trip would be a total of 5 or 6 nights, with one or two in Vancouver, and 3ish in Victoria.

Some of the things we're considering:

Bastion Square
Parliament Buildings
Thunderbird Park
Butchart Gardens
Butterfly Gardens
Victoria Bug Zoo
Whale watching
Day trip to the national park to the west...Pacific Rim, I think it's called.
A walk on the beach

We don't have a firm itinerary yet. We're thinking of flying into Vancouver, spending the night, and then taking the ferry to Victoria and staying for three nights, then back to Vancouver for another night before flying home. Might add an extra night in Victoria (for 4 nights in Vic with a total of 6 for the trip.)

Most people probably wouldn't need that much time in Victoria, but we like to move at a slower pace since we have a two year old. And we like to go out to eat, so that takes more time than eating at the hotel or cooking our own meals. We really wanted to go somewhere smaller and walkable, which is why we decided on Victoria.
siena1 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2009, 03:55 PM
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Regarding your planned day trip to Pacific Rim park - you do realize that it is a five hour drive north of Victoria? A little far for a day trip, especially with a two year old.
Cruiseryyc is offline  
Aug 19th, 2009, 07:12 PM
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No, I didn't realize that. Thank you! I am just at the stage where I am brainstorming activities...I'll cross that one off the list!
siena1 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2009, 07:13 PM
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Sorry, Wind. I didn't mean to takeover your thread!
siena1 is offline  
Aug 19th, 2009, 09:43 PM
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If you've never been to Vancouver or Victoria before, 3 full days would be an ideal amount of time for Vancouver, and 2 full days would be an ideal amount of time for Victoria. Obviously you can do more, but any less, and you'll feel like you've barely scraped the surface (in my opinion).

5-6 days is far too long to spend in Victoria if you're also trying to fit in Vancouver. Vancouver has more things to see and do, especially child-friendly activities, however if you're also planning to visit elsewhere on Vancouver such as the Pacific Rim National Park, you'll want at least 3 full days there in addition to the 2 in Victoria and the 3 in Vancouver.
Carmanah is offline  
Aug 19th, 2009, 09:44 PM
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That was supposed to say, "if you're also planning to visit elsewhere on Vancouver *Island*"
Carmanah is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 12:22 PM
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Just to clarify: I think both Wind and I are planning trips that are a TOTAL of 5-7 days in length, with the time broken up between Victoria and Vancouver.

OK! I'll leave now and let Wind reclaim the thread!
siena1 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 12:26 PM
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D'oh! I completely missed that. Okay, that makes more sense now.
Carmanah is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 08:24 PM
  #15  
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Well, we're going to spend two nights in Victoria. Thanks for all the great suggestions of things to do, etc. Will I need a car in Victoria?
wind is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 08:57 PM
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If you book yourself into a hotel in downtown no, as Victoria is a very walkable city....even with young ones.
amygirl is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2009, 05:41 PM
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There are great playgrounds in Victoria. Buy bus passes (kids are free) and discover Beckwith Park, Beacon Hill Park--take swim suits and towels for the water features. Visit the rabbits at University of Victoria. Take the free trolley around downtown (it just started yesterday), do the Harbour Ferry hop/on/off and feed the seals at Fisherman's Wharf or take #8 or 1 bus and feed the even fatter ones at the Marina. Eat al fresco out of a container at Red Fish Blue Fish and watch the float planes. Bus out to Sidney on a double decker and visit the fabulous new aquarium with its touch pools. Enjoy!
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