Vancouver with toddlers - getting around

Old Mar 7th, 2017, 03:34 PM
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Vancouver with toddlers - getting around

Great tips on dillynana's prior post about First Time in Vancouver.

My question is about getting around with 2 toddlers. We are arriving via the Amtrak Cascades from Seattle into the Pacific Central railway station. Then 2 full days in Vancouver. Then leaving from the airport back into the USA. We will have a double stroller that is very easily collapsable and light, and don't mind using our legs to do a majority of walking. We also saw there is a HOHO bus, which might be an option. We obvious want to see Stanley Parc but just want to enjoy the vibrancy and diversity of the city yet remain safe with the kids.

With this in mind, should we look for lodging closer to Stanley Parc or is the area around the Pacific Central station also a good choice? The airport seems far off so not likely to stay near there.

Also, is it relatively easily to travel with a double stroller in terms of getting on/off the metro, buses, etc.?

And finally, best way to get from inner Vancouver to airport with kids and gear in tow? Not sure about metro or bus... I'm also under the impression that one does not need car seats if traveling in a taxi (though highly recommended).

itspat is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2017, 11:23 PM
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Hi itspat I will try to answer some questions. First off, around the train station is not a good place to stay. If you are doing air bnb you might find an apartment rental in the Olympic Village area, which is close but far enough away from the scungy homeless area around Pac Central.

Stanley Park with a k is quite a distance around, so even if you stay close by I think you would be taking the Hoho into the park.

City buses have kneel to the curb and have a ramp for strollers/wheelchairs. There is also a place reserved for same right behind the driver.

Skytrain - you can wheel the stroller right on the skytrain from the platform. However you must get up there (or down there) first. Some stations have escalators, some have elevators. If there is no way available ie sometimes the elevator is broken, you could always fold up the stroller and carry the little ones up. Not sure of age? Maybe they would be able to walk up.

With all that luggage and two kids I would highly recommend a taxi to get to the airport. When you order the taxi, ask if any come prepared with car seats. I can't seem to find any information on that subject sorry.

Otherwise if you can handle all the luggage the skytrain goes to the airport. Google maps is very good for getting around Vancouver on transit.

Here's a link for transit information.
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Old Mar 8th, 2017, 03:33 AM
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My recommendation is for accommodation near Stanley Park. That would put you close to English Bay beaches and Coal Harbour, and not too far from the water taxi to Granvillle Island. A good range of restaurants in the area as well. There is a hop-on-hop-off bus within Stanley Park if you wanted to do the whole loop, although you don’t say when you are travelling and I’m not sure if the HOHO is seasonal. With just two days and kids in tow you will not be able to do it all so might as well focus on the one area and not wear yourself out.
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Old Mar 8th, 2017, 08:29 AM
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Olympic Village would not be my first choice, as eliztravels says it would be better to be more central. But if you did find a place there, the skytrain station is nearby to take you into the center of town. Also from Cambie street you can take the skytrain into the center. So if accommodation is available and what you are looking for, and perhaps more reasonable in price, then it wouldn't be so bad to stay in that area.
Just don't stay near the train station.
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Old Mar 8th, 2017, 08:53 AM
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The reality is that the train station (located in a light industrial area) is just a short distance from all the hotels in downtown Vancouver. You can take a taxi from the train station to downtown Vancouver in 5 minutes. You can be in Stanley Park within 15 minutes after leaving the train station. So within a span of 5-15 minutes, you have every single hotel available to you in downtown Vancouver. Definitely stay closer to Stanley Park - it feels like a resort in a city.

In my opinion, do not bother with HOHO buses in the summer months in Vancouver - they are often full so you'll usually have to wait for the next one to arrive, and with small children, not worth it. Personally, I don't normally recommend the HOHO buses because they only take you around the small, walkable part of downtown Vancouver, so in my opinion, they're entirely redundant. You can see and do more on your own. If the HOHO buses actually took visitors to areas they couldn't walk to on their own, they would be much more valuable in my opinion.
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Old Mar 8th, 2017, 02:15 PM
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Some more info:

TransLink's #19 bus will get you in to Stanley Park. The bus stops at:
Stanley Park Drive and Pipeline Road near Lost Lagoon
Stanley Park Loop near the Miniature Train, and a short walk from the Vancouver Aquarium. The aquarium is a fun stop.

You can also bike around the 8.8 km seawall. Bike rentals near the entrance to the park.
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Old Mar 14th, 2017, 09:45 PM
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Transportation: the skytrain (aka metro) is totally accessible and a great way to get around.
Buses are also accessible but you will ikley have to collapse the stroller before you get on if it's busy.
Taxis are terrible in our city. They do not have carseats and are less than clean! The only time I suggest taking one is to the airport.

Don't stay anywhere near the train station. It's not a safe place for a family. Definitely stay downtown. I have no idea of your budget so it's hard to suggest a hotel. I don't recommend the Olympic Village becuase I don't think it's close to where you want to be - except for Granville Island and Science World (both are awesome with kids).

I don't know the ages of your kids or when you will be in Van but I have three kids all raised in Van. If I had to choose three of my top days out with kids they would be:

Stanley Park - second beach pool, third beach, the aquarium. Biking around the seawall. Walking to Beaver Lake. Checking out the totem poles. You could spend a whole day here.

A fun North Vancouver day trip:
Seabus - take the seabus from downtown to North Vancouver, walk through the Lonsdale Quay. Tap & Barrel is a restaurant right next to the Quay and has great craft beer and a kids menu.
You could then take the bus up to Grouse Mountain, take the tram up the mountain for amazing views and lots of fun for the kids. You could spend a whole day up Grouse.
Take the bus directly back downtown (no seabus - it takes longer).

Granville Island & Science World
Explore the market and eat lunch/snacks. So fun to see the different stalls with seafood, produce, candy, etc.
Kids Only Market has toy stores and other shops catering to kids.
Carousel Theatre is a children's theatre which puts on live shows. Amazing quality and fun!
Take the Aquabus for a tour around False Creek. ALL kids love the Aquabus, it's a little ferry that goes from stop to stop around the harbour. You could even head to Science World for hours of fun.

Have a great trip!
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