The “wet”coast winter is upon us, and that means rainy days with active kids. The cost of indoor excursions to local destinations can really start to add up, so here’s a roundup of some favourite frugal (or free) ways to fill your soggy afternoons.
Hike through Pacific Spirit Park on the UBC endowment lands, and stay dry under the canopy of this beautiful temperate rainforest.
Hit your local pool and swim away the rainy day. Family rates start are only $2.95/person at all City of Vancouver pools.
Get baking and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Check out Cookie and Kate for easy, naturally sweetened recipes with lots of good stuff to tempt even the pickiest eater.
Bring the outdoors in your home with a nature inspired craft like a seed mandala or nature selfie. Check out these great ideas and more at Room to Play.
Wander through the Bloedel Floral Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park, and be transported to a tropical rainforest full of exotic plants, birds and fish. Preschoolers are free and rates for kids start at $3.25.
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Don a Muddy Buddy and feed the birds at the George C Reifel Bird Sanctuary on Westham Island. Rainy days are perfect to get up-close & personal with the waddling fowl that call the sanctuary home. Don’t forget a thermos of hot chocolate for the warming hut. Rates start at $3/child and $5/adult.
Go camping… in your living room! This is a fav at our house as we pitch the pup tent, pull out the sleeping bags and have a cozy afternoon of movies & popcorn.
Get cultured at the Vancouver Art Gallery with their Family Programs every Sunday. Kids aged 12 and under are free from 12-4 and family friendly programming is offered each week.
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Browse your local bookstore. Teacher-recommended World Kids Books has locations on Broadway and the North Shore, or try Kids Books on Boadway for multi-lingual books downtown.
Hang out at the Kids Only Market on Granville Island. Prowl the great shops, grab a snack or drop your kids at The Adventure Zone for some active play. At $9.99/child, this one barely makes the budget!
And don’t forget both Telus World of Science and the Vancouver Aquarium! Although a single visit is well above the $10 mark, consider buying a membership, or requesting one as a birthday or Christmas gift. A membership is typically paid for within a couple visits, then enjoy unlimited free fun for the rest of the year, often with other perks like early entry.