Tucked in the corner of Vanier Park, the Vancouver Maritime Museum is a bit of a hidden gem. There’s an entire ship inside the building – not just to look at, but you can clamber all over the thing.
A real ship inside
Built in British Columbia in the late 1920s, the St. Roch was the first vessel to sail the Northwest Passage from West to East. Before you get to check it out, a staff member will show a short video. The ladders pretty unforgiving, but fun for older kids to explore. It’s a great place for burning off steam on a rainy day.
Be a pirate
Inside the rest of the museum, find incredibly detailed model ships, a big area built like a ship deck for kids to act out their pirate fantasies, and rotating special exhibits about our sea-going heritage.
Model ship building in progress
Master model builder Ploias has a workshop right in the museum. You can peer through the window to marvel at the sheer amount of tools, and various ships in different stages of completion. He’s in his workshop from Tuesday to Thursday most weeks, so you can check out his progress in real time.
Wooden boats in action
Every Saturday morning, the Oarlock and Sail Wooden Boat Club meets at the ferry dock by the Maritime Museum to work on their projects.
Have a pirate-obsessed little person? Tugboats distract them completely? You’re in luck. The Vancouver Maritime Museum hosts pirate or tugboat-themed parties, led by Museum staff and includes crafts and activities, as well as time to explore the Museum.
And the best part? No sea sickness!
The Vancouver Maritime Museum is located at 1905 Ogden Ave, Vancouver, (604) 257-8300
Erin McGann is the former Managing Editor for Vancouver Mom and Toronto Mom Now. She drinks just a bit too much coffee, is a bit obsessed about sourcing local food, plays the cello moderately well, spends too much time on Twitter, keeps honeybees on a rooftop, and has a thing for single-malt whisky. Erin is working on a novel set in turn-of-the-century Vancouver, which her husband, son and dog have to hear about all the time, and also blogs at Erin at Large.