Looking for an easy, family friendly getaway this summer? Take a trip to Nanaimo! Yes, the Harbour City has lots to offer families from the famed bath tub races to cultural excursions and a wild playground. We chatted with Karen Bannister from Tourism Nanaimo about what’s on offer for families.
Give us a brief description of what you are all about.
Located on the shores of the Salish Sea on beautiful Vancouver Island, Nanaimo is an outdoor playground for Vancouver Moms and Dads looking for a quick getaway. Just a twenty-minute float plane or Helijet ride from Vancouver’s harbour to an island escape that offers festivals and events all summer long (including the world renowned Bath Tib Festival), and WildPlay Element Park for thrill seeking and obstacles. Take a short foot ferry ride to Saysutshun, sacred territory for the Snuneymuxw First Nation and picnic by the beach with Concession fare from fry bread to French fries, the quiet oasis of this healing ground steeped in history will transform you.
What are three cool things kids (or families) can do there this summer?
- Silly Boat Regatta is an annual fundraiser for NANAIMO Child Development Centre that challenges teams to build the best boat that will float- come to watch the hilarity and triumphs.
- Zip line through Maffeo Sutton Park for a different perspective on Nanaimo’s harbour. (Or try the adventure course and more at WildPlay Elements Park.) Back on ground, grab an ice cream, gelato or famous Nanaimo Bar for a walk along the harbour. Parents might like a bubbly break at White Sails brewing, featuring authentically local beer. The lounge is kid friendly during certain hours and features board games.
- See the real locals of Nanaimo on an excursion with Vancouver Island Whale Watch, that leaves from Nanaimo harbour. Focused on viewing only healthy whale populations, as well as many other sea and sky creatures that call our ocean home, this will be an unforgettable sea voyage.
Nanaimo is an outdoor playground for Vancouver Moms and Dads looking for a quick getaway.
How should families prepare for their time there?
Pack the essentials for a beach, outdoor and urban vacation – Nanaimo has a great mix of all these elements. Visit TourismNanaimo.com or reach out to us on social media @tourismnanaimo and our visitor counsellors will help you plan the perfect trip.
Why should everyone put you on their summer bucket list?
Minutes away by float plane and Helijet but an ocean away when you need to unplug, and relax! Nanaimo is the perfect escape for family friendly fun – from our summer night market featuring our eclectic mix of artisans, and delicious food trucks, to our beaches and parks. We have extensive mountain bike and hiking trails, as well as the Stevie Smith Bike Park, which is the largest skills park of its kind in North America, and of course ocean-side we have plenty of water adventures to offer.
This post is sponsored by Tourism Nanaimo
Tourism Nanaimo represents the interests of tourism stakeholders in the region of Nanaimo, BC., located centrally on Vancouver Island. Through inviting travellers to experience its coastal destination, Tourism Nanaimo drives the benefits of the visitor economy for all residents of British Columbia. Tourism Vancouver Island is under contract with the City of Nanaimo to deliver destination management services as Tourism Nanaimo. Tourism Vancouver Island is a not-for-profit organizations and one of five regional organizations working with Destination BC to drive tourism in BC.
Harriet Fancott is the Editor and Social Media Manager for Vancouver Mom. She has over 20 years experience in the arts, tech and mom-based blogging arenas. She lives in East Vancouver with her husband and son where they enjoy exploring all that Vancouver has to offer from festivals and events to playgrounds and beaches to sushi and ice cream (although not together).