While weekdays are wild with work and school and extracurricular activities, the weekends welcome time spent with family. But while together time may be in your plans, it can often be challenging to figure out how to fill that time together. To help you plan ahead for Family Day 2022 , here are some fun, free things to do in Metro Vancouver that are sure to keep everyone entertained–rain or shine.
Take a hike
On the North Shore, local families love exploring Lynn Canyon, where a teeter across a 160-foot high suspension bridge reveals breathtaking views of rushing river rapids and the treetops of old-growth Douglas-fir trees. On the other side, a series of hiking trails lead to waterfalls, tree-lined trails, and river views.
For an enchanting outing in the woods, find fairies in the forest at Redwood Park in Surrey, where a trek through towering Redwood trees reveals hundreds of tiny, rainbow-coloured fairy houses, found hanging from tree branches, perched on logs, or hidden in foliage sprinkled around the forest floor.
A drive up the Sea-to-Sky highway will take you to the Whistler Train Wreck Hike, where a short stroll leads you across a suspension bridge that crosses the Cheakamus River, and into a clearing where you’ll find a series of colourfully painted boxcars. Kids love climbing through and on top of the train cars, and each visit to the site presents a whole new scene as the boxcars are constantly being spray-painted by new visitors. For a longer, more advanced hike, the wreck site connects to several trails that run along the Cheakamus River, including the Sea To Sky Trail and Trash Trail.
Take a trek along the South Fraser BC Bird Trail, part of the BC Pacific Flyway. Choose from one of three distinct communities in the region (Richmond, Delta, and Surrey), and play a game of search and seek, spotting a diverse range of birds in the area. From bald eagles to snow geese, your kids will enjoy discovering new bird species while spending some time exploring the outdoors.
Skate in the city
Vancouver is home to a few great outdoor ice rinks, where skating is free, and covered rinks provide a platform for winter family fun–regardless of the weather. Head to Lower Lonsdale for a skate at the Shipyards Skate Plaza, the largest outdoor ice rink in the region. Robson Square Ice Rink is a classic skating spot found in the heart of downtown Vancouver, with special theme nights to keep the vibe upbeat.
Cavort through Kids Market
On a rainy day, the Granville Island Kids Market is the perfect place to play. In this three-level mall made just for kids, there’s plenty to see and do, with a multi-level place space, an expansive arcade, virtual games, and plenty of toy shops and bookstores to keep the kids busy–and their parents too.
Revisit the Vancouver Aquarium
The Vancouver Aquarium is back in business, and while it’s not entirely free to visit, they are offering free admission for one child on Family Day. Check out their new Marine Mammal Rescue Exhibit, visit your favourite aquatic animals, or get a taste of the Amazon with a stroll through the Graham Amazon Gallery. Note: there are no scheduled shows at this time.
Create a work of art
Check out the Richmond Children’s Arts Festival, happening at the Richmond Cultural Centre on Monday, February 21. As part of the festival, kids can sign up for free, hour-long art drop-in sessions, where a local artist will lead them through drawing and painting activities to create their own small, handmade storybook to take home.