12 Must-Do Family Friendly Summer Activities in Vancouver

Alvaro Bataller Torre
17 Min Read

Welcome to our ultimate guide to summer fun in Vancouver! If you're planning a family adventure and wondering what's hot this season, this guide covers 12 must-do activities that are perfect for families looking to make the most out of this sunny season. 

Vancouver in the summer is simply magical. With long sunny days and lush green landscapes, it feels like the whole city comes alive with endless possibilities. This guide aims to help you make lasting memories with your family, offering you a mix of excitement, relaxation, and learning experiences. You’ll find yourself berry picking one day and whale watching the next, all within reach of this beautiful city.

Feeling curious for more? Check out our full list of activities in Vancouver! You won't want to miss the adventure that awaits.

1. Splash Around at Harrison Water Park

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Have you heard of the Harrison Water Park? Situated in the Harrison Lake, it's an inflatable wonderland that's perfect for some family fun under the summer sun! Here you can bounce, slide, and dive into crystal-clear waters while being surrounded by stunning natural beauty—sounds tempting, right?

This floating playground is designed for everyone aged 10 and up, but younger kids 6-9 years old can join too if they have an adult supervising. And get this—all thrill-seekers get a 2-hour pass to navigate a variety of super fun challenges. Daring obstacle courses, exciting swings, monkey bars, and even teeter-totters on water! Oh, and don’t forget to try the BLOB—it’s like flying!

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Getting to the water park is straightforward too. There's a convenient shuttle service that picks you up from the main beach and drops you off there again after your fun-packed session. And yes, you'll want to book your spot online in advance since this popular place fills up fast. Multiple time slots throughout the week and weekends make it flexible for various schedules.

Harrison WaterSports takes safety seriously. Everyone needs to be able to swim, and they provide lifejackets to keep all water adventurers safe. Also, don’t forget to sign those digital waivers before you arrive. It’ll make your check-in process a breeze.

2. Play a Miniature Golf Course

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When in Vancouver, one of the top must-do activities with your family is a visit to West Coast Mini Putt. This isn't your average mini-golf course, not by a long shot! Is like a traditional indoor mini putt combined with an artistic twist. Located right here in Vancouver, West Coast Mini Putt offers an 18-hole course that’s anything but ordinary.

The course itself is divided by light and black light, which makes it a fantastical experience. The striking art adds flair to every hole, making it an exciting game and adventure for players of all ages and skill levels.

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This place is an ideal spot for special events and parties. Planning a birthday? They have a comprehensive birthday package that takes care of everything, from setup to cleanup. You just need to show up and have fun! And it’s great for all ages.

The place is perfect for group events like summer camps and community groups. It’s a fantastic way to promote teamwork while having loads of fun. Corporate events? No problem! They offer a great venue for team-building activities or just a friendly competition among colleagues.

West Coast Mini Putt is a small family-owned business, and they are devoted to providing a clean and enjoyable experience. They're committed to safety and ensure that everyone has a fantastic time. 

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3. Pick Berries at Local Farms

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There's nothing quite like picking fresh berries under the warm summer sun, and Krause Berry Farms is the perfect spot to do just that! Located in Langley, only a short drive from the busy Vancouver, this place is a berry lover's paradise. It's popular for its scrumptious strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries – yum!

When you get to Krause Berry Farms, they give you a basket and point you to the berry patch. The staff members are super friendly and always ready to help if you've got any questions. And guess what? Besides berry picking, you can also check out their fun corn maze and visit the farm market, where you'll find fresh produce and other cool locally made goodies.

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After you’re done picking those juicy berries, you definitely have to stop by their bakery. You can try out their delicious berry pies or the famous waffles. They've got tons of baked treats that will make your taste buds dance with joy. Feeling thirsty or hungry? Head over to The Porch, their cozy on-site café, where you can munch on farm-made milkshakes, smoothies, ice cream, roasted corn pizza, and fresh-cut fries. 

If you fancy a drink, their Estate Winery is a must-visit. You can enjoy personal wine tastings, sip on wine by the glass or bottle, try flights, or even sip on mimosas and mulled wine. They also serve local beer on tap – cheers!

4. Enjoy a Whale Watching Tour

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Welcome to an adventure of a lifetime! When in Vancouver, a Whale Watching Tour is an absolute must. Vancouver Whale Watch, established back in 1998, is the original and most experienced whale-watching company in the area. The departure point is from the historic fishing village of Steveston, which itself is a quaint gem worth visiting.

One reason we chose to include this for family-friendly summer activities is its high success rate. Vancouver Whale Watch boasts a spectacular 95% sighting success rate! On the off chance you don't see a whale, they'll let you come back for free until you do—no expiration date! Talk about customer satisfaction!

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The tours themselves range from 3 to 5 hours, giving you plenty of time to soak in the breathtaking sights of the Gulf and San Juan Islands. Their fleet consists of sturdy zodiac-style vessels, ideal for an educational and adrenaline-pumping maritime experience. And don't worry; comfort is a priority, and you even get complimentary water and snacks onboard.

During your journey, keep an eye out for majestic Orcas and Humpback Whales, as well as porpoises, sea lions, seals, and even bald eagles. It’s a nature lover’s paradise, wrapped up in an adventurous package.

Their marine wildlife guides are knowledgeable experts who help transform your trip into a floating classroom, educating you about everything from marine mammals to local flora and fauna. They even have hydrophones, so you can hear the whales sing! 


5. Splash Around at Cultus Lake Water Park

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If you're up for some watery fun, then Cultus Lake Water Park is the spot for you and your family! This place is has over 25 thrilling slides and attractions. Just like a little piece of paradise where both tiny tots and fearless thrill-seekers find their perfect adventure.

Here's what's in store:

  • Turtle Pool & Slides: Kids can ride on a friendly turtle’s back and splash down into a cool wading pool. It's a magical experience, complete with froggy friends on lily pads.
  • Valley of Fear: This one's for the daredevils. Feel your heart race as you drop on BC’s only freefall tube slide. The Valley of Fear is not for the faint-hearted!
  • Zero – 60 Raceway: Got a competitive streak? Grab a carpet and race your buddies on this slippin’ and slidin’ waterslide to see who emerges victoriously!
  • Adventure River: If you need a break from all that excitement, take a leisurely float down the Adventure River. With landscapes that look like they’re straight out of a dream, it’s the perfect way to unwind.
  • Bazooka Bowls: For the adventurous souls, the Bazooka Bowls offer a swirling, whirling ride that ends with a splashy plummet into a deep pool below. 
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Feeling hungry after all that splashing? Cultus Lake has something available for you:

  • Grab n’ Go: No matter if you're craving burgers, hot dogs, crispy fries, or delicious pizza, you can grab a quick and tasty bite here before heading back to the action.
  • Espresso Hut: Need a little pick-me-up? Espresso Hut offers everything from coffee and tea to sweet treats like soft-serve ice cream and churros. Perfect for a quick refuel!

Looking to make your day extra special? Check out the VIP Cabanas:

  • Poolside Cabanas: Perfect for groups or families, these cabanas give you a front-row seat to the action. Available in both large and regular sizes, they offer a cozy retreat.
  • Riverside Loungers: Ideal for couples or pairs, these shaded spaces let you relax in comfort next to the Adventure River.

Be sure to check the height requirements before you jump in line. Pregnant women and those with some medical conditions should avoid the slides. And yes, there are weight limits for a reason—to keep everyone safe and sound. Brittany might want to pre-plan her water slide campaign.

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6. Learn to Make Gelato

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Looking for a way to cool down and satisfy your sweet tooth this summer in Vancouver? Uno Gelato in Kitsilano offers a Gelato 101 Class that's perfect for anyone eager to become a "cone-noisseur" of gelato! This 1.5-hour immersive experience in gelato-making is definitely one of the most refreshing and tasty ways to spend an afternoon.

In each class, participants get a hands-on experience in crafting both gelato and sorbetto. Learning directly from Maestro Andrés Bermudez, who's passionate about this Italian delicacy, is a unique opportunity. Not only do you get to sample over 10 different flavors, but you also have the chance to create and take home your very own pint of gelato and sorbetto. 

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The class size is limited to just 6 people, ensuring a personalized and safe learning environment. This intimate setting allows for a behind-the-scenes peek into the magic of gelato-making. Because spots fill up fast, it's always a good idea to sign up early.

Each month, the flavors and ingredients change, offering a new and exciting twist. For instance, in October, you might find yourself making Pumpkin Pecan Bread gelato, while March could have you whipping up some Mango Tango sorbetto. No matter the season, there's always something delightful to make!

7. Explore the Bloedel Conservatory

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Situated on Vancouver's highest point in the scenic Queen Elizabeth Park, the Bloedel Conservatory is a lush paradise waiting to be experienced! This wonderful place offers an immersive experience surrounded by exotic flora and colorful birds, making it perfect for families seeking a unique summer adventure.

As you step inside the fantastic glass dome, you're immediately greeted by a burst of bright colors and melodious bird songs. It's like stepping into another world! Home to over 100 exotic birds and more than 500 plants and flowers, this temperature-controlled haven is both soothing and spectacular.

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The interior is decorated with beautiful pathways and few cozy seating areas, perfect for taking a short break while admiring the surroundings. You'll spot tropical plants ranging from rare orchids to exotic palm trees, each more beatiful than the last. The feathered residents appear happy and extremely well cared for, adding to the overall tranquility and charm of the place.

One of the absolute highlights are the weaver bird nests, which look like masterful works of architectural art. Be sure to pause and appreciate their intricate designs. Whether you decide to spend an hour or two relishing every detail or just take a quick 15-minute walk-through, your visit to the Bloedel Conservatory will be unforgettable.

After your visit to the conservatory, your day's adventure doesn't have to end there! Right outside, the Queen Elizabeth Quarry Gardens await, offering even more natural beauty. These enchanting gardens provide a serene backdrop for a leisurely stroll, making for a perfect complement to your time inside the conservatory.

8. Swim at Kitsilano Outdoor Pool

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Enjoy splashing around in one of the most scenic swimming spots in the world – that's Kitsilano Pool for you! With its white bottom and turquoise water, each visit feels like a mini-vacation. Seriously, it's a slice of paradise right in the middle of the city!

Hold onto your goggles, because Kits Pool isn’t just any pool – it's Canada’s longest saltwater pool, stretching out to an impressive 137 meters (450 feet). That's almost three times the length of an Olympic pool! So regardless if you're a serious swimmer looking to clock some laps or just want ample space to float around, Kits Pool has something for every swimmer.

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Usually open from mid-May to September, the pool has implemented new safety protocols that make things easy and stress-free. It's a good idea to purchase tickets online a day in advance, as drop-in entry is on a first-come, first-served basis. And though lockers, towel rentals, and merchandise are currently off the table, there are still 45-minute lap swimming sessions and 90-minute public swimming sessions to enjoy.

Accessibility is a big plus at Kits Pool. Thanks to aquatic wheelchairs and a dedicated pool lift, everyone can float, swim, and play. Plus, there's a fun water park and slides for more splish-splash adventures, not to mention ample parking nearby.

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9. Family Horseback Riding Adventures

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If you are feeling more like having a countryside activity, we recommend the Horseback Riding Adventure at Glen Valley Stables! This location stands out because of its friendly, experienced guides prioritize both safety and making sure everyone has a blast during their ride. So, even if you've never been on a horse before, you'll feel right at home.

You can choose from a variety of trail rides that showcase the natural beauty of the area. Fancy a group ride? Trek through scenic routes like the Meadow Loop, Quiet Creek, and Cowboy's Best. If you're looking for something more intimate, private rides are also on offer, perfect for those who want a personalized experience.

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Got a kid's birthday coming up? Glen Valley Stables makes birthday celebrations super special with their birthday rides. They’ve got special rates and you can even opt for a private ride if you have a group of six or more. Picture the joy on your child's face as they trot along the trail, celebrating their big day in such a unique and memorable way!

Capture the magic of your experience with a professional photo session. The stables offer stunning backdrops for your engagement, family, or group photos. You're free to bring along your own photographer and choose from different scenic spots that will make your pictures truly unforgettable.

10. Kids' Summer Art Workshops

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Art Mania is the place to be for kids' summer Art Workshops this season! They offer an bunch of creative opportunities for kids of all ages and interests. Let's take a sneak peek into what makes these workshops an absolute must-try!

At Art Mania, there's a class for every aspiring young artist. Kids can engage in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and even architecture! If your child loves performing arts, they can try their hand at movie making, script writing, and poetry. With so many options, children can find their passion and maybe even discover a new one.

They offer in-studio classes at their lovely Silk Purse and Music Box studios, as well as private or semi-private sessions. The Music Box is the place to be if your child has a flair for drama, while The Silk Purse provides a perfect setting for visual arts by the picturesque John Lawson Park.

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Art Mania's workshops are guided by seasoned artists and actors who know how to nurture each child's individual creativity. They are super friendly and work closely with kids, providing encouragement and expert advice. It's all about building confidence and skills in a supportive setting.

They even host fantastic art parties and workshops that are perfect for birthdays, school events, or just a fun day with friends. Kids get to create unique masterpieces they’ll be proud to show off.

11. Rent a Seadoo for a Fun Day

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If you're looking for an adventurous way to explore the waters of Vancouver, you should consider renting a Seadoo! Gathering family and friends for this adventure guarantees a perfect summer day filled with fun and excitement!

Vancouver Seadoo Rentals make the process easy and convenient. From their central location on Granville Island, you can choose from three premium Seadoo models: the base model starts at $139 + tax, the sport model at $169 + tax, and the luxury model at $199 + tax. Rent for as long as you’d like and get ready to enjoy unobstructed views of the iconic city sites. With Vancouver’s natural beauty as your playground, the possibilities for fun are endless!

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They also offer different aquatic tours like Ocean is Yours which is a 2.5-hour guided adventure. After a quick safety briefing, you'll head out into the harbor during one of the best times for jet skiing. Mornings offer smooth waters, plenty of wildlife, and great lighting for photos. 

For those wanting an even more immersive experience, the Ultimate Day Tour is a 7-hour adventure that includes lunch in the famous town of Gibson. You'll navigate through Howe Islands, visit two seal colonies, see Bald Eagle habitats, and even wander through an Old Growth Temperate Rainforest. It’s the best tour and a once-in-a-lifetime experience you won’t forget.

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If privacy is what you seek, try the Private Tour. It’s perfect for experienced riders, groups, or families. You can customize your tour with either a 2-hour, 3-hour, or an upgraded 3-hour experience on a faster, more comfortable Seadoo.

Another unique option is the Bowen Island Dinner Tour. Picture yourself cruising to Bowen Island for dinner on your own Seadoo, escorted by a skilled guide. You’ll see stunning wildlife before arriving at Bowen Island’s Rustique Restaurant, where dinner awaits.

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12. Soar High at the Zipline Adventure

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Ready to feel the wind in your hair and your heart race with excitement? Just a quick trip from Vancouver, the Zipline Adventure Course at WildPlay Maple Ridge has everything you need. This place is not like any other outdoor park; it's a playground for adventurers of all ages.

If you're up for some high-flying fun, glide through the treetops on their Classic Adventure Course. You'll encounter three levels of obstacles that get trickier as you climb higher. It's a test of your bravery and skill, and nothing beats the feeling when you finally conquer that last challenge. For those looking for an even bigger adrenaline rush, the Extreme Course awaits with tougher obstacles and zippier zip lines that'll push you to your limits.

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But don’t worry; WildPlay doesn't forget the pint-sized adventurers. Kids aged 5 and up can enjoy the Kids Course, designed uniquely for them. It's a single level of low-difficulty obstacles that are both safe and super fun. The kids will think they're scaling mountains while remaining close enough to the ground to put parents' minds at ease. With about an hour to complete the course, even the youngest thrill-seekers will have a blast discovering their inner daredevil.

Don't stop there! How does a session of axe throwing sound? Or what about joining the Anti-Gravity Camp? This special camp, tailored for kids aged 7-14, combines different adventure courses, a jaw-dropping 40ft jump called the "What's To Fear Jump", nature-based arts and crafts, and awesome team-building exercises. You can even decide to go for a single day or sign up for an entire week of fun and learning.

To Sum It All Up

Wow, what a fantastic list of things to do! Summer in Vancouver sure is filled with a ton of fun. From splashing around at Harrison Water Park and sliding down the epic rides at Cultus Lake Water Park, to testing your balance on a zipline adventure course, there's a wide range of activities to enjoy.

Adventurous families can go whale watching, rent a seadoo, or go horseback riding. For those who enjoy something a bit calmer, how about picking delicious berries, playing a round of miniature golf, or strolling through the Bloedel Conservatory?

Creative minds might like the gelato-making class or art workshops, while a cool dip in Kitsilano Outdoor Pool can refresh anyone on a hot day.

Exploring Vancouver this summer benefits not just from the nice weather but also the varied activities it offers for families. Don't miss out on these exciting events and make the season truly memorable. Don't forget to visit ActiviFinder to discover more activities that celebrate the joy and excitement of summer. Happy discovering!

Alvaro Bataller Torre
Alvaro Bataller Torre
Founder of ActiviFinder

With a passion for discovering unique and thrilling activities, Alvaro is dedicated to helping people step out of their routines and live life to the fullest. His mission is to create a platform that connects adventurers with unforgettable and exciting new experiences.

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