9 Best Family-Friendly Things to Do in Burnaby

Ishaan Bhasin
11 Min Read

An eventful city filled with fun and family-friendly activities, yes, we are talking about Burnaby. In this guide, you'll discover the 9 best things to do with your family, promising a mix of adventure, education, and pure joy. 

You'll find a fascinating stroll through the Burnaby Village Museum, delicious stops like the Glenburn Soda Fountain & Confectionery, and exciting railway rides. Feeling adventurous? Try the canoe and kayak rentals or enjoy a game of mini-golf at Central Park Pitch & Putt. There's much more to discover, so let's get started!

1. Visit the Burnaby Village Museum

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Envision stepping into a time machine and finding yourself in a bustling village from the 1920s. That’s precisely what you’ll experience when you visit the Burnaby Village Museum.

 Stretching over a lovely 10-acre site, this attraction opens its doors seasonally during Spring, Summer, and Christmas. 

Upon entering, visitors explore a vibrant world of the past, where history is very much alive. Each corner reveals a carefully recreated scene from the early 20th century, complete with 38 exhibits filled with authentic treasures from bygone days. 

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A definite highlight at the Burnaby Village Museum is the old-time carousel ride. This beautifully preserved merry-go-round is a beloved spot for both kids and adults. 

To make the visit even more immersive, costumed townsfolk bring the village to life with live demonstrations and interactive activities.

Hungry? Drop by the Ice Cream Parlour for some delightful treats and a light meal. If you prefer something more rustic, pack a picnic and find a cozy spot at one of the picnic tables.

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Education meets entertainment at Burnaby Village Museum with many educational programs and group tours offered throughout the year.

From the Discovery Tour full of historical insights to the Transportation Tour exploring technological advances over the ages, there's always something to learn and marvel at.

Can’t make it to the museum in person? No problem! They offer a range of online activities like virtual reality exhibits and downloadable activity sheets. 

2. Visit Glenburn Soda Fountain

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Ready to step back in time and savor some mouth-watering ice cream? Glenburn Soda Fountain might just be the sweetest stop in Burnaby! 

Walking into Glenburn feels like entering a time capsule where the focus is on genuinely delightful, hand-made desserts. They serve everything from ice cream sundaes to old-school milkshakes and malts.

If you're a fan of customizing your desserts, you're in for a treat! One happy customer raved about creating a sundae with Cookies & Cream ice cream, oreos, pretzel, peanut butter, and sprinkles. Now that's a flavor combo made in heaven!

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Got dietary restrictions? No worries! Glenburn is a paradise for vegans and those with dairy allergies. Their vegan options are so delicious you'll forget you're missing traditional dairy. Don't miss out on their ube flavor when it's available—it's amazing.

Their brownies are irresistible, and guess what? Visitors didn't even realize their brownie was gluten-free until they were told!

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Glenburn also offers a mesmerizing array of candy and soda syrups, as well as nostalgic toys and treats that kids (and the young at heart) will love. It’s a delightful way to spend time with family and relish simpler pleasures.

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3. Ride the Burnaby Central Railway

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Planning to spend a delightful day chugging along miniature tracks? Here's an insider tip: the Burnaby Central Railway is a marvelous attraction in north Burnaby that's not to be missed! Perfect for a fun-packed family day, it’s a joyful experience for visitors of all ages, especially the little ones.

The railway features an impressive collection of locomotives, ranging from steam and diesel to electric trains, each intricately designed to resemble real trains from around the world. The hand-crafted steam engines are the pride and joy of the railway, drawing spectators with their detailed design and quaint charm.

Can you believe that each one is an intricate 1/8 scale miniature of the full-sized prototypes? It’s like stepping into a tiny, magically bustling world!

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And it’s more than just about the looks—three of their miniature engines are battery-powered, and a gas-powered hydraulic engine is always ready to go when the demand for rides is high. 

For families, there are even more reasons to visit! Pack a picnic lunch or savor some mouth-watering hotdogs and popcorn available on site. The railway runs all day and provides ample entertainment for kids who marvel at the mini locomotives and enjoy the simple pleasure of riding the rails. 

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Exciting happens frequently: volunteer members sometimes run their own personal engines around the track and occasionally, visitors from other miniature railways bring their locomotives, adding to the excitement.

So, be sure to keep an eye out—you might just get lucky and hitch a ride on a unique train that’s not regularly part of the fleet.

4. Canoeing & Kayaking Fun

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When it comes to making waves of fun with your family, you’ll find nothing beats the excitement of canoeing and kayaking at Deer Lake Boat Rentals. Located in Deer Lake Park, this spot is a paradise for those who love being out on the water.

Revel in the joy of paddling around the calm, sparkling waters surrounded by verdant trees and diverse wildlife. It’s a peaceful yet thrilling way to spend the day!

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Deer Lake Boat Rentals has a remarkable variety of boats to choose from. If you fancy a solo escape in a kayak or an adventure in a four-person canoe, they've got everything you need to make your trip superb.

If you're keen on browsing their vessels ahead of time, you're in luck! Each boat option is presented with detailed specs and recommended experience levels so you can select what's best for you and your crew. 

Planning an excursion somewhere beyond the park? No problem! They offer offsite rentals too. This means you can take your boat and visit other stunning water destinations at your leisure.

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The friendly folks at Deer Lake Boat Rentals pride themselves on creating a space where safety is paramount, but where fun is never compromised.

Paddling on the lake, with the backdrop of the majestic park, gives families a unique blend of fun and relaxation. It’s no wonder this spot is a favored locale for both locals and visitors.

5. Tee Off at Central Park Pitch & Putt

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With its beautifully maintained greens and stunning backdrop of towering evergreens, it's an ideal spot for some good old-fashioned outdoor fun. The course is easy to locate within Central Park, making it an accessible escape right in the heart of the city.

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This delightful pitch and putt is especially great for budding golfers aged 8 and older. Even if you're a total beginner, don’t worry! The par-three holes are thoughtfully spread out, ranging from 60 to 125 yards, ensuring that everyone—from newbie to pro—can have a blast.

The trees and abundant greenery give it an ambiance that's both inviting and relaxing.

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Speaking of kids, it's pure joy to see their faces light up as they swing their clubs, especially in such a beautiful park setting.

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6. Cool Off at Confederation Park Water Park

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If you're looking for a perfect spot to cool off with the family, consider Confederation Park Water Park in the heart of north Burnaby. This delightful park has amenities for all ages, making it a top choice for family-friendly fun.

Splash, play, and climb your heart out in the 400 sq. m water play area! Designed to make every visit special, kids can operate gates and weirs to change the water flow for endless entertainment.

Kids can control the water as it pumps out, flows down ramps, gets blocked, and even sprays out of rocks. It's like their very own mini water world!

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But the fun doesn’t stop at water play. Just a hop away is a sprawling 700 sq. m playground. This playground offers a multi-person see-saw, spinner bowls, child-size picnic tables, swing sets, a climbing rock, and more! All these activities are on a rubberized surface to ensure your little adventurers are safe while they explore.

Need to relax while keeping an eye on the kids? The two-way benches and shade canopies are available, providing a cozy spot to sit back and unwind. 

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Besides bustling splash pads and fantastic playgrounds, Confederation Park also offers sunny wading pools and hands-on fun art activities.

Spend a sunny afternoon with laughter, water splashes, and creative explorations. It's about enjoying a pleasant time without the hustle and bustle of a crowded space.

7. Cooking Fun at Posh Pantry

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One of the top reasons to experience an adventure at Posh Pantry is its blend of education and fun, custom-made for families. Located in Burnaby, this quaint, family-friendly kitchen stands out with its intimate cooking classes accommodating just ten people. 

Posh Pantry offers a fantastic variety of classes, ensuring there is a wide range of options. From relaxed, demonstration-style sessions where you can watch and learn, to immersive workshops on weekends — like pasta making — the range is endless.

Exploring delicious cuisines like French, Moroccan, Middle Eastern, and Mexican, the experience is as much a culinary journey as it is a feast for the senses.

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Recognizing the potential of young minds in the kitchen, Posh Pantry has specifically designed classes for kids and teens. These classes are all about mixing learning with fun, providing a fantastic platform for young chefs to develop and showcase their cooking talents.

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The charm and benefit extend beyond just cooking. Classes are conducted by experienced and engaging chefs who make sure each session is both an educational and enjoyable experience. Participants wrap up the class by savoring their dishes accompanied by wine, which adds a fine dining touch to the whole experience.

Don’t forget to check out their culinary boutique too, filled with gourmet serving ware and high-quality cookware to help you recreate your new favorite dishes at home. 

8. Play at CHQ Arcade Games

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Ever wondered where gaming enthusiasts in Burnaby go to experience top-notch arcade games? Consider CHQ Arcade Games!

This place is well-known for having the most up-to-date and online versions of popular rhythm game arcades like Pump It Up and Chunithm, all in excellent condition.

The sight of the exceptional pads at each station makes it clear that the maintenance here is top-tier.

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While CHQ might be one of the smaller arcades among Vancouver's "Big Two," it’s got a charm all its own. What truly sets CHQ apart is its strong sense of community. Regulars gather frequently, forging connections not just in person, but also through various Discord servers.

The arcade's staff enthusiastically promotes this sense of togetherness by organizing tournaments and offering custom-branded Amusement IC cards, which are great for saving progress in games like Sega and Konami.

And let’s not forget about the game selection! From intense rhythm games such as SOUND VOLTEX and Taiko no Tatsujin, to unique titles like Wacca and Groove Coaster, CHQ provides a variety of gaming experiences. 

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If you’re into saving your progress and earning some awesome bragging rights, CHQ Arcade also sells am.pass, e-amusement, and NESiCA cards. Don’t forget to bring cash though, as that's the only accepted payment method here.

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9. Indulge at Charlie's Chocolate Factory

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If you love chocolates and sweets, then Charlie's Chocolate Factory is a place you simply must visit!

This local treasure has been around for decades, turning 50 in 2021, and it's easy to see why it's stood the test of time. The first thing you'll notice as you walk in is their incredible selection of mouth-watering treats.

Charlie’s uses top-quality, Callebaut chocolate from Belgium, known for its rich and decadent flavor.

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One of the coolest aspects at Charlie's is their famous chocolate river—a delight for visitors of all ages. It's almost like stepping into a real-life Willy Wonka’s factory! The staff at Charlie's are absolutely wonderful, always ready to help you pick out the perfect sweets and pointing you towards their selection of chocolates without sugar for diabetics and treats for vegans.

But the magic doesn't stop with buying ready-made goodies. Charlie’s is your one-stop shop for all things chocolate-making!

They've got everything you could possibly need to make your own goodies at home—from blocks of chocolate to molds and even colorful foils and bags to wrap your creations. 

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The atmosphere is cozy and charming, making you feel like you’ve uncovered a hidden treasure in Burnaby. Custom orders are a hit here too, many locals, including businesses, have their special chocolates crafted by Charlie’s expert team. 

To Sum It All Up

Wow! Burnaby sure is packed with awesome family-friendly activities. From exploring the charming Burnaby Village Museum to indulging in sweet treats at Glenburn Soda Fountain & Confectionery, there's something for every family member. 

Cooking classes at Posh Pantry are a great way for kids to learn new skills, while older kids and gamers will love the action at CHQ, Burnaby’s cool video arcade. 

For more fantastic ideas and up-to-date events, be sure to visit ActiviFinder. They have everything you need to make the most out of your city adventures. Happy discoveries!

Ishaan Bhasin
Ishaan Bhasin
Content Writer

After graduating, Ishaan started his career as a freelance writer, working on various projects that allowed him to explore different writing styles and topics. Now, as a content writer at ActiviFinder, he focuses on capturing the essence of Canadian lifestyle and adventures. When he's not writing, Ishaan loves to go on hikes and play the guitar.

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