With the Christmas season behind us, the winter lull can get a little long, especially for those of us located in colder climates. Vancouver, British Columbia, home of Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc.’s headquarters, is one of those cities that can see a lot of rainy days and early evenings that get dark by 4:30pm during the winter months. Good news is that this city offers some great options to take your family to shake off that cabin fever.
1) Vancouver Aquarium: Rain or shine, the Vancouver Aquarium is the place where little ones (and big ones!) will enjoy spending a day. The recently installed penguin exhibition has received raving reviews for their adorable African penquins and “A 180 degree view [that] will allow you to see these penguins in action as they waddle on the rockwork and swim in the surrounding water.”
Looking for more than just a day experience? The aquarium also offers Family Themed Sleepovers. How cool is that? “After everyone has gone home and the Aquarium has closed its doors for the night, join us for an exciting night of exploration, complete with special activities, tours, presentations and guest speakers. After a delicious evening snack, we continue on the second half of your adventure in our behind-the-scenes marine lab. Touch local invertebrates, including sea stars, sea urchins and anemones.” I did this with a youth group back when I was around 10 and a few decades later, I still remember the experience of whispering up a storm with my friends in our sleeping bags, and eventually drifting off to sleep with the glow of the huge killer whale tank in front of us.
2) Science World: Housed in the unmistakable silver sphere, Science World is the destination for all curious minds. No need to hush-hush your kids or tell them “do not touch”. Let your children get hands on with the exhibitions and galleries that change seasonally. After the energy is spent, sit back and relax to a OMNIMAX film that will take you on a journey to the ends of the earth. Currently playing is To The Arctic.
3) La Casa Gelato: Needing a sweet pick-me-up after a day’s activity? Housing 218 flavours on location at a time, La Casa Gelato is the go-to place for Vancouver sweet-tooths. With so many options to choose from La Casa invites customers to “Come on in and try a few of our 218 flavours, and then make your decision – we have to warn you though, it will be a difficult one.”
4) Cypress & Seymour Mountain: One of Vancouver’s greatest winter features is the skiing. With Cypress and Seymour as local mountains, both locations are an easy drive up for a day in the snow. For first-timers, big and small, lessons are available (here and here).
Got the need for speed? Looking for the rush, but minus all the gear? Tubing and toboganning are available as well.
5) Granville Island: Located in the heart of Vancouver, Granville Island will delight your family’s senses with it’s fresh produce, bakeries and restaurants, especially during Winteruption. Grab a bite, listen to various street performances, and survey the vendors that offer everything from locally sourced honey to hand made arts and crafts.
The kids will go ga-ga at the Kid’s Market with its “30 shops, services and activities for children and their families. Kids Market is housed in an old factory which is over 100 years old, two annex buildings and a train caboose”. Colourful and eclectic, you can be sure to find quality classic toys, as well as the latest, much sought after ones here.