Family Travel: Vancouver’s Granville Island, Flickr: ruocaled

A Must Whenever You're in Vancouver!

What began, quite literally, as an industrial wasteland in the middle of Vancouver is now the completely transformed Granville Island – a “town square” chock full of restaurants, shops, theaters, parks, and tons of family friendly activities.  A true testament to the city’s conservation focus, take your kids to Granville Island on your next visit for a family fun day.

One of the most notable features on the island is the water park – not just your typical water park – but the largest FREE water park in North America!! Open only in the summer months, this water playground is a great place to head to on a warm day.  A large yellow water slide, plenty of interactive spray features, splash pads, and a toddler-only play area let you splatter until your heart’s content.  There isn’t a ton of shade here, so plan ahead with lots of sunscreen.

Granville Island’s Kids Market offers families a kid-centric place to shop and play, featuring over 25 specialty stores, made just for the little ones, and a playground to boot.   The Adventure Zone, located inside the Kids Market, is an indoor playground where toddlers and children can get some energy out-year round.  Four levels of climbing structures, nets, ball pits and slides almost guarantee a great nap time!  A game zone with arcade style games and kiddie rides is also available. 

The indoor Public Market features an assortment of baked goods, seafood, tasty treats, and plenty of sights and smells to fill your senses.  Take the kids here for an afternoon ice cream or gelato splurge.  In addition to the year-round Public Market, the Granville Farmer’s Market operates from June to mid-October.  A stroll through the market for some local produce and vegetables (and a few free samples) is a great way to spend an afternoon.  The market runs Thursdays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Granville Island is full of numerous art shops and boutiques, with many of them offering lessons or tours of how the art is made.  For a family favorite, head to the New Small and Sterling Glass Studio and be amazed as you watch glass-blowers in action!

Scheduled children’s activities and kid-focused theater are available seasonally through the Carousel Theater Company, False Creek Community Centre, Vancouver TheatreSports League, and the Arts Umbrella.  Street performers, live music, and lots of activities fill Granville Island year round.

Granville Island is located in the heart of Vancouver.  You can access it by foot, bike, car, bus, or even boat! 

To reach the island, you can drive, walk, cycle or try the most-fun alternative, mini-ferry. Every two or three minutes, cute little ferries buzz back and forth between Granville Island and various mini-docks around False Creek. 

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photo: ruocaled

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