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We know and love Vancouver for its outdoor activities; the wondrous bounty of beaches, hiking trails, and ski slopes. But surprise, there is a bevy of great family-friendly Vancouver museums that will guarantee hours of fun for kids and adults alike.

So when the rainy days come – which they will, but even if they don’t – plan a visit to any of these seven unique museums to view 19th century costumes, totem poles, heavy mining machinery, and Vancouver’s first morgue. You may be surprised by what you learn in one of the excellent family-friendly museums in Vancouver.

Seven Great Family-Friendly Museums in Vancouver

Vancouver Maritime Museum

Showcasing the unique maritime history of Vancouver, British Columbia, and the Canadian Arctic. Located in Kits Point and Vanier Park, the Maritime Museum has interactive maritime history displays and a great children’s section (including pirate dress-up). Attendees can tour the RCMP St. Roch, the first vessel to sail the Northwest Passage from west to east.

Vancouver may be known for its great outdoors, but the city has a bevy of great, family-friendly museums that will guarantee hours of fun for kids and adults alike. Check out these great family-friendly museums in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Vancouver Police Museum

This fascinating museum presents the history of policing and crime in Vancouver. It’s located on the east side of the city. Founded in a heritage building that once housed the City morgue, the Vancouver Police Museum is packed with Vancouver Police Department history, weaponary displays, the old morgue and coroner’s rooms, and a very interesting display of Vancouver’s most notorious murders.

This is one of our favorite Vancouver museums with kids, and a particularly cool place for teens interested in crime, punishment and getting (pretend) mug shots. If your child is a bit squeamish, note that the morgue (and its related murderous subject matter) may not be young kid-friendly. Hopefully the only such photo they’ll every have.

Vancouver may be known for its great outdoors, but the city has a bevy of great, family-friendly museums that will guarantee hours of fun for kids and adults alike. Check out these great family-friendly museums in Vancouver, British Columbia. | thetravellingmom.ca

Museum of Anthropology

This must visit, top 10 Vancouver attraction for anyone visiting the city. The iconic Museum of Anthropology (MOA) was designed by Arthur Erickson and sits on the University of British Columbia(UBC) campus in Point Grey. It is the definitive First Nations museum in the province, and one of the finest in North America.

Families with kids are welcome to discover thousands of years of Northwest coast, First Nations artifacts and history, including Haida carver and sculptor Bill Reid’s Raven and the First Men. Catch a free, guided tour to delve into the history of the artifacts and place. And do exit through the gift shop, which has a fabulous selection of high quality First Nations artworks and jewellery for sale.

UBC is also home to the excellent Beatty Biodiversity Museum, one of the best natural history museums in Metro Vancouver.

Vancouver may be known for its great outdoors, but the city has a bevy of great, family-friendly museums that will guarantee hours of fun for kids and adults alike. Check out these great family-friendly museums in Vancouver, British Columbia. | thetravellingmom.ca

Roedde House Museum

Uniquely restored heritage house in the heart of the West End of Vancouver. Built in 1893, Roedde House is the former home of Gustav Roedde, the city’s first bookbinder. Tour the Museum’s eleven rooms, faithfully restored with artifacts and period pieces to reflect the day-to-day life of a middle class, immigrant family at the turn of the 19th century.

Is it haunted? You’ll have to visit to find out. Stanley Park and English Bay are just a few blocks from the Museum, so make a day of visiting the West End.

Britannia Mine Museum

If you ever wondered how miners go to the bathroom in the mine shaft, rest assured, you’ll find answers here. It’s actually fascinating, just like the rest of this wonderful national historic site.

Britannia Mine Museum amazes visitors with the sheer size of the mining equipment on display, much less the interesting history of this former mining power-center. The village town site was built up the mountain from the mine, a unique twist on the usual mining-town locale.

Kids can pan for gold, feel tiny next to giant trucks and diggers, and everyone can take a ride into one of the former mine shafts for a taste of the very hard mining days of old.

Vancouver may be known for its great outdoors, but the city has a bevy of great, family-friendly museums that will guarantee hours of fun for kids and adults alike. Check out these great family-friendly museums in Vancouver, British Columbia. | thetravellingmom.ca

Hastings Mill

A visit to the Hastings Mill Museum provides a peek into the importance of forestry and the industrial past of Vancouver. As the city’s oldest building, the sawmill and first commercial operation on the south shore of Burred Inlet became the focal point of the settlement that would become Vancouver.

Vancouver may be known for its great outdoors, but the city has a bevy of great, family-friendly museums that will guarantee hours of fun for kids and adults alike. Check out these great family-friendly museums in Vancouver, British Columbia. | thetravellingmom.ca

Gulf of Georgia Cannery Museum

One of few intact canneries on Canada’s west coast, located in Steveston, Richmond. The Gulf of Georgia Cannery national historic site showcases the industrial history of the west coast salmon fishery and the importance of salmon to the First Nations and early Vancouver populations.

After touring the cannery and trying your hand in the interactive displays. Then wander around historic Steveston and stop for lunch or ice cream on the dock. (Fun fact: Steveston is the filming location for ABC’s Once Upon a Time series.)

Vancouver may be known for its great outdoors, but the city has a bevy of great, family-friendly museums that will guarantee hours of fun for kids and adults alike. Check out these great family-friendly museums in Vancouver, British Columbia. | thetravellingmom.ca

Read more about Vancouver with kids

21 Ways to Enjoy Winter Fun in Vancouver

The Best List of Free Things to Do in Vancouver

The Best Restaurants to Eat with Kids in Vancouver

Where to Enjoy the Best Ice Cream in Vancouver

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Vancouver may be known for its great outdoors, but the city has a bevy of great, family-friendly museums that will guarantee hours of fun for kids and adults alike. Check out these great family-friendly museums in Vancouver, British Columbia. | thetravellingmom.ca

Photo Credits: C. Laroye, Howard Sandler

Do you have a favorite museum in your hometown? Share what you love about visiting museums in the comments.

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