9 stress free rainy day activities for kids in Vancouver

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It seems to rain in Vancouver as many days as the sun shines in a year. Even though Vancouverites are an outdoorsy bunch most of the time, the rain can get a little much. The great news? There are lots of places around town to have fun indoors. Here are some of our favorite places for rainy day activities for kids in Vancouver. 

Go Play. Inside!

Grey and rainy skies shouldn't prevent family fun. From hands-on science fun to play palaces, rinks and aquariums, here are some of our favorite indoor places for rainy day activities for kids in Vancouver, Canada.

9 perfect places for rainy day activities for kids in Vancouver

Granville Island Kids Market

The Granville Island Kids Market has great shops for all kind of kid-friendly toys and products.

There’s also a fun family arcade, and a multi-level jungle gym to climb around in on a rainy afternoon. There are also special events on weekends, like face-painting, crafting and entertainment to keep little hands busy.

YVR Airport

This might seem like an odd choice, but a rainy day visit to the Vancouver International Airport can be big fun.

Take the CanadaLine to get there, which is an adventure in itself. Especially if your family doesn’t ride public transit on a regular basis.

The free Observation Deck area is located in the Domestic Terminal at the Airport. It offers an unobstructed view of the runways and operations area.

The Observation Deck has telescopes, models, and displays about the history of the Airport and Sea Island. And of course, there are shops and restaurants to visit if you want to make a day of it.

kid looking into telescope

Vancouver Aquarium

Dive into a world of wonder at the Vancouver Aquarium. Rain or shine, your kids will be fascinated by all kinds of marine animals. From playful otters to majestic sea lions, the aquarium provides an educational and entertaining experience for all ages.

When our kids were smaller, we spent hundreds of hours at the Vancouver Aquarium. We watched the sharks, frogs, otters and hundreds of other sea creatures swim around. And we tended to ‘sick’ sea otters in the Clownfish Cove area.

If you live in Vancouver, taking out a family membership at the Aquarium is good value. It allows you to pop in for a short visit on those bouncing-off-the-wall days. The safe, enclosed atmosphere permits some parent relaxation time and catching up with friends.

Rainy Day Activities for Kids in Vancouver
It’s jellyfish mania at the popular Vancouver Aquarium

Indoor Play Palaces

Vancouver has several fantastic indoor play centers where kids can burn off energy while staying dry.

Places like Crash Crawly’s Adventure Fun Centre, Go Bananas in Richmond, Kids Market on Granville Island or the Kerrisdale Play Palace offer a variety of fun indoor activities, including climbing structures, slides, and indoor obstacles courses.

The summer-only Play Palace is located at the Cyclone Taylor Arena in Kerrisdale. There are bouncy castles, foosball & ping-pong tables, rideable cars and toys, building blocks, and basketball hoops.

Drop-in times vary according to age groups, and you can reserve the Play Palace for birthday parties.

kid in bright color ball pit

Science World

Spark your child’s curiosity with a visit to Science World. With interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, this science center is a perfect destination for a rainy day. Your kids will love exploring the world of science in a fun and engaging way.

Also known as the TELUS World of Science, this popular family-friendly attraction is a great rainy day location for short or lengthy visits. Perfect to escape from bad weather, or boredom.

There’s the Kidspace Gallery and Playground for younger kids (2-6 years) with sensory bins and lots of fun age-appropriate acuities. The Eureka and Bodyworks Galleries focusing on music and the life sciences. Note that OmniMax theatre shows are an extra fee.

Learning while playing has never been so much fun.

Vancouver's grey and rainy skies shouldn't prevent your family fun. Here are some of our favorite indoor places for rainy day activities for kids. (via thetravellingmom.ca)
Telus World of Science (Photo: K Louie)

Art Galleries and Workshops

Nurture your little one’s creativity by visiting art galleries or participating in art workshops. The Vancouver Art Gallery offers monthly family-friendly events, while places like 4Cats Arts Studio provide art classes specifically designed for kids.

Library Adventures

Rainy days are perfect for cozying up with a good book. Vancouver has an excellent network of public libraries with dedicated children’s sections. Spend the day reading together, participating in library programs, or attending storytelling sessions like the VPL’s Mother Goose program.

child reading book in vancouver library

Indoor Ice Skating

From September to May, families can lace up their skates and hit the indoor rinks in Vancouver. There is one outdoor rink at Robson Square, which is open (weather permitting). It’s one of the most fun things to do at Christmas with kids in Vancouver.

South of the Fraser River, facilities like the Richmond Ice Centre or the Canlan Ice Sports in North Vancouver a short day trip from Vancouver, and offer a cool and dry way to have fun. No matter the weather outside.

Go to the movies

On a rainy day, there’s nothing better for kids of all ages then a trip to the movies. Many theaters in Vancouver offer family-friendly screenings, and some even have special play areas for kids to enjoy before the show, like at Silvercity Richmond. Enjoy some special treats like buttered popcorn, ice cream and licorice.

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Grey and rainy skies shouldn't prevent family fun. From hands-on science fun to play palaces, rinks and aquariums, here are some of our favorite indoor places for rainy day activities for kids in Vancouver, Canada.

Photo credits unless otherwise noted are C. Laroye.

What are some of your favorite rainy day activities in your hometown? Share your tips in the comments below.

Claudia Laroye
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