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20 Things to Do With Kids in Victoria

Things to Do WIth Kids in Victoria

Things to Do WIth Kids in Victoria: boys play at the Maritime Museum of BC, #5 on our list (Photo: roy.luck)

Entertaining kids in an unfamiliar city is never easy. For your next family trip to Vancouver Island, our local travel experts have made it easy on you by putting together this list of 20 wonderful things to do with kids in Victoria. There are activities here for every kind of young traveller, from the the science lover (see #1 and #4) to the adventurer (see numbers #13 and #20) to the sports nut (#17 and #9). There are more than enough things to do with kids in Victoria to keep the little ones engaged—and maybe even spark the interest of a few adults. Come explore!

See the list of 20 things to do with kids in Victoria »

#1 THING TO DO WITH KIDS IN VICTORIA: Meet bats and sharks
British Columbia’s premiere museum is a must for travellers all ages, but there is particular emphasis on things to do with kids at this Victoria landmark. There’s the Old Town, the Ocean Station, the First Peoples Gallery and tons of special activities planned throughout the year. Parents can print off special kids’ guide sheets to help get children more excited about the museum’s bats, sharks, circus artefacts and more!
• Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville St., 250-356-7226, royalbcmuseum.bc.ca
Map and reviews 

#2 THING TO DO WITH KIDS IN VICTORIA: Zipline through the forest
Thrills await kids at AdrenaLine Adventure Tours, a zipline adventure near Sooke on the region’s West Coast. After an ATV ride to the top of the course, kids and adults then speed through the air on any of the eight ziplines that criss-cross the 100+ acres of park. There are also two suspension bridges and plenty of scenic views for family photos.
• AdrenaLine Adventure Tours, 5128 Sooke Rd., Sooke, 250-642-1933, adrenalinezip.com
Map and reviews

#3 THING TO DO WITH KIDS IN VICTORIA: Explore Beacon Hill Park
Younger children will love the year-round playground and duck ponds, as well as discovering what’s around the next corner in the various lush gardens. Among the other things to do with kids: a seasonal water park, 18-hole putting green and the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm (a local favourite).
• Beacon Hill Park, Circle Dr., 250-361-0600, website
Map and reviews

It may sound creepy and crawly, but the Victoria Bug Zoo is a fascinating place that tends to win kids over with its live displays of giant walkingsticks, praying mantids and glow-in-the-dark scorpions. Knowledgeable entomologists are on hand to answer any questions, making this spot educational as well as fun.
• Victoria Bug Zoo, 631 Courtney St., 250-384-2847, bugzoo.bc.ca
Map and reivews 

Things to Do With Kids in Victoria

Things to Do With Kids in Victoria: visit the Bug Zoo (Photo: Mark Iverson)

#5 FREE THING TO DO WITH KIDS IN VICTORIA: Explore the sea while on land
Pirates and explorers and sailors, oh my! The Maritime Museum of BC is the kind of place where kids don’t even realize they’re learning. Located in a former courthouse, this popular exhibit of seafaring artefacts plays on kids’ sense of wonder about the ocean and exposes them to underwater diving gear, adventure tales of the high seas and extensive models of beautiful ships.
• Maritime Museum of BC, 28 Bastion Sq., 250-385-4222, mmbc.bc.ca
Map and reviews 

#6 THING TO DO WITH KIDS IN VICTORIA: See the city from the water
Hop aboard an H20 Water Taxi or Victoria Harbour Ferry for a look at the city from a different perspective. Options range from short hops to a full 45-minute tour of the Upper Harbour and Gorge Waterway.
• Victoria Harbour Ferry, 1234 Wharf St., 250-708-0201, victoriaharbourferry.com
Map and reviews 

#7 THING TO DO WITH KIDS IN VICTORIA: Hit the mini-links
The whole family will love a friendly game of mini golf at Blenkinsop Valley Adventure Golf Centre in Saanich (about 15 minutes from downtown). Their fantastic mini-golf course features an impressive castle and fountain, and will challenge kids of all ages. For adults, there’s an adjacent two-tier driving range with pro-shop.
• Blenkinsop Valley Adventure Golf Centre, 4239 Blenkinsop Rd., valleyadventuregolf.com
Map and reviews

#8 THING TO DO WITH KIDS IN VICTORIA: Satisfy the need for speed
At Western Speedway, families can take in thrilling auto races from April through October (with monthly races through the winter). The venue also lets amateurs get the feel for speedway racing through its Victoria Karting program. You can sign up in advance to participate or take a seat in the stands and cheer on the kart racers.
• Western Speedway, 2207 Millstream Rd., 250-474-2151, westernspeedway.net
Map and reviews 

All Fun, Victoria’s recreation park, has almost endless things to do with kids, including batting cages, go-karts and a mini-golf course themed on a trip around the world. To top it off, All Fun is located around the corner from #8, the Western Speedway.
• All Fun Recreation Park, 2207 Millstream Rd., 250-474-1961, allfun.bc.ca

#10 THING TO DO WITH KIDS IN VICTORIA: See Canada’s oldest West Coast lighthouse
The Fort Rodd Hill historic site allows visitors to see the 100-year-old coastal gun batteries and camouflaged searchlight emplacements that were instumental to the defence of Canada and British Empire. Canada’s oldest West Coast lighthouse (the Fisgard Lighthouse) is on the same site. Take a picnic and make a day of exploring the meadows, beaches and stunning ocean views.
• Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse, 603 Fort Rodd Hill Rd., 250-478-5849, website
• Map and reviews

Things to Do With Kids in Victoria

Things to Do With Kids in Victoria: visit the Fisgard Lighthouse, Canada’s oldest lighthouse on the west coast (Photo: davidstanleytravel)

If you’re in downtown Victoria, take the kids to a movie at the National Geographic IMAX Theatre at the Royal BC Mesum. The cinema screens stunning IMAX features as well as Hollywood blockbusters.
• National Geographic IMAX Theatre, 675 Belleville St., 250-953-4692, imaxvictoria.com

#12 THING TO DO WITH KIDS IN VICTORIA: Explore the tide pools and go skimboarding
Kids will love Witty’s Lagoon, a little pocket of water just west of Victoria. Older children enjoy the ideal skimboarding conditions while the younger set can build towering sandcastles and explore the tide pools. Just check the tide table before heading out.
• Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park, off Metchosin Rd., Metchosin, website
Map and reviews

#13 THING TO DO WITH KIDS IN VICTORIA: Get a forest-inspired adrenaline rush
Adventure-loving kids will love WildPlay, located in a tree-laden park in the neighbouring town of Colwood, just behind the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre. There’s a challenge here for a children of all ages, including obstacle courses through the forest that feature bridges, monkey bars and ziplines.
• WildPlay West Shore Victoria, 1767 Island Hwy., 250-590-7529, wildplay.com
• Map and reviews

The Victoria Butterfly Gardens, named Where Victoria’s “Best New or Improved Attraction 2012,” will amuse kids with its beautiful, free-flying butterflies, and its tropical gardens full of  tropical birds, turtles and fish.
• Victoria Butterfly Garden, 1461 Benvenuto Ave., 250-652-3822, butterflygardens.com
Map and reviews

#15 THING TO DO WITH KIDS IN VICTORIA: Ride the only carousel on Vancouver Island
At the Butchart Gardens, children will be delighted with the Rose Carousel—a menagerie of 30 animals hand-picked by Robin Clarke, great-granddaughter of the gardens’ founder, Jennie Butchart. Youngsters can also have fun exploring with the Family Discovery Walk, a self-tour that encourages kids to draw and explore aspects of the lush gardens.
• Butchart Gardens, 800 Benvenuto Ave., 250-652-5256, butchartgardens.com
Map and reviews

#16 THING TO DO WITH KIDS IN VICTORIA: Touch real starfish
In nearby Sidney, the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre introduces kids to the wonders lying beneath the Salish Sea right outside its doors. This is “hands-on, hands-wet” discovery, with special programs for preschoolers and older children.
• Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre,  9811 Seaport Pl., Sidney, 250-665-7511, oceandiscovery.ca
Map and reviews

Things to Do With Kids in Victoria

Things to Do With Kids in Victoria: see the sealife at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre (Photo: Will_89)

#17 THING TO DO WITH KIDS IN VICTORIA: Root for the home team
Sports enthusiasts will find many things to do with kids in Victoria all year round. In winter, hockey fans can take in Victoria Royals game (don’t miss saying hi to team mascot Marty the Marmot). In spring, there’s the lacrosse action of the Victoria Shamrocks. And in summer, Royal Athletic Park welcomes Victoria’s baseball team, the HarbourCats.
• Victoria Royals, 1925 Blanshard St., 150-220-7777, victoriaroyals.com, map and reviews
• Victoria Shamrocks, 1767 Island Hwy., 250-474-7627, victoriashamrocks.com
• Victoria HarbourCats, 1814 Vancouver St., 778-265-0327, harbourcats.com

#18 THING TO DO WITH KIDS IN VICTORIA: See the world in miniature
Scenes from history and literature come alive in the 80+ dioramas at Miniature World, located outside the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Among the highlights are the world’s largest dollhouse (with over 50 rooms!) and a sprawling train set that reproduces the Great Canadian Railway.
• Miniature World, 649 Humboldt St., 250-385-9731, miniatureworld.com
Map and reviews

#19 THING TO DO WITH KIDS IN VICTORIA: Play at Fisherman’s Wharf
The colourful docks of Fisherman’s Wharf feature plenty of things to do with kids in Victoria’s James Bay district. A new playground sits above the parking lot and there are several restaurants serving up kids’ favourites like ice cream and fish ‘n’ chips. A fun game to play with your kids is to play spot-the-seal—the harbour is full of them!
• Fisherman’s Wharf, near the intersection of Dallas Rd. and Erie St., fishermanswharfvictoria.com

#20 THING TO DO WITH KIDS IN VICTORIA: Search for ghosts
Thrills and chills await older children during a professionally led ghost walk from Discover the Past walking tours. These fun excusions introduce participants to spooky tales from British Columbia’s most haunted city.
• Ghostly Walks, tours start at Government St. and Wharf St., 250-384-6698, discoverthepast.com
Map and reviews


One response to “20 Things to Do With Kids in Victoria”

  1. Marg Walker says:

    Are there no plays for young children over the Christmas holidays?

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