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10 Days in Vancouver, Canada with Two Toddlers

For those of you who have young children, you know that you plan according to not what you want but what suits your young ones. Finding places to go, to eat and to stay are all very important.

PLACES TO GO:
1)Van Dussen Botanical Garden

This place is really beautiful. My twins love the flowers and trees and they have plenty of space to run around and explore. The garden features:  The Elizabethan Maze; Stone Garden; Scottish Shelter and Korean Pavilion. There’s a small fee to enter.

The VanDusen gardens are open 7 days a week (except Christmas Day).

January 10am – 3pm
February 10am – 4pm
March 10am – 5pm
April 10am – 7pm
May 9am – 8pm
June, July & August 9am – 8:30pm
September 10am – 6pm
October* 10am – 5pm*
November 10am – 4pm
December 10am – 3pm
December – Festival of Lights TBD
December 25 CLOSED

VanDusen Garden Regular Admission

  Winter/Spring Spring/Summer Fall/Winter
Jan 1-Mar 31
(excluding GST)
Apr 1- Sept 30
(excluding GST)
Oct 1-Dec 31
(excluding GST)
Adult (19-64) $8.00 $11.00 $8.00
Senior (65+) $5.50 $8.25 $5.50
Youth (13-18) $5.50 $8.25 $5.50
Child (4-12) $4.25 $5.50 $4.25
Family (2 adults + 2 children under 19) $16.75 $25.50 $16.75
Children 3 and younger Free Free Free
Members Free Free Free

Reference: http://vandusengarden.org/plan-your-visit/hours-admission/Van Dussen Botanical Garden

Van Dussen Botanical Garden in Vancouver

Vancouver Van Dussen Botanical Garden

2) Queen Elizabeth Park

The park is located at the highest point of Vancouver. It offers a wide range of flower garden; Arboretum; the Bloedel Conservatory which features 200 free-flying exotic birds and the panoramic view of the city. Just outside of the conservatory, you will find the dancing waters fountain display. Children come and play in the water fountain. It might not be stroller friendly going down to see the garden but we were able to manage it fine.
The Conservatory is open 7 days a week between 10am and 5pm. You have to pay $6.50 Canadian to enter, but otherwise the park is free of admission.

Reference: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/queen-elizabeth-park.aspxQueen Elizabeth Park

Vancouver Queen Elizabeth Park

3) Grousse Mountain: The Peak of Vancouver

Located in North Vancouver about 15 minute drive from downtown Vancouver. You have to visit this place on a clear day to fully enjoy the great view of the Vancouver Island. The grizzly bears, the birds in motion demonstration which features an Eagle, Falcon and an Owl and the lumberjack show are the highlight.
Birds in Motion Show
1:30pm, 3:30pm and 5:30pm
Lumberjack Show
12:00, 2:30 and 4:30
Besides the shows, you can also hike; go on zipline, and paraglide which we were not able to do.
Reference: https://www.grousemountain.com/Grousse Mountain

4) Stanley Park

Probably the most visited attraction in Vancouver and I could not disagree more because the park is just breathtaking. The park has four playgrounds and a miniature train that’s about a mile of forest and the Vancouver Aquarium. You will also find the First Nation totem pole display at Brockton Point.
Reference: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park.aspxStanley Park

Vancouver fashion

5) Kitsilano Beach and English Bay Beach

Located at Cornwall Ave on the north end of Yew St. There’s a grassy park, a kit’s pool and a playground located near to the beach.

6) Granville Island

This place offers a lot more besides its fresh produce, gourmet foods, baked goods, and seafood in the public market. Located just across False Creek from Downtown Vancouver, Granville Island is a place where you can also dine in in one of the restaurants, or simply grab a bite from the public market and sit just outside to watch ferry boats come and go or enjoy the performances of the buskers. With two toddlers, you can’t expect to eat out all the time so finding a place that provides fresh produce is a must. I have had the best gelato here too.

Make sure to stop by at the Kids Market if your kids enjoy arcade and indoor adventure zone. You’ll see a pond just outside of the Kids Market. There’s a little wooden boat in front of the pond where the young ones can go in and play inside. We also saw turtles, fish and ducks in the pond. Just few minutes from the pond, you will see a water park.
Can be accessed by the Hop on Hop Off bus but the best way is by the little Tug Boats or by car.
Hours of Operation:
Granville Island Public Market: Open seven days a week, 9 am – 7 pm
Most other retail stores: Open seven days a week, 10 am – 7 pm
Reference: http://granvilleisland.com/Granville Island market

View of Yaletown from Granville Island

Yaletown from Granville Island

7) Gastown

Gastown is a national historic site located just north of the downtown Vancouver peninsula. This place got historic charms and you will definitely enjoy taking a stroll here if you like Victorian architecture houses and cobble stone walkways. This is also where you will find the famous Steam Clock.Vancouver Gastown

8) Canada Place

Canada Place and Gastown are located just close to each other so plan to visit these two places in one day. You can see great views of the harbor and the sea here and the coming and going of cruise ships, ferries and seaplanes.

Canada Place

PLACES TO EAT:
I have to warn you that most restaurants in Vancouver Canada do not provide high chair. I have listed below the restaurants that we enjoyed the most and provides high chair

1) Cactus Club Cafe – located Downtown, Coal Harbour in Canada Place
(this is probably the best location as it offers waterfront view)
1085 Canada Pl, Vancouver, BC V6C 0C3, Canada
HOURS
Sunday – Wednesday 11am – 12am
Thursday – Saturday 11am – 1am
Phone: +1 604-620-7410

2) Banana Leaf
1779 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6G 1C9, Canada
+1 604-569-3363
Sand Bar Seafood and Restaurant in Granville Island
1535 Johnston St. Creekhouse #102
Granville Island, Vancouver, BC
(604) 669-9030

3) Forage
1300 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 1C5
(604) 661-1400

4) Sand Bar Seafood and Restaurant in Granville Island
1535 Johnston St. Creekhouse #102
Granville Island, Vancouver, BC
(604) 669-9030

WHERE WE STAY:
We opt out on staying in a hotel because 1) we need a kitchen 2) a bigger place for the toddlers to play. For that reason, we decided to stay at Shangri-La residence that we booked through airbnb.
TRANSPORTATION/PARKING:
Almost all parking in Vancouver is paid parking. There are some restaurants that do validate after 5pm so make sure to call the place you go about parking situation.
WHEN TO GO:
In order to fully enjoy the gardens and the flowers in full bloom, you have to go in either Spring or Summer time.

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