Summer means a lot of things to a lot of different people. Regardless of what the extended sunshine means to you, be it patio season, travelling season, or biking to work, one difference we all see in summer is…kids! Though we’re blessed with things to do in Vancouver, from outdoor festivals to fireworks competitions, filling two or more months of “glorious summer” for children can still be quite the task.
As passionate foodies who love Vancouver and strive to create memorable experiences, we “feed you a bone” in this week’s blog post. Since our launch of the Granville Island Market Tour, we’ve been inspired to compile a Top-1o list of kid-friendly activities to be shared at our favourite family destination: Granville Island. Though there are often events scheduled on Granville Island (like our daily tours), we were careful to curate ideas that could be enjoyed through all days of the week. Enjoy!
What to do on Granville Island: The Kid-Friendly Top-10
Get to the Island in style! This little rainbow water taxi is inexpensive, consistent, and drops you off right at the Granville Island Public Market! As Manuela tell guests in the photo below, the Aquabus a great way to add a bit of adventure to a local destination. The full Aquabus schedule can be found here.
2. Kids Market
The Kids Market is the no-brainer mainstage for kids of all ages. With it’s own four-level play area known as “The Adventure Zone”, and an old-fashioned arcade called “Circus Circus,” the Kids Market can easily turn into hours of fun. An interesting fact for parents: the Kids Market building is over 100 years old, previously housing a factory. As you walk in, note the wood-beam ceilings, large windows and airy market design.
3. Playground at Sutcliff Park
Just paces from the Kids Market is Sutcliff Park, home to a playground and waterpark. On sunny afternoons, kids can burn some energy on the monkey bars and cool off in the outdoor oasis!
4. Lee’s Donuts
Lee’s Donuts is a stop on our Granville Island Market Tour and is a consistent favourite amongst kids (and okay, some of us adults too!) Trust me, you’ll understand when you taste their famous honey-dipped donuts! All dough aside, it’s a great place to bring children because you can peer in the window and watch the donuts being made! As donut-making is a science, you’ll notice that window is sometimes open and sometimes closed to adjust for Vancouver’s temperature and humidity.
5. Glass Blowing at New-Small & Sterling Studio Glass
If you haven’t seen glass blowing before, it’s absolutely fascinating, regardless of what age you are.
6. Picnic in Ron Basford Park
If you’ve packed a lunch or picked up some goodies at the Granville Island Public Market, Ron Basford Park is a perfect, quiet escape to enjoy your spread. Perched on the South-Eastern corner of Granville Island, this park has a beautiful view of False Creek. The grassy slope has been shaped into large steps, making for a pleasant viewing area…or a thrilling hill to roll down!
7. Seagulls + Buskers at the Granville Island Public Market
As much as I despise the seagulls in the courtyard of the Granville Island Public Market (we had an unforgivable encounter), I’ve noticed that kids are totally enamoured with these plump, white birds. Your kids won’t be alone in chasing, feeding, and laughing amongst the seagulls. For parents, the courtyard is often a stage to a variety of Vancouver buskers. Taken together, the Granville Island Public Market courtyard can be a very picturesque experience.
8. The Hang Out
Before living in Vancouver, my family and I would visit the city and stop by the Granville Island tourist attractions. The Hang Out Place was always at the top of my list. They’re one of the only hammock vendors that has a retail shop…and you can literally “hang out” inside! They stock Mayan hammocks, Brazilian hammocks, backpacking hammocks, and their very own chair hammock (which I wish to hang in my own house one day) called The Hang Out!
9. Fisherman’s Wharf
It’s always fun for kids to marvel at the sheer shape and size of boats. In the case of Fisherman’s Wharf, it’s actually a fully-functioning resource for Vancouverites to purchase fresh fish. Kids will not only be able to look at the commercial boats docked at the wharf – real fishermen will be at work!
10. The Granville Island Cement Plant Ball Drop
At the entrance to one of Granville Island’s oldest businesses Ocean Construction, you’ll often find a small cluster of people whose heads and eyes are moving in unison. There’s something mesmerizing about watching the little silver balls travel through their meticulously-engineered path of tunnels, twists, levers, and tracks. It a simple wonder that never ceases to amaze!
And of course, I will mention that our Granville Island Market Tour is family-friendly! We begin at Edible Canada at the Market and weave our way through the artisan vendors at the Public Market. If you are able to commit to a scheduled activity and you are up for tasting and learning about the best of the Granville Island, we’d love to have you along! You can find our more about our tour here.
Are you as excited as we are for summer at Granville Island? I look forward to seeing you there!