Mama in the City since 2008 and blogging since 2009!

How To Tour Downtown Vancouver With Kids

August 26, 2018 // Vancouver

Are you planning a trip to downtown Vancouver with your kids? Here’s the inside scoop from all of us at Mama in the City on how to best tour downtown Vancouver with kids. From low cost gems to the cleanest bathrooms, it’s rounded up right here.

Over the last ten years we’ve enjoyed living in downtown Vancouver as a family and have explored every inch of the city, mostly by foot. With three kids and Vancouver as our backyard, we make sure to make the most out of all that this city has to offer. We hope that you will love this city as much as we do.

The Heart Of Downtown Vancouver

Right smack in the heart of downtown is the Vancouver Art Gallery.  With its current location you can take in the city vibe starting from the outside steps of the VAG. Visiting here is a must do for kids ranging in ages and there is elevator access for your little ones in strollers.

If you aren’t sure if your crew is quite up to an art gallery visit yet, check out the lobby. Here  you can find clean bathrooms and the Art Gallery shop. Enjoy the vibe of this beautiful space at your own pace. Finish up with a stop into the cafe on the upper level to complete your experience.

Plan your visit for a Sunday and children under 12 can gain free admission to the gallery with a paying adult. There’s also lots of family fun happening each Sunday at the VAG, such as hands on art making activities. More information can be found here.

Check Out Canada Place

If you have someone in your family that loves all things aviation then watching the float planes fly in and out of  the aerodrome is a perfect fit. The loud buzz of the float plane taking off and landing in the water is an event most kids will find captivating.

There are many places to stop and take a family photo along the seawall. The gorgeous water and mountain backdrop is a true Vancouver icon rain or shine. Next head over to Jack Poole Plaza to let your kids hop, skip and move around. All while checking out the 2010 Olympic torch that permanently resides there. You will also see larger than life art installations like the Digital Orca by Douglas Coupland.

Coffee, Treats And More

Vancouver has a great coffee culture and you can find many amazing coffee shops within a short walking distance. This is one of the reasons we love living here. If you are in need of some tasty eats just walk across the road from Jack Poole Plaza to the ‘giovane cafe + eatery + market‘. Housed inside Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim this spot is a favourite. From their hand crafted hot beverages to house made pastries, there’s something for everyone here.

The market inside the cafe also has a wide array of locally made items to shop and the stock changes seasonally. If you come during Christmastime, this is the perfect place to get unique gifts for everyone on your list. We also really love the baby and kid items that this cafe + market stocks.

Inside scoop, the bathroom is just inside the attached Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel and it’s gorgeous. A truly perfect powder room to refresh from your walk around the city. You will be sure to take your time with your littles in the loo.

Stomp Around Stanley Park

If you’ve had enough of the concrete jungle you only have to walk the seawall and head North! Soon you will be greeted by Vancouver’s lush Stanley Park complete with train rides, water parks and playground fun. Stanley Park is one of our kids favourite places to roam free and is surprisingly just steps away from the downtown bustle.

Out of town families can rent a bike or just walk your way to the forest and enjoy a little nature break. Visiting  during the Spring/Summer months will let you visit the infamous Rose Garden. There you will be greeted with many varieties and colours of roses. It is an amazing sight to see them all in bloom.

Voted as one of the best city parks in the WORLD, Stanley Park can be a full day trip or an added  extra excursion. We love taking our time walking through and stopping to explore along the way. Most importantly, go from the buzz of city life to being fully immersed in the forest in a surprisingly short time.


Currently downtown Vancouver has some really great revitalized spots to find and discover. From pink and yellow painted alley ways to the giant light up cloud swing that has popped up in Lot 19. There are many little spots that would be fun to discover with your kids. Like the new Ackery’s Alley that has had a spectacular visual and audible makeover. Your kids can dance their way down Ackery’s Alley and change the size of the lights with the movements from their bodies.

Have a question about visiting downtown Vancouver? Feel free to ask in the comments or send an email to Here is to hoping you love Vancouver as much as we do! Check out our other posts about life in the city of Vancouver.

A Day In The Life Of A City Mama 

Best Croissants in the City

Mama in the City On Small Space Living



About the author

Hi! I'm Andrea, a 30 something girl who loves living the downtown lifestyle and didn't want to give it up once I started a family. Mama in the City since 2008 and blogging since 2009!


  1. Nancy Martin says:

    Love the tips! We are planning a little trip to the city before school goes back. I was really wondering if the art gallery would be okay with the kids. Looks like its a go!

  2. Simone says:

    I havent taken my boys downtown in ages but I am really loving the idea of exploring the Van Art Gallery with them.