Last Updated on April 12, 2023
Things To Do In Victoria BC With Kids
Table Of Contents
- Things To Do In Victoria BC With Kids
- Is Victoria BC Good For Kids?
- Where Is Victoria BC?
- What Are The Best Months In Victoria BC?
- How To Get To Victoria BC?
- Visit Victoria Butterfly Gardens
- Go On A Whale Watching Tour
- Spend The Day At Butchart Gardens
- Tour Parliament Buildings
- Take A Ride On The Victoria Harbor Ferry
- Explore Fisherman’s Wharf
- Get Up Close With Creepy Crawlies At The Bug Zoo
- Enjoy The Royal BC Museum
- Explore Nature At Beacon Hill Park
- Stop In At Miniature World
- Visit The Victoria Public Market
- Soak Up Some Sun At Thetis Lake
- Get Ice Cream At Chocolat Favoris
- Fan Tan Alley
- Wander Around Chinatown
- Totem Poles In Thunderbird Park
- High Tea At The Empress
- Esquimalt Lagoon Beach
- Admire Hatley Castle
- Visit Craigdarroch Castle
- Visit Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site
- Malahat Skywalk
- Goldstream Provincial Park
- Mount Douglas Park
- Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour
- Where To Stay In Victoria
- How To Get Around Victoria
- Victoria With Kids
Is Victoria BC Good For Kids?
For families traveling to Victoria BC, there is no shortage of fun things to do in Victoria with kids. With the city’s gorgeous coastline, snow-capped mountains, lush forests and bustling inner harbor – the options are endless! Whether it’s checking out a unique attraction or exploring a stunning natural wonder – Victoria has something for every kid. From a children’s farm and a myriad of parks to kid-friendly restaurants and educational attractions – this vibrant city is full of educational opportunities for children.
Let’s explore some of the most exciting family attractions in beautiful Victoria BC!
Where Is Victoria BC?
Victoria BC is located on Vancouver Island, off the coast of British Columbia in Canada. It’s the capital city of the province and has a population of about 390,000 people. It’s just a short ferry ride away from Seattle, Washington or the mainland of Vancouver and other popular cities in the Pacific Northwest. With its rich history and beautiful landscape, Victoria is a great destination for families.
What Are The Best Months In Victoria BC?
Victoria is a great destination year-round, though the best times to visit are in late spring and early summer. The city’s mild climate makes it an ideal spot for outdoor exploration, with temperatures typically ranging from lows of around 5°C (40°F) in winter to highs of 25°C (77°F) in summer.
How To Get To Victoria BC?
The easiest way to get to Victoria BC is by taking a ferry from Tsawwassen (Vancouver) and driving or walking on. If you walk on the ferry, you will have to take a bus into downtown Victoria. Other options include flying into the Victoria International Airport and taking a shuttle bus.
Visit Victoria Butterfly Gardens
Victoria Butterfly Gardens is truly a magical place for nature lovers and curious minds alike. Step into a world of vibrant colors and fluttering wings, and be transported to a lush rainforest setting that hundreds of exotic butterflies call home. Explore the different species of butterflies and witness their life cycle up close. You can even watch the transformation from a chrysalis into a magnificent butterfly. You will be enchanted by the kaleidoscope of butterfly species fluttering through the air, and moreover, marvel at Caribbean flamingos, admire poison dart frogs, turtles and vibrant koi inhabiting in the serene ponds and streams. A visit to Victoria Butterfly Gardens is a fun and educational adventure for all ages, and one that will certainly leave you in awe of the natural world around us.
Read Next – Unlock The Magic Of Victoria Butterfly Gardens
Go On A Whale Watching Tour
If you’re looking for a thrilling adventure, a whale watching tour might just be the perfect activity for you. The vast expanse of the ocean, the salty air, and the majestic creatures that call it home are sure to leave you in awe. And who knows – you might even be lucky enough to spot some Orcas or Humpback whales. These incredible creatures are a sight to behold, with their massive bodies and graceful movements. Watching them swim and play in their natural habitat is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll never forget. If you’re ready for an unforgettable adventure, pack your bags and head out to sea for a whale watching tour. You might even get lucky and see Orcas or Humpback whales.
You are most likely to see whales in Victoria between May and October, which is the peak whale watching season that boats a 95% chance of seeing them.
Spend The Day At Butchart Gardens
Escape into a realm of blooming beauty at Butchart Gardens. Spend the day surrounded by an oasis of lush landscapes and stunning seasonal displays. Take a leisurely stroll through themed gardens, like the Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, or Mediterranean Garden. With endless attractions that blend human innovation and natural wonder, Butchart Gardens is the perfect destination for a family outing or a peaceful retreat.
Tour Parliament Buildings
Exploring the Parliament Buildings in Victoria is a great way for kids to learn more about the history of British Columbia in a fun and engaging way. Built over a century ago, these iconic buildings are not only stunning to behold, but also incredibly informative. By booking a guided tour, children can discover fascinating stories about BC’s past and the country’s democratic system. Every aspect of the Parliament Buildings will leave kids feeling inspired and educated.
The buildings serve as the headquarters of the provincial government of B.C. This is where crucial decisions are made pertaining to the province’s health, education, transportation, and housing.
The Parliament Buildings, are situated near the Inner Harbour. Located in the heart of downtown Victoria, they are a significant landmark and a popular tourist attraction due to their rich history and cultural significance. It’s a perfect family-friendly activity that is sure to make your visit to Victoria unforgettable.
Take A Ride On The Victoria Harbor Ferry
Imagine embarking on a journey through Victoria’s harbor on a timeless, bustling ferry. Kids will be filled with amazement as they take in the city’s stunning skyline from this unique vantage point. They will be able to witness the beauty of Victoria’s architecture, as well as its vibrant culture, all while cruising peacefully through the tranquil waters. This is a must-do experience for everyone, but especially for children who are likely to be enchanted by this adventurous excursion. Climb aboard the Victoria Harbour Ferry, and let your senses be sparked with joy and awe.
Explore Fisherman’s Wharf
Fisherman’s Wharf is a must-visit spot for anyone who loves marine life and excitement. This bustling location in the heart of the working harbor is filled with food kiosks, shops, and eco-tour adventures, making it the perfect destination for those who want to explore the beauty of Victoria’s waterfront. From freshly caught fish to souvenirs galore, there’s something for everyone at this unique location.
Get Up Close With Creepy Crawlies At The Bug Zoo
Discover the fascinating world of creepy crawlies at the Bug Zoo in Victoria. Open since 1997, this interactive exhibit offers kids a chance to get up close and personal with a variety of living bugs from around the world. With knowledgeable staff on hand to answer your questions, you can explore the fascinating world of entomology with your children. From hissing cockroaches and giant millipedes to massive tarantulas, there’s something for everyone at this unique zoo. It’s sure to be an unforgettable experience that will spark your child’s interest in nature. This is especially perfect for kids with an interest in nature and entomology.
Enjoy The Royal BC Museum
The Royal BC Museum is one of the best places to learn about the history of British Columbia.
Take a trip back in time at the Royal BC Museum. Here, kids can explore BC’s past, from its Indigenous roots to modern day life. With interactive exhibits and informative displays, this museum is a great family-friendly destination for those who are interested in learning more about the province’s culture and history. From interactive displays about the fur trade and its impact on British Columbia to hands-on experiences that bring history to life, kids are sure to gain a new perspective on BC’s past.
There are also exciting rotating big-name exhibits, so you’ll surely want to go return time and time again.
Explore Nature At Beacon Hill Park
Beacon Hill Park is a beautiful oasis located in the heart of Victoria. Here, kids can explore nature and enjoy scenic views, outdoor activities, and wildlife spotting. The park consists of over 200 acres of lush gardens, meadows, ponds and forests – perfect for a peaceful family outing. Whether it’s flying kites across the grassy hills or exploring the numerous trails, Beacon Hill Park is sure to provide an exciting and memorable experience for all ages.
Make sure to take your camera – you’re sure to capture some amazing wildlife and stunning views!
Don’t forget to visit the Children’s Zoo and the Moss Lady.
Stop In At Miniature World
Victoria Miniature World displays intricately detailed miniatures of famous architectural and cultural landmarks from around the world. The collection includes over 80 miniature scenes, each depicting an entire town or city complete with buildings, people, cars, and more. Visitors can explore the world’s smallest post office, view two of the World’s Largest Doll Houses circa 1880, embark on a remarkable journey through Canada’s preeminent engineering feat of the late 19th century – The Great Canadian Railway, and one of the world’s largest model railways.
Miniature World is sure to bring out your child’s curiosity and imagination – it’s an experience they won’t soon forget!
Visit The Victoria Public Market
The Victoria Public Market is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Here, kids can explore the many shops and sample local treats from some of Victoria’s best vendors. Not only is this a great place to pick up souvenirs, but it’s also an opportunity to learn about BC’s diverse culture.
The Victoria Public Market is situated in the Hudson building, a historic landmark in downtown Victoria. The market offers a wide range of locally-made products ranging from cheese, meats, and farm-fresh groceries to handmade pies, French bakery items, oils, vinegars, fresh flowers, specialty retail, and gourmet food service options.
Furthermore, the day vendor program showcases more local artisans and makers from Vancouver Island.
Hours: Mondays – Sundays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Hudson, 6-1701 Douglas Street
Soak Up Some Sun At Thetis Lake
Enjoy swimming, hiking and picnicking in one of Victoria’s most beautiful parks.
Thetis Lake is one of Victoria’s best-kept secrets. This stunning park offers a variety of activities for the whole family, from swimming to hiking and picnicking. With its crystal clear waters and lush forests, Thetis Lake is sure to provide a calming and peaceful atmosphere for all. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit during the summer and explore the many trails – it’s a gorgeous area for some nature therapy.
Get Ice Cream At Chocolat Favoris
Chocolat Favoris is a popular ice cream shop located in the heart of downtown Victoria. Here, kids can enjoy some of the city’s favorite frozen treats. From real chocolate dipped ice cream cones to ice cream sandwiches, sorbets and fondue, Chocolat Favoris has something for everyone.
The experience doesn’t just stop at ice cream either – visitors can also enjoy unique chocolate treats made in-house, such as chocolate poutine. Indulge in one of Victoria’s favorite treats – it’s a sweet experience you won’t soon forget!
Fan Tan Alley
Visit The Narrowest Commercial Street In North America. The famous alley is less than 0.9 m (3.0 ft) wide at its narrowest point.
Fan Tan Alley is one of the oldest and most vibrant alleyways in Victoria, BC. This historic area has been known as a hub for commerce since the late 19th century, when it was a popular spot for gambling and opium dens. Today, Fan Tan Alley is home to numerous shops and restaurants that offer a unique shopping experience. From trendy clothing boutiques to souvenir stores, there’s something for every taste here. Be sure to take a stroll through this unique part of town and soak up the historic atmosphere.
Wander Around Chinatown
Take a stroll through Canada’s oldest Chinatown and enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of this vibrant part of Victoria. The 500 block of Fisgard Street is the main hub. There, you can find coffee shops, tea houses, Chinese grocers, and restaurants. You can also enjoy the lovely murals and architecture, check out local street food vendors, or simply soak up the atmosphere. You’ll be mesmerized by all that Chinatown has to offer.
Victoria’s Chinatown is the second oldest in North America after San Francisco.
Totem Poles In Thunderbird Park
Take a walk through Thunderbird Park and admire the stunning totem poles. The historical importance of these wood sculptures dates back to the arrival of Europeans in the 19th century and their interaction with local First Nations people. These totems were created by local First Nations artists, telling stories of their culture, history and traditions. They are an important cultural landmark and a must-see for any visitor to Victoria. It’s a great place to learn more about the area and appreciate these beautiful works of art.
High Tea At The Empress
A grand tradition for over a century, the Victoria Empress has served England’s most beloved ritual of afternoon tea to famed royalty, celebrities and dignitaries alike.
High Tea at the Empress is a one-of-a-kind experience. This luxurious hotel offers an exquisite afternoon tea service, complete with fine china, gourmet sandwiches and desserts, and a selection of over 50 loose leaf teas.
It’s perfect for special occasions or just to indulge in an afternoon of relaxation. From the classic décor to the attentive service, High Tea at the Empress is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and like royalty.
Esquimalt Lagoon Beach
Take a wander along the Esquimalt Lagoon and the nearby beach. It is an excellent place for bird watching; the lagoon is home to a wide variety of birds, including majestic bald eagles, elegant blue herons, and jittery sandpipers. Have a picnic on the beach or take some time to relax and enjoy the nature around you.
Also, if you wander along the beach you will find many driftwood sculptures. The kids have a ton of fun seeing how many they can find!
Don’t forget your binoculars!
Admire Hatley Castle
Hatley Castle in Victoria is a Canadian National Historic Site and one of the most recognizable landmarks in Victoria, British Columbia. Built by Sir Robert Dunsmuir between 1908–1912 as a family residence, it was sold to the Royal Canadian Navy in 1940 and served as an Officer’s Training Centre for the duration of World War II. After the war, Hatley Castle was returned to its original owners, who turned it into a hotel for many years before selling it to Royal Roads University in 1995.
Today, the castle is used by the university as an administrative building, and the surrounding area is open to the public. Visitors can explore the castle grounds, including the beautiful formal gardens and natural trails that wind through the property.
Hatley Castle is also a popular spot for weddings and other special events, as well as being featured in several films and television shows, such as Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in the X-Men franchise. It’s an amazing feat of architecture that is a must-see for anyone visiting Victoria.
Visit Craigdarroch Castle
The Craigdarroch Castle is a 19th-century, Victorian-style castle located in downtown Victoria. This beautiful building is open to the public and offers guided tours of its interior and exterior. Learn about its history, architecture, and explore the castle’s gardens too. It’s a great place to take in some local culture and see one of Victoria’s most iconic buildings!
Visit Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site
Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site is a former coastal artillery fort located in Esquimalt Harbor. Visitors can explore the 19th-century gun batteries, underground magazines, and searchlights that are still in place. Explore the fort’s ruins and learn about its history.
Don’t forget to take a walk along the causeway to the Fisgard Lighthouse, Victoria’s oldest operating lighthouse. Located in Esquimalt Harbour, this historic landmark offers great views of the surrounding area. You can go inside the lighthouse and explore its history, or just admire the stunning views.
Go for a walk on the Malahat Skywalk! The Malahat ridge has a stunning skywalk that provides incredible views and unforgettable experiences. There are various reasons to visit this famous attraction, such as spending time in nature, admiring scenic views, or enjoying quality time with your family and friends.
Make sure you check out the slide! It’s a 20-meter spiral slide and the excitement of going down it is almost as amazing as the stunning view from the peak. You won’t be satisfied with just one ride, so brace yourself for repeat trips.
Goldstream Provincial Park
Explore Goldstream Provincial Park, located just north of Victoria. This magnificent park is home to an incredible array of wildlife, including spawning salmon and nesting bald eagles. Take a walk on the many trails that meander through the park and keep your eyes peeled – you never know what you might see.
Don’t miss Niagara Falls, especially in the spring when the runoff is especially impressive. It is a stunning waterfall that cascades down into a lush forest canyon.
Also, Goldstream Provincial Park is a fantastic place to view spawning salmon during the Fall.
Mount Douglas Park
Mount Douglas Park is one of the most popular parks in Victoria. This park offers spectacular views of the city, along with many walking and biking trails for visitors to explore. Enjoy a picnic overlooking the ocean or wander through some of the forested areas. The kids will love exploring this wild and beautiful park.
One of the main highlights of Mount Douglas is the stunning panoramic view of Victoria and the surrounding water that can be enjoyed from its peak. You can reach the summit at 738-ft (224-m) by driving on Churchill Road.
Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour
For an easy way to explore Victoria, hop on the Hop-On Hop-Off sightseeing bus. This tour takes you around all of the city’s major attractions and provides commentary along the way. It’s a great way to learn about Victoria’s history and culture, while taking in all the sights and sounds.
Where To Stay In Victoria
The best kid-friendly hotel is the fun and unique Hotel Zed that offers an awesome 70s vibe. The rooms are all brightly colored and decorated with funky furniture. There’s also a restaurant, pool with a waterslide and hot tub, game room, and lots of other activities for the whole family to enjoy. This hotel is outside of the main downtown core, but it is only a short drive into the heart of downtown.
There’s also the Fairmont Empress, Canada’s Castle on the Coast, which is an iconic and luxurious hotel right on the waterfront. The kids will love the heated pool, while parents can take advantage of the spa, fine dining restaurants, and excellent service.
Other great family-friendly options include Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort, , Best Western Plus Carlton Plaza, and Inn at Laurel Point. All of these hotels offer modern amenities and are conveniently located in the heart of downtown Victoria. No matter which one you choose, you’ll be sure to have a wonderful stay.
How To Get Around Victoria
Exploring the Inner Harbor and downtown core, which includes the Royal BC Museum, Parliament Buildings, Government Street, Johnson Street, and Chinatown, is easy to do on foot if you’re staying in downtown Victoria. Walking is actually the easiest way to explore the downtown area.
Victoria Harbour Ferry
The Inner Harbor is crisscrossed by small water taxis from Victoria Harbour Ferry that are a fun way to travel between locations on the Inner Harbor and Gorge. These taxis operate frequently and price depends on time of year. During the off season (October to April), it is $10 per person (one way), and children 12 and under are free.
BC Transit operates a reliable public bus system in Victoria, which is good for getting around the city. Fares depend on single pass or day pass, but typically range from $2.50-5. Some routes also offer discounted passes for multi-day use.
Victoria With Kids
Experience the history, culture, and beauty of Victoria by visiting its many historic sites, parks, and attractions. From High Tea at the Empress to Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site and everything in between, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon or an exciting adventure, the vibrant city of Victoria has something to offer.
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