5 activities that make Vancouver the perfect family superyacht destination

Tour the Granville Island markets

It doesn't matter if you’ have got toddlers or teens in tow, Vancouver has plenty to keep your family happy on or off the yacht. Whether you are visiting on a private yacht or one of the  best family friendly yachts for charter the combination of cultural, educational and thrill-seeking adventures in the great outdoors will keep all generations happy.

Discover five of the best family activities away from your superyacht in Vancouver:

1. Tour the Granville Island markets

Once the site of Vancouver’s industrial mills, Granville Island is now a seaside hub of artisan shops, restaurants and farmer’s markets. And with several marinas along its waterfront, it’s a convenient stop for anyone arriving in Vancouver by yacht. For adults and teens there are art galleries, jewellery and furniture boutiques, live music and theatre shows, restaurants and a Public Market selling fresh local produce, flowers, and sweets.

For the little ones there is the Kids Only Market, with its own miniature ‘kids only’ doorway leading to toy stores, rides, arcades, and candy shops, as well as a playground and small waterpark outside. Afterwards, the family can hop on the water taxi and disembark at Science World – housed in a giant glass orb perched on the waterfront and filled with fun, interactive exhibits, and one of the largest Omnimax (domed-screen) theatres in the world.

Picture courtesy of Deymos.Hr/Shutterstock.com

Explore Stanley Park

In the heart of Vancouver'’s historic Stanley Park you will find the Vancouver Aquarium, Canada'’s largest aquarium and home to orcas, belugas, dolphins, and some very playful otters. After seeing the 70,000 marine creatures on display, the family can stroll through the old-growth forests of Stanley Park to visit Prospect Point, overlooking the North Shore Mountains and the Burrard Inlet, and the beaches along the 22 km Seawall that borders the park.

You can also take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the park (running from March through October), play a round of pitch and putt golf, or hop on the Stanley Park Miniature Train — a 2 km track that winds through the scenic forests. In the winter, the train becomes the Bright Nights Christmas Train, chugging through an enchanting display of Christmas lights, and in October the track is taken over by goblins, ghouls and monsters for the Halloween Ghost Train.

Picture courtesy of Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock.com

Horse around

Take the kids for a day at Maplewood farm, where they can ride ponies, visit the petting zoo, feed the animals, and even hop on a pedal tractor. The farm is located near Mount Seymour, just 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver and easily accessible from any of the downtown marinas or the North Shore marinas.

If you would like a more luxurious farm experience, take the family to one of BC'’s many guest ranches. Most are in the rugged interior, so you will need to hire a helicopter or a car to get there, but there are high-end ranches offering upscale accommodation, spas, horse riding lessons, and fine dining. Try the award-winning Elkin Creek Guest Ranch; Echo Valley Ranch & Spa (pictured above); or Sundance Guest Ranch, situated in British Columbia’'s stunning South Thompson region.

Picture courtesy of Echo Valley Ranch & Spa/Facebook.com

Hit the slopes

Vancouver’'s local North Shore Mountains and world-renowned Whistler Blackcomb ski resort are fantastic family destinations, whether you visit in the winter to hit the slopes, or in the summer to hike, swim in the lakes, and relax in the fresh air. Whistler Village also offers luxury shopping, five-star hotels and fine dining to rival that of Vancouver. For adults and teens there are championship golf courses and mountain biking trails.

In the wintertime, kids can try snowshoeing, tobogganing and ice-skating at Grouse, Seymour or Cypress mountains, all located within 30 minutes’ drive from downtown Vancouver. You can also take the family to the top of Grouse Mountain in the Skyride gondola, for unbeatable panoramic views of the city that stretch all the way to Vancouver Island.

Picture courtesy of Adam Melnyk/Shutterstock.com

Get your adrenaline pumping

With locations on Vancouver Island and Whistler Mountain, WildPlay Element Parks offer kids, teens and adults adrenaline-pumping adventures in the rugged wilderness. Activities range from aerial obstacle courses to zip-lining, bungee jumping, and a daring ‘pendulum’ swing across rushing rivers. If you’re visiting Vancouver in the summer, take the family to the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), an annual fair that runs from late August until early September, with livestock shows, games and prizes, live entertainment, and a classic wooden roller coaster. From late April until September the PNE fairground also hosts Playland, an amusement park with more than 35 hair-raising rides.

If you are interested in visiting the city don't miss our guide to chartering a yacht in Vancouver.

Picture courtesy of  Melis/Shutterstock.com

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