Vancouver Island
Family-friendly Activities

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Our most recommended Vancouver Island Family-friendly Activities

Victoria: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

1. Victoria: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

After being collected from your downtown accommodation in a comfortable shuttle bus, you will venture down to the harbor where you will meet with your boat. After meeting your guides for the day, you will then depart from Victoria, setting off on your 3-hour whale-watching tour. Between April and October, you will have a greater than 95% success rate of spotting whales, including both transient and resident orcas, humpback, minke, and gray whales. Other wildlife you may encounter include Dall’s and harbor porpoises, harbor and elephant seals, and otters and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles. The zodiac vessels used on your tour are definitely recommended for the more wild-at-heart. You can let the wind blow in your hair and be exposed to the true west-coast elements in an open style, 12-passenger vessel. At the conclusion of your exhilarating tour, you will be returned back to the harbor, at which point you will be driven back to your accommodation in downtown Victoria.

Vancouver: Victoria, Gulf Islands Cruise, & Butchart Gardens

2. Vancouver: Victoria, Gulf Islands Cruise, & Butchart Gardens

View the spectacular British Columbia coastline by land and ship, followed by a stop at Butchart Gardens en route to the British-inspired city of Victoria. Board a BC Ferries vessel at Tsawwassen terminal for a 90-minute sail through the serene beauty of the Gulf Islands. Marine wildlife sightings from the outdoor ship decks are common, especially eagles, sea lions, and whales. Arrive at Swartz Bay terminal on Vancouver Island and continue to the enchanting botanical paradise of Butchart Gardens. Wander through a series of themed gardens, highlighted by the massive Sunken Garden complete with dancing fountain. The city of Victoria boasts many impressive architectural wonders, including the iconic Parliament Buildings and the waterfront Fairmont Empress Hotel. Visit the unique shops and cafes of Government Street and Chinatown. Stroll along the Inner Harbour for prime ocean views, and enjoy some free time to take in this culturally significant city. Return on the bus to Vancouver by ferry to conclude this diverse tour. Packed with ever-changing experiences of the Pacific Coast and Vancouver Island, this tour is a must-do for those who have not yet visited Victoria.

Campbell River: Whale & Wildlife Discovery Cruise

3. Campbell River: Whale & Wildlife Discovery Cruise

Spend a day on the water and discover local wildlife on this Campbell River cruise. Visit the Salish Sea, Discovery Passage, and Johnstone Strait. With an abundance of wildlife in the area, you are likely to encounter many animals both on land and at sea. Choose from two vessel options for your cruise. A covered vessel with indoor seating offers a good option for families. Alternatively, a zodiac-style vessel offers a good option for those who like being outdoors and want to feel the wind through their hair. Hop aboard your chosen vessel, then sit back and relax. Keep an eye out for humpback whales, killer whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, bears, Steller sea lions, and more. Learn from an on-board naturalist and listen to the sounds of whales through hydrophones. While it might not be possible to guarantee you’ll see all of these animals on your tour, this tour offers a great opportunity to see everything that is possible.

Family-Friendly Cheakamus Splash

4. Family-Friendly Cheakamus Splash

Enjoy a half-day rafting trip that features small splashy rapids, outstanding scenery and lots of laughs. It’s an ideal outdoor activity for families, children, seniors, and anyone looking for a gentle and fun scenic rafting adventure. As you raft down the glacier-fed Cheakamus River between old growth forests, you’ll experience the excitement of gentle rapids and see a variety of birds, wildlife, waterfalls, and the towering peaks of the Coast Mountains. Learn about the intriguing Squamish First Nations history, a key part of the history of the area. There will also be a water fight for the kids. Perfect the art of splashing others and get a chance to cool off with a quick dip in the pure, glacier-fed water. When your river journey ends, you will be taken back to the fully equipped rafting base where you can change back into your own clothes and enjoy the facilities at the resort including a full service restaurant and awesome fully-licensed outdoor patio area. Relax with your family and friends in the beautiful sunshine and comfort of the resort, and check out the photos and videos shot on your trip.

Squamish River: Scenic Twilight Float

5. Squamish River: Scenic Twilight Float

Take part in an ideal outdoor evening activity for families, children, seniors, and anyone looking for an exciting outing full of breathtaking scenery. The Squamish Scenic Twilight Float is a family friendly rafting float trip that features views of picturesque natural landscapes, wildlife sightings, and lots of laughs shared under the setting sun. Travel through the lower Squamish River and surrender to the relaxing flow of the water whilst admiring the breathtaking scenery of the Stawamus Chief, Shannon Falls, Mount Garibaldi, and the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. Witness a view of all these incredible natural occurring landmarks from the unique position of your float. Enjoy an evening with your family, friends and nature during this idyllic scenic interpretive float and learn about the world renowned Squamish Valley and its local wildlife as dusk settles over the Coastal Mountains.

Victoria: Guided Wildlife-Watching Tour by Catamaran

6. Victoria: Guided Wildlife-Watching Tour by Catamaran

This tour offers comprehensive wildlife viewing opportunities so that guests may experience as much as possible. The tours are generally shorter because of the seasonally cooler – while still mild – temperatures. Common sightings including wintering birds, seals, sea lions and playful porpoises. Though whale sightings are not guaranteed, if your captain and crew get word that whales are in the area, they'll often extend the tour at no extra charge. You have a 50-70% chance of seeing whales. Take advantage of the onboard wildlife identification kits, and learn about the region's wildlife from your naturalist guide. If you spot a whale, use the hydrophone to hear them! Please note: From Nov1st to April 30th, boat types and times may vary based on weather and tour numbers.

Frequently asked questions about Vancouver Island Family-friendly Activities

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Other Sightseeing Options in Vancouver Island

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What people are saying about Vancouver Island

Jordan was an excellent guide. So informative and just genuine. Biggest impressions was his care of the mammals in their own habitat and respect for the regulations. We seen Orca’s, sea lions and the bonus grey whale. Thanks Jordan for a great adventure. My only complaint was that I wanted to give Jordan a tip and I did not bring cash. No way to give debit, credit e-transfer. No ATM near buy.

We enjoyed the trip. There was a good balance of sightseeing and relaxing activities. Our tour guide Alex was excellent, very knowledgeable and caring and a great driver who made us feel safe. Pick up and drop off were smooth. It was a wonderful day.

The Gardens were beautiful. The coach we travelled in was comfortable and had charging ports for your phone. Guide was terrific and very knowledgeable. Would recommend this trip to anyone.

Forget how beautiful our area of the world is. Was a great adventure, saw a pod of Orcas, sea lions and learned things I didn’t know.

Our tour guide Alex was fantastic. So friendly, funny and informative!