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Updated by Colleen Lanin on Dec 02, 2016
Headline for 5 Vancouver Island Activities for Families
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5 Vancouver Island Activities for Families

Diverse and dramatic, Vancouver Island delivers all that active families look for in a holiday destination. The island’s coastal rainforest and beaches draw nature lovers and adventure seekers of all ages. From the sea to the land and the sky, here are five Vancouver Island activities for families you won’t want to miss.
Pacific Northwest Raptors
Want to see the fastest animal on the planet? Simply head to Pacific Northwest Raptors, a center for birds of prey to watch peregrine falcons soar overhead before d


Pacific Northwest Raptors

Want to see the fastest animal on the planet? Simply head to Pacific Northwest Raptors, a center for birds of prey to watch peregrine falcons soar overhead before dive bombing mere feet from where you sit. Home to over 120 birds including bald eagles, vultures and owls, fantastic flying demonstrations take place twice a day during summer months and run until the end of October.


There are loads of laid-back family activities at Canada’s warmest beach, Parksville. Blessed with22 kilometers of beachfront, when the tide comes in over the hot sand it produces bath-like temperatures, making a swim in the Pacific more palatable. The shallow coast is ideal for skim boarding and beach combing for sand dollars, starfish and even crabs.Camping options nears Parksville abound, but The Beach Club Resort is where you want to be. Many rooms come with fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces and laundry facilities. Best of all, during the summer months there’s a Kid’s Club for the 5 to 12-year-old set.

Merridale Estate Cidery

Typically wine tasting plus children is not a combination that pairs well, but a spending an intoxicating afternoon at a cidery is an entirely different matter. At Merridale Estate Cidery families can wander along a wood-lined path in search of fairies that are rumored to roam the property. You’re sure to spot a few of their wooden homes and learn a bit about the flora and fauna of the region during a well-signed self-guided tour. While parents sample a flight of ciders (many international award-winning), kids can tuck into homemade cinnamon buns and pizza fresh out of the brick-oven. Work off the calories running through the orchard and searching for trout in the quarry pond. Give into temptation and stay overnight at one of the two well-equipped yurts on the premises—glamping at its finest!

Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre

Kids will be hooked upon entry at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre. Families descend in a tricked out elevator that invokes a submarine being submerged into the sea. Lights flash, the floor rumbles, and all the bells and whistles go off until you arrive at sea level. Devoted to discovering the recently renamed Salish Sea, this aquarium offers more than the usual tanks and fish feeding frenzy. Children interact with the ocean through a number of different stations including microscopes to watch minuscule marine life and a touch tank where you can get handsy with starfish, sea urchins and anemones.

Exploring Victoria’s Inner Harbour by Kayak

There are plenty of ways to explore this quaint capital city, but your best bet is to take to the water. Not only will you get a unique perspective of Canada’s garden city, but you’ll be able to get up close and personal with a wide variety of aquatic life. Kayaking in Victoria is an easy water sport for kids to grasp, and gliding across the water sets a tranquil pace for the rest of your day. Combine this bit of exercise with the fresh air, and you’re pretty much guaranteed a peaceful slumber. Head to Ocean River Adventures for both urban and island family kayaking (and paddle-boarding) tours.What are your favorite Vancouver Island activities for families? Let us know in the comments below!A Note from The Saucy Travel Mama: Thank you to Destination B.C., Tourism Victoria, Tourism Vancouver Island, Parksville & Qualicum Beach Tourism, Merridale Cidery, The Beach Club Resort, Pacific Northwest Raptors and Ocean River Sports who hosted these opportunities. As always, my opinions are my own.