- Published: Friday, 28 February 2014 05:00
- Written by Mary Anne Been
Vancouver, British Columbia, is an enjoyable destination for a family vacation. It’s a great city for walking; there’s no need to rent a car. Public transportation or cabs are both pretty inexpensive and very convenient. Vancouver’s character is lively and offers lots for families to do.
We stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel. The hotel is perfect for families as they provide many things to keep the kids busy. The hotel has an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, babysitting services, and off-site activities; the Kids in the City program is wonderful for keeping the kids occupied while mom and dad are making plans or getting ready to go out. Our kids were pretty self-reliant, but loved the tour they did with executive sous chef Craig Dryhurst.
Our hotel was pretty centrally located so it made navigating where we wanted to go pretty easy. We had some Experience Passes through Vancouver Tourism. These little gems were great for getting us access to some of the city’s sites, such as the Vancouver Lookout, the museums, and Grouse Mountain, where we played in the snow, hiked the area, and ice skated for the day. It’s a great ski and snowboard area, too.
Vancouver in the winter is quite a treat as everything is lit up with bright, colorful lights that reflect off the buildings and winter weather. We visited the Vancouver Christmas Market one night and had some traditional European fun decorating gingerbread men, eating schnitzel and waffles, and drinking mulled wine and beer (and hot cocoa for the kids). There were also small booths selling keepsakes. It made for a fun evening out for the whole family.
On another night in the city we ventured over to see the incredible holiday light show at the VanDusen Botanical Garden. It was pretty spectacular with its many lights and paths to wander through.
Granville Island was highly recommended to us as a place to spend an afternoon. The family and I spent most of our time on Granville Island wandering through the large Public Market area where we discovered Lee’s Donuts, which had the largest cinnamon rolls and fritters any of us had ever seen. Obviously we ordered a cinnamon roll and shared it between the four of us. The artisan and specialty boutique shops were a treat to peruse; we even did a bit of gift buying. Granville Island was a great day trip with lots to see.
We really had a great time in Vancouver and will be back again in the summer months I am sure.