Greater Victoria is full of family activities; here are a few of our favourites:
Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea in downtown Sidney by the Sea (35-minute drive north of Victoria) offers a fun and interactive experience for visitors of all ages. A top destination, the Centre is the largest aquarium on Vancouver Island, with 35 aquarium habitats featuring 3,500 marine animals including a giant Pacific octopus, rockfish, salmon, crabs and wolf eels, and a touch pool to get up close to colourful sea stars, urchins, anemones, and sea cucumbers.
Victoria Butterfly Gardens: Located about a 30-minute drive northwest of Victoria (5 minutes from The Butchart Gardens), the Butterfly Gardens play host to thousands of tropical butterflies (up to 70 species) flying through their large facilities – the size of almost 3 basketball courts.
With surprises at every turn, you’ll encounter poison dart frogs, tortoises, large iguanas, a flamingo, tropical ducks, free flying tropical birds and more. Stroll through and marvel at the lush gardens including tropical flowers, carnivorous plants and fruits of the world. Enjoy their newest exhibit, the Insectarium. Experience impressive insects & invertebrates from around the world. Your jungle adventure awaits.
WildPlay: Drive 20 minutes west of downtown Victoria to Colwood andhere you’ll find WildPlay – Platforms high above your head. Dozens of ziplines streak through the trees. Gravity-powered plummets that make your heart race. A giant swing so fast it blurs your vision, and more suspended ladders, bridges, nets, and obstacle games than you can count. This is where adventure lives. This is WildPlay.
Beacon Hill Children’s Farm: The Beacon Hill Children’s Farm, located within beautiful Beacon Hill Park, walking distance from downtown, is pleased to bring the farm animal experience into the city. Operated since 1985, by the Koenders family, the Beacon Hill Children’sFarm take pride in providing both and educational and economical form of entertainment for the whole family. Their goal is to help children develop a respect for animals that will remain with them for life. Plus, don’t miss the daily goat stampede!
The Victoria Bug Zoo is an incredible mini zoo located in the heart of downtown Victoria. The knowledgeable tour guides will teach you all about insects, arachnids and many others and will even give you the opportunity to interact with the animals in a safe, controlled environment. Come and meet fuzzy tarantulas, alien eyed praying mantids, glow in the dark scorpions and many many more! The Victoria Bug Zoo has been around over twenty years, come and see why!
Miniature World – the greatest little show on Earth – is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions located in downtown Victoria, BC. Your visit here will be a memorable experience for years to come. You’ll feel a lasting desire to return! Welcome to the little people’s Wonderful World of Smallness — step into the Story Books of fact, fiction and fantasy. Return to those fond memories of yesteryear, those childhood dreams and history’s greatest moments!
Victoria Harbour Ferries: Treat yourself to a ‘not-to-be-missed’ experience with Victoria Harbour Ferry. Immerse yourself in the spectacular beauty and intrigue of Victoria’s greatest attraction – its waterfront. Victoria Harbour Ferry provides a front row seat for natural and man-made harbour vistas and a unique perspective on B.C.’s capital city. Take a water taxi and traverse the harbour to access a uniquely local walking, shopping or dining experience, or enjoy a guided tour of the city’s past and present with their charming and knowledgeable Captains. With 17 vessels, Victoria Harbour Ferry has safely moved people around the harbour for over 30 years. Join them for fun on the water.
Tip #1: Wear a colourful hat at the Victoria Butterfly Gardens, butterflies tend to think you’re a flower!
Tip #2: Victoria Harbour Ferry Captains are the ‘Secret Sauce’. Don’t be shy about asking them what they did before they became a Victoria Harbour Captain. You might be very surprised – and you will definitely be entertained.
Tip #3: The Shaw Centre aquarium takes in 50 gallons of seawater per minute, directly from the ocean in front of us, which circulates through our habitats. In total, the Centre holds 24,000 gallons of saltwater that is filtered, skimmed and chilled to keep the marine animals healthy.