Vancouver
Vancouver
Science World - Chinatown

To get to this area, take SkyTrain to Main Street - Science World stop, or in good weather, it's fun to ride the Aquabus or Water Ferry down False Creek to the last stop, The Village. Chinatown is also easily accessible on SkyTrain, get off at Stadium - Chinatown stop.

Science World (TELUS World of Science) - The geodesic dome that houses Science World is only the first thing kids love about this place. The museum is completely hands-on and kids are encouraged to experience science through every sense they have in the Eureka!, Search, Wonder (for little kids) galleries. There's also an Omnimax theater, science stage shows, and travelling exhibitions.
In the Search gallery, we especially liked the beaver lodge (crawl inside) and red cedar tree (sit inside the tree), heart drum in BodyWorks, and lever to lift a hippo in the Eureka! galleries.
Be sure to go outdoors to the Ken Spencer Science Park to see a "recycle your waste" house, chickens, urban gardening, and interactive exhibits about transportation and energy.
T-rex statue - Outside the museum is a huge T-Rex statue, made from leftover mechanical parts. This is part of the TD Environment Trail, highlighting issues about recyling, food and water.
Creekside Park - Next to Science World is a super playground, particularly for younger kids. Little ones can climb up rope ladders and slide down, swings, water play area, and "mini-zip lines."
Go kayaking - False Creek is a fun area to go kayaking with kids. Rent kayaks at Creekside Kayaks, at the end of Ontario Street on the water, next to Science World.
Chinatown -
Best way to get to Chinatown, hop on SkyTrain, get off at Stadium-Chinatown.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden - Visit replica of a 16th century Ming Dynasty garden. In the garden are bridges over lily ponds, fossil rocks and pebbles that come from China. Admission price includes a tour. Entrance is on 578 Carrall Street.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park - Next door to the garden is a Chinese-style park, shady oasis on the edge of Chinatown, with moon gate, bamboo and pine trees, turtles and koi in the pond. The park is free.
Festivals - Chinatown has colorful yearly festivals: Chinatown Spring Festival and Chinese New Year Parade in winter (lion and dragon dances), and Chinatown Festival in summer with Chinese arts and crafts, food, kids' corner, music and performances.
Canada Place - This is where cruise ships dock and the site of one of the city's poshest hotels. Built to look like an enormous sailing ship, it also houses an IMAX theater, but what's really fun for kids is going up and down the hundreds of steps at the back of the building, getting a great view of Coal Harbor and looking at the super cruise ships docked on either side.
SeaBus Terminal - Take the ferry to Lonsdale Quay. It's a big 400-passenger catamaran, Burrard Beaver or the Burrard Otter SeaBus, with lots of windows, and completely enclosed (which is good in rainy or foggy weather.) On the way, you'll have a good look at the big ships in Burrard Inlet. It's about a 15 min. trip each way.
Vancouver Lookout - Take an express elevator to the Harbour Centre at 555 Hastings Street in downtown Vancouver to this viewing platform and you'll get a spectacular full-circle view of everything for miles. Pick a clear day and you can see from the mountains to the ocean. While the kids run around and around the enclosed platform, you can relax with a latte.
Gastown -The "old town" part of Vancouver, built right after the big fire at the turn of the century. Cobbled streets, gas lanterns, a steam clock (fun to watch the moving mechanical parts) add charm to the authentic Victorian buildings. Year-round street musicians can be found on almost every corner.

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