What's more important than family? Making time to spend with them, of course! Monday, February 8 is B.C. Family Day and in light of the long weekend, we've put together some of our favourite family activities in Victoria to help you enjoy a little quality time with the ones you love.
Be a Coastal Naturalist
It may seem odd to plan a beach trip in the middle of February, but here in Victoria, it's just what we do! From sea stars and snails to chiltons and barnicles, Victoria's shoreline is home to many interesting sea creatures that can be observed right from the beach.
Take the drive out to Botanical Beach or stay closer to downtown and visit Gonzales Beach to see it all for yourself. Bring a notebook and write down your observations, or sketch a picture of your favourite fish!
Love LEGO in Sidney
There's no better example of Victoria's family-friendly environment than the annual Sidney Family Day LEGO Weekend, which is set to take place February 6-8, 2016. You'll see giant LEGO displays and meet a professional LEGO builder, plus participate in interactive building opportunities and a treasure hunt.
Make sure to leave time for a fun family walk through Sidney's charming downtown, taking time to explore the many bookstores or grab a snack at one of the locally-owned cafes. Head over to the Sidney Pier and see if you can spot any seals poking their heads out at you!
Go Under the Sea
While you're in Sidney, make sure to stop in at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre where you'll get up close and personal with wolf eels, jellyfish, rockfish a giant Pacific octopus and hundreds of other creatures - without getting wet!
Take a self-guided tour and check in with volunteer Oceaneers who will answer your questions about local species. Participate in the scavenger hunt, look into microscopes and tickle a sea urchin in the touch pool.
Explore the Ancient Wonders of Chinatown
Did you know that Victoria is home to Canada's Oldest Chinatown? We recommend that you take some time to explore the vibrant wonders of Victoria's Chinatown, where you'll uncover traditional Chinese toys and games, artwork and unique clothing in the many locally-owned boutiques. Try a sweet bubble tea or uncover your future with a tea leaf reading at Silk Road Tea.
See if you can find the mystical Fan Tan Alley, North America's narrowest commerical street!
Visit the Royal BC Museum
In celebration of B.C. Family Day, the Royal BC Museum will be offering free admission on Monday, February 8.
As you wander through the galleries, you'll be entertained by opera singers from the Pacific Opera Victoria and take part in free family activities including a sketching activity in the First Peoples Gallery and a portrait activity in the Natural History Gallery.
Make Friends in the Animal Kingdom
Travel Back in Time
Visit Canada's oldest west coast lighthouse and explore a piece of Victoria's history at Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site.
Take up your post as "master mariner" at the lighthouse or play a game of hide and seek with your family among secret bunkers, military command posts and original 19th century buildings. There's also a fun audio tour and interactive displays that you can participate in.
Embark On an Adventure
Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist on a guided walk through Francis/King Regional Park, where you'll learn about common evergreen species and what keeps our plants green year-round. If you dare, sip on some forest tea which is made from the moss found on the trees all around. Sound weird? Why not give it a try!
If you want to feel like a real explorer, pack a picnic with your family and choose from any of Victoria's walking and hiking trails. We love East Sooke Park for its incredible ocean vistas and gorgeous west coast boreal forest.
Fly Through Treetops
Ever spent the day amongst treetops? Experience the sensation of flying with Adrena LINE Zipline Adventure Tours and WildPlay Element Parks. You can choose from a number of treetop zip lines or challenge yourself to forest high-rope courses, perfect for unleashing your inner daredevil!
Still looking for more family activities?
- Family Day Magic at the Victoria Public Market
- Family Arts Festival 2016 at Cedar Hill Rec Centre
- Family Day Activities at Bear Mountain
- Family Day Free Swim at Esquimalt Rec Centre