Spending time outdoors is really important for kids. It gives them an opportunity to get active and play in a way that they can’t inside. They get away from screens and electronic devices. And they learn things about the world around them. It’s a fun way to learn about the world, explore science and play all at the same time. You can always just visit a local playground or take a walk around the block. To kick things up a notch or three, though, check out one of the great Metro Vancouver nature centres. They have displays, programs, and more to help the whole family get outside and connect with nature. And – bonus points – they have indoor spaces where you can stay dry while you explore and learn.
Metro Vancouver Nature Centres for Little Ones
Stanley Park Nature House
Stanely Park Nature House is located on Lost Lagoon. It’s the only Vancouver nature centre located inside the city itself. You’ll find interpretive displays, guides to answer your question, and a kids’ area. Admission is free. You can also find out about the work of the Stanley Park Ecology Society, and their public programs. Last fall they ran Duckling Discovery for preschoolers, and there are new things planned all the time, so ask if there’s something that would work for your kids. The Nature House is open from 10:00am-4:00pm on weekends from September to June, and from 10:00am-5:00pm Tuesday through Sunday during July and August.
Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre
This is a must-visit on your list of Vancouver nature centres. Located in beautiful Lynn Canyon Park not far from the suspension bridge and trails, you’ll find a museum filled galleries highlighting the temperate rainforest we call home. Little ones will enjoy the Kids’ Nature Nook. Admission is by donation, with a suggested donation of $2. The ecology centre also runs a variety of programs geared at kids as young as two years old. Treetop Tales, for instance, is a drop-in program for toddlers and preschoolers on the first and third Fridays of the month. The ecology centre is open from 10:00am-5:00pm daily from June to September. From October to May it is open from 10:00am-5:00pm on weekdays and 12:00-4:00pm on weekends.
Surrey Nature Centre
South of the Fraser you can check out Surrey Nature House to get up close with the natural world. You and your little ones can get involved in fun, free, nature activities. Their new indoor space allows you to play and learn at your own pace. You can also pick up materials like their Discovery Backpacks, which contain nature activities, to help you explore their outdoor space. This Metro Vancouver nature centre offers drop-in programs for kids as young as three years old, and registered programs as well. Admission is free. The facility is open from 8:30am-4:30pm Tuesday to Friday, and from 9:00am-4:30pm Saturdays.