Spring is in the air and in Vancouver this means longer days and warmer weather. Celebrate the season of renewal by spending some time outdoors and reconnecting with nature. For spring time fun, check out these family friendly activities to do around the Lower Mainland.
Watch For Whales
March officially marks the start of whale watching season. The Vancouver area is one of the best whale watching spots in the world and sometimes dozens of whales can be spotted swimming in the waters. Book yourself a whale watching tour for a chance to see these majestic beauties up close. Besides migrating orcas and grey whales, there’s also a chance to spot sea lions, seals and dolphins. Whale watching tours are usually for a full or half day and there are a number of tour operators in Vancouver and Richmond to choose from.
Attend The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
You know that spring has officially sprung when the cherry blossom trees in the Lower Mainland start blooming and the Cherry Blossom Festival is an ideal way to celebrate its return. This fun community festival offers a number of events to choose from. On April 3, head out to Vancouver for the Cherry Jam Downtown Concert for some lively music, culinary demonstrations and a taiko performance, amidst the cherry blossom trees near Burrard Skytrain Station. For a night to remember, check out the Sakura Illuminations Tour. On April 4, this one-of-a-kind light show will illuminate various cherry blossom sites using LED and video lights to create a truly magical experience. Held at Granville Island, the light show will run from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Can’t get enough of those pretty pink blossoms? Tree Talks & Walks is a great way to explore some Vancouver parks, get some exercise and see cherry blossoms in their peak blooming times. This event runs through April 3 to 20. For locations and times, visit their website at www.vcbf.ca. Another fun event to check out is Blossom Bollywood. On April 12, you’ll get to learn some new Bollywood moves from the Shiamak Davar Vancouver Performance Team at the Robson Skating rink downtown.
Go On An Easter Egg Hunt
Nothing quite says spring like an Easter Egg Hunt. On April 19, head out to VanDusen Botanical Gardens for the Great A-Mazing Egg Hunt. Kids will have a blast searching for eggs in VanDusen’s Elizabethan Hedge Maze. Tickets are limited and they go on sale on March 31 at Vandusen Garden’s Visitor Centre. It’s $7 for children and $10.75 for adults. Stanley Park is another great option for some Easter fun. Kids can enjoy a ride on the Easter Train, get creative at craft time and go egg hunting. Tickets are $13.25 for children aged 3–17 and $8.25 for kids under 3, and an adult ticket is free with the purchase of a child ticket, with additional adult tickets at $5. Be sure to bring your a basket for the egg hunt!
Catch A Parade
There are a number of parades marching into town this spring! Check out the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 16. This free, family friendly parade begins on Howe and Davie Street in downtown Vancouver at 11 am and proceeds north. It’ll feature a number of Celtic and Irish dancers, acrobats, stilt walkers, vintage cars, pipe and drum bands, the Vancouver Police motorcycle drill team and more. There are also two Vaisakhi parades (Nagar Kirtan) to catch in April, as both Vancouver and Surrey host their annual Vaisakhi Day processions. With hymns, floats, live music, dances and tons of free food, you’ll be sure to have a great time.
Take A Stroll
Warmer weather and blooming flowers make spring the perfect time for a leisurely stroll in a park. Check out Nitobe Memorial Garden, one of the most authentic Japanese gardens in North America. Located at the University of British Columbia, this tranquil spot has a number of exquisite elements to admire like its koi pond, streams and waterfall. Admission is $6 for adults, $4.50 for youth and $3 for children. Another great natural gem is Hastings Park. Located near PNE, this park offers something for everyone. Imagine yourself in Italy, the Park’s Il Giardino Italiano is an Italian-style garden complete with fountains, sculptures and pear trees. There’s also a large children’s play area nearby. Head out to the Sanctuary, a nine acre forested area with two ponds. Surrounded by bridges and a boardwalk, this is an ideal location for bird watching and free nature walks are held here.
Get Some Air
Spring in Vancouver can be sometimes wet. If you’re stuck at home on a rainy day with nothing to do, head out to the Extreme Air Park in Langley or Richmond. This 42,000-square-foot indoor trampoline park is a great place to spend a fun afternoon with family or friends and burn some calories too. Try trampoline basketball, dive into their foam pit or have a friendly game of 3D dodgeball. You can also sign up for an air aerobics class or learn some trampoline gymnastics. All ages are welcome, but children under 6 need to be accompanied by an adult. It’s $14 for 1 hour of jumping, $19 for 1.5 hours and $21 for 2 hours. No reservations are required, just drop by for an entertaining afternoon!
Photo : Vancouver Tourism