Vancouver offers a wide range of places to learn about history, culture, science, the arts, nature and everything, including food and enjoying life.
Best Educational Venues in the Lower Mainland
The following are some of the best educational places and activities in Metro Vancouver. That means they are fun and interesting to visit, but also offer an educational component, for children especially, but for adults too.
Places Within the City of Vancouver
- Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden – a beautiful garden with informative guided tours.
- FlyOver Canada – a multi-sensory theatre at Canada Place where you buckle into your seat and fly over Canada (or other countries sometimes too).
- Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours – guided walking tours in downtown Vancouver.
- H.R. MacMillan Space Centre – learn about space and the stars.
- Museum of Anthropology – at the University of British Columbia.
- Museum of Vancouver – profiles the history of Vancouver.
- Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) – mostly just rides, carnival activities and music, but also educational exhibits featuring animals and farming in the summer.
- Roedde House Museum – a heritage building in Vancouver’s West End where you can see how an upper middle class family used to live.
- Science World – educational IMAX Theatre shows and lots to learn about science.
- The Vancouver Aquarium – home to sea otters, and a million fish to look at and learn about.
- Vancouver Maritime Museum – learn about the maritime history of the Pacific Northwest and Arctic.
- Vancouver Police Museum – a museum about the history of crime and law enforcement in the City of Vancouver.
Places Elsewhere Within Metro Vancouver
- Britannia Heritage Shipyard – a historic site in Richmond.
- Burnaby Village – an outdoor museum where you can learn about the region’s history and life in the past in Burnaby.
- Capilano River Hatchery at the Capilano River Regional Park – learn about fish (and see them swimming upstream too) on the North Shore.
- Capilano Suspension Bridge – offers nature to look at, but also ecological and historic exhibits in North Vancouver
- Fort Langley – where the history of the fur trade era comes alive in Langley.
- Fraser River Discovery Centre – a facility in New Westminster that’s suitable for young children that teaches about the ecosystems of the Fraser River.
- Greater Vancouver Zoo – see and learn about animals in Aldergrove.
- Grouse Mountain – educational movies (except at Christmas) and animal habitat and birds in motion presentations in the summer on the North Shore.
- Gulf of Georgia Cannery – learn about the salmon canning industry of yesteryear in Richmond.
- Maplewood Farm – farm animals for young children and their families in North Vancouver.
- Sensea Immersive – the museum-like attraction hosts touring exhibitions in Tsawwassen. In 2021 it was home to the Da Vinci Experience. In 2022 it hosts Stargazer (which is an exhibition about outer space).
Places Elsewhere Within the Lower Mainland
- Atchelitz Pioneer Village – a museum and historic site with heritage buildings in Chilliwack.
- Britannia Mine – a historic copper mine and museum between Vancouver and Squamish.
- Kilby Historic Site – a museum and historic site in the Fraser Valley depicting area life in the 1920s.
- Stave Falls Powerhouse – BC Hydro’s visitor centre in Mission.
- West Coast Railway Heritage Park – where you’ll learn about trains and railway life in Squamish.
Lower Mainland Universities
The main universities in the Lower Mainland are the following:
- University of British Columbia (UBC)
- Simon Fraser University (SFU)
- Capilano University (CapU)
- Trinity Western University (TWU)
- Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU)
There are also lots of colleges in the Lower Mainland, plus other large academic institutions including the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Best Places for Children
- Vancouver Rainy Day Activities
- Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- Vancouver on a Budget