The Vancouver International Children’s Festival is a festival for young children that takes place on Granville Island in late May or early June each year.
FESTIVAL STATUS AND COVID-19
Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, on March 23rd, 2020, the organizers of the Vancouver Children’s Festival announced that last year’s event was cancelled.
For full details about the decision to cancel the festival see the Vancouver Children’s Festival website.
In place of the regular live in-person event, the festival offered an alternative Kids Fest Pop Up where children and their families could participate in online events and activities. The new virtual series ran from May 26th until the 31st. For details click 2020 Kids Fest Pop Up.
In 2021 the festival is scheduled to run from May 31st until June 6th. Exact details, however, are to be confirmed.
Vancouver International Children‘s Festival
In 2020 the Vancouver International Children’s Festival was going to take place from May 25 to 31. The 2020 event was cancelled, however, due to concerns about the COVID-19 virus. The festival will take place again next year, in 2021, during the first week of June.
In years when it takes place the festival features theatre, music, dance, circus, puppetry and storytelling performances, plus numerous other child-oriented activities. It’s not a giant festival, but it’s a really good one and fun for young children.
What to Expect
Each year at the Vancouver Children’s Festival thousands of children and their families participate in a wide variety of fun activities.
There are indoor theatre shows, various forms of outdoor entertainment and activity tents with everything from paper hat making to splatter painting, as well as venues where you can try out circus tricks or get your face painted. The main shows cost extra, but the activities are free with the price of admission.
In a typical year, with good weather, as many as 30,000 people attend the festival over the course of the week, including school groups on week days.
Admission to the Children’s Festival
Tickets to the Vancouver Children’s Festival can be bought online in advance starting in the spring or during the festival at the festival box office which is located next to Studio 1398 on Granville Island at 1398 Cartwright Street.
Cash only purchases can also be made on the day of the event for any available performances at the box office up until one hour before show time. The most popular shows fill up in advance though, so reserve early if you can.
Ticket prices in 2020 were going to be the following (which are pretty much the same as they were in the previous three years):
- 1 Show Day Pass: $12.50 for children and $22 for adults (includes activity wristband).
- 4 Pack Family Pass: $58 (includes 1 show and activity wristbands for 4 family members).
- Activity Wristband only: $6 per person (purchased on site for cash only).
- Variety Show (1.5 hours): $19 for children and $22 for adults.
2021 prices will likely be the same or similar.
Tips and Advice
Below is a list of tips and advice to help you make the most out of your experience at the Vancouver International Children’s Festival.
TIP # 1: Don’t wait until the last minute to buy tickets for the best shows as they’ll likely fill up – some shows sell out over a month in advance!
TIP #2: If the weather is good consider combining the festival with a family cycling excursion along the False Creek Seawall. Parking will be a challenge during the event, so it won’t hurt to park elsewhere and enjoy a scenic bike ride. Other options include using public transit, and/or catching one of the False Creek Ferries or Aquabus to Granville Island, although demand for ferry rides that day might be pretty crazy.
TIP #3: While at Granville Island be sure to also check out the Public Market and explore the island with its gardens, toy stores and play areas. On the day we went a couple of years ago there were dozens of adult Canada Geese and their goslings wandering around and checking out the sights, which made for some fun photos of our own – so don’t forget your camera!
For more information about the Vancouver International Children’s Festival check out the VICF website. And for information on a similar event in Surrey, check out the Surrey International Children’s Festival.
Check out Vancouver’s Best Places for Children for other ideas on what to do with your kids.
For ideas on ways to save while exploring Vancouver, click Entertainment Coupons for Kids.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s May Calendar of Events
- Vancouver’s June Calendar of Events
- Lower Mainland Festivals & Events
- Vancouver Summer Activities
- Granville Island Public Market
- Shopping on Granville Island