Fort Langley is a national historic site in the Fraser Valley with a blacksmith shop, displays about the fur trade, and various reconstructed buildings.
FORT CLOSES AND THEN REOPENS
Over its history Fort Langley has experienced all kinds of diseases and pandemic outbreaks, from smallpox to the Spanish flu. Recently the National Historic Site has been feeling the impact of another one!
On March 18th, 2020, Parks Canada announced that it was closing all its facilities out of concern about the spread of COVID-19. Consequently, the historic site at Fort Langley was closed for a number of weeks.
Beginning in June, 2020, Parks Canada started to reopen some of its venues. Fort Langley, consequently, resumed operations on June 8th. Since that date, members of the public can once again visit the historic attraction.
For a list of other attractions impacted by the pandemic of 2020, click COVID-19 Cancelled Vancouver Events.
Fort Langley Historic Site
Fort Langley is an old Hudson Bay Company trading post and one of the Lower Mainland’s top attractions and a best place to take children.
Located in the picturesque Town of Fort Langley, the fort is mostly reconstructed, but still an interesting place to visit and learn about the region’s history and see what life was like in the early days of BC.
Things to See at Fort Langley
The Fort Langley National Historic Site offers a fair bit to see and do. In the busy summer season and during holiday weekends there are often special events, as well as blacksmithing and other demonstrations. Exhibits at the fort feature barrel-making, fur trade and other educational displays, and the site’s buildings include a storehouse, residences and a blacksmith shop.
TIP: In the summer, if you are looking for a unique place to stay, consider renting one of the fort’s “Tentiks”. These are tent/cabin-type accommodations that cost about $130 or so and include beds with linens. What’s best about these is the fact you get to stay (and sleep) within the fort at night, plus you don’t have to set up your own tent and bedding.
Best Times to Visit Fort Langley
Fort Langley is worth visiting any time of the year, but the best time to visit is in the summer when there are often additional activities going on. The May long weekend and August long weekend are especially good times to visit as there are all kinds of special events going on in and around the town then, including historical re-enactments in some years.
Other great days to visit the fort include anytime that there are special activities, including at the following events which take place most years:
- Vive les Voyageurs French Canadian Festival – a two day event in JANUARY that features French Canadian activities including Métis dancing, a re-enactment of a fur trade wedding, live music and old fort activity demonstrations.
- Family Day at the Fort – a holiday weekend of old-fashioned activities including 19th century family chores, photo opportunities in period costumes, and blacksmithing and coopering demonstrations during the FEBRUARY Family Day Long Weekend.
- Spring Break at the Fort – special activities for children and their families over the full two weeks of spring break holidays in MARCH.
- Easter Scavenger Hunt and Egg Scrambler – Easter egg hunts and other activities on Easter Sunday in MARCH.
- Fort Langley Beer + Food Festival – a craft beer festival in MAY.
- Victoria Day – a farm tour, coopering, historic weapons and blacksmithing demonstrations at the fort on Victoria Day in MAY following the Fort Langley May Day Parade in the morning. See Fort Langley May Day Fair and Parade for details.
- Canada Day – a free event on Canada Day in JULY featuring live music, birthday cake and other family-friendly activities.
- Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival – a music and arts event in JULY.
- Brigade Days – three days of celebrations featuring folk in period costume over the BC Day long weekend at the end of JULY and beginning of AUGUST.
- Fort Langley Cranberry Festival – a family-oriented event at Fort Langley celebrating the cranberry harvesting season in OCTOBER.
- Grave Tales – two and three-hour Halloween-ish walking tour programs in the village during the last half of OCTOBER.
- Douglas Day – an annual celebration on NOVEMBER 19 of the same day in 1858 when Sir James Douglas formally proclaimed BC a colony. This is a tiny event that takes place in the morning and is attended most years by only a couple of dozen visitors.
- Heritage Holiday – Christmas-themed decorations and activities the last two weeks in DECEMBER.
See the Fort Langley Historic Site Schedule of Events for more details.
TIP: The Vancouver Zoo is just 15 minutes down the road in Aldergrove. Both the fort and the zoo are worth visiting (if you like good forts and zoos) and each can take a full morning or afternoon to visit. Both are also a fair trek from downtown Vancouver, and best travelled to by car.
If you want to visit both attractions and you don’t mind a long day, then consider seeing the two places on the same day (and save yourself two trips in the same direction). There is a lot to see and do in Fort Langley though, so spending a full day there can be fun.
The Town of Fort Langley
The fort is one of Vancouver’s best places to visit, assuming you like outdoor museums and history, but the village of Fort Langley itself is also a cute place and highly worth strolling around.
Click the Village of Fort Langley for information on other great things to see in the immediate area, including one of the Lower Mainland’s best riverside cycling and walking trails, the Fort Langley Museum, and other quaint and interesting buildings in the historic town.
Similar Places in Lower Mainland
The Town of Fort Langley is one of several little villages we recommend as some of Vancouver’s best places to visit.
If you like Fort Langley, other similar (but less historic) places you might like include White Rock (a seaside resort), Horseshoe Bay (home to one of BC Ferries’ terminals to Vancouver Island), Steveston Village (a historic fishing village in Richmond) and Deep Cove (a picturesque village on the North Shore). Also, a little further up the Fraser Valley, is the popular resort town of Harrison Hot Springs.
If you really like history, another great place to visit in the summer is the Burnaby Village Museum in Burnaby. It and Fort Langley are probably the region’s two best places to learn about history and experience it outdoors.
For more information about the fort, check out the Parks Canada Fort Langley website.
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