There are so many things to do with children in Metro Vancouver in early spring and during the school holidays, and some of the best are actually free.
Free Spring Activities for Kids
It’s tough to know where to take kids on a fixed budget in Vancouver at Spring Break. Check out these highly affordable kid-friendly places and activities.
- Go for a family bike ride or walk around Stanley Park‘s seawall, or go for a hike or cycle through the park’s interior forested trails. The sunsets this time of year are gorgeous, especially from Second Beach and Third Beach.
- Stroll or cycle along the False Creek Seawall, and visit Granville Island or the beach at English Bay on the way.
- Visit North Vancouver’s Capilano River Regional Park and hike from the Cleveland Dam to the Capilano River Hatchery and back. Round trip it should take about an hour, plus a bit of time to look around.
- Go for a picnic and enjoy the early cherry blossoms at any of the hundreds of locations in the region where the blossoms are blooming. (For locations check out the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival’s Neighbourhood Map).
- Walk around one of the Lower Mainland’s beautiful lakes, including Rice Lake in North Vancouver, Alice Lake up the Sea to Sky Highway near Squamish, or Rolley Lake near Mission. For each of these lakes take your fishing rod, and if visiting Alice Lake be sure to stop by Shannon Falls too.
- Go hiking in North Vancouver at Lynn Canyon Park, with its beautiful forested trails and suspension bridge (for which there is no charge). (Note: The bridge was closed for much of 2020 due to COVID-19. As of early April 2021, it was still closed.)
- Take the kids for a picnic, like at Ambleside in West Vancouver where you can play at the beach and then go for a stroll along the seawall toward Dundarave. John Lawson Park halfway between the two has an amazing children’s play area. Fishing and crabbing are also permitted on a couple of the piers. Try to be there in the evening as well if it’s a clear day – the North Shore sunsets can be amazing. Or, with small children, check out Cates Park in North Vancouver to play on the great kids playground structure there and search for tiny crabs under rocks at the beach. Another great children’s playground is the amazing Terra Nova Adventure Play Environment at the Terra Nova Rural Park in Richmond.
- Explore a park you have never been to before, especially if you have never been to any of these: Alouette Lake near Maple Ridge, Cultus Lake in the Fraser Valley, either Lighthouse Park or Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver, or Lynn Headwaters Regional Park in North Vancouver. Click Lower Mainland Parks & Nature for more.
- Go for a bike ride along the water somewhere outside the city, like from Jericho Beach to Spanish Banks, along the river at Fort Langley, or along the water at Steveston Village.
- Easter takes place in March some years (although not in 2019, 2020 or 2021). When it does, then best places to take children are to community rec centres for their Easter egg hunts and other activities. Some places have admission costs, but others are free. Click Vancouver Easter Activities for details.
For more ideas on what to do with kids any time of the year, check out Vancouver’s best places for children.
For things to do during the school Spring Break, check out Vancouver’s Best Place’s Spring Break Activity Recommendations.