Playdome is a Vancouver carnival with amusement rides at BC Place during Spring Break in March. It features lots of rides and a midway, with everything indoors.
Playdome was cancelled for Spring Break in 2020. It did not, consequently, take place from March 20th to the 28th as originally planned. It didn’t happen in 2021 either.
As of mid-February 2022, it doesn’t appear that the carnival is happening again this year. Exact details, however, are to be confirmed. Maybe it will, or maybe not until some other year in the future.
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Playdome at BC Place Stadium
Billed as Canada’s largest indoor carnival and midway, Playdome’s amusement rides arguably make it Vancouver’s most exciting indoor place to be at the end of Spring Break.
Conveniently held in March during the school Spring Break most years, and very conveniently held indoors in a month with typically lots of rain, the attraction is like Playland at the PNE, or a carnival in a shopping mall parking lot, except that it’s indoors, dry and inside BC Place Stadium, which itself is kind of cool.
When is Playdome
Most years Playdome takes place for a week or so during the school Spring Break period. It didn’t happen in 2019, however, but was going to take place in March 2020, but then didn’t in the end. In 2020 it was going to run from Friday, March 20th, until Saturday, March 28th. Due to concerns about the coronavirus, however, the event was cancelled.
When it will next take place is to be determined. As of early-February, 2022, there has been no update on the status of the event. It seems very possible that it won’t happen again this year.
The carnival was going to run from March 22nd to 26th in 2020 from 10 am until 9 pm, from 10 am until 10 pm on the Fridays and Saturday of March 20th, 21st and 27th, and from 10 am to 8 pm on Saturday March 28th.
Below were the planned hours of operation on each specific date:
- Friday, March 20th, 2020 – 10 am to 10 pm
- Saturday, March 21st, 2020 – 10 am to 10 pm
- Sunday, March 22nd, 2020 – 10 am to 9 pm
- Monday, March 23rd, 2020 – 10 am to 9 pm
- Tuesday, March 24th, 2020 – 10 am to 9 pm
- Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 – 10 am to 9 pm
- Thursday, March 26th, 2020 – 10 am to 9 pm
- Friday, March 27th, 2020 – 10 am to 10 pm
- Saturday, March 28th, 2020 – 10 am to 8 pm
Admission at Playdome
Admission to Playdome isn’t unreasonable for what you get. Single-day Dome Passes are available, as are multi-day Ultimate Passes for serious amusement-ride enthusiasts and Guest Passes for adults just wanting to watch their young children.
Below were admission prices for March 2020. As you’ll see, tickets purchased online in advance were cheaper than passes purchased at the door on the day. Also, new for 2020, Playdome was offering family passes which were a terrific deal for families with young children (as well as parents who wanted to attend but not go on rides, or at least nothing serious).
(Note: Prices and other details were subject to change. Taxes were included, but online service charges of around $3 or so per person applied).
2020 Playdome Tickets Purchased Online
How much do tickets cost at Playdome when purchased in advance online? Below are the rates in March 2020. (Prices in future years will likely be similar.)
- Dome Pass – $33.00 (valid for all rides for 1 day)
- Ultimate Pass – $55.00 (same as Dome Pass plus front-of-the-line priority line-up access)
- Guest Pass – $11.00 (for spectators with limited access to rides for 1 day)
- Family Pass – $79 (2 Dome Passes & 2 Guest Passes)
2020 Playdome Tickets at the Gate
How much do tickets cost at Playdome when you buy them on the day at the gate? Here are the rates:
- Dome Pass – $36 (valid for all rides for 1 day)
- Ultimate Pass – $55 (same as Dome Pass plus front-of-the-line priority line-up access)
- Guest Pass – $15 (for spectators with limited access to rides for 1 day)
- Family Pass – $89 (2 Dome Passes & 2 Guest Passes)
Other Playdome Ticket Information
Family passes are good value for families with two adults (who would ordinarily want just a Guest Pass) and two young children. Regular full price at the gate would be $102. Paying $79 online or $89 at the gate, consequently, represents a savings of between $13 and $23 compared to paying full price at the door.
Multi-day passes were not available for the attraction in 2020.
Children under the age of two could get into the venue for free, but were too young to go on any of the rides.
Guest Passes in 2020 allowed visitors to ride on just three of the attractions: the Ferris Wheel, Choo Choo Charlie and the Carousel. The passes were ideal for parents of young children who didn’t want to go on any of the other rides.
Visitors to Playdome with special needs and who could present a valid Access2 card qualified for 2-for-1 admission for themselves and their accompanying assistant.
Rides at Playdome
At Playdome there are dozens of rides and attractions, including rides that spin, ones that swing, and some that go round and round, as well as traditional favourites like the Ferris Wheel and Tilt-a-Whirl. There is something for every age (at least for those over 2).
Rides at Playdome in 2020 are listed below (and in brackets are the minimum height restrictions for each). As you’ll see, guests must be at least three feet tall to go on at least some of the rides.
Rides included in the Guest Pass
- Carousel (36″)
- Choo Choo Charlie (36″)
- Expo Wheel (48″)
Rides for Children
- Berries (36″)
- Bulgys (36″ minimum and 42″ maximum)
- Charlie Chopper (36″)
- Elephant (36″)
- Kite Flyer (42″)
- Monster Truck (42″)
- Motorcycles (36″)
- Raiders (36″)
- Sooper Jet Coaster (36″)
- Spring Ride 36″
- Superslide (36″)
- Cuckoo Haus (42″)
- Dark Ride (36″ accompanied by an adult or 42″ on one’s own)
- Ghost Party (36″)
- Impact Zone (36″ to ride and 48″ to drive)
- Mardi Gras (36″)
- Sizzler (42″)
- Sky Screamer (52″)
- Spider (42″)
- Tilt (52″)
- Toon Town (36″)
- Tornado (42″)
- Fireball (52″)
- Spin Out (42″)
- Starship 3000 (48″)
- Super Shot (42″)
- Zero Gravity (42″)
- Zipper (52″)
In addition to all the carnival rides, the attraction has lots of traditional midway games, from balloon dart throws, duck ponds, basketball hoop throwing and shooting ranges, plus face painting and tattoos.
Playdome is indeed a giant indoor carnival. The kids will love it!
Tips and Tricks
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your Playdome experience.
TIP #1: Get there early in the morning. Sunday morning can be especially quiet at the start, often with no lineups at all. As the day progresses, however, it can get busy, and especially so on rainy days.
TIP #2: Large bags and backpacks (bigger than 14 inches by 14 inches by 6 inches) are not permitted in the stadium. So pack lightly and take only what you need!
TIP #3: It rains a lot in Vancouver, especially in March, and for some reason almost always around Spring Break. For a list of other fun things to do when it’s miserable outside, see our article about Vancouver Rainy Day Activities.
TIP #4: Parking in downtown Vancouver can be expensive. Take public transit if you can. The closest SkyTrain station is Stadium-Chinatown which is on the Expo-Millennium Line.
As of early February 2022, the official playdomecarnival.com website appears to be down. See the Playdome Instagram page for the latest updates.
For ideas on other things to do over the March school holidays, see our article about Spring Break in Vancouver.
To learn more about the venue where Playdome takes place, click BC Place Stadium.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver Events in March
- Vancouver Activities for Kids
- Vancouver Festivals & Events
- Vancouver’s Top Attractions