Showcasing the history of the city, the Museum of Vancouver is a family-friendly place at Vanier Park with vintage neon signs and artifacts of interest.
It’s a fine attraction with educational historical displays and stories from the past.
As of March 2021, the museum is open Wednesdays to Sundays between 10 am and 5 pm.
Admission tickets must be purchased in advance and for specific entry times. The same as all public places in the province, face masks are mandatory. Guided tours and special educational programs are not taking place, but the museum gift store is open.
Museum of Vancouver (MOV)
The Museum of Vancouver is located at 1100 Chestnut Street adjacent to the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and Vanier Park (where the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival takes place every summer from mid-June until September).
The Museum of Vancouver isn’t a world-class museum, but it’s still very a good one, and definitely worth visiting if you’re interested in learning about the city’s past. We really like it! It’s also not unreasonably priced at a little more than $40 for a family of four.
The Museum of Vancouver is an especially “best place” to visit on a rainy day, provided that you like museums and history.
What to Expect
At the Museum of Vancouver expect to see Indigenous artifacts, vintage home appliances like 1950s TVs and laundry machines, and life-like mannequins in period clothing. Also expect to read displays about Vancouver’s history from the early days to the war years and up to near-present-day.
Inside the museum are displays about life in Vancouver from years past, including a collection of old signs from when Vancouver had one of the highest concentrations of neon advertising in North America.
The museum also features a room with videos about historical events on giant screens, an Indigenous dugout canoe and information about well-known local brand names like the White Spot. There’s even a collectible car at the display about the famous drive-in restaurant.
In short, it’s quite a good museum with a wide range of historical items and types of displays.
Museum Hours and Admission
The Museum of Vancouver is usually open from 10 am to 5 pm on Sundays to Wednesdays, from 10 am until 8 pm on Thursdays, and from 10 am until 9 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Admission fees (including taxes) are about $20.50 for adults, $17.25 for students and seniors, $13.75 for youth (ages 12 to 18), and $9.75 for children (ages 5 to 11). Children ages 4 and under are free.
In most years, admission for everybody is by donation on the last Thursday evening of each month (from 5 to 8 pm). In addition, seniors can usually get in for $5 on the first Tuesday of each month. However, both of these deals are no longer available in 2020 due to COVID-19.
Family passes are also available for $43 (for 2 adults or seniors and up to 3 children or youth).
SPECIAL DEALS AT THE MUSEUM
In most years, the first Tuesday of the month is “Seniors Day” when anyone over the age of 64 can get into the venue for just $5 (which is about $12 less than normal). Admission to the Museum is also usually “by donation” on the last Thursday of the month, and members of Vancity Credit Union get a 50% discount any day of the week.
Tips and Advice
Below is some information and advice to help you make the most out of your trip to the Museum of Vancouver.
TIP #1: If you don’t mind crowds and really want your money’s worth, go on the last Thursday evening of the month when admission is by donation (offered most years).
TIP #2: The museum is located close to other best places, including the seawall along Vanier Park (which is great for walks and cycling), the planetarium (located in the same building as the museum), Kitsilano Beach and the Vancouver Maritime Museum. If going to MOV, then check out one or more of these other places on the same day.
TIP #3: Consider getting the Vanier Park Explore Pass which gets you into the museum, plus the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre/Planetarium and the Vancouver Maritime Museum. The pass can be purchased at any one of the three venues at around $43 for adults and $37 for seniors, students and youth.
TIP #4: The Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival is very highly recommended if you like live theatre and Shakespeare. If you are at the Museum of Vancouver in the summer, and you’re not with children, then consider seeing one of the performances (especially if it’s one of the more entertaining comedies).
TIP #5: Expect to spend between 30 minutes and 2 hours at the museum depending on who you’re with and your levels of interest in Vancouver history.
TIP #6: Members of Vancity Credit Union get 50% off regular admission for themselves and a friend.
For further details about the attraction see the Museum of Vancouver website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver History and Culture
- Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- Vancouver Rainy Day Activities
- Festivals & Events Calendar