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Things To Do With Kids in Vancouver

Big city bustle meets small-town charm in Vancouver. Seated on the north bank of the Columbia River, Vancouver is Portland’s largest suburb and in 2016 WalletHub ranked the city 39th Best Place to live in the US for families. Fortunately, a good place to live often indicates a great place to visit. Like most places in Washington, Vancouver has more recreational opportunities than your average city. Browse famous tourist attractions, popular local hotspots, and other fun activities for families in Vancouver.

One of Vancouver’s most popular attractions is the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site — a reconstructed British fur trade fort featuring historic buildings from the US Army's Vancouver Barracks, the Pearson Air Museum, and walking trails. Browse more top things to do in Vancouver with kids below:

  • Shop for local fruits, veggies, and other goods at the Vancouver Farmers Market
  • Drive part of the 70-mile Northern Clark County Scenic Drive
  • Explore popular Art Galleries in Downtown Vancouver
  • Walk or ride bikes along the Waterfront Renaissance Trail and catch gorgeous views
  • Appreciate the Clark County Murals scattered through downtown created as part of an art revival project

Vancouver has city attractions and outdoor adventure for the whole family. Book horseback riding lessons at LS Training or Horse Haven Farms. Other family-friendly activities include:

  • Family comedy shows at Kiggins Theatre or performing arts shows at Magenta Theater
  • New family movies at Cinetopia Mill Plain 8 or Regal Cinemas
  • The Victorian-style home and gardens at Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens
  • Family fun at Little Cups & Grownups Play Café
  • An afternoon of swimming at the Propstra Aquatic Center

Vancouver hosts dozens of iconic festivals and special events every year. The Recycled Arts Festival attracts more than 35,000 people and the city has great music events like the Six to Sunset Concert Series and Birdfest & Bluegrass. Find more sightseeing and free things to do in Vancouver with kids:

  • Marvel at the historic, heavily-wooded Cedar Creek Grist Mill and the beautiful stream that flows nearby
  • Visit shops, restaurants, and more on Hayden Island in the Columbia River
  • Older kids will enjoy a challenge climbing Mount St. Helens
  • Try a sightseeing scavenger hunt with Puzzling Adventures
  • Stop and marvel at the iconic Columbia River interstate bridge

Vancouver has several indoor play centers and amusement parks like Dizzy Castle or The Wiggle Room for kids to run around and meet new friends. Explore all of the fun things for kids to do in Vancouver below:

  • Save on play time sessions at PLAYlive Nation in the Vancouver Mall
  • Run and jump around at the inflatable play center JJ Jump Vancouver
  • Stop for a sweet bite to eat at Flash Freeze Dreamery
  • Sign up for summer camps or after school programs at Mad Science of Portland and Vancouver
  • Let the kids shop the latest toy collections at Kazoodles

Vancouver is teeming with group activities unique to the area. Book fishing guide services with Chasin Fins Guide Service or try other exciting group adventure in Vancouver:

  • Save on paddleboard rentals and lessons from SUPortland Paddleboards
  • Find fun for the whole family at Big Al’s Family Entertainment Center
  • Put your teamwork and problem-solving skills to work at Mythic Escapes
  • Practice skating tricks or get a game of hockey going at Mountain View Ice Arena
  • Determine who the best putter is at Safari Mini Golf or The Tiki Putt

Vancouver is home to state-of-the-art nature education centers where kids can learn how to appreciate the great outdoors. Visit the Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center or see interactive exhibits at the Water Resource Education Center to learn more. Other educational activities for kids include:

  • Enjoying animals and special events at the well-maintained, historical Pomeroy Living History Farm
  • Browsing book collections at the public Vancouver Community Library
  • Attending a cultural event at the Cathlapotle Plankhouse
  • Learning about the history of aviation at the Pearson Air Museum
  • See local and regional history exhibits at the Clark County Historical Museum

Vancouver’s thriving art industry brings a unique collection of performing and creative classes to the city. Browse popular music, art, and other creative classes in Vancouver below:

  • Learn to sculpt and paint at Earth, Glaze and Fire Ceramics
  • Sign up for art classes at Smartypants in Portland
  • Instill strength and flexibility from a young age at Little Yogis
  • Try your hand in crafts and other art projects at Vancouver Art Space
  • Take dance or theater classes at Riverside Performing Arts

On average it rains 45 inches a year in Vancouver. Stay dry on gloomy days while bowling at Allen’s Crosley Lanes or Big Al’s. More indoor activities and things to do in Vancouver with kids include:

  • Fitness classes and more at Kids Club Fun & Fitness
  • Testing your upper-body strength at Source Climbing Center
  • An afternoon of jumping at Sky Zone Trampoline Park
  • Unleashing your competitive sides at Lazer Warz
  • Letting the kids play for hours at the Sunburst Play Café