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Engaging young visitors

Are you bringing your children with you to Victoria? There is plenty for the whole family to see and do in and around the city so parents never hear the dreaded words, "I'm bored."

 

Adrenaline Zipline Adventure Tours

Eight zipline courses soar through forest, taking visitors up to 60 km/h on courses ranging from 150 feet long to an unforgettable 1000 feet. Great for the whole family.

 

The Bug Zoo

The Bug Zoo is a unique window on the world of spiders, insects and all manner of multi-legged creatures from around the world. Get close to giant walking sticks, praying mantids, tarantulas, scorpions that glow in the dark, the largest ant farm in Canada, and a 400-leg millipede.

 

Shaw Ocean Discover Centre

The mysteries of the ocean unfold as you walk through a 10,000-square-foot showcase of fish, invertebrates and marine plants of the Salish Sea that surrounds Victoria and the Gulf Islands… jellyfish, wolf eels, octopus and more.

 

Mineral World

This is a store but also an interpretive centre offering a range of hands-on activities that teach about earth science. In the Scratch Patch, dig for gemstones, shells, fossils or do some goldpanning. The Science Centre is focussed on learning more about rocks, minerals, crystals and fossils.

 

Butterfly Gardens

The gardens showcase the life cycle and free flight of some 3,000 tropical butterflies and moths. It's a riot of tropical colour, aroma's and personalities. Rare tropical birds and koi live in and around the stream and pond.

 

All Fun Recreation Park

All Fun features batting cages for various levels of softball and hardball, two go-kart tracks (one of them is a quarter mile long with an overpass) and a mini-golf.

 

Elk and Beaver Lake Park

Beaver Beach, at the south end of Beaver Lake, has a shallow, sandy beach — perfect for swimming, picnicking and canoeing around the offshore islands. There are group picnic sites, and access to quiet woodland trails. To the north, Elk Lake offers swimming, picnic areas, a launch for rowing sculls from the Rowing Centre, access to hiking trails, wind surfing, sailing and fishing.

 

Cadboro Gyro Park Beach

One of Victoria's best known ocean beaches is less than 20 minutes from downtown Victoria. For the kids, the park has a marine theme, an amusement playground and sandy beaches. It’s also a popular site for windsurfing and small sail boats. Some say a legendary sea monster, "Caddy," a relative of the Loch Ness monster, lives in the bay.

 

Willows Beach

Willows is a long, broad stretch of powdery white sand that is often missed by visitors. Its shallow, protected waters are a safe and ideal place for kids to burn off energy while parents relax and take in the glorious views of Discovery Island and Mount Baker. A well-equipped shaded playground is adjacent to the beach.

 

Beacon Hill Park Petting Zoo

The petting zoo in Beacon Hill Park at the children's farm provides lots of hands-on experience with small farm animals for young and old. A playground and waterpark are close by, and Beacon Hill Park is home to numerous species of ducks, birds and wildlife.

 

Mattick’s Farm Mini Golf

Two spacious 18-hole miniature golf courses wind through a grove of giant fir trees adjacent to a collection of funky little shops and a grocer. The whole development is across the street from a full-sized 18-hole golf course.

 

Miniature World

There are more than 80 dioramas, including two antique doll houses, the Great Canadian Railway, a circus with a grand city parade and a big top, Space 2201 AD, valley of castles and the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, frontier land, fantasy land, the world of Dickens, and Olde London Towne of 1670.

 

Centre of the Universe

On the top of Observatory Hill (Little Saanich Mountain) in Victoria is the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO), where research is conducted into the far reaches of the universe in conjunction with international research projects around the world. A volunteer organization, Friends of the DAO, focusses on public education and access to the observatory, allowing visitors to explore the heavens through the 1.8-m Plaskett telescope and via interpretive displays and presentations in a planetarium and multimedia theatre on selected summer Saturday evenings. Follow the link above for a schedule of the 'star parties.'

 

IMAX Theatre

The largest IMAX screen in British Columbia -- measuring 18.6 m (61 feet) high by 25 m (85 feet) wide -- combined with crystal clear images and wraparound digital surround sound, offers an incredible immersive cinematic experience... everything from Hollywood features to powerful documentaries and nature films that entertain and educate, often in 3D.

 

Orca Spirit Adventures

The Inner Harbour of Victoria is the home base of operations for Orca Spirit Adventures. Locally owned and operated, certified outdoor adventure experts provide informative insight and in-depth knowledge of our unique habitat, combined with an unsurpassed nature and orca-viewing experience.

 

Sidney Spit Marine Park - Sidney Island is across Sidney Channel from the town of Sidney. During the summer, it can be reached with a small foot-passenger ferry leaving Sidney on the hour during the summer. It takes 20 minutes to get there after which you can enjoy the white sandy beaches, hike across the island or have a picnic near the docks. There are no cars on the island.