Things to do in British Columbia with Children

British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, is defined by its Pacific coastline and mountain ranges, which are truly beautiful. Nature areas like Glacier National Park offer hiking and biking trails, as well as campgrounds. Whistler Blackcomb is a major ski resort that hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. The scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway links Whistler with Vancouver, a city known for its film industry, at the province’s southern U.S. border. 

There is so much to see and do in BC, but here I’ve highlighted some of our favourite places.

Radium Hot Springs

We were really keen to stop at these hot springs on our way to Invermere. Radium Hot Springs are located on the Trans-Canadian Highway, so you can’t miss them.

The hot springs are open 11.30am-9pm and admission is based on a first come, first served basis. A family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) is CA$24.50. There are hot and cooler pools and on site parking across the road from the hot springs.

If I’m totally honest, they weren’t quite what I expected. I think I expected them to be more natural somehow and they more resembled an outdoor swimming pool with a slide and then a much hotter nicely shaped swimming pool. However, we loved it and spent a good couple of hours in the pool. It was a lovely stop off on our journey.

There’s tons of changing, nice showers and everywhere was lovely and clean. It was a great couple of hours with the children, so ideal for families.


We stayed in Invermere for two nights in a condo on a complex we found on Airbnb. The accommodation was outstanding and if you are looking for accommodation as a family I would highly recommend this. The condo itself was stunning, beautifully clean and had a washing machine, tumble dryer and really good size kitchen, which was very well equipped. The complex itself had a pool and a gym. We used both of these during our stay. We could quite happily have stayed here a week. There was loads to do in the area.

A must place to visit is James Chabot Provincial Park. This was on the doorstep of our accommodation and within walking distance. There was a beach, toilets, swimming in the lake, picnic areas, a playground and a place to hire SUP’s and Kayaks. We had a lovely time. The swimming area is roped off so it feels very safe with children as there is a specific designated swimming area. You could quite easily spend the day here, or equally just go for a couple of hours.

Kinsmen Beach was another favourite spot of ours. There was a sandy beach, lovely lake views, a splash park for the children, loads of parking, a really nice and well stocked cafe, kayak and SUP hire at a reasonable price, a floating waterslide, areas to swim, and shallow water, making it a nice place to go with children. We hired SUP’s, swam in the lake, used the slide and the splash pad and enjoyed snacks and drinks from the cafe. We really loved our time here and wish we had longer. It’s the perfect place to go with a family, or meet up with friends.


A really nice stop on the drive from Invermere to Revelstoke is the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge, located in Golden. It’s a lovely photo opportunity as the architecture of the bridge is quite something. Also, if like me, you can’t get enough of the stunning mountain rivers, you can get up close to the water here too.

This is a great place to stop for the loo and a stretch of the legs. There is a porta-cabin at the end of the street which are the public bathrooms. The day we visited there was a lovely little local market on and we purchased homemade baked goods from the locals.

Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk is another good stop off. This area had a number of fires when we were there, so this was only partially open, but it was a nice little walk nonetheless. Again, perfect for a stretch of the legs, a few photos and an explore of nature and the local wildlife. There is plenty of parking and you just follow the boardwalk.

Nels Nelson Historic Ski Jump was somewhere I really wanted to visit whilst we were in the area. This is described as a short but steep hike and often referred to as the Mini Grouse Grind. I had read that is was a 1.2km walk up to the top, so not far at all. We parked in the car park and everything looked as it had done online when I was doing my research.

We set off up the trail, through the trees, keeping our eyes out for bears as there was a lot of fresh bear poo around. We walked and walked and there was no sign of the top. After 4.5km we popped out on a road and met two rangers. I asked them about the trail and they said they weren’t sure but the 1.2km was probably from the top to the summit!

This was very confusing as it seemed very clear when we started walking that was the trail. Apparently you drive to the top and then you can walk to the summit. The rangers had closed the road due to a bush fire, so we weren’t able to do this, but we had a good hike and we were able to see this amazing view of the Columbia River, so it was still worth it.

If you are staying in or around Revelstoke, do consider heading to Crazy Creek Waterfalls and Suspension Bridge. If you are driving onto Kamloops, this will be on your way. It opens at 9am and there are walking trails, a suspension bridge, waterfalls, hot pools (on the opposite side of the road at an additional cost), children’s games/play area, and a cafe serving drinks, snacks and ice creams.

Prices are CA$11.45 + tax for adults and teens and CA$6.20 + tax for children.


On the drive from Revelstoke to Kamloops we stopped at Salmon Arm Wharf and explored Marine Peace Park. Although the weather wasn’t great when we were there it was a lovely stop off along our route. You can walk out over the water on a wooden wharf (the biggest in North America) and take in the views. There are often food trucks available, although everything was closed the day we were there.

There are toilets and picnic areas and it’s generally just a nice place to stop off with children.

Our next stop was Blind Bay. In Blind Bay you can swim in the lake, kayak and water ski if you have time during your schedule. We found a great place by the water to eat called BaySide Bar and Grill. It was obviously a really popular spot with locals. The waitress was very accommodating to everyone, moving tables around and so on.

The food was amazing and the cocktails we fantastic too. It was a great place to eat with children and generally very family-freindly.

You can relax and enjoy your food and drinks, whilst overlooking the water. With plenty of boats coming and going there was lots to see.

Once in Kamloops there are loads of nice parks which are great with children, many, like Prince Charles Park have a wading pool and/or splash pads. Prince Charles Park has free on-street parking and nice playground and on-site bathrooms.

As we were only staying overnight in Kamloops we didn’t see much else, but we did enjoy the wildlife. There were a lot of deer around and also these little guys who kept popping out to say hello close to our accommodation.


For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to go to Whistler. I had so many images of this mountain resort in my head, covered in snow, it was hard to imagine it in the summer.

When we were planning our Trans-Canadian road trip, Whistler was not part of the route across from Toronto to Vancouver. However, once I looked at the driving times, I was determined to include it as a stop on our trip.

Whistler village is stunning and if you are in BC I would highly recommend you stop there. We didn’t stay overnight, but spent the day there pottering around the village, taking part in an epic Ziptrek Ecotour and enjoying some food in the Irish Pub in Whistler Village.

Ziptrek Whistler

With regards to Ziptrek, the journey through the forest happens via a combination of ziplines, ground based trails, observation platforms, and depending on the location, suspension bridges. Ziplines are suspended steel cables – some of which are over 15 stories high and 7,000 feet long – that you ride from platform to platform.

In order to fly on the zipline cables you are fitted with a custom harness that is then attached to the zipline with a specialised pulley. At each aerial launch platform you simply and bravely step down the stairs until there is tension on the harness tethers, lift your feet and soar down the line reaching speeds up to 100 km/hr (62 mph). The harness system allows you complete freedom to move, take a look around and even enjoy your zipline ride hanging upside down if you wish. Amazing!


As we approached the end of our Trans-Canadian road trip we experienced some of the most incredible views.

After leaving Whistler we stopped in Squamish before continuing onto Vancouver – our final stop. Squamish was a 45-minute drive from Whistler and stunning, as we came to expect from British Columbia.

One of the stops we made in Squamish was the Sea to Sky Gondola. We were there on a Saturday in the summer holidays and we arrived about 9.50am. There were no queues and we walked straight on. You can ride on the gondola, enjoy breathtaking views, walk the trails, relax with a picnic, or in the restaurant/cafe/bar, and even cross the knee-wobbling suspension bridge.

There is also a children’s playground, if your little ones have any energy left from exploring the summit. You can purchase tickets for the gondola on the day, but I always think it’s advisable to pre-book these things so you aren’t disappointed.

I honestly can’t recommend this place enough. The staff were great, the experience from start to finish was captivating and well…just look at that view!

sea to sky gondola

Whilst in Squamish, we also visited Shannon Falls. This is literally a couple of minutes drive from the Sea to Sky Gondola. The car park was very busy the day we went and we waited quite a long time for a parking space. The walk and the view of the falls was well worth it though. It’s just a short walk to the falls, around 5 minutes from the car park. If you need somewhere to stop for a picnic, you could do that here.


I don’t think you could go to BC and NOT visit Vancouver. There is so much to see and do and we only scratched the surface in the two days we were there.

Our favourite thing to do was just outside the city, but offered an incredible view back down to the city below – The Grouse Grind. This is a challenging hike up Grouse Mountain. Everything I had read said do not attempt this with children, but we completed it with a 15, 14, 9 and 7 year old. You have a wonderful sense of accomplishment when you reach the top, the views are stunning and you can relax and have some food, a drink, ice cream or even a traditional beavertail.

If you aren’t into hiking or struggle with your mobility, don’t worry as you can ride the cable car to the top. You can’t take The Grouse Grind trail down as it is too dangerous, so descent is via the cable car for those who have hiked to the top.

One of the place we loved in Vancouver was Granville Island – if you want to you can get the Aquabus there and to a number of other stops, including the Olympic Village.

We all loved Granville Market. The children enjoyed exploring the children’s market and play are. They chatted to the duck on the water, played on the playground and in the splash park.

The main market is wonderful to walk through, even if you aren’t buying anything. The fruit stalls are incredible, it’s all such a treat for the senses! There are plenty of places to eat, drink or just grab a quick snack and the marina is a nice place to walk around too.

Granville Market Splash Pad

We absolutely loved British Columbia. There were so many wonderful places and the scenery is breathtaking. Have you been? What was your favourite thing to do?


  1. I can’t imagine it would be somewhere I would have the opportunity to visit , but was an interesting blog post and sounds an amazing place

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