There is a whack of touristy things to do in Victoria, most of it is good fun, but, touristy. The following seem to be destinations that kids like best. Often if you keep your eye on Groupon, Couvon, or Island Daily Deals you will find discounts for some of these. If you come to Victoria in late February /early March, check out Be a Tourist in Your Hometown for more deals.
1. Craigdarroch Castle
Just off Fort Street at 1050 Joan Crescent
This is a neat place to go stomp around. Don’t schedule too much time for the castle visit, as it won’t take long to buzz through it, especially if your kids are small! Keep an eye out for ghosts, rumor has it there are a couple that haunt the castle! From the Castle you can either check out Fernwood, Oak Bay or Fairfield, as those neighborhoods are within a few minutes of the Castle.
2. Harbor Ferries
Various locations and prices.
These little boats are great fun for kids! There is an assortment of tours and destinations you can choose from, ranging from around 15 minutes to well over an hour- which is great, as you can choose a short route if you are with smaller children who bore easily! They will let you fold up your stroller and take it on the boat, so you can use the ferries as a mode of transportation rather then just a tour. For instance you can hop on downtown and hop off at Fisherman’s Wharf.
3. Royal BC Museum
675 Belleville Street
The Royal BC Museum is well worth it! Depending on the age of your kids of course this can be anywhere from a hour trip to a day trip. There is ton’s to see. There are amazing exhibits and galleries of all things BC.
Walk through the rain forests and spy the moose and bear, then make your way to the wild West Coast and take in the sea lions basking in the sun. Tour wet lands, walk in an old mine, or pan for gold. Your kids can run wild in Old Town, up and down the stairs of the old hotel. Surely someone is making apple pie? How about the famous woolly mammoth who reigns large and fierce? There is a ton of First Nations artifacts and totem poles as well as a really neat pit house that depicts how our Fist People lived hundreds of years ago. It’s pretty awesome!
4. Maritime Museum
28 Bastion Sq
The Maritime Museum houses fascinating displays on pirates, heritage vessels, shipwrecks and featured exhibits. It is also home to three significant sailboats − Dorothy,Trekka and Tilikum − each with their own incredible story of adventure and enchantment. There are lots of model ships, and a really cool creaky old birdcage elevator that will take you to the top floor where there is a restored courtroom. The judge that used to preside over this court was known as ‘The Hanging Judge’, and it is rumored that the little knotted tree in Bastion Square is where the hangings took place. It’s a bit random, but kind of neat.
This is not a big museum and it doesn’t take long to breeze through. It would entertain a nautical buff for at least a short spell. It is right in Bastion Square, which is a pleasant place to have a coffee and snack afterwards. Most of the Maritime Museum is stroller friendly.
5. Miniature World
649 Humboldt Street, 250 385 9731, in the bottom of the Empress Hotel
Adult’s $12, Youth $10, Child $8- ask about the family rate
While a little cheesy and touristy, kids love Miniature World. They will be plunged into deep space upon entrance, only to come out to witness old time Canada, complete with the great Canadian railway, a miniature working train (which your kids can control with the push of a button). Then move into the Wild West and Frontier Land. After that you can marvel at Fantasy Land. Finally in the last exhibit is a room of intricate doll houses…almost each one has some sort of switch that kids love to turn off and on to see what will happen. This is also a must in my opinion (do it for the kids)! This is a stroller friendly event.
Article courtesy of Lhasa Hetherington. For more information, visit www.victoriawithkids.com.