Some of the best family-friendly places in Victoria, British Columbia are by the scenic waterfronts. These include the iconic Victoria Harbour, as well as a collection of quaint marinas where harbour seals are often on standby at the docks to greet you. Rides on the Victoria Harbour ferries can be delightful for kids and can be a great part of your trip.

    Family fun in Victoria also comes in the form of museums, which you can easily find downtown or within a half-hour ride of the city. Plan your family visit with these great things to do in Victoria, BC with kids.


    See harbour seals at Oak Bay Marina

    Be greeted by some of Victoria’s aquatic locals

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    • Food

    Oak Bay Marina is a popular waterfront dining spot with a wonderful view, but is also known for its cute inhabitants – harbour seals that occasionally greet visitors around the docks. Great dining spots here include the alfresco tables at the Marina Dockside Eatery and the more upscale Marina Restaurant. Young kids will get a thrill from seeing 5 to 10 wild seals around the marina, let alone feeding them. You can buy their feed from the marina’s gift shop.

    Location: 1327 Beach Dr, Victoria, BC V8S 2N4, Canada

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 7 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 250-598-3369


    photo by Jeff Gunn (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Ride a ferry at Victoria Harbour

    Catch the water taxi ballet in the summer

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    No trip to Victoria is complete without sightseeing around Victoria Harbour. You can walk the promenade along Inner Harbour for one of the most iconic views of the city, with the Parliament Building and the Empress Hotel serving as backdrop. For families with kids though, a ferry ride is a lot more fun (and a lot less walking). Harbour ferries connect you to various points in the city, such as Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf. On summer weekends, you can watch 5 ferry boats dance in their 12-minute synchronised water ballet spectacle, in sync with symphonies.

    Location: Wharf St, Victoria, BC, Canada

    Phone: +1 250-383-8300


    Snack with a view at Fisherman’s Wharf Park

    Enjoy playgrounds and gardens by Victoria’s waterfront

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    Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf Park is a green urban space overlooking the namesake pier and is a great recreational spot for families. Neat pathways wind through manicured lawns and natural gardens, and which lead you to playgrounds and benches that face the waterfront, with its sailboats, trawlers, parked seaplanes, and sometimes harbour seals. When the little ones feel peckish, you can take them to the great dining spots around the wharf, such as Barb’s Fish and Chips, The Fish Store, and Blue Crab Seafood House.

    Location: 12 Erie St, Victoria, BC V8V 4X5, Canada

    Open: Sunday–Wednesday from 11 am to 6 pm, Thursday–Saturday from 11 am to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 250-383-8326


    Watch IMAX movies at the Royal BC Museum

    It’s home to the largest screen in British Columbia

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    • History

    After enjoying your walks through the Royal BC Museum’s galleries and exploring the history of British Columbia and cultural treasures of the First Nations, you can enjoy the latest blockbusters at IMAX Victoria in the same building. It’s home to the largest IMAX screen in all British Columbia, which is also one among a few in the world to feature the latest 4K laser projection system. This means you’ll be able to watch documentaries and your favourite family movies in highly detailed cinematic glory.

    Location: 675 Belleville St, Victoria, BC V8W 9W2, Canada

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 250-356-7226


    Feel like a giant at Miniature World

    Gaze over detailed dioramas in miniature scale

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    You and your kids will likely spend hours admiring the highly detailed trains and railways, crafted foliage of mountain forests, and amazingly recreated landmarks from around the globe in tiny scale at Miniature World. It’s one of the unique indoor attractions in Victoria that can inspire all ages through countless dioramas that depict historical moments and scenes, as well as re-enactments of well-known fairy tales and pop culture fantasies. To add to the realism, each diorama features special lighting and sound effects.

    Location: The Empress Hotel, 649 Humboldt St, Victoria, BC V8W 1A7, Canada

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 250-385-9731


    photo by Guilhem Vellut (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Watch model boats at Harrison Yacht Pond

    A wonderful place for RC hobbyists

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    By the eastern end of Holland Point Park is the Harrison Yacht Pond, which is a popular site for remote-controlled model yacht hobbyists to launch their prefab or custom-built craft. They come in a variety of beautiful designs, from military-style battleships to elegant tall-masted schooners. As a spectator, watching the small boats cruising along the calm surface of the pond against the lush forested background can be truly inspiring. If you want to get involved, there are one or two RC model shops around Victoria.

    Location: 574 Dallas Rd, Victoria, BC V8V 1B4, Canada

    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveller

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