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Vancouver Island Family-friendly activities

Our most recommended Vancouver Island Family-friendly activities

Victoria: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

1. Victoria: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

Experience the awe and inspiration of seeing whales in their natural environment on this unique whale-watching excursion from Victoria. Cruise along in an open zodiac boat on the Salish Sea, and get the chance to spot orcas, humpback, minke, and gray whales, as well as porpoises and seals. After being collected from your downtown accommodation in a comfortable shuttle bus, you will venture down to the harbor where you will meet with your boat. After meeting your guides for the day, you will then depart from Victoria, setting off on your 3-hour whale-watching tour. Between April and October, you will have a greater than 95% success rate of spotting whales, including both transient and resident orcas, humpback, minke, and gray whales. Other wildlife you may encounter include Dall’s and harbor porpoises, harbor and elephant seals, and otters and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles. The zodiac vessels used on your tour are definitely recommended for the wild-at-heart. You can let the wind blow in your hair and be exposed to the true west-coast elements in an open-style, 12-passenger vessel. At the conclusion of your exhilarating tour, you will be returned back to the harbor, at which point you will be driven back to your accommodation in downtown Victoria.

Campbell River: Whale & Wildlife Discovery Cruise

2. Campbell River: Whale & Wildlife Discovery Cruise

Spend a day on the water and discover local wildlife on this Campbell River cruise. Visit the Salish Sea, Discovery Passage, and Johnstone Strait. With an abundance of wildlife in the area, you are likely to encounter many animals both on land and at sea. Choose from two vessel options for your cruise. A covered vessel with indoor seating offers a good option for families. Alternatively, a zodiac-style vessel offers a good option for those who like being outdoors and want to feel the wind through their hair. Hop aboard your chosen vessel, then sit back and relax. Keep an eye out for humpback whales, killer whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, bears, Steller sea lions, and more. Learn from an on-board naturalist and listen to the sounds of whales through hydrophones. While it might not be possible to guarantee you’ll see all of these animals on your tour, this tour offers a great opportunity to see everything that is possible.

Family-Friendly Cheakamus Splash

3. Family-Friendly Cheakamus Splash

Enjoy a half-day rafting trip that features small splashy rapids, outstanding scenery and lots of laughs. It’s an ideal outdoor activity for families, children, seniors, and anyone looking for a gentle and fun scenic rafting adventure. As you raft down the glacier-fed Cheakamus River between old growth forests, you’ll experience the excitement of gentle rapids and see a variety of birds, wildlife, waterfalls, and the towering peaks of the Coast Mountains. Learn about the intriguing Squamish First Nations history, a key part of the history of the area. There will also be a water fight for the kids. Perfect the art of splashing others and get a chance to cool off with a quick dip in the pure, glacier-fed water. When your river journey ends, you will be taken back to the fully equipped rafting base where you can change back into your own clothes and enjoy the facilities at the resort including a full service restaurant and awesome fully-licensed outdoor patio area. Relax with your family and friends in the beautiful sunshine and comfort of the resort, and check out the photos and videos shot on your trip.

Victoria: Guided Wildlife-Watching Tour by Catamaran

4. Victoria: Guided Wildlife-Watching Tour by Catamaran

This tour offers comprehensive wildlife viewing opportunities so that guests may experience as much as possible. The tours are generally shorter because of the seasonally cooler – while still mild – temperatures. Common sightings including wintering birds, seals, sea lions and playful porpoises. Though whale sightings are not guaranteed, if your captain and crew get word that whales are in the area, they'll often extend the tour at no extra charge. You have a 50-70% chance of seeing whales. Take advantage of the onboard wildlife identification kits, and learn about the region's wildlife from your naturalist guide. If you spot a whale, use the hydrophone to hear them! Please note: From Nov1st to April 30th, boat types and times may vary based on weather and tour numbers.

Victoria: Butterfly Gardens Admission Ticket

5. Victoria: Butterfly Gardens Admission Ticket

Take an amazing journey through nature with the admission ticket to Victoria Butterfly Gardens. Exchange your voucher and enter a tropical journey to learn about wildlife and flora from other continents. Once inside, discover 70 different species of butterflies and learn everything there is to know about poison dart frogs, tortoises, giant iguanas, tropical ducks and birds, flamingos, and more. Experience an impressive array of insects and invertebrates from around the world in a jungle-like setting in the InsectariumImmerse yourself in the atmosphere of the rainforest, with an indoor pond, waterfall, and an insectarium, featuring impressive insects and invertebrates from around the world. Stroll through and marvel at lush gardens including tropical flowers, carnivorous plants, and fruits of the world. Experience the tropical jungle firsthand, while walking among butterflies and birds that fly freely.

Victoria: Chocolate and Churches Foodie Walking Tour

6. Victoria: Chocolate and Churches Foodie Walking Tour

Known for it's historic chocolate shops, bean-to-bar chocolate makers, and vast amount of bakeries, Victoria is a city that loves chocolate. The tour also explores historic ecclesiastical architecture and visits three places of worship including St. Andrew's Presbyterian church, Christ Church Cathedral, and St. Andrew's Catholic Cathedral. A tour perfect for history buffs or chocoholics. Meet your guide at the historic Steamship Terminal Building then stroll along the waterfront learning more about the history of downtown Victoria. Then visit Roger's Chocolates, Canada's oldest and most haunted chocolate shop. Here the tour samples a variety of their chocolate treats, including their original Victoria Cream. Then walk to Government Street and visit Chocolats Favoris, a traditional French chocolatier that is famous for its rich variety of chocolate fondues and dipped ice cream cones. Bon Macaron is next on the tour, where you can sample two chocolate-infused macarons. Then, take a break, and wander by St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, founded in 1890, and was built to look like a gothic Scottish castle. Continue to Christ Church Cathedral and see where Winston Churchill laid a stone for the church's north tower in 1929. After strolling along the city's oldest cemetery, the tour visits a gorgeous Catholic cathedral built in 1893. Afterward, indulge in more chocolate samples including a surprise savory mole sauce, a rich Dutch chocolate pastry, handmade chocolate truffles, and a decadent drinking chocolate.

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What people are saying about Vancouver Island

The whale watching tour and company was fantastic. No issues with going through a third party. The contact section in the app does not get through to the actual guide company, so go through the company’s website for any further inquiries. Get your guide customer service is unfortunately not helpful or knowledgeable to assist with specific questions (very friendly, however).

This was the most amazing experience EVER. We went as a group of 4. We were all kitted out with body length wetsuits. Please don’t wear flip flops like I did as my toes nearly fell off with frostbite lol. We see a huge whale that went under the boat and played around for a while. We then seen some sea lions and a bald eagle. Our guide was fantastic and so enthusiastic.

Friendly knowledgeable captains. Jordan was very witty and entertaining on top of being a great whale finder. Ive been out with them 2 years in a row now. Great price for 3 hours on the water. Highly recommend this company!!

Captain was great and saw a few humpbacks and so many (very smelly lol) seals! Great trip, thank you :)

Excellent trip. Saw lots of wildlife including two different whales.