Spring Break is almost here, and it seems to be a common question (and concern) on every parent’s mind about how they will keep their children entertained.
We’ve dredged through our archives and did some further research on what’s happening in communities across Vancouver Island to bring you this extensive list of ideas.
From little ones to teens, we’ve created some great activities to keep everyone (including parents) entertained. And the best part is, many of the locations mentioned can be enjoyed at any time of year! (So yes, that means you can reuse several of these ideas for that long summer break too).
Victoria Spring Break Activities
Explore beautifully manicured gardens in and around Victoria and view the abundant spring blooms. Victoria is known as the ‘Garden City’, and it’s easy to see why. Many of the gardens are completely free to explore, while others charge admission. No matter which one you choose, you and your family will be immersed in various colours and intoxicating scents. Use this list to help you choose a suitable garden for you: Where to Find Spring Blooms.
Get a History Lesson
- Visit the Royal BC Museum to explore one of Canada’s leading museums and research centres and immerse yourself in 550 million years of natural history and 9000 years of human history in BC.
- For a chance to experience British Columbia’s marine heritage, head to the Maritime Museum. They have a vast collection of over 35,000 artifacts, spanning from 1775 to the present, which has a unique significance to the history of BC. The Maritime Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday by appointment.
- Take a self-guided tour of the many historic buildings in and around Victoria.
Other Fantastic Museums
Victoria has many other types of wonderful museums to explore that help ignite curiosity and wonder in the young and young at heart.
- Visit the must-see Bug Zoo for the opportunity to view and experience live tropical bugs from around the world. All the animals are alive and in tanks. And you choose how up close and personal you’d like to be!
- Voted as one of the best places to visit in Victoria, Miniature World allows one to connect with their inner child. There are over 85 miniature dioramas, including two of the world’s largest dollhouses with over 50 beautifully furnished rooms representing the late 1800’s.
- A museum of sorts, Victoria’s Butterfly Garden (located in Brentwood Bay) offers an opportunity for people of all ages to experience the beauty and curiosity of a tropical jungle up close. You’ll also encounter dart frogs, tortoises, large iguanas, flamingos, tropical ducks, free-flying tropical birds and more.
For a few other great indoor activities in the Victoria area, read this article:
Indoor Attractions in Victoria
For stunning and expansive views, plus a whole lot of fun, check out Vancouver Island’s newest outdoor adventure. The Malahat Skywalk is fully accessible to all and a must-see attraction that’s open year-round.
Get Close to a Raptor
The Raptors, located in Duncan, offers a compelling interactive experience with birds of prey. Get closer than you ever imagined to these exciting, intelligent birds and learn about their world and how we all benefit when they survive and thrive.
Visit a Historic Gem
The Kinsol Trestle is one of the tallest free-standing and most spectacular timber rail trestle structures in the world. At 187 metres in length and standing 44 metres above the Koksilah River, it’s an incredible sight.
For even more adventure, The Kinsol Trestle is one of eight trestles found along the Cowichan Valley Trail. Can you find them all?
Nanaimo Spring Break Activities
Catch a Wave
Nanaimo Aquatic Centre – 741 Third Street
Head to the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre for some swimming and wave action.
Spring Break at Nanaimo Museum – 100 Museum Way
This Spring Break, the feature exhibit is called Streets Ahoy. Learn to read a map, use a giant compass, and find your way through the streets of Nanaimo, all within the Museum’s gallery!
Do Something Wild
WildPlay Nanaimo – 35 Nanaimo River Road
Adventure activities of every intensity, including 19 zip lines, 67 aerial games, 40 ft jump, 150 ft bungee jump, and a 150 ft giant swing. A new addition to the park this year is Axe Throwing.
Meet Some Mini’s
Location: 7995 Superior Road
Superior Farm is a wonderful petting zoo in the mid-island area. This family-run farm has been collecting mini animals for years and now shares them with the rest of us. Their lovely little petting farm has mini pigs, dwarf goats, babydoll sheep, miniature cattle, donkeys and horses. There are also Bantam chickens, Holland Lop Rabbits, dwarf rabbits, and an honorary “mini” goose named Lucky.
For a few more indoor activities in Nanaimo, check out:
Nanaimo’s Best Indoor Activities
Spring Break Activities in Oceanside
The Brant Wildlife Festival is back again this year with a mix of outdoor, indoor and self-directed events. Head down to one of Parksville’s beaches to spot the thousands of migratory geese, fish and marine animals feeding on the Herring Run.
Go Waterfall Hunting
Oceanside has many beautiful waterfalls to explore. From favourite spots loved by tourists and locals alike to hidden ones found off the beaten path, you’ll surely find a beautiful waterfall and trail your whole family will delight in. Many of these natural wonders have been written about in detail and can be viewed here: Oceanside Archives
Just in time for Spring Break, both mini-golf adventure parks in Parksville will re-open for the season.
- Riptide – 1000 Resort Drive – Hours of operation are 9:30 am – 7:00 pm daily
- Paradise Fun Park – 375 W. Island Hwy – Hours of operation are 10:00 am – 7:00 pm daily
Head to a Farm
Morningstar Farm is a working farm featuring self-guided tours, a petting farm, and a farm-gate store. With its delicious homemade cheeses and other delicacies, an onsite seasonal “calfe”, and Canada’s first ‘milk-on-tap’ dispenser, the farm is also considered a local food hub.
Fast Time Amusements in Parksville offers Karting, Axe Throwing and Archery Tag. Race your opponents around the track to see who can get the fastest time; Try your hand at a game that’s a cross between paintball and dodgeball (without the welts or mess) and challenge your friends and family with your archery skills; And/or, see who can get their axe closest to the bullseye. Reservations are recommended for all activities.
For a few more great ideas around Oceanside, check this article out:
Coombs, More than just Goats on the Roof
Spring Break Activities in the Comox Valley
Play in the Snow
Whether you downhill ski, cross-country ski, snowshoe, or want to play in the snow, Mount Washington is the place to go. They even have Fat Bikes available to rent (bikes that you can ride in the snow). This boutique resort has plenty of activities to keep the whole family happy.
Head to the Courtenay Airpark for a close-up view of light aircraft during landings and take-offs. It’s one of the few airfields still in existence that allows the public to do so. Surrounded by a park, it’s also a great place to bike, rollerblade or skateboard.
Location: 100 20 St, Courtenay
Go Mountain Biking
Pedal yourself up and down world-class mountain bike trails in the Cumberland Forest. From beginners to experts, you’ll find a trail suitable for your experience level. And thanks to United Riders of Cumberland, each and every trail is marked and mapped.
Explore the Backcountry
Head into BC’s oldest Provincial Park for some true off-the-grid experiences. There is no cell coverage in Strathcona Park (what-so-ever), so you are REALLY getting away from it all by heading here. And the quietness, fresh air, and breathtaking views of lakes, mountains, and waterfalls will recharge your soul like no other.
Do you know of any other fun Spring Break Activities? Let us know in the comment section below.
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