20 Tried and True Family Staycation Ideas for a Weekend of Non-Stop Family Fun
A family staycation in Victoria and south Vancouver Island is the perfect solution for families looking for a fun weekend trip while staying close to home. Bonus- because you don’t need to spend a lot of time on the road, you’ll be able to pack more into your trip!
Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is a historic city that exudes charm and character at every turn. There are lots of fun, interesting and educational things to do in Victoria to keep every member of the family entertained, whether they’re 8 or 80.
What Should I See in Victoria?
Victoria is full of top-rated attractions the whole family will enjoy such as:
- Historic Building
- Unique attractions
At Tally-Ho Carriage Tours, we know Victoria inside and out and our team of tour guides are always happy to offer suggestions that our guests will enjoy. Take a look at our list of tried and true family staycation activities in the Victoria area below for some inspiration.
Top 20 Family Friendly Things to Do in Victoria BC
1. Royal BC Museum and Archives – Great for those rainy days, the Royal BC Museum, on Belleville Street, is full of interactive and interesting exhibitions to keep everyone happy. Feature exhibitions change annually, check the website for current exhibitions.
2. Beacon Hill Park and Farm – Over 150 acres of park in the heart of the city; including manicured flower beds, ponds, natural areas, playgrounds, spray parks, picnic shelters, a rose garden and more. Don’t miss a visit to the Children’s Farm, most famous for its daily goat run.
3. Miniature World – With 85 dioramas and displays to discover including model railways, castles, outer space, historical, fictional and fantasy worlds; the whole family will be intrigued by this small but mighty attraction on Humboldt Street.
4. Fisherman’s Wharf – Take a stroll on the seawall around the harbour to Fisherman’s Wharf where you will find a waterfront hub of food kiosks, unique stores and a village of 33 colourful float-homes.
5. Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites – Enjoy exploring the hidden bunkers and gun turrets of this 19th century military barracks that was used during the second world war. A short stroll takes you to the Fisgard Lighthouse, the first lighthouse to be built on Canada’s west coast.
6. Victoria Bug Zoo – What kid doesn’t like creepy crawlies? This mini-zoo offers the chance to get close to tropical bugs of all shapes and sizes. Discover around 50 species including giant stick bugs, praying mantis, and glow in the dark scorpions!
7. Hatley Park National Historic Site – Part of Royal Roads University, your kids might recognise Hatley Castle and it’s garden from one of the Disney Descendants movies that have been filmed on-site. The delightful garden includes a rose garden and Japanese garden with a pond. Can you spot the resident Peacock?
8. Tally-Ho Carriage Tours – Create lasting family memories on a traditional horse drawn carriage tour with Tally-Ho. City tours, with our entertaining guides, start outside the BC Legislature building on Belleville Street, or try the new Sea Cider Picnic Experience showcasing beautiful farmland on the Saanich Peninsula, award winning coffees and ciders, and freshly prepared gourmet picnics.
9. Harbour Ferry ride – You can’t miss the bright, mini boats that zip around the Victoria harbour. Ride one as a water taxi or take a harbour tour. Look out for the water taxi ballet performed in the inner harbour every Sunday morning in the summer.
10. Wildplay Victoria – A must-visit for families with a head for heights. Choose between classic and extreme treetop adventure courses, fly through the air on a zip line tour or try your hand at axe throwing.
11. Victoria Butterfly Gardens – A staycation doesn’t mean you can’t see exotic animals! See thousands of butterflies like the Giant Owl Butterfly which has a wingspan of 150mm and looks like an Owl’s face. Frogs, tortoises, iguanas, flamingos and tropical birds can also be found at this vibrant jungle experience located close to Butchart Gardens in Brentwood Bay, just north of Victoria.
12. Craigdarroch Castle Historic House Museum – Built in the late 1800s, Craigdarroch is actually a Victorian mansion, which was built to reflect the wealth of its owner. Take a tour of the castle and visitor centre to find out more.
13. Wildlife and Whale Watching Tours – For your family staycation in Victoria, take to the water with a whale watching tour from downtown Victoria! Experience seeing and hearing seals, sea lions, porpoises and whales in their natural environment. Keep your eyes peeled for the pods of resident Orcas which live in local waters year round.
14. Butchart Gardens – Twenty minutes north of Victoria, these world famous gardens will wow every family member; with 55 acres of gardens to explore and the Rose Carousel, a favourite for kids of all ages.
15. The Maritime Museum of BC – Located on Humboldt Street; a great place to take the little pirates in your life. Learn to tie sailor knots in one of the interactive, hands on exhibits, that teach visitors about BC’s rich maritime heritage.
16. Westshore Motorsports Park – Experience the roar of the engines at motor racing, stock car and big truck events which run on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer.
17. Blenkinsop Valley Adventure Golf – A charming mini-golf course set in vibrant and colourful gardens. Open 7 days a week weather permitting. Winner has to buy everyone an ice-cream!
18. Play at a local beach – Cadboro Bay Gyro Park is a local favourite thanks to its play area featuring the ‘Cadborosaurus’. Willows Beach has lots of sand for castle building, two parks, washrooms and views of Mount Baker.
19. Cool off with a yummy ice cream – Kid Sister Ice Cream in Chinatown’s FanTan alley serves up locally made ice-cream in waffle cones made on site. Beacon Drive in, at Beacon Hill Park whips up the best soft-serve in town. The only problem is choosing which flavour to try.
20. Finish the day with fish and chips – Family staycations are hard work! When the gang gets hungry, it has to be fish and chips for supper. Try The Fish Store at Fisherman’s Wharf for seafood favourites in a unique setting or Finn’s Seafood, Chops & Cocktails on Wharf Street; a popular seafood restaurant with a view of the inner harbour.
Make Your Staycation Magical with a Tally-Ho Horse Drawn Carriage Tour
Tally-Ho tours have been operating in Victoria since 1903 and continue to offer a unique, carriage-side view of this beautiful city to locals and visitors alike.
A small, family run business; Tally-Ho offers a number of different options for city tours, from a short and sweet 15-minute ride to a personalized 90-minute deluxe experience.
For a more rural adventure on your staycation in Victoria, we offer tours near our farm in Saanichton, including wonderful scenery and delicious refreshments on the Sea Cider picnic experience. Tally-Ho also offers custom tours for that special occasion. Contact us to find out more or reserve a tour.