10 Best Vacations for Kids in Canada

Canada is full of natural beauty, from mountains and glaciers to secluded lakes, beaches, and forests. It may be a little known fact, but Canada actually caters to children better than just about any other country, making this the best destination for families. While much of Canada’s allure revolves around exploring nature that’s unparalleled worldwide, the country is also home to clean and safe cosmopolitan cities that are also friendly for all ages, with zoos, aquariums, amusement parks, and rodeos. Kids can explore wildlife and nature, meet real-life cowboys, ice skate on mountain lakes, and search for dinosaur fossils on the plains. There’s something for everyone in Canada, and you may just find yourself making the journey year after year. Don’t search around for the perfect family-friend vacation abroad, here are the best vacations for kids in Canada.

1. Banff

best vacations for kids in canada
Beautiful Lake Louise located in the Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Photo: Sandra Cunningham

Regardless of the season, Banff has multiple outdoor activities that are great for the entire family. Kids will love getting to ride the Banff Gondola, which has some of the most amazing views in Canada. Then, once you get to the top of the mountain, take a load off in the natural hot springs and pamper yourself or swiftly ride a snow tube down the mountain. Although Banff National Park is one of the most sought after destinations for snow-loving families, warmer months offer hiking, mountain biking, glacier excursions, and so much more.

Where to Stay:

The Fairmont Banff Springs offers the perfect location for travelers, whether you want to walk into town or drive the nearby Banff Gondola. This historic hotel can easily find your family the best activities, from dog sledding adventures to Ice Walks under the stars. A total winter wonderland environment complete with a modern day castle and beautiful grounds will thrill the little ones. Or, the summer offers hikes along Bow Falls and River, horseback riding, pools, and even a hot tub.

2. Ottawa

best vacations for kids in canada
Changing of the guard in front of the parliament of Canada on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. Photo: citylights

Whether you visit Ottawa in the summer or winter, this is sure to be one of the best vacations for kids in Canada. Travel to Canada in the winter to explore great outdoor activities like ice skating along the Rideau Canal, or have a little fun at the Children’s Festival in June. Then, head over to the Canada Science and Technology Museum, where the hands-on exhibits will keep kids learning and having fun for hours on end.

Where to Stay:

The Ottawa Marriott Hotel is centrally located near many great kid-friendly attractions. With just a five-minute walk to Parliament and short distance to the Rideau Center, the Sparks Street Mall shopping area, Byward Market, and the War Museum, the rooms also display a great view overlooking government buildings, the Ottawa River, and the Canal.

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3. Newfoundland

best vacations for kids in canada
Rocky coastline with lighthouse. Photo: Geoffrey Whiteway

Full of natural beauty, rugged coastlines, and icebergs that date over 10,000 years old. Newfoundland contains a truly unique experience for the family, complete with kid-friendly foods and welcoming locals. Kids will love watching the whales on a tour with Gatherall’s Puffin and Whale Watch or explore the gorgeous marine ecosystem on a kayak tour. Be sure to check out Gros Morne National Park, Canada’s second largest national park, where you can take a boat tour, walk the trails, and view wildlife.

Where to Stay:

Relax away from all the hustle and bustle of the city at one of the farthest edges of the earth. Fogo Island Inn is located on a remote island situated in the Labrador Current alone what is known as “Iceberg Alley”. The rugged shores, lush landscape, and gorgeous waters offer amazing room views, and the inn contains some truly awesome amenities like a 37-set cinema, a gallery featuring art targeted toward both local and global audiences, a library with an extensive collection, a bar and lounge area with a wood-burning fireplace, wood-fired saunas, and even two outdoor hot tubs.

4. Calgary

best vacations for kids in canada
Swings at the Calgary Stampede. Photo: jewhyte

Families flock to Calgary near the Canadian Badlands to see the world’s largest dinosaur bone yard with their own eyes before heading to the Calgary Zoo. There, kids can view penguins at the Antarctica exhibit, and even examine lion, tigers, or bears. Or, head to the Calgary Stampede to watch rodeos. The Peace Bridge, an architectural landmark that illuminates the night sky, will dazzle the entire family.

Where to Stay:

Hotel Elan is conveniently located near the busy 17th Avenue in Calgary, and comes complete with large, tastefully decorated rooms, full kitchens with dishes, and a friendly and helpful staff. Breakfast, which is included, will dazzle your taste buds before you head out to the nearby shopping areas. With bus and taxi services all located nearby, you can easily make it to all your favorite destinations. Then, head back to your quiet, cozy room to relax.

5. Niagara Falls

best vacations for kids in canada
Niagara Falls. Photo: Silvestre Caride

Summer is the perfect time to explore the Niagara Falls, a popular family-friendly destination. Kids will love getting sopping wet and donning rain ponchos as water crashes all around on a boat ride, like the unique Hornblower Niagara Cruise. As the boat nears the falls, the roar from millions of gallons of water thunders down. Then, Journey Behind the Falls is an attraction that leads to an observation deck 13-stories high located at the base of the falls that offers an experience the entire family will never forget. The Niagara Parks is bursting with activities for families and kids of all ages, like Table Rock Welcome Centre, Botanical Gardens and Butterfly Conservatory, and attractions like the White Water Walk. Take a hike down the Niagara Glen to become one with nature, or adventure with a cable car ride across the river.

Where to Stay:

Sheraton on the Falls offers one of the best vacations for kids in Canada, as it sits right in the heart of all the action. The staff is fun and friendly, the rooms are spacious, and the hotel is located right on the Clifton Hills, so it’s only a short walk to the falls and everything else you will need on your vacation. Parents will love the onsite casino, shops, and restaurants while the kids will never want to leave the rooftop pool and the arcade. Plus, some rooms even have views overlooking the falls while others offer views of a gorgeous garden or the city.

6. Vancouver

best vacations for kids in canada
Beautiful view of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Photo: mfron

Sandwiched in-between the sea and the mountains, the city of Vancouver is known for containing a ton of kid-friendly attractions located in both Granville Island and the nearly 1,000-acre Stanley Park to dazzle the young ones, making it a paradise for children of all ages year-round. Located in the massive park lies the Vancouver Aquarium, four playgrounds, an outdoor water park, and a miniature train that toddlers will adore. The city also contains interactive museums, fun festivals, and hop-on, hop-off sightseeing adventures.

Where to Stay:

Located in the center of the city the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver is just moments away from outdoor adventures as well. This hotel is only one of two Vancouver hotels to win the Forbes Five Star rating, and offers kids off-sit adventures, babysitting services, and kid-focused activities like daily crafts, scavenger hunts, Junior Chef Tours, and creative workshops.

7. Montreal

best vacations for kids in canada
Old Montreal City Hall and flags of Quebec, Canada and the city. Photo: citylights

With many French influences throughout time, the city of Montreal has been called the Europe of North America and offers out-of-this-world French-inspired cuisine unlike any the world has ever seen and rich culture. Plus, the city is known to be the perfect location for history and art fanatics that also happens to contain fun and educational kid-centric activities. Explore the Montreal Biodome to learn more about the world’s ecosystems or head to the La Ronde Amusement Park if you’re looking for a more thrilling ride. Kids will also adore the slopes of Mount Royal. Be sure to try the city’s famous bagels or smoked meat before you leave, as they are considered two of Montreal’s best delicacies.

Where to Stay:

At the Ritz-Carlton Montreal, each visit will feel like you’re returning home. Thanks to the hospitality and VIP treatment as well as the wonderful breakfast and lunch feasts, you can relax in style. Kids will love playing with Ritz Kids, where they can learn and play, while you kick back at the full-service spa.

8. Toronto

best vacations for kids in canada
City Hall Square in Toronto, Canada. Photo: 2317900 Ontario Ltd. Spirer

Toronto will offer one of the best vacations for kids in Canada. With so much to do, see, learn, and explore, you can fill your days with activities like the Toronto Zoo, Royal Ontario Museum, Centreville Amusement Park, Riverdale Farm, the Hockey Hall of Fame, or Ontario Place. If you’re hoping for some educational fun, check out the Ontario Science Centre or Fort York. Before you leave, definitely head to the top of the CN Tower, the tallest free standing structure in the world.

Where to Stay:

The luxurious InterContinental Toronto Centre has a great location in the center of downtown, a fantastic, friendly staff, and gorgeous views overlooking the city and water in the distance. Let the kids play by the pool before you head to the one of the many shops or attractions nearby. With a convenient location to the subway, you can easily head anywhere you need to go. Spa amenities will have you feeling refreshed and ready for your family adventure!

9. Quebec City

best vacations for kids in canada
Chateau Frontenac, located in Quebec City, sits majestically over the St. Lawrence Seaway in Canada. Photo: Susan Peterson

Quebec City has a strong French Canadian culture, which the city proudly exhibits in amazing museums complete with cobblestone streets and beautiful gardens. No matter what age you are, the street performances at the Quartier Petit-Champlain will absolutely keep the entire family entertained for hours. The ice slide at Terrasse Dufferin will get your blood pumping if you need a little bit of a thrill. And if you plan a vacation in the spring, the family can have a chance to explore maple harvesting season, complete with tasty treats and fun.

Where to Stay:

Placed on a hill overlooking Quebec City, the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac offers stunning views, amazing service, and an attention to detail unlike any other hotel. The historical hotel offers luxurious lodging, gourmet cuisine, an indoor pool, spa, and an amazing health club. Plus, the countryside surrounding the heart of Old Quebec offers snow bunnies the perfect ski vacation from November to early May, with a total of 66 trails spanning from three different sides of the mountain.

10. Victoria and Vancouver Island

best vacations for kids in canada
Inner Harbour of Victoria, British Columbia. Photo: akobradlgruber

Victoria and Vancouver Island has some amazing attractions for even the youngest children. Explore and become one with nature on a hike in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park or head to the Victoria Butterfly Garden if you have toddlers. Or, head to the Bug Zoo, explore Beacon Hill Park, or visit Canada’s oldest West Coast lighthouse at the Fort Rodd Hill historic site. Just make sure you sign up for a whale watching tour to have the rare opportunity to view Orcas in their nature habitat. Because the whale is very common near the island, you don’t have to worry about trekking out onto the water for nothing.

Where to Stay:

Overlooking the Victoria harbor, the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort offers a stunning property with gorgeous views of the activity on the water and a central location that’s perfect to access any of the local attractions, just a short walk or a water taxi away. Enjoy the indoor pool, friendly staff, modern and comfortable rooms, and amazing dining options. Take advantage of the hotel spa, and if you’re travelling in the summer, be sure to enjoy the exciting festivals and events that take place in July, such as the Victoria International Buskers’ Festival, Rock the Shores, or the 31st Annual Folk Festival.

And those are the best vacations for kids in Canada

No matter the season, Canada has a wide range of activities to offer the entire family a dream vacation unlike any other. The best vacations for kids in Canada, complete with nature preserves, amusement parks, ski resorts, cities filled with culture, and opportunities to explore dinosaur bones or see a real-life rodeo, will make it hard to head back home. The entire family will love all the adventures Canada has to offer, whether it’s sunny and warm or a snowy winter wonderland.

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