If it feels like the kids have been out of school for too long and the activity to-do list is running short, there is still plenty to do with the kiddies before it’s time to say goodbye to summer.
Beyond the obvious outdoor pools, beaches and water parks, several events happening between now and September are primed to thrill the children.
- What: The annual fair returns this August with all the classic attractions and food, plus new events including Peter Pan: The Broadway Musical, The Beatles Memorabilia Exhibit, Superhero Discovery Centre, Dinosaurs Alive! A Jurassic Experience, Mermaid Tales and the 5K Donut Dash.
- Where: Pacific National Exhibition – 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
- When: Saturday, August 22 to Monday September 7 (closed August 24 and 31); 11 a.m. until late.
First on the list is the legendary Fair at the PNE. Between rides for every age, animals, shows and tasty snacks, the PNE is basically kid-heaven. This year, the Dinosaurs Alive! Jurassic Exhibition will wow the little ones with animatronic dinosaurs, and Peter Pan: The Broadway Musical should inspire all ages.
- What: The 10-day festival attracts over 130,000 people. You can expect 70 free concerts this year from some of Canada’s most memorable artists.
- Where: John Lawson Park, West Vancouver
- When: Until Sunday, August 9
If the kids love to listen to music, West Vancouver’s Harmony Arts Festival should definitely be on the summer bucket-list. There will be over 70 free concerts to enjoy at Ambleside Park, plus food, drinks and an impressive artisan fair. Pack a picnic and spend the day at John Lawson Park – there’s also a few fun playgrounds to stretch the legs in.
- What: Watch Harry Potter outside! The site will be outfitted with a four-storey inflatable movie screen, transforming the area into a magical outdoor cinema within a matter of hours, fit for thousands of Vancouverites to visit and watch flicks throughout the summer.
- Where: Ceperley Meadows (Second Beach), Stanley Park
- When: Tuesday, August 11; dusk
Whether the kids are Harry Potter enthusiasts or they haven’t yet discovered the magical world of Hogwarts, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone at the Evo Summer Cinema Series in Stanley Park will be a worthy excuse to get the kids of the house on a Tuesday night. The film is screening on August 11 at Ceperley Meadows near Second Beach. Come with a blanket, lawn chairs and snacks!
- What: Ultimate Dinosaurs introduces you to new and unique dinosaurs that evolved in isolation in South America, Africa and Madagascar. The exhibition combines rarely seen specimens with augmented reality technology that transforms full-scale dinosaurs into flesh-covered animated beasts right before your eyes.
- Where: TELUS World of Science – 1455 Quebec St., Vancouver
- When: Saturday, May 30 to September 7, 2015; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m
Before this amazing exhibit wraps up, take the kids to Science World’s Ultimate Dinosaurs Exhibit to check out some pretty impressive dino skeletons and learn more about some relatively unknown species from the southern hemisphere. With admission to this show, visitors also get to experience the rest of Science World. Perfect for a rainy day!
- What: Sea Monsters Revealed, running at the Vancouver Aquarium from now until Labour Day Weekend, takes some of the ocean’s most unusual creatures and strips them down to nothing but skin and bones – or cartilage as the case may be – giving visitors an inside-out look and what makes them tick.
- Where: Vancouver Aquarium – 845 Avison Way, Vancouver
- When: Daily until September 7
The Vancouver Aquarium also has a popular exhibition on the go with a brand new 4D movie all about prehistoric sea monsters. Visitors can also meet the brand new false killer whale, take in a beluga show and watch some pretty cute South African penguins. The Aquarium is fine on a rainy day, but it’s even better when it’s nice and warm. Just sit outside and watch the whales swim by while enjoying a lemonade.