Our family loves heading out for adventure and ‘the island’ is an often asked for destination. This year we have ventured around The Sunshine Coast and last year we explored Parksville, which isn’t far from where we recently visited, Victoria, BC. I’ve personally travelled the most to Victoria and each time have such a great experience exploring new areas around the city. We’ve put together a list of things to do on a family weekend in Victoria, including the stops from our most recent visit.
When heading over to the Island from The Fraser Valley, be sure to book a reservation on BC Ferries. It’s only an additional $10 and will save you some sanity knowing that you are going to make the ferry time that you are intending. Definitely the last thing you want, especially when travelling with kids, is missing your intended ferry departure time.
Click the learn more link to go directly to each featured business. We couldn’t say enough good things about both the Victoria Bug Zoo and Eagle Wings Whale & Wildlife Tours. These were brand new experiences for me and if it interests you I would strongly encourage added them to your next Victoria adventure.
As always travelling with kids is an adventure in itself. We have learned some things that help make trips more relaxing, with less “are we there yet’s”…
Three things to keep in mind when travelling with kids:
- Pack ALL THE SNACK. Literally all of them, bring them everywhere you go because hungry kids are never ideal.
- Bring a little kit for the kids to play with. We Brough along LEGO kits for the kids that kept them very entertained and quiet during our hotel down time.
- Don’t make your schedule too jam packed. Leave room for play time in the hotel pool and leisure time to explore. Booking one solid event a day is usually a great start and then play everything else by ear.
Let’s get into the good stuff, here’s where we visited on our family weekend in Victoria, BC and some tips to make the best of each place.
Disclosure: This experience was gifted thanks to Victoria, BC and Eagle Wings Whale Watching Tours. All views and opinions are always my own.
10 Things to do in Victoria with Kids
1. Marriott Victoria
Let’s start with where we stayed. The Marriott in Victoria is one of my absolute favourite hotels that I’ve stayed in. We had a gorgeous sunset view from our walk out balcony and their antique/vintage furniture was so well kept, clean and just remarkably stunning.
The room looped in a circle with the bedroom having it’s own doors, a main room with a kitchenette, dining table and then a bathroom with large mirror and double sinks. We had more that enough room for the five us for our family weekend in Victoria, BC.
Learn More on their Instagram Marriott Victoria
2. Fire & Water Restaurant
One morning we had the convenience to head downstairs to the restaurant connected to Marriott Victoria, newly renovated Fire & Water. We were greeted and seated with menu’s, stickers and colouring for the kids which helped keep their antsy pants occupied for the majority of our meal. I also loved that their drinks came in reusable plastic cups.
On another note, we also ordered room service the first night and I just have to say, BEST BURGER EVER.
Learn More on their website Fire & Water Restaurant
3. Victoria Bug Zoo
I personally didn’t expect to like this one as much as I did. I knew the kids would be in to it, because naturally.. kids and bugs. We got to hop into a tour right as we arrived, tours happen periodically throughout the day and give you the option to hold many different bugs, spiders, etc as you go through from species to species.
Ezra encouraged me to hold a tarantula, that only parents can hold (because they are so fragile) and kids get to give a them handshake. Don’t bundle up too warm when you visit, the room is heated so be sure you can take the layers off after you arrive if it is a cold day out.
Learn More on their website Victoria Bug Zoo
4. Saveur Restaurant
If your kids are on the wild side, this might not be the best restaurant for them. It’s a gorgeous restaurant, beautiful decor and one of the tastiest eggs Benedicts I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying. Both myself and James decided to go with an eggs benedict, his was the beef tenderloin and mushrooms and mine was the veggie.
Though there is no specific kids menu the kids enjoyed the Banana Bread French toast and a classic breakfast dish with scrambled eggs and bacon, that the youngest split into two. We found them very accommodating and each dish outstanding.
Their website share’s that they are the number one recommended French contemporary cuisine in Victoria, BC.
Learn More on their website Saveur Restaurant
5. Fisherman’s Wharf
We took a little boat taxi, or as an Instagram follower mentioned to me a “pickle boat”, from Victoria Waterfront straight into Fisherman’s Wharf. This fun boat taxi is a quick little drive and the kids loved the 360 views.
We arrived to Fisherman’s Wharf early for our Whale Watching Tour and ordered pizza and ice-cream from the local shops along the docks. It’s such a fun spot to explore, the homes on the water are all fascinating and on a previous trip to Victoria I’ve seen sea otters swimming around the docks.
6. Eagle Wing Whale & Wildlife Watching Tour
What an adventure! We spent around four hours cruising around with Eagle Wing While & Wildlife Tours and it was incredible. They knew exactly where to go to get the best whale watching experience and cruised over to the spot. We spent about an hour following their path, eight Orca’s in total.
The staff on the boat were so knowledgable, everyone I talked to had been doing these tours for years. They can tell the Orca families apart just by looking at them and this family was incredibly unique. One of the baby Orca’s had a unique condition and it’s colouring was grey. There are only two Orca’s on the west coast with this condition, we learned throughout the tour. It was breathtaking watching them dive around as a family and explore the coast.
This was a brand new experience for me, besides the whales we saw in a distance from the ferry I’d never experience seeing whales in the ocean before. I would highly suggest spending an afternoon exploring and discovering more about Orca’s with Eagle Wing Whale & Wildlife Watching Tours, it really is an experience of a lifetime.
Learn More on their website Eagle Wings Whale and Wildlife Watching Tours
7. Milestone’s at Waterfront
After a quick little ferry taxi back over to Downtown Victoria we adventured over to Milestone’s. I was thinking about my last visits to Victoria and I am pretty certain that every time I have visited it has included an experience at Milestone’s on the waterfront. Nothing beats the views and you are guaranteed to get food you love every time.
Learn More on their website Milestone’s
8. Beacon Hill Children’s Farm
Multiple people suggested that we go over to see “The Running of the Goats”. It’s exactly what they say too, you line up to form a path for the goats to run down into their play area. It’s hilariously cute as you see them all dart out and down the path, way more then you imagine, big and small.
Entry to the farm is by donation, and you have to get there at specific times to see the goats run, we chose to go first thing in the morning. The farm has a wild selection of animals to view as well, but the goats were for sure a highlight for everyone in our family.
Learn More on their website Beacon Hill Children’s Farm
9. Beach House Restaurant
As we ventured back to the catch our ferry reservation home we travelled along the coast and came to the Beach House Restaurant. Another restaurant with a gorgeous view, this one outside of the hustle and bustle with a peaceful view of the ocean. They have a large patio or inside seating with large windows and natural light. We were beyond impressed with the food and the large portions. All of the food on the trip was outstanding, though this one stood out ten fold.
Their menu is created using mainly locally sourced items with a west coast eclectic vibe.
Learn More on their website Beach House Restaurant
10. Cordova Bay
If you have some time to kill on your way to the ferry, make a stop at Cordova Bay as it’s peaceful views are the perfect way to end a trip into the city of Victoria. We spent some time relaxing on the beach, walking along the water and the kids playing with driftwood. Those simple moments are hard to beat.
Hope you enjoy your next family weekend in Victoria, BC. If you have any favourite places to go or things to do in Victoria, comment below to share with others.