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Vancouver Island

vancouver island
Vancouver Island is one of those magical places that has something for everyone in the family. Deceptively small (only 300 miles long by 90 miles wide at its furthest points), there's a myriad of outdoor activties kids will enjoy, plus a unique history and culture. Even getting to Vancouver Island is part of the treat by ferry from either Washington or British Columbia.
  Go to the beach – Vancouver Island has long, long stretches of public beach front everywhere. In the summer, they're the spot to go for picnics and swimming, but the spectacular season is winter, especially on the west coast, with its fantastic displays of stormy skies and wild seas.
cameron lake
  LakesVancouver Island has many small interior lakes, where you can hike, swim, picnic. The pace in these lake villages is slow, from another era. If you're going to drive from one part of the island to another, try mapping out the trip to take advantage of the lakes and plan a stop along the route.
    Sailing – A natural for an island, sailing is a favorite. It's not hard to find boat rentals in the larger towns on the Island, for afternoons or day trips. Also whale watching, fishing, or just cruising along the coast.
provincial park
Hiking – Over 130 Provincial Parks are in the Vancouver Island area. Each one has hiking trails, some well planned and maintained by the Parks department, others formed by locals meandering across hills and along the ocean. Many of the Provincial Parks permit camping, boating, and fishing; some exist only to protect the land.
  Mount Douglas is 500 acres of parkland just north of Victoria. A great place for children of all ages to hike, with a view from farmlands to the ocean. You’ll see dozens of bird species, rabbits, and other wildlife.

Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea (Sidney) – This aquarium is a wonderful way for kids to experience amazing marine life of the inland Salish Sea, off Vancouver Island. Once you step inside, you'll be wowed by the diversity, from giant Pacific octopus to teeny plankton. Find out what lives in the Salish Sea, one of the world's largest inland seas.

      Heritage Acres – Operated by the Saanich Historical Artifacts Society, check out antique vehicles, carriages, steam engines, working sawmill, blacksmith, go for a hay ride or pan for gold and experience the world of the early 19th century settlers. (Just outside Victoria.)
      Courtenay Museum and Palaeontology Centre – The Comox Valley is site major paleontological finds, 80 million year old marine reptiles, putting the Courtenay on the Great Canadian Fossil Trail. In the summer, museum has tours to visit fossil sites in the Comox.
      Museum at Campbell RiverNo other museum does so well at celebrating all the peoples who have lived and worked on Vancouver Island. Great exhibits about pre-history archaeology, First Nations art (Salish – First Nations people who created the baskets, masks, woodwork, and ceremonial objects you’ll see), logging that built up the Island (step into a replica log cabin), fishing and boat building; pioneer antique clothing and toys.
kids books vancouver island
Curious Kids Nature Guide  
Curious Kids Nature Guide
Fiona Cohen, Marni Fylling

Explore habitats of the Pacific Northwest – forests with giant trees and diverse wildlife, beaches and tide pools, freshwater ponds with beaver and salmon, changing seasons throughout the year. 100 fabulous illustrations of animals, plants, and fascinating facts. (Guide)


Wild Orca
Brenda Peterson, Wendell Minor

On the longest day of the year, in the summer sun little Mia and her family stand on the shore, and look for orcas in the Salish Sea. Will they see Granny, great-great-grandmother who watches over three families of orcas? Gorgeous illustrations bring to life relationships and connections between these amazing marine mammals. (Picture book)


wild orca
one million trees  

One summer, a family joins a group of French-speaking volunteers to plant seedlings, replacing trees cut down by loggers. And 40 years later, the author takes her own family back to Vancouver Island to see a million fully-grown trees. Find out how to plant trees, words in French, adventures in camp and outdoors, delightfully illustrated! (Picture book)



Celebration of Salish Sea that surrounds Vancouver Island, not just the marine life, but trees, birds, and rain drops. Wonderful papercut illustrations! (Picture book)

One stubby squid exploring below
Seven seals napping all day
Twenty clams for an octopus's feast
Ten thousand plankton glowing at midnight


1 2 3 salish sea
Explore the Salish Sea
Joseph K. Gaydos,
Audrey DeLella Benedict

Learn about amazing life of the Salish Sea surrounding Vancouver Island orcas, giant pacific octopus, birds, salmon, gray whales, sea otters, wolf eels and more. Fabulous photos, a super nature guide. (Illustrated chapter book)


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