Canada, the country located in the northern part of North America is brimming with natural beauty like no other. So finding the best places to visit in Canada with families can be a daunting task.
But don’t worry! We got you covered with the best cities to visit in Canada as recommended by fellow family travelers.
From the Rocky Mountains to mesmerizing lakes to the colossal Niagara Falls to historic cities, there is a huge list of must-see places in Canada with kids.
Beautiful Places in Canada
Canada has so much diversity across its provinces and territories that you will fall in love with it instantly. We have listed some of the best vacation spots in Canada by its Provinces.
Best Places in Alberta
Banff National Park
By Celine from Travel Banff Canada
Banff National Park is the ultimate outdoor playground for families. At any time of year, there is a multitude of activities to keep kids happy. There is no shortage of hiking trails that will keep it fun for kids who love to be in nature.
A hike along the catwalks up to the impressive Upper Falls at Johnston Canyon is always a favorite. For kids who love to be on two wheels, there are plenty of fun kid-friendly bike trails in and around Banff NP. When the snow starts to fly, skiing, skating, and snowshoeing are the main activities.
Choose from the various activities to explore the beauty of the park:
For getting around Banff, renting a car is the best way to explore the region. Having a rental car allows for the flexibility to go to any trailhead and to enjoy at your own pace.
When looking for accommodations, the nearby town of Canmore has Airbnb options that will give more space and be more budget-friendly for families.
When packing for a trip to Banff National Park, plan for the weather and pack plenty of layers. The weather can change quickly and it can be surprisingly cold at the top of the mountain, at any time of year. More importantly, be educated about wildlife safety and never approach or feed wildlife.
Banff National Park is for sure one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
Read Next: Best National Parks in Canada
Best Places to Visit in Ontario
The capital city of Canada is one of the best places to go in Canada with kids. It is the perfect place to learn about the history of Canada. The city is charming with its architecture, monuments, and parks that tell stories about its glorious past.
There are so many things to do in Ottawa with kids. Begin with the most important and the identity of Ottawa, Parliament Hill. Perched on top of a hill overlooking the Ottawa River, it is a must-visit destination.
There are 3 historic buildings – Center, East, and West Block surrounding the huge green lawn.
Plan to take a free guided tour of the East and West Block that can be booked online or from the Visitor Center. If you are visiting Ottawa in summer, then the Light and Sound Show at night at Parliament Hill and the Changing of Guard ceremony during the morning cannot be missed. The kids love the visuals and music that weave the story of Canada.
If you are visiting in May, then don’t miss the Canada Tulip Festival.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to take mats/chairs and blankets for the light and sound show.
Ottawa can be easily explored on foot as most of the attractions are close by along the street. Other notable places to visit are the National Gallery of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint, and Notre Dame Cathedral. You could even choose to take a tour of the city-
Another highlight of Ottawa is the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is a hit both during summer and winter. In summer, stroll along the canal, watch the gates of Ottawa locks being opened, or take a Rideau Canal cruise for beautiful views of the city.
In winter the canal turns into the world’s largest skating rink which is a treat for the kids and adults.
Staying in the downtown area is the best bet to explore the city. If you are willing to spend to explore the ultimate luxury then Fairmont Château Laurier is the place to be, else Westin Ottawa is a great choice.
Read Next: East India Company Restaurant in Ottawa
One of the most visited destinations in Canada is Niagara Falls. One of the natural wonders of the world, it attracts tourists for its sheer beauty and magnificence. Niagara Falls sits on the border of the USA and Canada.
Niagara Falls is a group of three waterfalls – American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls. The best view of all the falls can be taken from the Canadian side, even though the American and Bridal Veil Falls are in America.
There are many activities at Niagara Falls Canada that cannot be missed if you are visiting during summer. The falls are best experienced up close by taking the Hornblower cruise that takes you near the falls.
The mist flying, the water splashing, and the colossal fall in front of you definitely make you jump like a child. Get ready to get drenched if standing on the upper deck.
Pro Tip: If you are traveling with infants, better to hold them in a baby carrier within your poncho.
Journey behind the falls lets you experience the best view of Horseshoe Falls from behind. This is partially open during the winter when the lower observation deck gets closed due to snow. Book the ticket here.
The Niagara Falls becomes a winter wonderland during the winters and is a sight in itself. Take a scenic flight over the falls all throughout the year for spectacular views in the backdrop of different seasons.
Bruce Peninsula National Park
By Devin Held of Deventuretime
One of the most beautiful places to visit in Ontario is definitely Bruce Peninsula National Park.
The park is located in Tobermory and boasts incredible limestone cliffs overlooking clear, blue waters. It’s a perfect destination for families with kids who want to experience a nature-filled getaway!
An amazing way to spend a weekend at the park is to book a camping spot. This is definitely the best accommodation option for this area, as you can wake up early and be right at the hiking trails! There are plenty of low to moderate-intensity trails and secluded swimming spots around the area, which are perfect for families with kids.
The most popular place to visit in the park is definitely the Grotto. This limestone cave overlooks the beautiful blue waters of Georgian Bay. You’ll definitely want to jump into the water here, as there is a perfect swimming spot right by the Grotto. If you arrive early, you can enjoy the area with only a few people around, before heading off on a hike along the Bruce Trail.
Expert Tip: To avoid the crowds, opt to enter the park at the Halfway Log Dump entrance. You will still experience the beauty of the park but avoid the tourist crowds at the Grotto!
Thousand Islands Region
By Carley Rojas Avila of Home to Havana
An easy getaway with kids for travelers coming from Canada or the United States, the Thousand Islands region in the St. Lawrence River on the border between Ontario and New York State makes for a perfect summer vacation on the water. Renting a cottage along the water allows for unlimited swimming, kayaking, tubing, and exploration to keep kids busy and entertained all day.
The islands on the Canadian side of the border are easily accessible by a series of ferries, including a free ferry shuttling cars and RVs from Kingston, Ontario to Wolfe Island and Simcoe Island, or a ferry to Howe Island costing only $6. While Kingston makes a great gateway to the Thousand Islands region, the beautiful scenery and fun activities of the waterway are best enjoyed by these tranquil islands dotted with cottages.
Carley Rojas Avila, a travel blogger for Home to Havana recalls spending summers in the Thousand Islands growing up as some of her favorite childhood memories for the idyllic setting on the water.
Her favorite spot on the water is Potters Beach, just a stone’s throw across the Canadian border on Grindstone Island. This white, sandy stretch of beach is unique in Thousand Island for its sheltered bay and crystal-clear water, making it a perfect destination to anchor down on the boat for a summer afternoon.
Bring lunch in the cooler and all the swimming gear to enjoy the bay – and the kids will love jumping off the rocky outcrop into the waters below.
And if you want a spectacular Ariel view then book a scenic flight over 1000 Islands.
By Lotte from Phenomenal Globe
As the capital of Ontario and Canada’s biggest city, it’s no surprise Toronto is a great place to visit with kids.
From family-friendly events (such as the Mac and Cheese Festival) to interesting museums for children (such as the Ontario Science Center), you won’t run out of things to do in this amazing metropolis.
Families should check out the Toronto Zoo, which is divided into seven zoogeographic regions and home to more than 5,000 animals.
Another fun place to visit is High Park. This is Toronto’s largest public park where you can find a playground, a lake, and lovely gardens. It’s an excellent spot to escape the city, enjoy a relaxed afternoon here, or have a picnic.
No trip to Toronto is complete without a visit to the CN Tower. Head to one of the observation floors and admire the views. Daredevils can face their fear of heights by stepping on the glass floor…
A good place to eat with kids is the Old Spaghetti Factory where children can check out a 100-year-old carousel while waiting for their favorite pasta.
Also, there are so many unique cultural experiences you can have in Toronto.
Chelsea Hotel is a nice place to stay for families, kids will love the indoor pool and corkscrew slide that loops around the hotel.
Getting around Toronto is easy because of its comprehensive public transport network. Instead of driving around and getting stuck in a traffic jam, hop on the TTC Subway or one of the Toronto Street Cars and buses to get to your destination.
If you are short on time, then take a 3-hour bike tour of downtown.
Best Places in British Columbia
By Christina from Travel2next.com
Home to one of the most famous landmarks in Canada, Grouse Mountain, Vancouver is an amazing place to visit in Canada with the family. There are hundreds of activities both outdoors and indoors to choose from. From interactive museums to parks and festivals, families with kids will need at least a week to explore Vancouver.
Attractions in Vancouver for kids include learning about aquatic creatures at the Vancouver Aquarium, riding in a horse-drawn buggy through Stanley Park, which is Vancouver’s green lungs, and exploring the city on board an old-fashioned trolley or open-air bus.
For rainy days, kids will love the interactive exhibits and the OMNIMAX Theatre at Telus World of Science or learning about space at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. The Maritime Museum is fascinating for young ones as it was constructed around the first ship to sail the Northwest Passage from west to east, St. Roch while the Museum of Vancouver will appeal to teens. In summer, the kids will love splashing around in the Granville Island Water Park, which is North America’s largest free water park.
To explore the city and save the hassle, the Hop-on Hop-off sightseeing bus tour is a great way.
Here’s a perfect itinerary to explore Vancouver in 3 days to get you started.
An iconic place to stay in Vancouver with families is the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, which is pet-friendly and also has two canine ambassadors that the kids can take for walks.
Expert tip: Place your trip around a festival such as the Vancouver International Children’s Festival, which has a program of artistic events to help children creatively understand the world. Other festivals the kids will love are the Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, and the Celebration of Light.
There are many tours to choose from if you have more time on your hands:
By Karen from Big Adventures for Little Feet
Kelowna is a bustling and vibrant summer destination to visit as a family and boasts some unique attractions to keep kids and parents busy.
Our favorite thing to do in Kelowna was to hire bikes and take a self-guided bike tour on the increasingly popular Okanagan Trestles which form one section of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. The Okanagan Trestles and Myra Canyon are located just on the outskirts of Kelowna and are one of the most famous sections of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail.
The bike ride is easy but does have some sharp drop-offs so make sure your kids are old enough to confidently ride unaided to enjoy this experience stress-free. The reward is exploring some of the most beautiful elevated canyon views and pedaling your way across 18 soaring trestle bridges and a couple of cool tunnels.
Bikes can be rented from Myra Bicycle Rentals in the main car park but arrive early to secure a bike and enjoy the scenery with fewer people.
Spending a day at Okanagan Lake is a brilliant way to keep cool in the summer heat. City Park provides an inflatable water park along with a fantastic playground, cafes, and sprawling lawns. The kids will splash, run, and play for hours here and there are a number of lakeside beaches with sandy entry points dotted along the lakeshore as well.
Kelowna is also well known for its wineries, farms, and surrounding orchards. Check out the local Kelowna tourism website for some great suggestions and spend the day sampling all the delicious produce and visiting the local farm animals. It’s a great way to keep both parents and kids entertained for the day.
Expert Tip: We recommend having a car to get around Kelowna. Places to visit are spread out and public transport is available but not so simple for family travel. A rental car will allow you to take some scenic drives to surrounding farms and wineries as well as get to Myra Canyon and about town.
Canada has a plethora of family-friendly destinations but Kelowna sure tops our list of favorite summer destinations.
We recommend checking out family-style apartments located in the area just north of City Beach and the main promenade. This is a quiet, family-friendly area that has some lovely resort-style apartments but is still within walking distance of the town center to eat out.
By Lindsay from Uncovering British Colombia
Whistler is the perfect family getaway whether summer or winter. In the winter, the village offers a winter wonderland of world-class skiing, dog sledding, tobogganing, snowman building, and everything you would want from a winter vacation on a ski hill.
In the summer it is the perfect place to bike, with downhill courses for those who like adrenaline and miles and miles of biking and walking trails all over. Summer also offers plenty of hiking and lake days, with several lakes that offer families stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, and swimming.
While summer and winter offer different seasonal activities, Whistler is a resort town offering dozens of places to eat, shopping for souvenirs and boutique clothing and
Expert Tip: The best way to get around in Whistler is to bring your own car. But there is a decent bus service and in the summer months, biking is perfect!
You can even take a day trip To Whistler from Vancouver.
The top things to do with kids include skiing or snowboarding, ski school in the winter, and biking and lake days in the summer.
Most of the hotels in Whistler have swimming pools and hot tubs that are open year-round making the hotel experience perfect for families.
The best place to stay in Whistler is the Four Seasons Resort Whistler. Their rooms offer living spaces and connecting bedrooms offering plenty of space for a family to stretch out and relax. If you are looking for accommodations that offer self-catering kitchens, check out the Delta Hotels by Marriott, which is located right outside the village, or the Pan Pacific Village Centre.
By Lindsay from Step Into Jordan
Victoria is a perfect Island getaway on Canada’s West Coast. Located a 90-minute ferry ride from Vancouver, it is full of fun activities for families.
Whether you want to visit the Royal BC Museum and marvel at the woolly mammoth, go whale watching off the coast of Vancouver Island, visit the Bug Zoo, feed the seals on Fisherman’s Wharf, or visit one of Victoria’s many beaches you will not run out of things to do.
When visiting in the winter, the climate generally stays above freezing, but expect cloudy days. In the summer, enjoy warm summer days with short weather!
While you can get around Victoria on its excellent bus transportation, I always find it easier to have a car with kids, especially younger ones. There are many tours also available from Vancouver that can be availed of. Choose the best fit –
There are so many places to stay in Victoria, but the Coast Hotel and the Delta Hotel by Marriott are great options that also have a swimming pool. When looking for a hotel, that is something I always take into consideration with kids!
Read More: USA to Canada Road Trip: A 5-Day Itinerary
Best Places to Visit in Quebec
One of the oldest cities in Canada, Montreal gives a vibe of Europe in North America. The first thing we noticed as we entered the city were signboards in French, the main language of conversation.
Did you know that Montreal is the second-largest French-speaking city after Paris?
The best place to start your exploration of the city is by visiting Mont-Royal Park. The Kondiaronk Chalet and Camilien-Houde Lookout points in the park give you panoramic views of the city. The kids will have a super time running around, chasing the birds, or enjoying a boat ride in Beaver Lake.
For travelers with a short time, there are guided tours to choose from. This is also helpful as most of the signboards and info are in French.
The history of the city dates back to the 17th century and you can still experience the cobbled-stone roads and monuments in the historic neighborhood of Old Montreal. The most famous is the Notre Dame Basilica, a replica of the famed Notre Dame Paris. As you enter the basilica, you’ll be awed by the arched interiors, the intricate carvings, and the history.
During summer, Old Montreal is bustling with people and activity. Jacques Cartier Plaza is brimming with caricature artists, painters, and musicians performing.
Sit on a restaurant balcony in the plaza, indulge in the delicacies, and enjoy the performances.
Head over to the Old Port where there is a kids’ playground, adventure thrill from zip line, or Ferris wheel where the kids have a gala time. Indulge in the spectacular city views by taking a dinner cruise on the St. Lawrence River.
Parking during the peak season is very difficult to find downtown and there is a limit at the parking time to 2 hours. So it is better to stay in the Old Montreal area. The preferred options with kids are Spring Hill suites.
Related Read: Best Things to do in Montreal with Kids
By Chelsea Sipe from Pack More Into Life
We are frequent visitors to Quebec City, Canada due to its European charm without having to leave North America. It is also an extremely family-friendly city that is walkable, full of fun activities, and has a mix of everything to suit individual family interests.
Quebec City is condensed into the historic area, so it is recommended to explore on foot or use the local transportation options to get around. It can be explored year-round with many best family-friendly things to do in Quebec City.
It is pleasant and beautiful in the summer, but during the Winter there are a plethora of winter activities including dog sledding, riding on snow tubes at Valcartier, snowshoeing at Jacques Cartier National Park, exploring the traditional Christmas markets, taking a Christmas tour, and riding the toboggan ride just in front of the famous Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac.
If you visit a bit later in the year, the Quebec City Winter Carnival is a highlight with ice carvings, indoor activities, dance parties, and a night parade that will knock your socks off.
Have you seen an Ice Hotel? Yes, you can visit an Ice Hotel located just outside the city.
Looking for indoor activities? The Fort Museum has a fun presentation with a map overlay to explain how Quebec City defended itself over its history and became the charming city it is today.
Kids will also enjoy riding the funicular up and down between the upper and lower town.
Take a guided visit to Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, learn about its history, and enjoy the opulence.
Lastly, the Museum of Civilization has multiple kid-friendly areas with interactive exhibits and children’s programs. A perfect place to spend a few hours out of the cold weather.
Another interesting place for spending a day out is at Montmorency Falls around 12 km from Quebec City. Book the cable car and ride to the top of the falls for spectacular views of the falls.
There are so many unique and interesting things to do in Quebec City. Even if you take a 2-hour walking tour of the Old City or a full-day private tour of Quebec City, the city will charm you and leave a lasting memory in your heart.
Ready to book your trip? We love staying in the historic area in a cozy Airbnb where we can take a break mid-afternoon or walk home after a long day exploring.
We hope our list of Beautiful places in Canada will help you with your Canada vacations with kids.
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