We decided, well more so my husband decided, that a mini “staycation” was in order for us. So we decided to spend one night downtown in Vancouver with little kids. Our two little kids. Jason found a deal online for a hotel on the edge of Gastown, and our room had a separate sleeping area which meant we wouldn’t have to go to bed at 7pm like our daughter’s do. The morning of our trip we loaded the car with our suitcase, stroller, diaper bag, and pack-n-play. First stop… coffee!
Things got off to a rough start sadly. When we got to the hotel, we were able to check into our room early, but there were issues. Almost two hours later we finally got all that sorted, but we’d heard the horn that signals lunch time downtown. We needed lunch, people were getting hangry. Every single restaurant, or even small eatery was full with 40minute wait times. Another issue was that a lot of places are not stroller friendly, and we had our youngest in the stroller because she was asleep. We just kept walking and finally settled into a place that served all day breakfast. This works for us, because we know our preschool will eat breakfast food any time of day.
Unfortunately, things with the hotel had put such a damper on everything that we were actually debating just going home. When our hotel realized this they very kindly did everything possible to try and help us restart our staycation on a good note.
What exactly did we get up to with kids while downtown? Well, we walked a bit of Gastown and Coal Harbour. This was a hit with our oldest because she got to see all of the float planes. She has since requested that we get to take one of these some day. Can you guess what has now been added to our travel dream list?
There’s several different outdoor art pieces in Coal Harbour that you can check out. We saw the Olympic Cauldron, the Digital Orca, and the Drop. I get it that we live in Raincouver, but we all agreed that we are not a fan of the Drop plus if you hear how much that cost you will end up shaking your head. The Digital Orca was a huge hit though, but be ready to keep your kid from climbing on it.
One thing Jason and I have always wanted to do is go to the Vancouver Lookout Tower. This is stroller friendly, just in case you are wondering. The staff are very kind, and made sure Evie had a stool to stand on to be able to see out the windows. We walked our way around the 360 degree viewing area. It really is incredible to see all the buildings, and how beautiful Vancouver is. Jason went back before it was dark, and got some great night shots. Keep an eye out for discount coupons for this if you do want to go, there are many available in tourist pamphlets. Plus kids 5 and under are free.
Our evening there was spent enjoying movie night snacks that the hotel provided for us. Evie had actually fallen asleep on the couch and woke up to all sorts of special treats. We watched a couple of her favourite shows before getting the girls ready for bed. We actually managed to get both of the girls to bed in the same room with only one hiccup from Addie not wanting to settle and go to sleep.
The next day we packed up, and checked out because we were off to see the Canuck’s Open Practice. It’s a great free event, and the perfect way for younger kids to check out hockey without paying the high ticket prices for an actual game. There was lots to see and do. Evie got her face painted with a pink cupcake, and Addie ended up being on the big screen thats in the arena.
It was a nice little change of events for all of us as a family. We really needed the mini getaway from everything. Things have just been too crazy, and we needed to slow it down. If we were to do something like this again we will be looking for a hotel with a pool too, so if you know of any in downtown Vancouver let me know. It really was a simple staycation, and it was nice to explore the city. There really is so much to do, and explore while there.