Are you looking to do a day trip to Squamish, British Columbia in Canada? Find out the best kid-friendly Squamish activities worth checking out!
This post about what to do on a day trip to Squamish BC was originally published August 9, 2016 and updated September 20, 2021 and may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
Are you planning a trip to Vancouver, BC and want to add a nearby day trip?
One of the coolest Vancouver day trips includes a stop at the small town of Squamish on the iconic Sea to Sky Highway.
While they are famous for their outdoor adventures, there are tons of kid-friendly attractions totally worth a stop.
Keep scrolling to find out the best things to do in Squamish, BC for families. These make a fun day trip from Vancouver or a fun stop on your way to Whistler. It’s also one of the best weekend getaways from Vancouver.
You’ll find all kinds of family-friendly activities in this little town including an awesome suspension bridge that is perfect for kids!
There are also plenty of places where you can get some great views along with some delicious food and coffee too!
If you have time after exploring Squamish, then head over towards Whistler. It’s less than an hour away so it makes for another great adventure if you have more time!
We love visiting new places and we know how much work goes into planning these types of trips – especially when traveling with kids!
That’s why we put together this list full of our favorite things to do in Squamish for kids as well as tips on what else is worth checking out while you’re here.
Whether you live nearby or just passing through, be sure not to miss out on any part of this beautiful area filled with amazing sights and experiences!
Keep scrolling for our guide on all the best places in Squamish, BC for families!
Things to do in Squamish BC FAQs
Downtown Squamish is a super cute town with boutique shops, food trucks, and quaint restaurants. There’s also cool street art worth taking a selfie in front of.
The most famous Squamish attraction is the Sea to Sky Gondola. There’s also Shannon Falls (totally worth the hike) and the Britannia Mine Museum. Of course, there are also Squamish outdoor activities like ATVing, white water rafting, kayaking, kite-boarding, hiking, and more.
Absolutely! It’s in one of the most picturesque areas in British Columbia. It’s definitely worth stopping at one of the scenic viewpoints, but I think you’ll want to spend at least a half-day exploring this little town. There are tons of Squamish family activities!
You can usually get to Whistler from Squamish in about 50 minutes. But, it will take longer during inclimate weather or if you want to stop and enjoy some of the breathtaking views.
3 Kid-Friendly Squamish Activities Worth a Stop
My family absolutely loves Vancouver, but I’ve never really explored the surrounding area.
We’ve driven the Sea to Sky Highway when heading to Whistler (there are TONS of things to do in Whistler with kids). But, we hadn’t considered exploring any of the towns along the highway.
1. West Coast Railway Heritage Park
When I heard about the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish, BC I knew this would be the ultimate destination for my train-enthusiast toddler.
When I looked for other Squamish things to do in the area, I saw that we’d also be passing by the Sea to Sky Gondola.
It looked amazing and picturesque. I figured we could manage two major tourist attractions before my toddler would need his nap.
My toddler insisted that we experience the mini train first, so that’s what we did. We lucked out and were the only ones on the first train of the day!
The mini train is like no other we’ve done. The conductor sits on a miniature engine and the passengers straddle a cushy seat and put their feet on each side.
Even though there were no seat belts or restraints, I felt really safe and just sat close to my toddler. We LOVED the little train ride!
The highlight was driving past a model train village and watching the train go all around, over a bridge and through a tunnel. We got to see this twice.
Partway through, the conductor had us get off so he could turn the train around. We were encouraged to look at the museum but my son was intent on watching exactly what the conductor was doing.
As soon as he was set, my 2-year-old leaped up and grabbed some seats for us, and away we went. There were a few more stops at little train stations along the way. We got off where they had the kids’ play area.
The kids’ play area consisted of a train play structure, which my son thought was really fun! He pretended to be the train conductor and told us to sit in the back and be his passengers.
There is also a huge sandbox filled with sand toys.
My toddler started to dig in when he saw the train tables. They have 4 Thomas the Train tables set up outdoors under a roof. The tracks are screwed downs and 3 of the tables are identical.
Even though we have a train table at home, we spent a long time here. Thankfully, they have benches for parents in the shade.
We also explored a few of the trains outside. My 2-year-old’s favorite was a train that had an extensive model train exhibit inside.
He was able to see most of it standing on his own but there were a few parts where he asked to be picked up so he could see better.
This train was much cooler temperature-wise than the other cars. We found the mail car to be quite stuffy.
We also ventured into the house that is set up like it was in the early 1900s. It was very cool to see how the house was laid out and some of the antiques inside.
My son was eager to climb upstairs until he saw the mannequins and then we quickly left the house.
Our final stop at this train museum in Squamish was the Roundhouse. It houses some beautiful trains that you can climb inside.
We were even able to ring the bell on one of the trains. It was so easy that my 2-year-old was able to ring it all by himself.
They had some fun cut-outs of old-timer people for photo ops, which was cute.
We headed to the gift shop on our way out because my toddler fell in love with an item and we just had to get it for him and we wanted to support this cool non-profit.
I think this is one of the most underrated Squamish places to visit.
[irp posts=”1799″ name=”The Polar Express in Squamish, BC is Magical”]
Know Before You Go to the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish:
- Don’t wear short skirts or dresses if you plan on riding the little train. Since you’ll be straddling the seat, it might feel awkward.
- Most of the park has large gravel, so you might want to wear close-toed shoes. I also had my toddler wear jeans to protect his knees from scrapes in case he fell.
- Beware of the mannequins upstairs in the house. They really freaked my toddler out and he spent the rest of our time there cautiously asking if there were mannequins inside any of the trains.
- It takes about 45 minutes to do the self-guided tour. We were there with a toddler so we spent 2 hours exploring and we didn’t see everything.
- They also host a variety of events throughout the year, including Day Out with Thomas and the Polar Express.
2. Squamish Sea to Sky Gondola
By the time we finished with the West Coast Railway Heritage Park, my toddler was getting sleepy. We kept him awake by singing for the 10 minutes it took to get to the Sea to Sky Gondola from the park.
The parking lot is gravel and pretty clearly marked what direction to go. The ticket area is really nice and set up very well.
We easily got our tickets and headed straight to the line to hop on board a gondola. I think we waited 2 minutes before getting in a private gondola to head up the mountain.
The view from the gondola was absolutely breathtaking and it kept getting better and better the higher up we went. I was a bit worried that my 2-year-old might not like the ride but he told me it was “awesome!”
After about 10 minutes, we reached the summit and headed to the first lookout point. The view was unbelievable!
My son was determined to cross the suspension bridge, so we immediately headed there. It was much less wobbly and shorter than Capilano Suspension Bridge and he was able to walk it pretty confidently holding our hands.
About 3/4 of the way across, a staff member asked if we would like a professional photo. We declined, but I can see how that would make a unique family photo!
Once we were across, we reached another scenic lookout point which had another gorgeous view of the water and the mountains. Washington State is stunning, but this is on a whole other level!
We decided to walk up the first few feet of one of the hikes just to get some shade and see what the view was like.
It was 85 degrees at this point and we figured we better head back down and grab lunch and drinks before my toddler melted down.
So, we walked back across the bridge and got in line for the gondola. It was much more crowded to head down and we got in line right before the mad rush.
I was pleasantly surprised to see they had cups and water for those standing in line.
The whole activity was one big photo op!
My phone actually told me I couldn’t take any more photos due to space and I frantically deleted a bunch so I could continue snapping pics.
We could easily have spent all day here, especially if we were interested in hiking. This is one of the best places to visit in Squamish.
I’d probably recommend 2-3 hours, especially if you want to eat lunch there. Click HERE to get your Sea to Sky Gondola tickets.
Know Before You Go to the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish:
- The Sea to Sky Gondola park entrance is only accessible going North. We were headed South and had to pull a u-turn a mile down the road to enter and then we had to pull another u-turn a mile up the road to get back on the highway to Vancouver. It might be easiest to hit this destination first.
- This is not a great fit for people who are wary of heights. You can either face the mountain or the water and you will be aware that you are traveling high up very quickly.
- There are wonderful play areas both at the base and the summit. These play areas also have fun cut-outs for photo-ops!
- There is a full restaurant at the summit and a cafe at the base. We opted to eat at the cafe because we weren’t sure if full tummies on the gondola would be a good idea. We probably would have been fine, but I’m glad we didn’t have to find out.
- If you go in the Summer, lather on the sunscreen and wear a sun hat. There is very little shade. And bring lots of water to drink.
3. Britannia Mine Museum
The last Squamish attraction on my list is the Britannia Mine Museum. We didn’t visit this on our first trip to Squamish because it didn’t seem toddler-friendly.
So, we did this on our most recent trip with a 7-year-old and a 5-year-old. The Britannia Mine Museum honestly blew our minds!
I knew my preschooler would love doing the underground train and learning about a real mining tunnel.
The train ride itself was pretty short and fairly smooth. It’s not scary or jarring or anything like that.
Once we were in the tunnel, we got to hear just how loud real mining tools were and had a front-row experience of what it was like for the miners to work in the dark.
And there’s a really cool presentation that takes place inside the old mill that shows what it was like when the mine was bustling.
It’s a National Historic Site, as it was once the largest copper mine in the British Empire. This is a great place for an educational experience while having fun!
But, your kids will most likely have the most memorable experience panning for gold. Yes, they have actual gold you can try to find! My husband found a few flakes!
I think our family spent at least an hour combing through the different rocks and sand. Plus, there’s an expert there to give tips and talk about what it’s like to pan for gold “in the wild”.
Exploring the Britannia Mine Museum is definitely one of the most fun things to do in Squamish.
You’ll also want to save some time to check out their gift shop. This is seriously one of the coolest British Columbia gift shops we’ve been too and my kids wanted EVERYTHING.
Know Before You Go to the Britannia Mine Museum in Squamish:
- You’ll want to dress warmly, especially for the time exploring the mine. It’s much cooler inside.
- It’s helpful to bring extra clothes for kids who want to pan for gold. Or you can bring a smock. They will probably get really wet.
- You’ll want to wear closed-toe shoes during the mine tour. The ground is uneven and sometimes wet.
- If your family is sensitive to loud noises, you might want to bring headphones or earmuffs for the BOOM show.
- You have to exit through the gift shop, so chat with kids ahead of time so they understand whether or not you’ll be buying any souvenirs.
Where to Stay in Squamish, BC
If you aren’t doing a Squamish day trip, here are my top picks for places to stay in Squamish British Columbia:
Sandman Hotel Suites
With comfortable beds, high-speed Internet, and complimentary continental breakfast, including French toast, muffins, bagels, boiled eggs, yogurt, hot and cold cereals, and much more.
The Sandman Hotel & Suites Squamish is the perfect place for an adventure-filled holiday or a short stopover. Check latest rates and availability.
Plus, this Squamish hotel has a fun waterslide and pool area for families. I think this is one of the best Squamish hotels.
Executive Suites Hotel & Resort
Executive Suites Hotel & Resort, Squamish, a spacious all-season and all-suite Squamish BC resort hotel, is centrally located just 40 minutes from Vancouver and Whistler Village along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway.
This resort provides a choice of studios or one or two-bedroom hotel suites that offer comfortable, mountain-influenced, condo-style accommodations with world-class amenities and scenic views.
Plus, dogs are welcome! Check latest rates and availability.
Squamish, BC Kid-Friendly Tours
2 Hour Ropes Course Adventure
Nestled between stunning mountain views, the Squamish Rope Runner Park is one of the best things to do in Squamish with kids who are adventurous.
There are cargo nets, climbing walls, suspended bridges, monkey bars, slacklines, and even a suspended snowmobile.
Kids as young as 7 years old can participate in this super cool ropes course in Squamish.
Family Friendly Cheakamus Splash Rafting
This is an awesome 3-hour white water rafting trip on the Cheakamus River in Squamish. You’ll paddle the winding turns, go over rapids, and you might even see wild animals like bears, deer, or eagles.
Kids as young as 5 years old can participate in this Squamish white water rafting adventure
Whistler Half-Day Fly Fishing
If your kids are interested in fly fishing, join a private fishing guide for personalized attention. You can try your luck fishing for trout and salmon.
Kids as young as 10 years old can participate in this Squamish fly fishing adventure.
Things to do in Squamish Canada Wrap Up
Whether you’re looking for family-friendly activities or an easy day trip, Squamish BC has a lot to offer.
I hope this list of places with kids in mind helps you figure out what to do while visiting this beautiful West Coast community!
If your travels take you over the Sea To Sky Highway, be sure not to miss some other awesome attractions nearby like the West Coast Heritage Railway and Britannia Mine Museum. Happy exploring!
What to do in Vancouver, BC with Kids:
4 Days in Vancouver with a Toddler Tips & Itinerary
Things to do in Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC with Kids
Vancouver with Kids: Vancouver Lookout + Harbour Cruise Reviews
Vancouver’s Science World with Babies + Toddlers
Holiday Festivities in Vancouver, BC
Monday 9th of July 2018
Hi Marcie, I found your sight in search of things to do in Seabrook and came across this article. Have you visited the Great Northern & Cascade Railway in Skykomish? I would recommend it. Ours two boys love the train ride there.
Monday 9th of July 2018
You know, I keep hearing about that train ride! It's been on our bucket list since last year and I think I need to check their schedule to see if we can pop up there one weekend. Thanks for the reminder!
Tuesday 29th of May 2018
This place is simply stunning! Would love to visit someday. I loved your pictures. So pretty! :)
Wednesday 30th of May 2018
It's a really cool place to explore!
Tuesday 29th of May 2018
That overlooking platform is just amazing, literally took my breath away only just from the picture. How much more will it be when I pay a visit to that exact place! Vancouver, I will definitely see you someday soon!
Tuesday 29th of May 2018
British Columbia is such a gorgeous province! I hope you get to visit soon!
Monday 28th of May 2018
This looks so beautiful and totally Instagrammable! I'm definitely going to pin it for later.
Tuesday 29th of May 2018
It's an under-rated area, but so worth the drive!
Monday 28th of May 2018
Such FUN ideas! I have always wanted to take the family there, and now you've made me really want to explore it!
Monday 28th of May 2018
I hope you make it out there! I'm trying to figure out when we can go back!