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3 days over V Day w/e with kids

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Sydney
posts: 7
3 days over V Day w/e with kids

Hi - I'm an Australian living in South Surrey with my 11 and 8 yr old children and we wanted to get a feel for Vancouver Island. We have a car and I can either bring it or not. We were thinking of heading over for the 4 day long w/e May 17-20. Friends have suggested we base ourselves in Victoria but I'd be happy to choose two locations to enable us to sample a bit more. (To be honest, the kids would probably be happiest at a resort with a pool - they're whacked from school - but I'm putting my foot down as I want to see more so I have to deliver activities that they would love.) Any thoughts about structuring the trip (car/no car, departure points, activities, destinations) would be incredibly gratefully received.

Nanaimo, Canada
Destination Expert
for Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
posts: 4,285
reviews: 270
1. Re: 3 days over V Day w/e with kids

What do your kids like to do?

Sydney
posts: 7
2. Re: 3 days over V Day w/e with kids

Hi Buccaneer Dave - I hoped you would reply as I read some of your posts and you make lots of sense! The kids are a sporty 11 yr old boy and a girlie girl 8 yr old. (In Seattle a few weekends ago Charlie checked out the history of video games exhibit at the EMP and he and I loved the Flight Museum while Mimi wanted to shop for ear rings. Therein lies my challenge...) Having said that, they both like a good interactive museum and they love the outdoors/adventure stuff, like zip-lining. I don't want to overload them but we would love to see a little more of the wildlife (we're pretty suburban here in South Surrey)... whales, bears - even a raccoon would do it for them. They probably wouldn't swim because in Sydney is it considered unnatural to hop into the water when it is so bloody cold!!! Does that give you an idea?

Sydney
posts: 7
3. Re: 3 days over V Day w/e with kids

Oh - and I probably have four days if I include the travelling days of Friday and Monday....

Nanaimo, Canada
Destination Expert
for Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
posts: 4,285
reviews: 270
4. Re: 3 days over V Day w/e with kids

Thanks for those kind words ....

You know Victoria might be the best spot for you. Stay 2 or 3 nights. I'd take a car. Go to the Royal BC Museum and the IMAX theatre. Drive the Scenic Tour. Watch the kite flyers at Clover Point. Walk on the breakwater at Ogden Point. Go ziplining and climb the Monkido course at WildPlay, West Shore in Victoria. Shop on the lower end of Pandora near Market Square.

Then you could head out of town for day and go towards Port Renfrew. Go to East Sooke Park for a hike. Go to Whiffen Spit in Sooke. Watch the surfers at Jordan River. Drive to Port Renfrew and go to Botanical Beach (one of our favourite spots on the Island).

Once you leave Victoria, head up island. Stop at the Kinsol Trestle closeish to Shawnigan Lake. Continue on to Nanaimo. Go to Newcastle Island Provinicial Park for a walk around the island. Go to the Dinghy Dock Floating Pub and Restaurant. Shop downtown Nanaimo or the Old City Quarter.

Take the ferry back to Horseshoe Bay from Departure Bay. Make a reservation, for sure. Both ways.

Sound good, or need more direction?

http://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/

http://www.marketsquare.ca/

http://www.wildplay.com/parks/victoria

http://www.portrenfrew.com/botbeach.htm

http://www.cvrd.bc.ca/index.aspx?NID=1379

http://www.newcastleisland.ca/

http://dinghydockpub.com/index.php

http://www.dnbia.ca/

www.youtube.com/watch…

And of course you can whale watch out of Victoria.

Edited: 6:44 pm, April 26, 2013
Toronto, Canada
posts: 7,818
reviews: 438
5. Re: 3 days over V Day w/e with kids

Too early for a whale watching tour??

Nanaimo, Canada
Destination Expert
for Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
posts: 4,285
reviews: 270
6. Re: 3 days over V Day w/e with kids

Prince of Whales, for example, have tours leaving at the top of every hour from 9 am to 5 pm for a 2 hour and 55 minute tour. Departure from May 17 to 20 are bookable online. The whales they take you to view are resident in the area.

http://www.princeofwhales.com/

Sydney
posts: 7
7. Re: 3 days over V Day w/e with kids

Buccaneer Dave - you need to be put on some tour operator's payroll. Thank you so much for the time and thought you've put into thinking through our break. We're loving Canada and while the scenery is magnificent what is really selling us on the country are the people.

Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
posts: 6,472
reviews: 69
8. Re: 3 days over V Day w/e with kids

I'd get those ferry reservations made sap it's a busy time and the reservation is well worth the cost as you don't want to sit in the ferry terminal for hours.. The only thing I'd change in Dave's great itinerary is the return ferry. I'd look at the Duke Point to Tswassen ferry. Because you're in south Surrey it will save you the drive through Vancouver. Doesn't run quite as as often as Departure bay ferry.. terminal is just south of Nanaimo

Edited: 8:09 pm, April 26, 2013
Nanaimo, Canada
Destination Expert
for Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
posts: 4,285
reviews: 270
9. Re: 3 days over V Day w/e with kids

Hi t47, I thought about that sailing. I have to declare a dislike for that route. No sound reasons.

KJSSydney, you're making me blush.

BD

Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
posts: 6,472
reviews: 69
10. Re: 3 days over V Day w/e with kids

Dave I know you dislike that one. It's not my first choice either...but faced with either Lions Gate or Iron Workers at the end of a long weekend and considering the OP resides in South Surrey it seems like Duke Point is a good choice. I've used Duke Point on a long weekend..I think it's the industrial park feel down there that's off putting..it is a truck ferry but it does the job getting from a to b