Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do with Kids in Vancouver, WA

  • Published 2022/12/12

Nestled along the northern part of the scenic Columbia River is the bustling yet charming city of Vancouver.

Vancouver is the fourth biggest city in Washington and was once declared the “hippest” city in the nation because of its high number of thrift shops and small breweries.

Before it became the trendy city that it is today, Vancouver was originally a military post when it was established in 1824 and was named after Captain George Vancouver.

Vancouver has many wonderful tourist attractions in Clark County, with Mt. Helens to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Cascade Range to the east.

From historic sites and landmarks to cultural hubs and artistic facilities, there’s a lot to enjoy in the city.

One of the best things about Vancouver is that your whole family can enjoy many destinations and activities!

Here are the 15 best things to do with kids in Vancouver, Washington:

Dig Unique Artifacts at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Watch tower of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Zack Frank /

Get dirty and messy as you dig up artifacts with your kids so you can learn more about the region’s rich history at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site!

Located along Reserve Street, Fort Vancouver National Historic Site features several areas with artifacts that tell you about the Pacific Northwest’s history.

Here, you can explore historic buildings used by the city’s army as barracks.

You can also check out a reconstructed fur trade building and the walking trails that will take you all over the site.

Cannons at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Zack Frank /

You and your kids will enjoy many more activities at this historic site.

From watching blacksmiths and carpenters at work to biking around and playing at the playground, this destination offers everything you need for a fun-filled day.

If you want to take your visit up a notch, you can encourage your kids to be Junior Rangers for the day or even dig up artifacts at the site!

Interior of a house at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Emily Marie Wilson /

Have a Jumping Party at Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Bounce around and soar toward the ceiling when you head to Sky Zone Trampoline Park on Plain Boulevard.

Sky Zone is the biggest indoor trampoline park with many fun amenities.

With more than 150 trampolines, you and your kids will have a blast when you spend your day here.

Jump around and release all your energy at the Freestyle Jump area!

You can also dunk a basketball at the Skyslam section or challenge your loved ones at the Tug of War area.

There’s even a Ninja Warrior course that you and your kids can try to take on!

If your child is too young to try some of the amenities, don’t worry because there’s a Toddler Zone where they can have fun safely.

To take your visit to the next level, drop by on a Friday or Saturday night to enjoy the jumping party, complete with lasers, black lights, and funky music!

Race to the Top at Source Climbing Center

Test your climbing skills and upper body strength at Source Climbing Center.

Located downtown on Main Street, Source Climbing Center is an indoor climbing establishment where you can push your strength’s limits by climbing a wall.

As the city’s biggest indoor climbing gym, this facility offers many activities for the whole family.

You can climb the Lead Wall or Boulder Wall, depending on your skills.

If you want to test your physical capabilities, you can choose to climb the Fitness Wall.

While rock climbing may seem daunting, especially for kids, but you don’t need to worry when you visit this center since they encourage kids as young as four to start climbing!

Make sure to call ahead if you’re bringing your kids so they can assign you to a professional climber who will teach you all the ropes.

Take a Stroll around Esther Short Park

The grounds of Esther Short Park

Harold Stiver /

Unwind as you walk and enjoy quiet time from your daily routine at Esther Short Park.

Esther Short Park is a five-acre outdoor area you can find downtown on Esther Street.

The community considers this park a gem as it’s the oldest square for public use in Washington.

Named after one of the city’s pioneers, Esther Short Park features amenities that your whole family can enjoy!

People at Esther Short Park

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are benches and a gazebo around the park where you can hang out and spend quality time with your kids while having a quick snack.

There’s also an open lawn where your kids can run around and walking paths where you can stroll or jog.

If you schedule your visit ahead, you can even participate in the fun events held at this park!

Picnic shelter at Esther Short Park

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Deepen Your Appreciation for Nature at Columbia Springs

Develop a deep affinity for the environment as you explore the beauty of nature and learn more about it at Columbia Springs.

Columbia Springs is an education center on Evergreen Highway that features an ethereal 100-acre natural site.

You can learn more about watersheds, restoration, engineering, and biology as you explore the natural areas.

This is the perfect place to bring your family if you want to deepen your love for nature and learn how to take care of it properly.

Explore the sprawling natural site here and learn more about the different habitats it houses.

Spot unique birds and plants as you roam around with your kids and set your sights on the scenic views of nature.

You can also join the programs offered at the center, where you can discover more about environmental science and be inspired to become dedicated stewards of nature.

Pretend to be Knights at Dizzy Castle

Let your imagination run wild as you and your kids pretend to be fighters from the medieval period while playing at Dizzy Castle.

Dizzy Castle is one of the biggest indoor playgrounds in the Northwest and can be found on 66th Street.

It has more than 13,000 square feet of play areas, making it an energetic child’s dream come true!

There is so much space where your kids can run around and play with the other children.

There are also fun amenities, like a large indoor castle where they can play like fight knights or pretend to be kings and queens!

There’s also a massive ship structure where children can pretend to be old-timey sailors or pirates.

While your kids play, you can relax and sip coffee by the seating area near the play structures.

Check Out Historic Planes at Pearson Air Museum

Exterior of Pearson Air Museum

Van Rossen /

If your kids love playing with planes and are interested in everything related to aviation, then you cannot miss Pearson Air Museum.

Pearson Air Museum is an institution where your whole family can learn more about the rich aviation history of Pearson Field, a place known to be where West Coast aviation was born.

Here, you can view stunning murals that will give you a glimpse of the area’s history and the significant events in aviation that occurred in the region.

Aircrafts displayed in Pearson Air Museum

Van Rossen /

You’ll also be able to see historic aircraft used in momentous historical events!

Explore this museum with your kids and learn about iconic aviators, legendary flights, and outstanding pilots.

You can also check out five planes used in the first half of the 20th century.

This museum also has fun events for aspiring pilots that your kids can participate in.

Aircraft in Pearson Air Museum

Van Rossen /

Learn How Different Sources of Water Work at the Water Resources Education Center

Enhance your knowledge of water supply and how water resources impact wildlife when you visit the Water Resources Education Center.

Located on Columbia Way, Water Resources Education Center is dedicated to educating its visitors on water supply and how to better steward water resources.

Although this may not sound like fun to kids, there are many facilities they can enjoy at this center.

Water Resources Education Center is teeming with fun interactive exhibits and engaging activities designed especially for kids.

After all, learning is much better when you’re having fun!

Some fun activities include a stomping game where they will stop the trash flow and keep the waterways pristine.

Another is writing a note to their favorite tree while learning about trees’ importance to wildlife and humans.

Your kids can also pedal on the bike structures and discover how light builds affect salmon positively!

Spot Local Wildlife at the Beaver Marsh

Find unique flora and fauna as you explore the trails and natural environment at Beaver Marsh.

The Beaver Marsh is an undeveloped site accessed through 98th Avenue.

This 32-acre forest features lush greeneries and towering trees, home to many different animals.

Explore the trails at this natural site with your kids and try to spot birds, insects, and even small reptiles!

Don’t worry about experiencing a challenging hike through the woods since the trail is generally flat and easy for visitors of all ages.

You can also bring your cameras because you’ll want to take pictures of nature’s beauty that you’ll get to see here.

Bring your binoculars when you head to this destination!

Catch a Movie at the Stunning Kiggins Theatre

View of Kiggins Theatre at night

Visitor7, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy the day with entertainment by watching a movie with your kids at Kiggins Theatre!

Kiggins Theatre is a single-screen theater you can visit downtown on Main Street.

This historic theater has been operating since 1936 and has features reminiscent of the roaring 1920s.

Ticket booth of Kiggins Theatre

Visitor7, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With its bright neon lights and stunning Art Deco architectural design, this theater will provide the entertainment you need and transport you to another time.

Whether your family wants to watch classic movies or indie films, you can drop by this theater to satisfy your entertainment needs.

There’s a lounge above the theater where you can purchase snacks and drinks that you can enjoy while watching the movie!

Front view of Kiggins Theatre

Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pet and Feed Farm Animals at Bi-Zi Farms

Score fresh produce while your kids enjoy getting up close and personal with adorable farm animals at Bi-Zi Farms.

Bi-Zi Farms is essentially a fruit and vegetable store that can be found on 119th Street.

It has served the community since 1872 and even holds special events yearly.

Bi-Zi Farms holds Harvest Festivals where guests can pick freshly grown fruits and vegetables.

This establishment is especially busy during October as it holds pumpkin-picking events and offers other activities like hay rides and pumpkin launching.

Enjoy shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables while strolling around this picturesque farm.

You can also bring your kids and have fun interacting with the cattle and other farm animals within the premises!

Knock Some Pins Down at Big Al’s

Bond and catch up with your loved ones as you play bowling at Big Al’s!

Big Al’s is located along 18th Street, a massive entertainment venue with a bowling alley, arcade machines, and a sports bar.

If you want to go to a destination that everyone in the family can enjoy, this is one of the top places to visit in the city.

Engage in friendly competition with your kids as you try to knock pins down at the bowling lanes!

If you are not into bowling, you can play some of the latest games in the arcade and try to win great prizes with your kids.

Don’t worry about going hungry while you enjoy all the activities this establishment offers because there’s also a bar where you can order food and drinks.

Let Your Kids Play and Learn at the Discovery Zone in the Vancouver Community Library

Exterior of the Vancouver Community Library

Visitor7, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spend a day treating your inner bookworm by reading as your kids learn while playing at the Vancouver Community Library.

The Vancouver Community Library is located on C Street and is surprisingly frequented by parents with their kids because of the Discovery Zone.

Apart from housing a large collection of literary works and media resources, this library has a whole floor dedicated to children.

Interior of the Vancouver Community Library

Visitor7, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Your kids can read on this floor and engage in interactive activities with the available play materials.

They can play with the puppets, spell with the magnetic letters, and even pretend to cook in the play-kitchen area.

If you want to sit back and relax with your favorite read, but your kid wants to play, you can finally find a compromise by heading to this library!

Art wall in Vancouver Community Library

Another Believer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Keep Your Kids Active at Kids Club Fun & Fitness

Inspire your kids to be physically active by bringing them to Kids Club Fun & Fitness.

Kids Club Fun & Fitness is a massive indoor playground on 3rd Court that also offers swimming, gymnastics, and dance lessons.

Here, your kids can run around and play to their hearts’ content or choose to develop their skills by joining in one of the lessons.

Let your children run around and play in the large jungle-themed structure as you watch them while having a snack by the tables.

If you want to encourage your kids to pursue a sport, you can sign them up for the classes offered here.

Your children will love having fun and keeping active when you take them to this establishment!

Have Some Fun under the Sun at Vancouver Lake Regional Park

Relax as you enjoy the breathtaking lake view while your kids engage in recreational activities at Vancouver Lake Regional Park.

Nestled along Lower River Road, Vancouver Lake Regional Park is a 190-acre park beside Vancouver Lake.

Here, you and your family can enjoy various recreational activities on the water.

Whether you want to try kayaking or windsurfing, you can do both of these activities at this destination!

This park also features amenities like barbecue grills and picnic areas where your family can fill their stomachs before enjoying the different activities all day.

There are also sand volleyball courts and playground equipment where you and your kids can bond while playing!

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a fun day out with your whole family, Vancouver will not disappoint!

Whether you want to explore historic sites, widen your knowledge, or spend some time underwater, you’ll find destinations that will satisfy your needs.

Keep this list of the best things to do with kids in Vancouver, Washington, on your next visit, especially if you want your children to have fun.

What are you waiting for?

Start planning your next family outing now!

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