Contributed by Gabriela Torres, Community Engagement Team
It’s time to slap on some sunscreen and soak up some sun because summer is right around the corner! As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, there’s no better way to enjoy the change in season than by participating in a few fun activities.
Vancouver is known for being both a sustainable and accessible city where people value natural environments and inclusivity for all. As a city filled with great things to do and venues everyone can enjoy, check out the list below with some suggestions and ideas for accessible and fun summer activities you can partake in with friends, family, and loved ones across Metro Vancouver. It’s never too late, or too early, to discover a summer filled with exciting and fun possibilities!
Telus World of Science
1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver
Sat, Sunday, & Holidays: 10am-6pm
Make scientific discoveries and learn more about the systems, patterns, and environments that surround you. Not only does the Telus World of Science make learning fun and interactive but it is also one of Vancouver’s most popular places to visit with accessibility features that help foster inclusion.
At Science World, you can travel between levels using elevators, ramps, and automatic doors. There are also options to rent wheelchairs on a first-come, first-served basis, free of charge. All washrooms are accessible and guests are welcome to bring along trained service animals. For a full list of Science World’s accessibility features, click here.
What’s more, Science World offers sensory friendly mornings which are exclusive events for individuals living with autism or sensory processing differences. Here, guests can enjoy exhibits in a comfortable, welcoming, and less crowded environment. Catch this summer’s first sensory-friendly morning on July 27 from 8am-10am! To learn more about sensory friendly mornings click here.
The Vancouver Aquarium
845 Avison Way, Vancouver
From June 22-Sept 2, the Aquarium will be open from 9:30am- 6:00pm
Kiss a couple of frogs, find Nemo, see butterflies and tropical birds, and discover the magic of electric eels. The Vancouver Aquarium is filled with wonder, discovery, and plenty of accessibility features for guests to enjoy. As a venue committed to ensuring that everyone has the best aquatic adventure possible, the Vancouver Aquarium offers guests wheelchair and walker rentals, noise-reducing earmuffs, priority viewing areas, open captioning on videos, show scripts, and more. For a full list of accessibility features, click the link here.
Theatre Under The Stars
610 Pipeline Rd, Vancouver
July 5 – August 17, 2019 at Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park.
Channel your inner playwright when you attend Theatre Under the Stars in Stanley Park. This year, the theatre will be playing Mumma Mia and Disney’s NEWSIES. Sing along to fun musicals and discover interweaved elements of setting, scenery, concessions, and art. Committed to enjoyment for all, Theatre Under the Stars offers guests wheelchair seating, accessible washrooms, Volunteer ushers to help with seating, and VocalEye performances for individuals who are blind, partially sighted or visually impaired. As a participating venue in the Access 2 program, cardholders who wish to purchase tickets can contact the Ticket Call Centre at (604) 631-2877 or buy tickets in-person at the box office. For more information about accessibility and Access 2, check out the link here.
Queen Elizabeth Park and Bloedel Conservatory
4600 Cambie St, Vancouver
Park open daily, 6am-10pm
Conservatory open daily, 10am-8pm
Enjoy nature minutes away from the city! Enter a peaceful wonderland of flowers, greenery, and feel the magic of gorgeous gardens. The park and its paths are wheelchair accessible including directions and symbols for guidance. Additionally, you can check out dancing fountains as you make your way to the Bloedel Floral Conservatory at the top of the park. Completely wheelchair accessible and with loaner wheelchair options, you can enjoy even more of nature’s wonders, plant species, and birds in a serene environment. Click here for more information about the park and here for details about the conservatory’s accessibility features.
Vancouver Theatre Sports League
1502 Duranleau St, Vancouver
Show times vary
Take in laughs at some of the best improv shows in the city. With a fully accessible venue, parking lot, and scent-sitivities (keeping all scented products at a minimum) everyone can enjoy a variety of improv shows ranging in themes including rookie night, comedy about dating, and the classic quick-witted theatre sports show where comedians are pitted against each other in competitive improve matches.
In addition, the Vancouver Theatre Sports League theatre is a part of the Access 2 program. For full details about venue accessibility click here. For more information about shows and times click here.
H.R. MacMillan Space Centre
1100 Chestnut St, Vancouver, BC V6J 3J9
Sun –Fri, 10am-5pm and Sat, 10am-5pm and 7:30pm-11:30pm
Reach for the stars and explore space and time at the H.R MacMillan Space Centre! More than a tourist destination, the space centre is a nonprofit organization that provides new learning experiences for all. Here, one can learn more about space through shows, live demonstrations, and interactive exhibits. The museum is completely wheelchair friendly and a part of the Access 2 program. However, you can learn more about accessibility features here or by giving them a call at 604-738-7827.
Burnaby Village Museum
6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby, BC V5G 3T6
Open daily, 11am-4:30pm
Travel back in time to the 1920s when you visit the Burnaby Village Museum. Here, costumed townsfolk welcome visitors and give demonstrations of what used to be. From old fashioned homes to shops and businesses like bakeries and post offices, you can rediscover the past and learn more about Burnaby’s history. The Burnaby Village Museum contains a paved road connecting the buildings to historic grounds as well as wheelchair accessible areas and one loaner wheelchair for use. Service animals are also welcome! For more information about the museum and its accessibility features check out the visitor’s guide here.
Beach and Pool Day
Kitsilano, Second Beach, English Bay
Second Beach Pool
735 Stanley Park Dr, Vancouver, BC V6C 2T1
Click here for varying pool hours
Want to soak up some sun? Well, a beach and pool day is the answer! As of 2018, the Vancouver Park Board has implemented accessibility features at some of Vancouver’s most popular beaches to adopt inclusive beach experiences for all. Some of these features include a non-slip beach access pathway at both English Bay and Kitsilano and 10 new water wheelchairs available at beaches across the city. For a full overview of accessibility additions and features read here.
Located near the beautiful forestry and trails of Stanley Park, Second Beach Pool is wheelchair accessible with ramp access, aquatic wheelchair options, and a water wheelchair which can be operated by an attendant. There are no limits to soaking up the sun, sand, and ocean! To learn more about Second Beach Pool and its accessibility features click here.
Vancouver Art Gallery
750 Hornby St, Vancouver
Daily, 10am to 5pm
Tuesdays until 9pm with by-donation admission from 5-9pm
First Friday of the month until 9pm
Soak in the ever-changing exhibits and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Not only do installations reflect the culture and history of British Columbia and Vancouver but offer opportunities to see the works of world-renowned artists with past exhibits featuring the works of Claude Monet, Emily Carr, and more.
The gallery is wheelchair accessible equipped with ramps and automated doors. Service animals are welcome and wheelchairs are available to visitors on a first-come, first-serve basis and may be reserved in advance by calling 604.662.4700. In addition, audio guides and video content are available for all guests via the free Art Gallery App downloadable on mobile devices. Audio devices can also be obtained for loan free of charge at the gallery admissions desk. To plan your visit click here.
Trout Lake (John Hendry Park)
3300 Victoria Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 4M4
Daily, 6am-10pm Dawn to Dusk
Spend a day relaxing at the park, have a picnic, and take in scenic views from the lake. This is the perfect place to enjoy a summers day with friends and family. The park is stroller-friendly and paths are easy for wheelchairs to access and circle. To learn more about Trout Lake click here!
Well, there you have it. A full list of fun summer activities! If you’re curious to learn more about what you can do this summer, don’t hesitate to check out this list of Access 2 venues in Vancouver including Festivals, viewpoints, galleries, and more!
Be sure to gear up for a fun-filled summer and comment below to tell us which activities and events you’ll be checking out this year! We’d love to hear about your stories and interests.