Nanaimo is a family friendly community with over 200 + parks and trails to explore, vibrant cultural attractions to discover and many “one of a kind” activities to try!

Get your PLAY on at Maffeo Sutton Park ~ wooden climbing structures, rope ladders, slides, and swings in the huge playground are separated into sections named after local Gulf Islands, including Galiano, Gabriola, and Newcastle. Children can burn energy while parents set up snacks ate nearby picnic tables. In the summer, this is a prime viewing area for free concerts in the bandshell and a host of child-friendly waterfront events like the annual Silly Boat Regatta, and the World Championship Bathtub Race & Marine Festival.

Other Fun Kid Picks:

  • Watch the cannon firing every day at noon at the Bastion (May – September)
  • Grab a trap and try your luck at fishing for fresh crab right off the dock downtown
  • Fish in the floor of Canada’s only floating pub/restaurant ~ The Dinghy Dock Pub
  • Take a passenger-only ferry over to Newcastle Island (Saysutshun) and explore this tranquil, Marine Provincial Park
  • Catch a free concert in the park at Maffeo Sutton Park during the summer
  • Ride the tractor to feed the Bison at Morning Star Bison Ranch
  • Stroll the waterfront walkway with homemade ice cream in hand
  • Pick up a Cedar Yellow Point Trail brochure and visit a cranberry farm, honey farm, hazelwood farm & more!
  • Sample over 39 versions of the famous Nanaimo Bar along the Nanaimo Bar Trail
  • Take it to the trees at WildPlay Element Park
  • Feed the ducks at Oliver Woods or Bowen Park
  • Hit up one of 4 water parks: Departure Bay, Haliburton, Harewood Centennial or Manson Park! (open seasonally)
  • Ride the “Gertie” bus, Gabriola Island’s own transportation to check out the “Isle of the Arts”
  • “Climb-on” up the wall at the indoor climbing facility ~ The Romper Room
  • Play at Jumping Jiminy’s, a massive indoor play structure for kids
  • Splash and play in the waves at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre