|Welcome to this issue of V! Family, dedicated to bringing you the best stories, advice and offers on family travel in Vancouver. Looking for family-friendly hotels can be challenging at times, but for families visiting Vancouver, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is the natural choice with offerings such as the Family Affair package, Nannies on Call and a children's version of Afternoon Tea. For the shoppers in the family, determining the best spots to focus efforts can be difficult, but with the help of guided shopping tours developed by Shopabout, shoppers can rest assured that they're visiting the hottest shopping locales. For those seeking a shopping experience that isn't part of an existing itinerary, Shopabout can customize a tour suited to individual tastes. Read on for more information!
Finding a Family-Friendly Hotel in Vancouver
For parents traveling with children, holidays can be as much work as they are fun. Keeping the kids fed and entertained while on the road is often a full-time job. And when everyone crams into a single hotel room, mom and dad are left with precious little quality time.
Fortunately, a hotel in downtown Vancouver has come up with some creative fixes for the family travel blues. This summer, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is offering a unique Family Affair Package. When one room is booked at regular price (starting at $249 a night), a second room is available at a 50-percent discount. The package also includes buffet breakfasts for four people and a 25-percent discount on all food and drinks at the hotel.
But that’s only the start. The Hotel Vancouver also provides a babysitting service for parents seeking some time for themselves. Nannies on Call connects parents with experienced, screened babysitters who have first-aid and CPR training.
To keep the kids entertained, the hotel also holds a special Children’s Afternoon Tea (modeled on the formal afternoon tea available to adults). Bubble-gum-flavored tea, peanut butter and jelly finger sandwiches and giant cookies are served in the Fairmont’s castle-like lounge.
Finally, the hotel is also home to a pair of friendly canine ambassadors that are always popular with the kids. Eight-year-old golden retrievers Mavis and Beau spend their days near the concierge desk, where they meet and greet guests.
For Hardcore Shoppers Only: Vancouver Shopping Tours
Veteran travelers know that shopping while on the road can be hit or miss. Sometimes you find that exquisite gallery selling handmade crafts or that perfect little boutique tucked down a back alley. But more often than not, you find yourself browsing overpriced souvenirs and tchotchkes in some non-descript tourist trap.
Luckily, visitors to Vancouver now have a unique new way to improve their shopping success. A company called Shopabout has developed a series of guided shopping itineraries, designed to showcase the artist studios, independent boutiques and food and wine shops that locals know about and travelers often overlook.
Two prime shopping neighborhoods are highlighted. The Granville Island tour (two hours; $40) explores Vancouver’s waterfront district of artisans, gourmet food stores, galleries and designers. A dense network of cobblestone streets winds past artists’ workshops, a working brewery, a bustling public produce market and more, offering savvy shoppers a smorgasbord of buying opportunities.
The Yaletown tour (two hours; $40) dives into Vancouver’s trendy warehouse district. Converted brick factories and warehouses from the early 1900s are now home to some of the city’s trendiest boutiques and fashion shops. The pro shoppers from Shopabout help guests navigate the maze of options and find the best deals and most stylish offerings.
Tour visitors also get exclusive discounts at stores. And truly hardcore shoppers can ask the team at Shopabout to develop customized itineraries focused on clothing, food and wine, housewares, art or any other shopping fix. For more information, check out the Shopabout website.
Events and Offers
- Check out Tourism Vancouver's $125 Gift Card Promotion - Book a consecutive two night stay at participating hotels and receive a $125 Activities Gift Card Free!
- Playland at the PNE (April 30-September 25) - Playland offers rides to match the most extreme thrillseeker to the slightly queasy stomach fairgoer. If you need a break from the rides, stop by the midway games section of the park, play a round of mini-golf, weave your way through a glass maze or grab a tasty treat from one of the many food vendors.
- Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival (June 2-September 24) - Vancouver’s celebrated Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival launches its 22nd season this month, running through to September 24. Bard performances are staged at Kitsilano’s Vanier Park in open-ended tents set against a stunning backdrop of ocean, mountains and sky.
- Chosen Family Portraits (August 3-September 30) - The Museum of Vancouver celebrates the concept of family with the new photography exhibit, "Chosen Family Portraits". This community-based art project features audience members modelling with their chosen families and sharing their unique stories. Marvel at the power of the families we choose, rather than the families we're born into.
- Check out Tourism Vancouver's Interactive Events Calendar to stay up to date on all there is to see and do in the city!
- Check out Tourism Vancouver's Family, Attractions and Sightseeing Hotel Packages.
Copyright © 2011 Tourism Vancouver