Vancouver is a perfect town for family travel. There are plenty of parks, and outdoor life for kids to watch and participate in. 

Stanley Park:  So much for kids: waterpark with little water spouts, totem poles, the dolphin, beluga whale and other shows at Vancouver Aquarium (see Tripadvisor entry), a Miniature Train, beaches, heated Second Beach Pool, Traffic School, and Vista Point, where they can watch the Lions Gate Bridge and all the cars going across it.  Plenty of places to picnic, but not many restaurants inside the park. Kids can bike or rollerblade all around the famous seawall. Admission to Stanley Park is free, but parking is not. Attractions such as the aquarium, train, pool and Traffic School charge fees.  

Capilano Suspension Bridge: Kids and adults alike will enjoy the only-slightly-scary walk across this suspension bridge over Capilano Canyon (in North Vancouver, an easy 1/2-hour drive from downtown). Nice, flat hiking paths lead to and from the bridge. And there's more: A "Treetops Adventure" (platforms attached to massive trees, 100 feet above the ground) and "Cliffwalk" (path suspended from cliffs). These unique features help make the admission price more palatable: Adults $32 CAD (plus 5% tax, as of April 12, 2014); discounts for seniors, students, children. 

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge: If families are looking for a free suspension bridge experience, they can go to Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver. An Ecology Centre with educational displays is a pleasant addition, and short as well as long hikes take you through the beautiful temperate rainforest of Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.  Lynn Canyon is accessible by public transportation.  From downtown, catch the SeaBus, and connect to Bus #229.   Hiking trails connect to the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve  where families can enjoy a gentle stroll around Rice Lake or a more challenging hike down to the Seymour River and back.  The  Seymour Valley Trailway offers 10km (6.2 mi) of paved pathway for cyclists, runners, stroller-pushers and in-line skaters to explore, with benches and picnic spots along the way.  NB : No dogs allowed in parts of the LSCR.

Grouse Mountain: Great views of Vancouver, seasonal activities (skiing/boarding, hiking, more), ziplines and tours of a giant energy-producing wind turbine help define this unusual attraction, in North Vancouver near Capilano Canyon. An 8-minute aerial tramway ride takes one to the mountaintop, and on all but the cloudiest days, you'll be wowed by views of the city and coastal area. Additional highlights during warmer months are the wildlife sanctuary (oriented toward resident bears and wolves), a bird of prey show, an amusing lumberjack show and hiking (including the steep "Grouse Grind" trail up the mountain). Winter offers skiing/boarding (26 trails), snow-shoeing, ice-skating, sleigh rides and more. There are a couple of restaurants, cafes and the usual gift shop. Adult admission (including roundtrip tram ride) starts at $40 CAD (plus 5% tax), but ski-lifts and some other attractions cost extra (check the website!). Fees for parking as well. Great public transit options, such as SeaBus (from downtown Vancouver) to Lonsdale Quay, then Bus #236.  A day pass on the public transport system is $8 CAD for an adult and is worth the money. The SeaBus is fun for kids too. 

Granville Island:   This is a busy outdoor market area that older kids would enjoy.  It can get too busy and confusing to toddlers.  Granville Island was originally just a sandbar that was filled in to create an industial centre in the heart of the city.  By the 1970's it had fallen on hard times and the federal government took over it and developed it into the immensely popular mixed-use space that is it today.  Although best known for the public market, it has many theatres, artist studios and several industrial tenants, including a cement factory. 

It's really not an island, so it's easy to drive, bike or walk to it. Summers and weekends are the busiest times. Avoid parking hassles by arriving early, or after 4 pm. Free parking available, in 1-hour and 3-hour zones. There are also metered stalls and longer-term paid lots. Another fun way to arrive: water taxi ($3.25 and up). Granville Island Ferries and The Aquabus run several routes, with the most popular and frequent being a short trip to downtown. The ride is a blast, especially for kids, and strollers are allowed on board (but you may need to fold them up). From the downtown side, you are within a relatively easy walk to many downtown hotels or you can always hop a bus.

Science World is a favourite with children.  There are many hands-on displays that make this a very user-friendly museum.     

Queen Elizabeth Park:   Located to the south of downtown at the highest point in the City of Vancouver, Queen Elizabeth Park offers lovely views of the downtown skyline.  It used to be a quarry and they decided to turn the big hole into a sunken garden.  Kids would like the little waterfall and bridge in the sunken garden.  Admission to Queen Elizabeth Park is free, although there is an admission charge for Bloedel Floral Conservatory, which is located in the park. 

Find Family Fun is a website created by a Vancouver family with three children.  It contains excellent descriptions of landmarks and attractions, including the age groups to which they appeal.  You can sort attractions by price range, by geographic location, and by the authors' preferences.   

Maplewood Farm  in North Vancouver is a favourite with young children & families who adore animals.  Once a thriving dairy farm, the 5-acre site has since been taken over by the District of North Vancouver and opened to the public in 1975.  It now houses over 200 domestic animals and birds.  Watch for special events like the fall fair, sheep shearing, pony rides and Hallowe'en and Christmas displays.  Located 10 minutes from downtown Vancouver near Iron Workers Memorial (Second Narrows) bridge, off Dollarton Rd.

Baby Equipment to Rent:

If you are coming to Vancouver with young children keep in mind that you can rent your baby equipment. You don't need to lug it all with you.

Tourism Vancouver has a dedicated section on their website listing suitable activities for families.

See this article for  information on getting to many popular Vancouver attractions on public transit.