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Nanaimo is known as a family friendly city. Whether you are just visiting for the afternoon or for a month, the activities listed below will keep you busy! For information about family friendly festivals or special events, be sure to check out the events calendar or contact the visitor info centre directly.
The Bastion - Nanaimo is home to a part of British Columbia ’s history, the Bastion Fort, which is over 150 years old. The Bastion originally served as a Hudson's Bay Company post and has served many purposes since. The Bastion offers hands on exhibit featuring a company clerk's office, arsenal, and employee refuge complete with photos and costumes. The Bastion is open May long weekend through Labour Day.
Nanaimo District Museum - Located in the heart of Nanaimo, this museum is a wonderful venue to learn about and explore Nanaimo 's colourful past. The museum features child friendly interactive exhibits both inside and outside the museum itself!
Shady Mile Farm Market - Drive through rural Nanaimo and stop by the market for an ice cream treat, enjoy some local produce and home baked goodies. Next to the market store is a petting farm that will keep you entertained for a while.
Westwood Lake - As you head back into town from the Shady Mile, stop at Westwood Lake Park for a swim or a walk around the lakeshore. The lake is one of Nanaimo 's more popular freshwater summer swimming spots with a sandy beach, playground, and changing rooms.
Dinghy Dock Pub- Half the fun is in the getting there! Catch the Protection Island Connection passenger ferry from the Boat Basin in downtown Nanaimo. After a ten minute crossing you will arrive at Canada 's only floating pub. The Dinghy Dock is family friendly; be sure to check out the 'fishing' pond.
Romper Room - Nanaimo's indoor rock climbing centre is a favourite with kids. The Romper Room offers excellent rates from the "quickie" that gets you two wall climbs, a Saturday Kids Rock program for children 7-14 years, or from 12 pm - 3 pm have the 'climb' of the place. Visiting for a while? The Romper Room also offers summer camp day programs.
Nanaimo Aquatic Centre - This is Nanaimo's newest recreation centre featuring B.C.'s largest wave pool, play lagoon, 3 waterslides (B.C.'s highest), and lazy river, 1 and 3 meter diving boards, and 50 meter, 8-lane pool. Other amenities include a sauna, steam room, and hot tub. For more information contact 250-755-4484.
Newcastle Island Provincial Park - This is one of B.C.'s many marine parks. The island is accessible via foot passenger ferry that departs from Maffeo Sutton Park . The park offers excellent interpretive programs that explore the parks ecological systems and history. The island has played many roles in the shaping the local area.
Harbourside Walkway - Enjoy a stroll along the 4.4 kilometer waterfront walkway. There you’ll find a swimming lagoon, Nanaimo's largest playground, foot passenger ferry service to Newcastle Island, and a marine activity dock from which you can book a marine tour with one of the many local charter companies. After a long day of exploring, enjoy an ice cream or a cappuccino at one of the cafes along the walkway. You’ll want to be sure to pick up a memento of the day at one of the gift boutiques.