Quiet Granville Island. For the majority of weekends that statement is an oxymoron; however, on a rainy Sunday in January we discovered exactly that. We had Granville Island almost entirely to ourselves, what a treat! Now is the time of the year to visit, there are no tourists just Vancouverites who can handle the constant downpour of rain.

Our eldest had a bit of pocket change from Christmas and wanted to spend his wares at Kids Market. If you have children, Kids’ Market must be part of your Granville Island experience. Not only are there fabulous toy stores (Knotty Toys, and their train table, is a big hit with our kids), there is a bookstore, an indoor climbing structure, an arcade and numerous ride-on toys.

We must admit to a bit of parent-plotting: we always arrive at Granville Island at 9:30am. “Oh darn, Kids’ Market doesn’t open until 10am”, we tell our kids. They then tag along with us through the fabulous food market eagerly awaiting the opening of Kids’ Market. If we didn’t pull the wool over their eyes, we’d never get our food-treats. We always stop at Duso’s for pasta, Oyama for pate and Benton Brothers for cheese. Super yummy!

Another tradition of ours is to ride the Aquabus (or water taxi as we refer to it) from one side of False Creek to the other, and back. We clearly aren’t the only ones who do this, but the Aquabus company hasn’t settled on a rate policy for our goofy practice. Sometimes we are charged the full amount and other times we aren’t charged at all. We are happy to pay, but it is always a treat to get a free roundtrip on False Creek.

Goodnight Vancouver (by David Adams and Joe Veno) has been a great source of inspiration for many of our family adventures. Our term “water taxi”, for the Aquabus, comes from this book. We’ve had oodles of fun looking through the book and selecting a Vancouver attraction to visit. Whether you are a tourist or a local this is a great book for kids.

There are a number of Granville Island images captured in Goodnight Vancouver: the Aquabus, the water park, and the street performers outside the Market. Granted, the street performers were absent and the water park closed during our winter visit but the perk of having the Island devoid of crowds was absolutely worth it! The next time you encounter a rainy weekend in Vancouver (so…that would be any weekend for the next 3+ months), bundle up the kids and head down to Granville Island, you’ll have a great time!