Rainy Day Ideas: Museums of Metro Vancouver!

by - June 03, 2021

While you may love Vancouver for its nature and temperate weather, you can also hate it for its rain that can spoil plans to explore the outdoors. In that case, it's best to check out some museums, because who doesn't like history? 

So here is a list of the museums to check out in the area:

Museum of Surrey – the museum at 17710 56a Avenue in Cloverdale is a pretty good one and admission is free. There is also a play area (closed temporarily due to COVID-19) for kids. You can read about my visit here.

Museum of Vancouver – a museum in Vanier Park in Kitsilano that shares the history of the city. It's a fairly small one, but definitely worth checking out on Family day when it is free.

Vancouver Maritime Museum – this museum is right next to the Museum of Vancouver, and is a small one, but has a ship inside to check out which is pretty cool. It's also free during family day and a small place. 

Vancouver Police Museum - a quaint museum near Vancouver's Chinatown showcasing a morgue as well as other things. Fairly small but tends to run regular promotions on the tickets. Read about my visit here.

Britannia Mine – a museum that’s 45 minutes from downtown Vancouver and formerly the largest copper mine in the British Empire. (Note: It’s mostly indoors, but some of it is outside and visitors have to walk outdoors between buildings, so if it’s raining hard you might still want an umbrella.)

Museum of North Vancouver (MONOVA) – this museum was set to open in 2020 but due to COVID-19, the date has been moved to sometime in 2021. Definitely worth checking out once it is open!

Gulf of Georgia Cannery - this museum is in Steveston, and is basically a historic cannery of the 1800s with interactive exhibits, film, and tours that demonstrate the Cannery's important role in the history of Canada's West Coast fishing industry. The visit can be combined with a visit to the Shipyards (outdoors) and Steveston village. Read about my post here about the visit.

Science World – one of the best family-friendly museums of the city with some amazing science exhibits. On certain days, it is free but it is indeed worth it to go once with your kids. It does get crowded though.

UBC Museum of Anthropology – one of the best cultural museums in Metro Vancouver, especially when it comes to indigenous art and history. Once again, great to check out as part of Groupon or a Vancouver Attraction pass.

Beaty Biodiversity Museum – admission at the UBC attraction is between about $10 and $14 depending on your age, but free for children ages 4 and under. Moreover, there are often Groupon deals. You can read my post on this museum here.

Bill Reid Gallery – a Northwest Coast First Nation art gallery that offers free admission on the first Friday of the month from 2 to 5 pm. While it's a small gallery, it's definitely a hidden gem.

Roedde House Museum – a heritage site in Vancouver’s West End. They offer admission by donation on the last Friday of the month, plus “pay-as-you-can” Jazz concerts in the summer.

Old Hastings Mill Store Museum - A somewhat unusual museum, this one is one of the oldest buildings in Vancouver. This museum is full of items dating back from the early days of Vancouver. There is no fixed visiting fee, people can pay whatever they want. The location is a plus as it is right next to the Yaught Club.

H.R. MacMillan Space Centre – the Space Centre’s observatory is open Saturday evenings from 8 pm to midnight by donation. It’s just the observatory with admission by donation, not the Planetarium, but it’s an affordable way to see the stars on a clear evening.

Polygon Gallery – the art museum in North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale District has admission by donation.

Vancouver Art Gallery – this is the main art gallery in Vancouver, housed in a building that was once the provincial courthouse. While the architecture is grand, I am not often the fan of their art, which tends to showcase mostly modern art pieces. Admission is by donation on Tuesdays from 5 to 9 pm.

BC Sports Hall of Fame – a museum full of sports memorabilia at BC Place Stadium.

Note, that this list of museums are all indoor museums but there are plenty of other heritage sites that are outdoors, which I will write about later.

If there is anything else you all would like to add?

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