The city of Richmond is a refined and ultramodern metropolis blended with deep history and culture. Known for its Asian influences from architecture to food, it also has a wide range of modern family entertainment. You can go bowling and swimming, play archery tag or race go-karts. You can try whale watching or bounce on a trampoline, get wrapped up in an inflatable ball and tackle an air obstacle course, or go shopping at a night market. These are just a few of the astounding things to do in Richmond for kids, which can take your family vacation to an experience that makes memories for a lifetime.

Have an Indoor Sports Adventure

1. Bo bowling, swimming, or skating at Riverport Sports

Riverport Sports and Entertainment Complex is a one-stop-shop for family fun in the heart of Richmond. This place has a gigantic indoor pool to swim and splash. It's got a bowling alley with some 40 lanes for some 10 pins or 5 pin games, and at night the pins light up, and the alleys belch smoke. It's just steps away from 8 different skating rinks: 6 ice and 2 roller-skating. The complex also features an indoor movie theatre with a whopping 18 different screens. Naturally, you'll also have access to all kinds of food and drink right on site.

2. Bounce on a trampoline at Apex Adventure Plex

Apex Adventure Plex is much more than just a trampoline park. It's an indoor inflatable obstacle course, a ninja course, a rock-climbing wall, an athletic sports complex, and a gymnastics and acrobatics ring all in one place. If your kids like to bounce, bound, do somersaults, go speedrunning, play bubble soccer in a zorb ball, or try dodgeball or basketball—on trampolines, of course—this is the place to make it all happen. The three lanes let you challenge your family and race your way through it to see who's a true warrior athlete on the ninja course.

3. Try ski jump simulator at Richmond Olympic Oval

Richmond Olympic Oval was the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics, and inside, it hosts a world of Olympic-sized skating rinks, sports simulators, and things to do with kids in Richmond that let you see and feel what it's like to be an Olympic athlete. You can, for example, stand in front of a larger-than-life widescreen monitor, strap yourself into a set of skis, and race down a slope to hit the ramp and launch into the air at speeds of nearly 100 km/h. Of course, most people then experience a simulated fall, which leads to laughs rather than hurt—that's one advantage of a simulator over real life!

4. Head for the wondrous Indoor World of Kidtropolis

The World of Kidtropolis offers an entire town of scaled-down buildings with the main street lined with storefronts and is designed to be a city built just for kids from ages 2 to 10. They can experience fully-equipped businesses and play as a shopkeeper to a firefighter, from a veterinarian to a pizza parlour owner. They can even pretend to be a policeman or policewoman to protect and serve the other play residents of Kidtropolis. This is a place that's full of kids activities in Richmond that engage imagination and creativity. The biggest risk here is that your kids may not want to leave.

5. Climb a wall at Clip 'n Climb

If the urge to climb a wall hits you, or your kids are climbing the walls anyway, head down to Clip 'n Climb, which advertises itself as climbing reinvented. This is a place that offers a spot where climbing and theme parks collide. It offers 25 different and unique climbing walls, all designed to engage climbers of every age and every experience level, from those who have never climbed before to those with years of experience. Other exciting thrills here include the vertical drop slide where you'll wear a slippery suit and free-fall into a curved slide, gently guiding to a stop.

6. Compete, bounce, and roll at the Extreme Air Park

The Extreme Air Park is one of the largest trampoline parks in Canada, and it's sure to let your kids blow off all the steam they've got and expend all that excess energy. It's 42,000 square feet of interlocking bounce activities from trampolines to 3D dodgeball, 0-gravity basketball, a foam zone soft play area, vertical volleyball on trampolines, and more. You can head for the Dunkzone and do acrobatic basketball dunks, try your hand at extreme rock climbing, or assault your family and friends on the Knockerball court. The Gladiator Pit lets you go one-on-one with your nearest and dearest. You can even get unlimited jump passes.

7. Race your family at Speeders Indoor ProKarts

Speeders Indoor ProKarts is one of the largest indoor racing spaces around, and has been voted by local publications as the best race track around. While it's not a good idea for little ones (drivers have to be over 5 feet tall), it's great for anyone with older kids and teens. All levels of drivers are welcome, even those with no experience at all. If you have younger kids, the complex offers plenty of other activities, from air hockey tables that field four players to foosball machines, basketball, and many other sports and fun events.

8. Visit a gigantic indoor sandbox at 6-Pack Indoor Beach Park

Everyone loves going to the beach, but a rainy day can put a damper on that (pun intended). That's not the case, however, if you've got 6-Pack Indoor Beach Park, one of the world's largest indoor sandboxes. This dry beach offers a wide range of experiences, from sandcastle building to archery tag, which lets you have all the paintball fun without the impact. Beach volleyball courts let you play a pickup game. Onsite dining is available at the Court 6 Café, so you don't even have to leave to grab your meal. Get out of the rain and still get your beach time in.

Get Outdoors for Adventure Experiences

9. Soar with a zipline over Terra Nova Adventure Playground

The Terra Nova Adventure Playground is located at the end of the West Dyke recreational trail, one of the more popular biking and hiking trails in the surrounding countryside along the Fraser River. What makes this playground unique is that it's focused on natural play areas with a wide range of obstacles to overcome, which can challenge kids and adults of all ages. It's all constructed from sustainably-sourced wood, and you can get above ground on 35-meter tandem ziplines with high swing sets and slides to run and play all day.

10. Check out the Bogs at Richmond Nature Park

The Richmond Nature Park offers up 200 acres of kids activities in Richmond with wetland, raised peat bog, and untouched natural landscape with four walking trails offering visitors the chance to see native plants and animals. Even better, the walking trails, which encompass 5 km in total, are entirely wheelchair accessible. Because the park is a natural habitat, it's always changing. You can see hummingbirds in spring, owls in the autumn, thrushes in the winter, or head for the Nature House interpretive centre to experience interactive games and displays about the park. Here you can see a live beehive, educational activity kits, and even a collection of live animals.

11. See if you can solve the Steveston Maritime Mystery

The Steveston Maritime Mystery takes you throughout the paths, streets, and alleys of Steveston Village on a scavenger hunt to solve a mystery. This activity in Richmond for kids starts with a cryptic poem and a combination of numbers, and you're off on a mission to save the fishing industry that's all-important to Steveston Village. You'll hunt for clues all around town, solve the clues and puzzles working with your family in cooperation, then race to the solution to get your family's name on the leaderboard. Can you solve the bizarre robbery that threatens the fishing culture of this town? Tackle the mystery and see for yourself.

12. Shop and play at the Richmond Night Market

The Richmond Night Market is a wild and fun thing to do in Richmond for kids any weekend from May through October. Held right downtown, it's sure to occupy your whole evening. Not only will you see tons of vendors and food stalls, but a stage with a diverse lineup of family entertainment will also get the kids completely caught up in the excitement. You'll find games and activities, arts and crafts, fresh food, live music, performances, and so much more that you'll want to come back time and again to see what's new on offer on any given night.

13. Head for shopping and dining along Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf and Steveston Landing are along the waterfront area of Richmond and offer a chance for kids to see gigantic fish being pulled right off of fishing boats. You can walk along the pier, see all sorts of colourful docked boats, and explore shops with handmade arts and crafts, souvenirs, spices, and even fresh food. A wide variety of restaurants offer local seafood and other delicacies, and at the Public Fish Sales Float, kids can see crab, shrimp, sea urchins and fish for sale. You can also catch sight of Sea Lions swimming along the waters, playing between the boats.

14. Explore the lakeshores and sports courts of Minoru Park

Minoru Park is a centrally located park in the heart of the Richmond city centre that offers a wide range of things to do to keep everyone interested and active. Tons of walking trails let you take a quiet stroll through green space and along lakeshores with gorgeous floral displays. Kids will enjoy jumping and playing on the sports courts, and you can even head for facilities that host major soccer and baseball events. It's also a hub for cultural and educational sites like the city's art gallery, library, arts centre, cultural centre, and aquatic centre.

15. Kick back with bikes, birds and plants on Iona Beach

Iona Beach is a unique regional park that's sure to be a memorable experience among kids activities in Richmond. It's a narrow jetty just north of the airport where the Fraser River empties into the sea, made of sand and grass, where you can walk along the shoreline and spot rare plants that grow among the dunes. Kids can also see the colourful variety of the 300 different species of birds that migrate to and from here every year. The beach offers various hiking and biking trails and unique formations of driftwood that have washed up to create enchanting formations along the shore.

16. Go hiking and biking at the Richmond Dyke trails

The Richmond Dyke trails offer kilometres of flat, gentle trails that are ideal for hiking or biking regardless of what age or ability your family is. You can walk down the paths to reach Steveston or Garry Point Park. You can head to the Terra Nova Park or stop at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. You'll head through marshes and wetlands and get stunning panoramic mountain views off in the distance. You can even watch airplanes take off and land at the International Airport nearby. These trails create many adventures in Richmond for kids because they offer easy access to just about everything.

Have an Animal Experience

17. Head out on Steveston Harbour for whale watching

Whale watching is one of the most exciting experiences you can have with kids in Richmond. Steveston Harbour, accessible from Fisherman's Wharf along the waterfront area, offers you the chance to book a cruise out to sea and catch sight of real pods of whales on the waters. Several well-known and popular whale watching tours operate from this base, and tour boats feature open decks with seating where you can watch all around. Tour guides are knowledgeable and know just the right times and places to go to catch sight of orcas and humpback whales breaching the water.

Get Historic and Educational

18. Learn about fishing and canning at Gulf of Georgia Cannery

The Gulf of Georgia Cannery is one of the most important historic sites in the area, and it's among the kids activities in Richmond where you can learn all about the canning and fishing industry that has driven the economy here for so many years. It's also a National Historic Site. There's a whole range of kid-friendly and family-oriented features here to keep everyone engaged, with hands-on exhibits, photos, recordings, displays, artefacts and ephemera all related to the process and history of canning, and of course, the fish tales that go with them. History isn't just about names and dates—it's people, and the Cannery puts them on full display.

19. Explore the historic home at London Heritage Farm

The London Heritage Farm is an elegant house along the south arm of the Fraser River that offers an elegant walk right into the past. The home itself offers a museum of 6 rooms, all decorated with period furnishings and offering photographs and artefacts from the London Family, the group who pioneered farming in this area. As you go through the home, you'll get a glimpse of just what it was like to live a farm life in the Victorian era. Outside, you can stroll through elegantly-tended rose gardens and even spend time in a park that gives you spectacular views of the flowing river waters.

20. Watch aircraft soar at Larry Berg Flight Path Park

The Larry Berg Flight Path Park is a paradise for plane spotters. It's a quirky park with an aviation theme right at the junction of Airport Road and Russ Baker Way. It's directly in line with the southernmost runway of the Vancouver International Airport. That means when you spend time here you're right under the final approach, which means you get to watch the planes roar in low right overhead. The park itself has picnic benches shaped like paper airplanes, a giant monument in a half-globe form that serves as a jungle gym, and even runway-like trails for kids to run.