As much as Canada is known for its great outdoor activities, we in Vancouver, BC know how much it tends to rain in our beautiful city. But as true locals, we also know not to let something as trivial as weather to put a damper on our year-round fun.
For many homestay students, this is their first time in Vancouver – and no one wants to spend their time abroad stuck at home. On no-school days, consider taking your student around the city and checking out some of these fun rainy day activities.
1. Attend Local festivals & events
Vancouver is home to many festivals, shows, and events that celebrate the diversity of Canadian culture. While many festivals occur outdoors, there’s no shortage of indoor events and celebrations to explore during the cooler months. Destination Vancouver keeps a hefty calendar of year-round activities here.
Especially if your homestay student is feeling a bit homesick, consider seeing if there’s a cultural festival taking place (i.e. the Japanese Powell Street Festival) and give your student an opportunity to teach you about their culture!
2. Check out Live Events
Live performances are a wonderful way to showcase our country’s diverse culture. Look for some live events you could bring your student to, like the theatre, concert, or even live music nights at a local eatery!
Find a full calendar of live music events here.
3. Attend a sporting event
From October to April, there’s nothing more exciting than seeing the Vancouver Canucks play at Rogers Arena! (I mean, is there anything more “Canadian” than hockey?) If your homestay student is new to the sport, this is a great opportunity to teach them some of the basics. Be sure to point out the home team so they know who to cheer for!
If hockey’s not their game, Vancouver is spoiled with exciting sport events, including the Vancouver Whitecaps (soccer), BC Lions (football), Vancouver Canadians (baseball), and Vancouver Warriors (lacrosse)!
4. Explore the Olympic venues
If the Olympics is more up their interest, consider bringing your student on a tour to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic venues in and around Vancouver! A day trip to Whistler to see Whistler Olympic Park provides some great photo opportunities and a chance to see the more natural side of BC. Add in some skiing and snowboarding in the winter and you’ve got a full weekend of activities.
The Richmond Olympic Oval also hosts great activities year-round, including skating and drop-in athletics, all under one roof. Your student might also enjoy learning about the greatest moments in Canadian Olympic history at the Richmond Olympic Experience, where you’ll find exhibits, memorabilia, and even motion stimulator rides to experience the speed down the track in an Olympic bobsleigh.
5. Swimming, Bowling, and more!
Activities like swimming, bowling, and go-karting make for a super fun outing for kids of any age. Bring the whole family to one of Vancouver’s many swimming pools, bowling alleys, laser tag centres, go-karting tracks, and trampoline centres and find out all the fun you’re missing!
6. Check out FlyOver Canada
Want to explore even more of Canada? FlyOver Canada offers an interactive ride experience where you can “fly” through different destinations around the country! It’s a fun way to learn about this country, and can be easily paired with lunch downtown or a walk along the Seawall.
7. Explore the public markets
As Vancouver locals, we love our public markets. They’re a great place to pick up local produce, find sweet treats, and check out local Canadian artisans. Granville Island, for example, is filled with Canadian arts and culture everywhere you look. Your homestay student can check out some amazing local artists and learn about Canadian and Indigenous cultures and traditions. It could also be an excellent opportunity for your student to practice English by interacting with the local vendors.
Bring your student with you as you grocery shop at the public markets, then stop at a local market vendor and try a local delicacy, like salmon jerky or poutine!
8. Sing your heart out at Karaoke
There’s no better way to break the ice than to sing together! Karaoke is always a fun activity to do with your homestay student, and Vancouver is not short on karaoke venues. All you have to do is decide who has to go first!
9. Visit local history museums
Museums are full of beautiful, educational exhibits about Canadian culture. There are several great indoor museums around Vancouver to check out depending on what your student is interest in, including:
- Museum of Vancouver
- Vancouver Maritime Museum
- Vancouver Art Gallery
- Beaty Biodiversity Museum
- H.R. MacMillan Space Centre
- Burnaby Village Museum
10. Ask them!
As much as we like to think we’re Vancouver experts, your student likely has their own list of activities they want to explore during their stay in Canada. Once they’ve settled in, ask your student what kind of activities they enjoy and what they’d like to see during their stay.
At Harmony Homestay, we’re always looking for new families to welcome our global students each semester. Learn more about the benefits of becoming a host family at harmonyhomestay.com/host-families