The Best Staycation Ever: Fun Things to Do in Vancouver, WA


Discover something new right in your backyard!

Who says you have to spend a ton of money or risk infection by jetting to an exotic locale to make great family memories? If you live in Vancouver, there are plenty of incredible things to do and sights to see right outside your front door. This summer, save some money and keep your family safe and healthy by skipping the huge getaways and hunkering down in your own backyard.

Not sure where to start? Read on! Today, we’re sharing some of the most fun and safe things to do in Vancouver, WA, so grab your planner and let’s get started!

Go on a history tour.

One of the best things about our city is how richly it celebrates its past. In addition to historic attractions, there are plenty of parks and museums dedicated to teaching every generation about the ones that came before it.

Kick off your staycation by visiting Fort Vancouver. This 191-acre park is designated as a National Historic Site and under different circumstances features year-round events, including costumed performances, interpretive talks, and an incredible after-dark lantern tour. As of June 9, the park has reopened its grounds and trails so history buffs and families alike can take in the beautiful sights the park has to offer. While the park’s facilities, including the Visitor’s Center and Pearson Air Museum, remain closed, your family can enjoy spending time outdoors among amazing historical monuments.

Explore the outdoors.

When you call Vancouver home, you’re never more than a few miles away from world-class biking, hiking, or kayaking! Get your heart pumping and enjoy beautiful moments relishing the natural wonders of your city.

Did you know Vancouver is home to more than 190 area parks? While active recreation areas, like playgrounds, sports courts, and picnic shelters, remain closed, your family can venture outside and spend some time traversing the many trails Vancouver parks have to offer.

To make a day of it, head toward scenic Moulton Falls. This 387-acre regional park features two waterfalls and an arch bridge that soars more than three stories high! Located less than 20 minutes from Vancouver, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge is another can’t-miss, kid-friendly spot. Here, you can take a naturalist-led hike and view a variety of species, including waterfowl, raptors, river otters, black-tailed deer, and more. Kids asleep in the back? From October to April, the refuge also offers a drive-through tour so you can observe wintering waterfowl from your car.

Be sure to practice social distancing and other current CDC recommendations while passing through these parks to keep your family and others safe.

Play and learn at the same time.

Vancouver is full of places for your children to discover and explore. The best part? They’ll be having so much fun, it won’t even feel like they’re learning.

At the Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center, your brood will have access to 100 acres of nature trails, wildlife viewing decks, and local outdoor art installations; however, the historic trout hatchery remains closed to the public From there, you can keep the hands-off study going with a visit to the local Water Resources Education Center. Overlooking the Columbia River, the center serves to educate all ages on the importance of water, including where it comes from and how to use it wisely. While these attractions are now open to the public, it’s important to keep CDC safety and health guidelines in mind. In addition, the Environmental Education Center asks that groups of more than eight people make a reservation by email.

Wind down at the waterfront.

Hungry after taking in the sights of beautiful Vancouver? While the exhibits are temporarily closed to the public, you can take your family for a walk at the city’s picturesque waterfront. For the summer, you can visit What a Catch Fishbar for take-out, including cod and chips, soft-serve ice cream, and drool-worthy french fries. As they’re indulging on a cone of chocolate swirl, use the opportunity to remind your kids to brush their teeth when they get home! On a staycation, every moment is an opportunity to connect and learn, and this simple step puts them that much closer to joining our Cavity Free Club!

Other must-visit establishments and eateries along the waterfront that are open for take-out include Barlow’s Public House, Stack 571 Burger and Whiskey Bar, and Twigs Bistro. After a hearty meal, you can watch the stars appear from the area’s new 7.3-acre Waterfront Park, which features an open lawn, urban beach, and plenty of seating areas.

Grab a drink at nearby Savona Coffee House, and let the kids turn cartwheels and bask in the sunset while you reflect on how much fun you had staying put.

Discover more fun things to do in Vancouver, WA.

You don’t have to travel hundreds of miles or put your family at risk to get away from it all. This list of fun things to do in Vancouver, WA, is filled with fun spots, but it’s far from exhaustive. When you’re ready to plan the perfect staycation, you’ll have plenty of options right at your fingertips, from natural excursions to delicious eateries.

One way to really rest and relax during your time together? Go ahead and take care of your important appointments before those months off arrive. That way, when the time comes, you can focus more on the sunshine and less on your schedule.

In the meantime, we’d love to welcome your family to our pediatric dentistry office! At Must Love Kids, our name speaks for itself. Contact us to request an appointment today and leave plenty of time for family fun this summer.