Summer Family Fun Guide for Alberni Valley

Fun Summer Activities for Families!

Sproat Lake Vancouver Island, family vacation spot

Sproat Lake Provincial Park

Located in the heart of Vancouver Island, Port Alberni offers a seemingly endless amount summer activities that promise fun for the whole family. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, our charming city is the perfect setting for unforgettable summer memories. Here’s a guide to some of the best family-friendly activities in and around Port Alberni.

Explore the Outdoors

Sproat Lake Provincial Park

Start your summer adventure with a visit to Sproat Lake Provincial Park. This scenic spot is perfect for swimming, boating, and picnicking. The clear, warm waters of the lake are ideal for a refreshing dip, and the surrounding picnic areas are great for a family lunch. Don’t forget to check out the famous petroglyphs, ancient rock carvings that offer a glimpse into the region’s rich history. Named best lake in BC!

Stamp River Provincial Park

For a mix of adventure and relaxation, head to Stamp River Provincial Park. The park is home to the impressive Stamp Falls, where you can watch the salmon run during the late summer months. The trails around the park are perfect for a family hike, offering beautiful views and a chance to see local wildlife.

Dive into Local History

Mclean Mill National Historic Site, Port Alberni, Alberni Valley

Mclean Mill National Historic Site

McLean Mill National Historic Site

Take a step back in time at the McLean Mill National Historic Site. This restored sawmill offers both guided and self-guided tours that are educational and entertaining. The whole family can enjoy learning about the logging history of the area. The site often hosts special events and activities, making it a vibrant place to visit during the summer. Please note that the train service to McLean Mill is not running this year.

  • Location: 5633 Smith Rd, Port Alberni, BC
  • Contact: (250) 723-1376
  • Website: McLean Mill

Alberni Valley Museum

The Alberni Valley Museum is another must-visit for families. It features exhibits that showcase the cultural and natural history of the region. Interactive displays and hands-on activities make it an engaging experience for children and adults alike.

  • Location: 4255 Wallace St, Port Alberni, BC
  • Contact: (250) 723-2181
  • Website: Alberni Valley Museum
  • Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

Maritime Discovery Centre

Explore the rich maritime history of the area at the Maritime Discovery Centre. Housed in a unique lighthouse structure, the museum offers fascinating exhibits on local marine life, shipwrecks, and the area’s fishing heritage. Kids will love the hands-on displays, and the whole family can enjoy panoramic views of the harbor.

  • Location: 2750 Harbour Rd, Port Alberni, BC
  • Contact: (250) 723-6164
  • Website: Maritime Discovery Centre
  • Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

Maritime Discovery Centre

Indoor Activities

Alberni Valley Multiplex

If you’re looking for some indoor fun, the Alberni Valley Multiplex offers skating and other recreational activities (pickleball anyone?). It’s a great way to stay active and cool off during the hotter summer days. Be sure to check the schedule below for public skating times.

Port Alberni Aquatic Centre

The Port Alberni Aquatic Centre offers public swim sessions from 1:30 to 3:30 PM and 6:30 to 8:30 PM, Monday to Friday in July and August. It’s a fantastic place to cool off and have fun with the family, featuring pools, water slides, and other aquatic amenities.

UPDATE: The City of Port Alberni has released their summer day camps and leisure centre schedule!

Family-Friendly Hotspots

Harbour Quay Shopping in downtown Port Alberni

Harbour Quay

Harbour Quay

No visit to Port Alberni is complete without a trip to Harbour Quay. This vibrant waterfront area boasts unique shops, delicious food vendors, and stunning views of the harbor. Kids will love the playground, and the whole family can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the pier. The quay often hosts summer events and markets, providing plenty of entertainment options.

  • Location: Argyle St, Port Alberni, BC
  • Contact: (250) 720-2523
  • Website: Harbour Quay

Splash Parks

Cool down on a hot summer day at one of Port Alberni’s splash parks. Each offers fun water play features for kids and plenty of space for a family outing. Here are three great options:

  • Roger Creek Park
    • Location: Gertrude & Pemberton Street, Port Alberni, BC
  • Blair Park
    • Location: 5095 Pineo Rd, Port Alberni, BC
  • Kiwanis Park
    • Location: 3627 16th Ave, Port Alberni, BC

Each park provides areas to relax, play, and enjoy a splash in the water, making them perfect spots for family fun and picnics.

Roger Creek Park

Can’t Miss Experiences

Horne Lake Caves

For a truly unique adventure, take a day trip to Horne Lake Caves. Located just a short drive from Port Alberni, these caves offer guided tours that cater to all ages and experience levels. Exploring the underground world of stalactites and stalagmites is sure to be a highlight of your summer vacation.

  • Location: 3900 Horne Lake Caves Rd, Qualicum Beach, BC (approximately 1 hour drive from Port Alberni)
  • Contact: (250) 248-7829
  • Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required
  • Website: Horne Lake Caves

West Coast Wild Zipline

For an adrenaline-pumping experience, visit West Coast Wild Zipline. Located in the Ha’uukmin Tribal Park, this eco-educational adventure offers thrilling zipline tours through an ancient rainforest. The professional guides ensure safety while providing fascinating insights into the history and culture of the area.

  • Location: 61861 Pacific Rim Hwy, Alberni-Clayoquot, BC (approximately 1 hour drive from Port Alberni)
  • Contact: (250) 726-7622
  • Website: West Coast Wild
  • Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required

Fun and Food for Everyone

J&L Drive-In

Experience a blast from the past at J&L Drive-In, Port Alberni’s most historic restaurant. This iconic spot serves up burgers, snacks, seafood, and shakes. Roll up in your car, flash your lights, and enjoy a meal delivered right to your window, reminiscent of the classic drive-in experience from “Happy Days.”

Burger & Onion Rings from J&L Drive-In

Farmers’ Market

For a taste of local flavour, visit one of Port Alberni’s vibrant farmers’ markets. These markets feature fresh produce, handmade crafts, and delicious baked goods, providing a wonderful way to support local vendors and enjoy the community atmosphere. Here are two great options:

  • Spirit Square Farmers’ Market
  • Port Alberni Farmers’ Market
    • Location: 2750 Harbour Rd, Port Alberni, BC
    • Days & Times: Saturdays, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
    • Contact: (250) 723-6164
    • Website: Port Alberni Farmers’ Market

Each market offers a unique selection of local goods, making them perfect spots to explore on a Saturday morning.

Lots of Vendors to Visit at the Port Alberni Farmers’ Market! Source: Facebook

Making Unforgettable Memories in Beautiful Port Alberni

Port Alberni, with its mix of natural beauty, historical sites, exciting activities, and delicious food options, is the perfect destination for a family summer getaway. Whether you’re exploring the great outdoors, delving into the area’s rich history, or seeking out unique adventures, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable summer in Port Alberni!