Carrying over 200,000 passengers each year, the 15-minute Stanley Park railway ride features trestles, tunnels, forest, 2 kilometres of track and seasonal themes. Children and young families love the train!
The Stanley Park miniature train is located on Pipeline Road in the middle of Stanley Park. Coming from West Georgia Street via the park entrance, take the second exit at the roundabout and the venue is just a little ways up on your right.
If using a GPS to get there and it requires an address, type in 690 Pipeline Road and it’ll get you close enough to see signs directing you where to go.
The Stanley Park miniature train runs daily in the spring for just a week or so before Easter, from mid-April to mid-June on weekends (weather-permitting) and daily from 10 am to 5 pm for the summer season from mid-June until early September. The railway then starts up again in October in the lead-up to Halloween, and then from the end of November until the first few days of January. In other words, with just a few exceptions, it’s closed most of January to March, September and November.
Special seasonal train themes during the year include the following:
The Stanley Park Easter Train runs during the daytime for just a week or so before Easter in the spring and includes the Easter Bunny, an Easter egg hunt, crafts, games and face painting.
Children are encouraged to bring a basket or something to collect their Easter eggs in and parents are advised to buy their tickets in advance as the rides often sell out, especially on sunny weekend days.
Tickets are $6 per person.
The Stanley Park Ghost Train is a family-friendly Halloween favourite for children, families, youth and even adults in Vancouver. The layout and theme change every year, but the ride through the forest predictably includes scenes with skeletons, monsters, gravestones and other typical Halloween paraphernalia.
There is usually a less expensive matinee train ride on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the day which is during the daylight and so much less scary for little people, although still not for the ultra timid.
At night time, between about 5:30 and 9:30 or 10 pm, the more hard-core Ghost Train is in operation and includes live performers and spooky lighting. Although still very family-friendly, it’s lots of fun for most folk but still not for everyone.
Expect the matinee train rides to cost about $6 per person and the evening trips to be around $11 for adults and $8 for folks aged 65+ and between 3 and 17.
For more information on the Ghost Train, click Stanley Park Halloween Train.
Bright Nights at Stanley Park takes place between the end of November and the first couple of days in January each year and features millions of festive lights and Christmas decorations. Admission to Bright Nights is by donation, but the Bright Nights Train is extra.
Want suggestions on how to make your Stanley Park Train experience as good as possible? Then check out the following tips:
TIP #1: Buy your tickets in advance just in case the day you want to go gets sold out, resulting in disappointed children. Also, to avoid the biggest crowds, go on a weekday in the earlier part of each season (e.g., go in early October instead of just before Halloween).
TIP #2: Sometimes, but not always, parking is free in the parking lot right outside the Stanley Park Train venue just off Pipeline Road. It’s not free in the summer, but sometimes during the Christmas season and at Halloween during the train operating times.
TIP #3: If you’re going to Stanley Park don’t just go for the train. There is so much to see and do at Stanley Park, so combine your trip with other activities. Just outside the train venue grounds is a great children’s playground. The Vancouver Aquarium is also just a short walk away, the Stanley Park seawall is amazing for bike rides, in the summer there is the outdoor pool at Second Beach and there is good swimming also at Third Beach.
For more information, check out the Stanley Park Train’s website.
For other Vancouver kid-friendly activities, click Vancouver’s best places for children.
Source: Vancouver's Best Places