35 Free and Cheap Things To Do In Victoria, BC (2023)

Victoria, BC is one of the most beautiful and well known cities in Canada. While there are no end of options to spend a lot of money, you do not have break your piggy bank to enjoy all Victoria has to offer. There is an abundance of free and cheap things to do in Victoria for kids (and adults).

Victoria was the playground and back drop of my childhood. These are my top list of places I return to again and again, with my kids, family and friends.

Looking for things to do in Victoria, BC that won’t break your budget? Read on for outdoor, and rainy day activities you can do with your family, all year round.

Table of Contents

Cheap & Free Things To Do In Victoria

35 Fun & Cheap Family Things To Do in Victoria:

  1. Pretend you are a pirate on the salty seas at the Royal British Columbia Museum
  2. Wander the Totem Poles at Thunderbird Park
  3. Walk along Inner Harbour Causeway & be entertained by performers
  4. Run with the goats at Beacon Hill Children’s Farm.
  5. Grab a bite to eat to go at Fisherman’s Wharf and have a picnic at the Park across the road
  6. Stroll the Breakwater at Ogden Point
  7. Collect beach treasures along Dallas Road
  8. Fly a kite at Clover Point
  9. Discover the city’s secrets in a Guided Walking Tour
  10. Wind your way down the narrowest street in Canada, Fan Tan Alley
  11. Peruse locally made and grown products at Public Markets
  12. Kick it old school. Play video games at Qazar’s Arcade
  13. Play board games at Interactivity Board Game Cafe
  14. Bike or walk along the Galloping Goose Trail
  15. Ride a wave and the waterslide at Commonwealth Pool
  16. Cool off at a Water / Splash Park, bring a picnic to make a day of it.
  17. Paddle or walk around Elk / Beaver Lake
  18. Hike to the top of Mount Doug for views of the city
  19. Watch the sunset at Mount Tolmie
  20. Identify native plants and wildlife at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary
  21. Take a guided hike or program through the CRD Regional Parks Program
  22. Travel the wheelchair accessible interpretive trail at Francis/King Regional Park
  23. Touch a sea anemone or starfish in the tidal pool at Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea aquarium
  24. Explore the old fort and lighthouse at Fort Rodd Hill
  25. Imagine yourself a superhero at Hatley Castle
  26. Listen to Live Music at Market Square
  27. Tour the Parliament Buildings
  28. Hold some cool bugs at the Victoria Bug Zoo
  29. Hop a Victoria Harbor Ferry Ride
  30. Wander the 200 species of Rhododendrons in Finnerty Gardens
  31. Watch the salmon run & visit Niagara Falls at Goldstream Provincial Park
  32. Discover Victoria’s history at Government House
  33. Get your art fix at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
  34. Climb the Giant Octopus at Gyro Park / Beach
  35. Play at the Esquimalt Adventure Park

This list is just the tip of the ice berg, or in this case the bloom before the flower of free and cheap activities available in each destination. Check out each place below for more ideas to explore the beauty and wonders of Victoria. Then grab some ideas for the perfect 3 Day itinerary to Victoria BC with kids.

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British Columbia is one of the best places to visit in the world, as well as in Canada, but I may just be biased as I am from Victoria. From mountains to oceans, and desert like climates to west coast island vibes. It’s an outdoor adventurers dream.

Many people take the ferry from Seattle or Vancouver here. As there’s ample family friendly activities to keep you busy and entertained for a long weekend, a week or more.

Especially if you are looking to road trip up the island to stay in the lovely seaside town of Parksville, BC or want to check off your Vancouver Island bucket list.

That’s why we’ve highlighted some of the best cheap family things to do in Victoria and close by.


1. Explore The Royal BC Museum

Royal BC Museum, Victoria Wooly Mammoth exhibit with young girl smiling in front. Cheap things to do in Victoria
Wooly Mammoth Exhibit at the Royal BC Museum
Photo by Donna | Packed for Life

Royal BC Museum is one of the best family acitivities in Victoria, BC, for those rainy Victoria days, and trust me they happen frequently especially in the Winter and Spring.

The human history section takes you through 10, 000 years of history of First Nation, Euro-American, European and Asian cultures in what is now known as British Columbia.

The Royal BC Museum is always some place I bring my kids to again and again. It really is one of the best cheap things to do in Victoria this weekend, or week, or anytime really.

The Royal BC Museum sits on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen (Songhees and Xwsepsum Nations).

Location: 675 Belleville Street

Hours: Open 10am – 5pm daily.

Cost: Museum Free under 5, $11 Youth 6-18yrs, $18 adults

2. View Gallery of Totem Polls at Thunderbird Park

Thunderbird Park is home to an outdoor gallery of totem poles and a traditional Kwakwaka‘wakw “big house”. It is located next door to the Royal BC Museum where you can often watch cool demos done by local artists.

If you are interested in learning more about the history of the totem poles and their restoration efforts check out the Royal BC Museum website.

Location: 675 Belleville St (corner of Belleville and Douglas Street)

Cost: Free

⭐️ Fun Day Trip Ideas from Victoria the whole family will love.

3. Stroll The Inner Harbour Causeway

Visit the epicentre of downtown Victoria, and wander the causeway in front of the Legislative buildings and the Empress Hotel. During the summer months especially, this area is full of street performers, artisans, First Nations artists, food vendors and people.

The Inner Harbour is an amazing spot to people watch and catch a performance from May to September. Don’t forget your camera!

It’s also where the seaplane tours and some of the whale watching tours leave from, which are fun to watch (or try).

PRO TIP: Learn Victoria’s interesting history (and scandals) with this inexpensive & fun historical walking tour of dowtown Victoria, that starts at Inner Harbour.

Location: The Causeway runs along Belleville and Government Street in Downtown Victoria

Cost: Free thing to do in Victoria, BC

Summer time Inner Harbour causeway full of people in Victoria, BC Canada. With the Empress Hotel in background.
Inner Harbour Causeway and Empress Hotel
Photo: ‘lembibuchanon / istock.com”

4. Visit The Petting Zoo at Beacon Hill Park

The Beacon Hill Children’s Farm, locally known as the Petting Zoo, brings farm animals to us city folk. This has been an iconic spot to visit for generations.

Wander around this urban mini farm featuring miniature horses, peacocks, alpacas, rabbits, chickens, and our favourite, the pot bellied pigs.

The highlight for kids and adults alike are the adorable baby goats to pet, brush and have climb on your back. Watch out for dangling bits of cloth and hair, these kids love to nibble.

Location: Circle Drive, Beacon Hill Park

Hours: 10am – 5pm seasonally. Goat Stampede 10:10am & 5:10pm

Cost: By donation

Best free things to do in Victoria. Young girl getting her hair nibbled by baby goats at the  Petting Zoo, Victoria, BC in Beacon Hill Park.
Baby Goat love at the Beacon Hill Park
Photo by Donna | Packed for Life

LOCAL TIP: GO FOR THE GOAT STAMPEDE!!! Held daily at 10:10am and 5:10pm. Think running of the bulls for kids! The petting zoo is open seasonally so check out their website for opening times and hours, and latest updates.

5. Fisherman’s Wharf & Park: Free Things To Do In Victoria

Water taxi leaving Fisherman's Wharf passing by colourful houseboats. Example of free thing to do in Victoria, BC
Fisherman’s Wharf Area Houseboats and Water Taxi
Photo: ‘photoservice / istock.com”

Wander the docks at Fisherman’s Wharf, an eclectic village of food kiosks, shops and colorful house boats located in downtown Victoria. One of the more colorful free things to do in Victoria.

Enjoy views of Vic West across the harbour, and the occasional seal looking for food. Ponder what it is like to live on a house boat (some houseboats are rented out as a fun place to stay ).

Grab some lunch and head across the parking lot to the Fisherman’s Wharf Park for a picnic. Here you will find picnic benches, a nautical themed play/climb area, and large grassy knolls. Plenty of room for the kids to run their energy out.

The Fisherman’s Wharf sits on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen.

Location: 12 Erie St.

Cost: Free to wander around.

👉 Check out our favourite parks & Playgrounds in Victoria, BC

6. Walk The Breakwater at Ogden Point

The Breakwater walkway with fencing out into harbour.
Walking the Breakwater is a favorite family activity of ours
Photo by Donna | Packed for Life

Taking a stroll along the Breakwater pathway is a popular local’s weekend activity and a fun family friendly thing to do in Victoria, BC Canada.

Jutting out from Dallas Road towards the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the breakwater ends at a small lighthouse. This cement structure is 1.6km roundtrip and takes about 30 minutes to walk.

Look out for the  Na’Tsa’ Maht – The Unity Wall, painted on the side of the breakwater, which depicts the history of the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations. This is a prime spot to view cruise ships, seagulls, people fishing off the rocks and the sunset.

This stroll is one of our favorite free things to do in Victoria, BC, and something we regularly do each time we visit.

Location: Ogden Point on Dallas Road

Cost: Free

7. Bike, Stroller, Walk The Dallas Road Waterfront Pathway

Visiting beaches fun free things to do in Victoria, BC. Driftwood along Dallas Road Beach in Victoria, BC Canada
Waterfront beach
Photo: “AutumnSky Photography / istock.com”

The Dallas Road Waterfront Pathway runs 4km from Holland Point Park to Hollywood Crescent. You will pass the Mile Zero monument, Beacon Hill Park, Spiral Beach and Clover Point.

This dedicated off road path is the perfect jumping off point for many small beaches. Collect beach glass, rocks and and enjoy the sunshine. Any of these small beaches along the way top the list of fun free things to do in Victoria. Also be on the lookout for the lighthouse.

This path is also suitable for strollers, joggers, and walkers, both of the dog and human variety. 

Location: Dallas Road

Cost: Free

8. Fly A Kite At Clover Point

Clover Point is a popular spot to park, watch the ocean waves and walk along the waterfront pathway. Kids will love flying kites at this windy point. You can also watch paragliders coast along the bluff’s edge and windsurfers and kiteboarders below. If you are brave you can even try that out yourself.

Location: 1250 Dallas Road

Cost: Free

👉 Grab more ideas with this Vancouver Island Bucket List

9. Guided Walking Tours

Explore the mysteries of haunted Victoria, learn the secret stories of criminals or glimpse what Victoria was like during the Gold rush. Or learn more about the history of Victoria’s Chinatown.

A guided walking tour is an interesting way to experience Victoria:

  • Historical Walking Tour – Explore dowtown Victoria, starting at Inner Harbour, to learn about the interesting history (and scandals) of Victoria.
  • Ghostly Walking Tour – Explore some of Victoria’s most haunted sites at night on a guided ghost tour.
  • Chinatown Walking Tour Delve into the exciting past of Canada’s oldest Chinatown, in Victoria, British Columbia

Location: Downtown Victoria

Cost: $21 / per adult, less for kids

10. Wind Your Way Through Chinatown & Fan Tan Alley

Free things to do in Victoria Canada. Visit the Gate of Harmonious Interest in oldest canadian Chinatown.
Gate of Harmonius Interest – Chinatown, Victoria, BC
photo credit: “istock/Leamus”

Wind your way through Chinatown. Stop first at the Gates of Harmonious Interest and then enter Fan Tan Alley, “the narrowest street in the country.”

Here you will find locally owned shops offering clothing, jewellry, decor, natural body products, ice cream, and more. Perfect for an hour of window shopping.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the Victoria Chinatown is the second oldest in North America, after San Fansisco, and the oldest Chinatown in Canada. Learn more about the history of Chinatown.

Location: 500 Fisgard St.

Cost: Free

More Things to Do With Kids in Victoria, BC

11. Browse Local Goods At Public Markets

Local Farmers Markets are a good way to support local growers, artisans, artists, musicians and food vendors. They also make for an entertaining afternoon with the kids.

The Moss Street Market and the Victoria Public Market (located in the historic Hudson building downtown) are open year round. Others are more seasonal.

Some of my favourite are the outdoor markets which typically run May to October:

  • James Bay Market ( Corner of Menzies Street & Superior Street) – Saturdays May to September from 9am – 3pm

  • Moss Street Market (1350 Fairfield Rd) – Saturdays May to October 10am – 2pm and November to March 10am – 1pm

  • Oaklands Sunset Market (2827 Belmont Ave) – Wednesdays June 30 – September 1 4:30-8:30pm

🚗 Grab more Victoria itinerary ideas with these day trips to make from Victoria, Canada

12. Play Video Games at Qazar’s Arcade

Introduce your children to the games of your childhood at Qazar’s Arcade. Quazar’s is an all ages 80’s inspired arcade, with a large selection of vintage and new pinball machines they rotate.

Location: 1215 Government Street

Hours: Monday to Thursday 12pm to 10pm, Friday and Saturday 10am to 11pm & Sunday 10am-10pm

Cost: 1 token is $0.50. Most games cost 1 token, most pinball machines cost 2 tokens.

13. Board Games at Interactivity Board Game Cafe

Playing a board game at Victoria’s first board game cafe, the Interactivity Board Game Cafe would be an awesome family activity in Victoria. They have over 800 games to choose from and over 30+ flavours of milkshakes.

Or shop at their retail store, with Victoria’s largest selection of board games to buy.

Location: 723 Yates Street

Hours: Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. – 11pm and Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. – Midnight

Cost: $6 / per person ($3 under 12) to stay and play. Choose the Family Friendly side with the kids, or the separate 19+licensed section for just the adults.

👉 You may also like our ultimate list of Kid Friendly Trip Snacks

14. Walk or Bike Along the Galloping Goose Trail

A person walking and biking across the Gorge waterway on a a pedestrian bridge. Things to do in Victoria for free
Galloping Goose Trail, Victoria BC Canada
Photo: “Gene_L / istock.com”

Head out on the Galloping Goose, a multi-use 55 km trail. Enjoy a bike ride or a walk through farmland, wilderness, and urban landscapes. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do it all!

The trail begins at the south end of Selkirk Trestle at the foot of Alston Street in Vic West. Download one of their maps onto your phone.

You can rent bikes at a few places downtown, including Victoria Bike Rentals.

LOCAL TIP: Our favourite snack stop for a delicious croissant and coffee along the way is at Fol Epi organic bakery and Caffe Fantastico, an organic fair trade coffee/deli shop. Both are located at 398 Harbour Rd in Dockside Green, just over the bridge from downtown Victoria.


There’s much more to see and do outside of downtown Victoria, its a good idea to carve out some time for exploration further afield. Not only can you find endless kid-friendly free things to do in Victoria and nearby, there are also alot of inexpensive family activities in Victoria that won’t break the bank.

Check out our 3 Day Victoria, BC Canada Itinerary to make planning your Victoria trip easy.

15. Cheap Things To Do In Victoria, BC: Swim At The Commonwealth Pool

Kids will love spending a day in this mini waterpark like setting.

The Commonwealth Pool has something for all age groups. There is a shallow tot pool, a wave pool with shipwreck, a waterslide, diving boards, steam room, hot tub and sauna. Plus the water isn’t ice cold, and it can be a nice break. Add this to your rainy day list of things to with kids in Victoria, BC.

Location: 4636 Elk Lake Dr.

16. Cool Off At A Water / Splash Park in Victoria

Cool off at one of 9 Victoria Water Parks. Kids love water. Waterparks are a great way to spend a sunny day, when you don’t want to be emptying sand from your shoes for the next two weeks.

  • Watering Can at Beacon Hill Park – off Douglas Street (Victoria)
  • Rotary Water Park – Carnarvon Park, Henderson Road (Oak Bay)
  • Beckwith Water Park – Beckwith Avenue & Quadra Street (Saanich)
  • Fraser Street Adventure Park – 535 Fraser Street, (Esquimalt)
  • Splash Park at City Centre Park – 1089 Langford Parkway (Langford)
  • Glen Lake Beach Park – Shoreview Drive (Langford)
  • Spray Park in Centennial Park – Carlow Road (Langford)
  • Langford Lake – Leigh Road (Langford)
  • Iroquois Park – Fifth Street & Ocean Avenue (Sidney)

17. Canoe, Swim, Hike at Elk / Beaver Lake

The ocean water temperature around Victoria is COLD, so if you want to go swimming, head to a local lake. Elk / Beaver Lake has something for everyone. You can swim, canoe, hike, fish, picnic, and even ride horses on the equestrian trails.

If your family is up for a 2 hour hike, try the easy 10km loop around Elk & Beaver Lake. It’s a fairly flat, well marked path with some exposed rocks and roots.

Location: 5267 Patricia Bay Highway.

Elk Lake Entrance: Brookleigh Road

Beaver Lake Entrance: Elk Lake Drive

Cost: Free

18. Climb Mount Douglas

Woman walking through old forest in Mount Doug Park. Free things to do in Victoria BC Canada
Walking the trails at Mount Doug Park
Photo by Packed for Life

Drive, or hike to the top of this urban forest park. You’ll be rewarded with a panoramic view of the city, as well as views of Saanich Inlet and the Straights of Georgia and Haro.

Mount Doug has 21 km of well marked trails for all different fitness levels, beach access and washroom facilities.

This was one of my favourite places to hike with friends, when my daughter was a baby in her Ergo carrier. It also has dog friendly trails to take your favourite furry friend. We love these trails, especially on hot days as a top free thing to do in Victoria.

Location: Summit – Churchill Road off Cedar Hill Road

Cost: Free

LOCAL TIP: Drive to the top of Mount Doug from the entrance off Cedar Hill Road, if you don’t have time to walk up, or need accessible access

19. View The City From Mount Tolmie

View of Victoria from Mount Tolmie with the ocean and mountains in the distance.
View from Mt. Tolmie, Victoria BC
Photo by Donna | Packed for Life

Mount Tolmie, located near Uvic offers a spectacular 360 degree view of the city. On a clear day you can also see Mount Baker, the Olympic Mountains, and the San Juan Islands in the distance.

The summit is accessible by car, or by hiking some of the 1.5km of trails through garry oak forest. This is one of the best free things to do in Victoria, BC.

Location: Mayfair Drive

Cost: Free

LOCAL TIP: Visit Mount Tolmie at sunrise. The summit will be far quieter than at sunset, the most popular time of day.

20. Walk The Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary

The Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary is a lesser known gem in Victoria. You can enjoy a walk through the marshland of Swan Lake or the rockier Garry oak meadow on Christmas Hill.

The Swan Lake loop is an easy 2.5km which makes it a great thing to do with kids in Victoria. The marshland is home to many bird species, wildlife and native flora and fauna, perfect for the budding naturalist and bird watcher.

The Christmas Hill trail is a bit more challenging, with the summit at 109 metres above sea level. Visit in Spring for the carpet of wildflowers that bloom across the meadow.

Be sure to stop in at the Nature House and browse their library of natural history books, and visit their bee hive.

Location: 3873 Swan Lake Road

Cost: Free

LOCAL TIP: Pick up some duck food in the gift shop at the Nature House before you start your walk. The ducks and your kids will greatly appreciate it.

21. Take A Guided Hike Or Program

Nature lovers unite! The CRD Regional Parks Program offers guided walks hikes and programs for free. Most are drop-in, unless otherwise noted, and run 1.5 – 2 hours rain or shine. Their events page lists all upcoming programs.

Location: Across the Capital Regional District

Cost: Free

LOCAL TIP: Book ahead, as the programs fill up quickly.

22. Free Activities Victoria – Francis/King Regional Park

Francis / King Regional Park offers eleven kilometres of gentle woodland trails from the accessible Elsie King trail, to the moderate level Centennial Trail.

The Elsie King Trail, is an accessible 800 metre interpretive trail on cedar boardwalk. This forest loop has rest areas with benches, a shelter and an accessible toilet and water fountain.

Experience 500 year old Douglas Fir trees in Heritage Grove, some of the tallest in the region.

Any of the regional parks are great free places to visit in Victoria with family.

Location: Munn Road (20 minutes from downtown Victoria)

23. Learn About Sea Creatures At Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

Jelly fish swimming at Shaw Centre for Salish Sea. Things to do with kids in Victoria, BC.
Jelly Fish at the Shaw Centre
Photo by Packed for Life

The Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea is a new addition to our family favourites. This aquarium is located on the Sidney waterfront, on the traditional territory of the W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich) people.

The aquarium is home to over 3,500 animals from the Salish Sea. Kid favourites are watching the floating jelly fish, the orca skeleton and the hands-on-experiences in the touch tidal pools. Beautiful Coast Salish art is found throughout.

Location: 9811 Seaport Place, Sidney (30 minutes from downtown Victoria)

Hours: Every day but Wednesday 10am to 5pm (must enter by 4:30pm)

Cost: Annual family membership costs $86.50. Daily passes vary.

LOCAL TIP: Passes are good for the day. Take a wander around Sidney, have a picnic by the water, then return to the aquarium for another look.

24. Cheap Things to do In Victoria: Explore Fort Rodd Hill Historic Site

Fisgard Lighthouse on rocky shore. Free things to do in Victoria.
Fisgard Lighthouse
Photo: “jenifoto / istock.com”

Fort Rodd Hill is a fun destination for a half or full day excursion by the sea not far from downtown Victoria.

Explore secret bunkers, meander through garry oak meadows and take a 10 minute stroll to Canada’s oldest West Coast Lighthouse, the Fisgard Lighthouse.

If you are looking for a fun family activity in Victoria or nearby you can’t go wrong with this historic site. I haven’t been in years, but have fond memories of exploring this site as a child, many times.

Plus it definitely a cheap things to do in Victoria, especially with kids you need to run around to get their energy out. Everyone 17 and under has free admission.

Location: 603 Fort Rodd Hill Rd (20 minute drive from downtown Victoria)

Hours: May 1 – October 15 from 10am to 5pm every day. October 16 – April 30 from 10am to 4pm Buildings open Saturday & Sunday only

Cost: $8.50 per adult, but youth 17 and under are free.

25. Hatley Castle & Witty’s Lagoon

Sunny Day at Hatley Castle. looking througj flowering trees. Things to do in Victoria for free.
Sunny Spring day at Hatley Castle
Photo: “dbstockphoto / istock.com

Location: 2005 Sooke Rd, Royal Roads University

Cost: Free to walk the Hatley Park gardens, trails and grounds. Guided Tours (May to Sept.): Family Pass $68, Adults $22.50, Youth (6-17) $14.

Superhero fans might recognize Hatley Castle as the setting for Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngesters, from the recent X-Men & Deadpool films.

On a more mundane note, Hatley Castle is now home of Royal Roads University and is a National Historic Site. You can explore the beautiful gardens, and trails through their 560 acres of old growth forest. The view facing Esquimalt Lagoon is spectacular.

Witty’s Lagoon

If you are already out that way anyway, why not make a day of it with a trip to Witty’s Lagoon. Which is about a 15 minute drive away from the castle in Metchosin.

On of the best free family activities Victoria, and nearby.

This regional park has trails to the Sitting Lady Falls, a Lagoon and Salt Marsh plus a great kid-friendly beach to hang out on for the day. From the main park entrance, a 1.2 km moderate forest trail takes you to the sandy beach.

LOCAL TIP: Stop in at My Chosen Cafe for a tasty meal, after your busy day.

26. Listen to Live Music at Market Square

Market Square in downtown Victoria is a fun place to window shop and listen to live music.

Located in Lo-Jo (as Lower Johnson is known as), there are unique shops and heritage buidlings to admire.

Location: 560 Johnson St.

Cost: Free

27. Tour the Parliament Buildings

Victoria’s most visited attraction, the iconic blue-green domed Parliament Buildings offers free, interesting guided tours.

Learn all about the historic building, and the legislative assembly.

Hours: Winter Hours: Mon to Fri 8:30am – 4:30pm. Summer Hours open on weekends too.

Cost: Free

28. Cool bugs at the Victoria Bug Zoo

Cool, interesting insects, and arachnids, and many legged creatures to keep the littles entertained. When they get tired of touring. It’s a gem for younger kids.

Location: 631 Courtnery Street

Hours: Mon to Fri 11am – 4pm, and Sat / Sun 10am – 4pm

Cost: Adults $18, Youth (5-17) $8 and 4 under free

29. Hop a Victoria Harbour Ferry

Small Habour Ferry in Victoria BC
Victoria Harbour Taxi Ferry at Fisherman’s Wharf
Photo by Donna | Packed for Life

Hop a Victoria Harbour Ferry for a fun taxi ride across the Inner Harbour, and see epic views of the Parliament Buildings, the Empress and a waterway.

They also offer different tour options; the historic Gorge Waterway Cruise, and a Pickle Pub Crawl (4 ferry rides to different brew pubs).

Location: Dock in front of the Empress Hotel and various parts of Inner Harbour

Cost: Depends on tour / taxi

30. Wander Finnerty Gardens

Victoria is known for its gardens.

If you are planning on walking around the University of Victoria (UVIC), don’t miss Finnerty Gardens.

This secluded sanctuary, is full of blooms, rhododendrons, trees, and shrubs (over 4000).

Wanting to see the iconic west coast rhodos? They have over 200 species in a vibrant array of colors.

Location: University Dr (Uvic)

Hours: Daily 8am to 11pm

Cost: Free

31. Hike at Goldstream Provincial Park

Goldstream Park is on our list of the best parks in Victoria. For it’s extensive trail system, Niagara Falls (not those NIagara Falls), and the salmon run in fall.

Fall is the best time to see bald eagles in the park as they come to feed on the spawning salmon.

Walk the trails in this old growth temperate rainforest. Home to 600 year old Douglas fir trees.

There’s picnic areas, camping, day use areas, and spectacular scenery.

Location: Trans Canada Hwy (Hwy #1)

Open: Year Round

32. Discover Victoria’s history at Government House

Government House is where the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia resides. While the indoors isn’t often open, the pretty and expansive gardens are free to stroll.

Different lush areas you can explore include the herb garden, the English Country Garden, a sunken rose garden, and of course a Rhododendron garden.

Location: 1401 Rockland Ave

Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Cost: Free

33. Visit the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Appreciate some west coast, Canadian and global art at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Its 20,000 works of art is the largest public collection in BC.

Visit the Asian Garden which has the only authentic Japanese Shinto Shrine in North America.

Location: 1040 Moss Street

Hours: Tues / Wed / Thurs / Fri 10am – 5pm. Thurs. 1pm to 9pm.

Cost: Admission by donation first Tuesday of every month & every Thursday from 5-9pm. Or regular costs apply

34. Climb the Giant Octopus at Gyro Park / Beach

Young Girl standing on a large octopus play structure
Gyro Park – Giant Play Structures

Gyro Park is iconic for it’s larger than life sea animals to climb. It’s also another of our top picks for the best parks and playgrounds in Victoria.

Right next to the beach, it makes for a fun place to picnic, and play.

Location: 2645 Sinclair Road (Close to Uvic & Cadboro Bay Village)

Cost: Free

35. Play at the Esquimalt Adventure Park

Esquimalt Adventure Park is known for it’s plentiful play stuctures and waterpark features.

There’s even a fitness circuit, toilets and change rooms, and a picnic area. Great for a relaxed afternoon.

Location: 527 Fraser Street, beside the Esquimalt Recreation Centre

Park Hours: Dawn to Dusk

Splash Pad: Daily 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m May to Sept.

LOCAL TIP: If you’re in Esquimalt also check out Fry’s Read Wheat Bread Bakery. As well as Fol Epi & Cafe Fantastico in Dockside Green for delicious coffee and pastries.

Plus wander the Galloping Goose Trail for a bit, along the waterway.

Final Thoughts: Things To Do With Kids in Victoria

I always feel grateful for the beauty and abundance of Victoria. This city holds a special place in my heart, no matter where I roam.

There are so many amazing free and cheap things to do in Victoria, BC that both kids and adults love. This list is just the starting point. Once you start exploring, you might never want to stop. Cheap family things to do in Victoria definitely don;t have to be boring!

Leave us a comment below if we’ve missed your favourite free things to do in Victoria, BC or cheap kid-friendly things to do in Victoria.


Here are our favourite resources we use to research and book our trips. They offer competitive deals, and good customer service. Plus itineraries and more travel ideas for Acadia area:
3 Day Victoria Itinerary with Kids
Best Victoria Whale Watching Tours
Top 11+ Victoria Parks & Playgrounds not to miss!
Vancouver to Butchart Gardens: 9 Ways
Vancouver Island Bucket List
Fun things to do in Parksville, BC
Best lodging in Parksville, BC Canada
How to see the Northern Lights in Yellowknife

Booking.com – Book your accomodations here. Excellent all round site for lowest rates.
VRBO Book family friendly accommodations here, but without the cleaning!
Viator – Find & book even more experiences, tours & fun lessons world wide.
Discover Cars – Make finding the cheapest or best car for your trip easy (worldwide)
100+ Family Bucket List Ideas for year round adventures

Anything else? Check out our Family Travel Resources & Tips page

35 Cheap & Free Things To Do In Victoria

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31 thoughts on “35 Free and Cheap Things To Do In Victoria, BC (2023)”

  1. Pingback: Accommodations in Parksville: Best Family – Friendly Places to Stay | Packed for Life

  2. I would love to visit Victoria some day! Thanks for sharing that it’s so kid friendly; my kiddos would love pretending they were a pirate as well as visiting the splash parks!

    1. Victoria really is a great place to visit with kids. There are also many parks, beaches and kid friendly nature trails to check out as well.

  3. My kid is 22, but I still want to do all of these. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Victoria…would love to visit.

  4. I have never been to Canada, but this is a great list if you have kids. It would be fun to be a pirate, but I would also check out Chinatown!

    1. The west coast of Canada is stunningly beautiful (I am biased though) and I highly recommend it as a vacation destination, with or without kids.

      1. I really like all the outdoor activities you highlighted in this post. Seems there is so much to explore and B.C. looks so vibrant.

    1. The ship At the Royal BC Museum has been my favourite since I was a little girl. Many a trip has been had pretending we were pirates, sea captains. The area even has a salty sea smell.

    1. Victoria has so many great places to visit for free, especially if you love parks, beaches and the outdoors. This is just a few of the many fun options.

    1. I am somewhat biased as I grew up in Victoria, but it is a wonderful and beautiful place to visit. One of my favourite places.

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