HR Macmillan Space Centre
The museum sits just west of downtown Vancouver in Vanier Park, on the other side of False Creek. It’s not typically included on sightseeing tours but it’s easy to visit during a day of exploring the city. If you’re also planning to visit the nearby Museum of Vancouver and Vancouver Maritime Museum, consider purchasing a Vanier Park Explore Pass to save time and money. Inside the museum, the Planetarium Star Theatre features shows about galaxies, black holes, planets, and other wonders of the universe, while the Groundstation Canada Theatre puts on live, interactive shows about gravity, rockets, and how astronauts train to live in space. In the Cosmic Courtyard Gallery, you can touch a moon rock and try on a space suit.
Things to know before you go
- The Planetarium shows have age recommendations ranging from 8 to 12 years.
- The Groundstation shows have similar age recommendations, with some suitable for children aged 6 and above.
- Paid parking is available in Vanier Park.
How to get there
The space center is located on Chestnut Street in Vanier Park, across the Burrard Bridge from downtown Vancouver. Public transport options to Vanier Park include the bus and False Creek Ferry; there are also bike-sharing stations in the park. For those with comfy shoes, you can walk from the Burrard Bridge or Granville Island in about 15 minutes.
When to get there
Open from late morning to early evening, the museum features daily shows in the two theaters, so check the schedule online for themes that interest you. The observatory and planetarium shows on Saturday night are particularly popular.
Before or after your space center visit, take some time to enjoy the other attractions of Vanier Park, which boasts a prime perch on the waterfront with excellent views of the downtown skyline. Perhaps check out the Vancouver Maritime Museum or the Museum of Vancouver, explore the walking paths, visit Kitsilano Beach, or catch a show at the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.
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